Diverse Diplomas on Offer from NUI Galway

Friday, 20 June 2008

NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Office is expecting record numbers of applications this month for its Diploma series. There are over 15 two-year, part-time diplomas on offer. Usually classes are one evening a week and subjects vary from Archaeology to Women's Studies, or Italian to English Literature. One of the newer programmes available is the Diploma in Social Gerontology, which is the study of ageing. With today's population living longer, it is an area of increasing interest to both academics and society alike. Subjects covered in the diploma include the economics of ageing and public policy for dependent older people. Course director Áine Ní Léime said the programme was the first of its kind in Ireland, and that students of the current course ranged from carers and health professionals to members of active retirement groups and others interested in the area of ageing. "It's proving to be a popular course for people involved in voluntary work as well as people working within the HSE who have said it's been very useful in the course of their day-to-day work. "However, it's not just for the health worker. It is a second chance for people who may not have had third or even second level education but want to gain a qualification in something they are genuinely interested in." Among the languages available in the Diploma Series include Italian, French, German and Irish all of which cater for students interested in honing their language skills both for business and pleasure. The Diploma in German helps students develop skills to communicate effectively in the language as well as providing an insight into the intellectual, economic and cultural history of a country that is at the heart of Europe. Course director Gabi Behrens said the classes focused on communication with teaching through conversation and language exercises instead of an over-reliance on memorising text. With only one class a week, it is essential that students allocate time to the course during their own time. According to Gabi Behrens, "The students who get the most out of the course usually incorporate short but regular language practice sessions in their everyday routines, which can include listening to German tapes or keeping a diary in German." Another popular course offered is the Diploma in Irish Music Studies, which is aimed at anyone interested in Irish culture. The course provides insights from music, dance, poetry, television and film into the ways in which Irish performers and writers have been actively involved in imagining and re-imagining Ireland from the 18th century to the present. Tim Collins, one of the course directors who will deliver the traditional Irish music and dance components of the programme, said, "Musical ability is not a requirement for students entering this course as the programme is mainly centred around the debate and discussion of the identity of Irish traditional music". For further information on all courses available in the Diploma Series contact the Adult and Continuing Education Office at 091 492062 or email adulteducation@nuigalway.ie
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