Course Overview

The MA/Postgraduate Diploma programme is an internationally recognised qualification with the course content informed by the agreed competencies and professional standards for Health Promotion. The programme is an IUHPE (International Union of Health Promotion and Education) Accredited Health Promotion Course. This means that students who graduate from this course are automatically eligible to apply to become an IUHPE Registered Health Promotion Practitioner on the voluntary register. Graduates of the programme work in statutory services (e.g., Health Service Executive, local authorities), non-governmental organisations (e.g., Irish Heart Foundation, Dental Health Foundation, Irish Cancer Society), the private sector ( e.g., health insurance companies) and in the academic sector (e.g., University of Galway, Atlantic Technological University Sligo, University College Cork ), in a number of roles including dedicated Health Promotion Specialist posts. Past graduates are employed nationally and internationally, in posts in Ireland, UK, Australia, Canada and USA. Some graduates have gone onto further study in our doctoral programme (Further information on the PhD in Health Promotion is available by clicking here.)

About the programme

Download: BROCHURE MA PG Diploma in Health Promotion

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Promotion offers a taught programme, delivered over two semesters. Full-time students undertake four core modules and choose two optional modules. The MA course incorporates the taught component of the Postgraduate Diploma programme together with a minor dissertation based on original research, which is undertaken over the summer months with a submission date in late August.

The MA in Health Promotion programme is an accredited International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) European Health Promotion Course (EuHP).

A range of teaching and assessment methods are used, including interactive lectures, work placements, small group teaching, skills development, and contributions from practitioners in the field, in a blended learning format with in person and online teaching.

Academics that teach on the programme are research active in the Health Promotion Research Centre, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research contributing to the WHO work programme.

Aims and objectives
The programme aims to provide students with professional education and training in the principles and practice of health promotion. Students will acquire knowledge and skills in the following:

  • Theoretical background to the concepts and principles of health promotion and the application of theory to practice
  • Determinants of physical, mental and social well-being.
  • Key factors influencing the promotion of positive health.
  • Application of a range of different health promotion approaches and strategies across diverse population groups, topics and settings.
  • Critical role of the research process and its application in the development of knowledge and best practice in health promotion.

Scholarships available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

If you would like to meet us:

  • We participate in the University of Galway postgraduate open days which are run twice a year.
  • We put on our own course-specific open evening in Spring where you can hear about the programme, meet staff and other potential students. 
  • You can make an appointment by email to meet a member of staff at University of Galway

Details of open days/evenings will be posted on this website and here, or email to be added to our mailing list.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System

The programme board evaluates each applicant’s academic record and relevant professional experience to date at the time of application and assesses the applicant’s level of motivation and suitability as per the Personal Statement submitted as part of the online application.

Who Teaches this Course


Prof Margaret Hodgins
BA (Mod), MA, PhD
Personal Professor
Áras Moyola
University of Galway
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Prof Margaret Barry
MA, PhD.
Discipline of Health Promotion
Room 338A
Aras Moyola
University of Galway
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Dr Verna McKenna
Lecturer Above The Bar
Discipline of Health Promotion
Aras Moyola
University of Galway
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Dr Victoria Fallon-Hogan
B.A., M.Sc., Cert. Ph.D
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Prof. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn
B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Professor of Health Promotion
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Dr Martin Power
BA., PhD., PGCert Teaching & Learning
Lecturer Above The Bar
Health Promotion & HPRC
Room 103A
Aras Moyola
University of Galway
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Dr. Lisa Pursell
BSc, Ph.D.
Lecturer Above The Bar
Health Promotion
Aras Moyola
University of Galway
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Dr Jane Sixsmith
RGN, HV, DN, B.Sc., M.A. PhD.
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Dr. Mary Lavelle
B.A., M.A., Ph.D
Lecturer Above the bar, Academic Director of MA/Postgraduate Diploma in Health Promotion Programmes
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Requirements and Assessment

Assessment is by means of continuous assessment and an oral examination.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

As Health Promotion is a multidisciplinary field, we consider applications from candidates with a primary degree from a related discipline. For the MA, the minimum entry requirement is a 2.1 on an honours degree programme. For the PDip, the minimum entry requirement is a primary degree at any level. The programme board evaluates each applicant’s academic record and relevant professional experience and assesses the applicant’s level of motivation and suitability from the personal statement submitted as part of the online application. 

Additional Requirements

Garda vetting/police clearance is required for this programme.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


1 year, full-time (MA)
1 year, full-time (PDip)

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

An early application may result in an early offer: see the offer round dates.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting

90 (MA) | 60 (PDip)



Course code


Course Outline

The content of the taught modular programme reflects the programmes aims and objectives. The programme comprises four core and six optional modules. Students must complete eight modules in total, four core and four optional, from a choice of six. As a student in Health Promotion you will have the opportunity to engage with international health promotion research projects and to pursue European based study as an optional module. The full-time taught programme is supported by a workplacement where you will experience Health Promotion in action.  

Programme delivery

The programme uses a wide variety of delivery approaches including: lectures, small group teaching, group work and enquiry based learning, together with a work placement for full time students. The programme is delivered through a blended learning format with face-to -face teaching and online learning.

MA students are supported through the minor dissertation by a named supervisor who is a member of academic staff.


Module details for MA full-time

Module details for Dip full-time

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Further Education

Students can go on to earn the PhD, and MPhil degrees, through research work, with an optional minor taught element. Students can specialise in one of the disciplines various areas of research, working with a high degree of independence, and becoming experts on their chosen topic. This work is usually published in international conferences and journals.

Visit  for more details.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities


Accreditation of the programme by the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), means that students who graduate from this course are automatically eligible to apply to become an IUHPE Registered Health Promotion Practitioner on the voluntary register. This facilitates movement across roles, organisations, regions and countries through the use of shared understandings and qualifications. This accreditation provides assurance that these programmes provide graduates with the knowledge and skills required for effective practice and that awards are validated based on agreed professional standards.

A wide variety of career opportunities in Ireland and abroad exist for graduates of this programme.  Graduates are qualified to pursue a full-time career in health promotion or to incorporate health promotion principles into their work, expecially those in the health and education sectors.

Graduates from the programmes have found employment in a broad range of work sectors: statutory, private, voluntary and community securing positions in a number of roles including dedicated Health Promotion Specialist posts. Graduates of the MA in Health Promotion have found employment in academia, in a diverse range of fields of health research both nationally and internationally. Some graduates have also gone onto further study undertaking PhDs at University of Galway and beyond, in Health Promotion and other Disciplines. The range of employment opportunities taken up by graduates who come from a wide range of disciplines and experiences, attests to the relevance and transferability of the health promotion competencies gained from the Health Promotion programmes to graduate employability.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,640 full-time; €3,855 part-time p.a. (including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€7,500 full-time; €3,750 part-time p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€140 full-time; €105 part-time p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€18,500 p.a. (€18,640 p.a. including levy) 2024/25


PDip full-time .  NON EU fee €15,000 p.a. (€15,140 including levy) and EU fee €7,000  p.a. (€7,140 including levy) 2024/25

PDip part-time.  EU €3,500  p.a. (€3,570 including levy) 2024/25

Health Promotion top up (MA) by minor dissertation (Part-time): EU €2,570 p.a. 2024/25

Find out More

If you have queries or questions or just want to learn more about the programmes contact us by phone or email.

Dr. Mary Jo Lavelle 

Course Director 


Stacey Gibbons
Course Administrator
T: +353 91 493644

See Course Overview section of this website for information on How/Where to Meet Us.

What our graduates say


Lindsay Sullivan |   Graduate, MA Health Promotion

My experience as a student in this programme exceeded my expectations. The education I have received studying Health Promotion at NUI Galway, coupled with the extraordinary and unparalleled experiences through the work placement component of this course, have undoubtedly prepared me for my future as a health promotion researcher. Overall, studying Health Promotion at NUI Galway provided me with an innovative learning experience while having the cultural experience of a lifetime.

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