Ennis Education Options Broaden with NUI Galway Diploma Series

Friday, 20 June 2008

Multi-culturalism is the order of the day at the Clare Education Centre in Ennis which will host a Diploma Series offered by NUI Galway s college of Arts, Social Science and Celtic Studies in conjunction with the University's Adult and Continuing Education Office. Applications for the four programmes in Irish Music Studies, French, German and the Irish language are now invited from people seeking a new challenge or from those interested in brushing up on those rusty language skills. No previous knowledge of any of the subjects is required for the diplomas, which have proven to be a popular choice among adult learners over a long tradition of part-time programmes at NUI Galway. A rising interest in the Irish language has prompted the University to restructure its Diploma in Irish which is now offered at three levels, to cater for all abilities. Bríd Seoige of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta, which delivers the Diploma in Irish, said people who have never spoken a word of Irish before can now study the language to diploma level. "Previously some students found the diploma tough and many dropped out but now we are offering three levels of diploma, catering to those non-Irish students interested in the language, right up to competent Irish speakers who wish to strengthen their written and grammar skills," she said. While the diploma is popular with students of all capabilities, in recent years there has been increased demand for the course among mature students interested in pursuing a career in teaching. "We have had a lot of students who have taken up the diploma as a way of fulfilling the Irish requirement for primary school teaching," said Bríd. "There has also been a lot of interest in the course in the aftermath of the comedian Des Bishop s recent television series which has helped to enhance the Irish language s reputation especially among young adults." The Diploma in Irish Music Studies will strike a chord among the north Clare traditional music scene which is noted throughout the country for its historic musical 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 it was suited to anyone with an interest in Irish culture. "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," he said. "Up to now our classes have included a diverse mix of students from doctors in Galway to musicians in Ennis so it really is a course that has broad appeal to a wide cross section of society." French and German are also popular course options for people in the region considering part-time education. Giving students the ability both to converse and comprehend a variety of everyday topics and situations in the languages, both courses also equip students with an introduction to the civilisations, cultures and societies of both countries. For further information on the Ennis Diploma Series contact the Adult and Continuing Education Office at 091 492062 or email adulteducation@nuigalway.ie.
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