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Each year more than 4,000 choose NUI Galway as their University of choice. Find out what life at NUI Galway is all about here.
About NUI Galway
About NUI Galway
Since 1845, NUI Galway has been sharing the highest quality teaching and research with Ireland and the world. Find out what makes our University so special – from our distinguished history to the latest news and campus developments.
Colleges & Schools
Colleges & Schools
NUI Galway has earned international recognition as a research-led university with a commitment to top quality teaching across a rang of key areas of expertise.
Business & Industry
Guiding Breakthrough Research at NUI Galway
We explore and facilitate commercial opportunities for the research community at NUI Galway, as well as facilitating industry partnership.
- Alumni, Friends & Supporters
At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Arts Policy and Practice (MA/PDip)
This programme offers a professional qualification to those seeking to further their careers in the management, marketing and administration of the Arts in Ireland and abroad. We welcome graduates seeking to further their education in the specific area of Arts management and policy, whilst equally offering practising artists, managers and curators the opportunity to develop their managerial and administrative skills and explore contemporary cultural trends. We strongly welcome applications from those with substantial and relevant professional experience.
NUI Galway graduates of the Higher Diploma in Arts Policy and Practice (formerly Arts Administration) are eligible to apply for the MA Dissertation Only programme. Further information is available on request.
Applications and Selections
Who Teaches this Course
James Harrold is Galway City Arts Officer. He is a co-founder of Cúirt, Galway's International Literature Festival, and was a board member of Galway Arts Centre and Galway Poetry Co-Operative. He is a co-founder and board member of Áras Éanna, Inis Oirr, the Arts Centre of the Aran Islands. He is currently a board member of artsandhealth.ie and Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust.
Mary McPartlan is the Traditional Artist in Residence at the Centre for Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway. She is also the Creative Director of the hugely successful Arts in Action programme at NUI Galway.
Maeve Mulrennan is the Head of Visual Art and Education in Galway Arts Centre. She is the current Chairperson of Tulca Festival of Visual Art and the co-curator of Cúirt Labs, the education strand of Cúirt international Festival of Literature.
Orla Higgins lectures in Marketing with the Huston School of Film and the School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway. She also works as a consultant with various arts and non-profit organisations in the areas of strategy, research and marketing communications. In addition, she produces and directs documentary films.
Requirements and Assessment
Assessments on the programme are designed to develop students’ writing and presentation skills, as well as their ability to undertake individual and group work and to critically assess their own work and that of their peers. Modules are assessed through a combination of essays, presentations and group work. A unique aspect of this programme is the collaborative project by which a hypothetical event is proposed (e.g. exhibition, festival, website, education programme) and, using the skills taught across several modules, a project is realised which conveys how an event is produced from proposal to the actual production. As a form of assessment, the project offers students a practical opportunity to apply the knowledge acquired in class.
Students also undertake a 4–6 week work placement at the end of semester 2, during which they are given the opportunity to put the skills they have learned on the programme into practical effect. Students have the opportunity to specialise in a particular aspect of the programme through a 16,000–18,000 word minor dissertation or through a Curation Project, which is submitted in early August.
1 year, full-time
2 years, part-time
Next start date
A Level Grades ()
You are advised to apply early, which may result in an early offer; see the offer round dates
Next start date
Mode of study
The programme provides a wide range of modules that are balanced between practical training in the specific skills of Arts administration, and analysis of policy formation in the arts. Students come from diverse backgrounds including artists, administrators and managers, from both inside the Arts sector and beyond. The MA offers full-time and part-time options, taken over a 12- or 24-month period respectively. The year is divided into two teaching semesters (September to December and January to April) whilst the summer period is used to complete a six-week placement and a minor dissertation or curation project.
Module work includes the production of live campus events through the Arts in Action programme and also participation at the TG4 Gradam Ceoil awards. A tailored series of guest speakers introduces the class to respected practitioners within the cultural sector.
This programme offers a valuable work placement opportunity within an organisation of your choosing. Previous placements have included Galway International Arts Festival, Galway Arts Centre, the Arts Council, Royal Hibernian Academy, VISUAL , Model Art Gallery and various local authority Arts Offices.
There are some scholarship opportunities available for this programme. Please visit the MA (Humanities) Scholarships website for more information.
- Arts Forms
- Public Funding / Practitioners’ Approaches
- Basic Accountancy, Office Management
- Marketing the Arts
- Theatre in Ireland
- Key Issues/Education & the Arts
- Heritage Management
- Traditional Music
- Law (Copyright and Health & Safety)
- Visual Arts
- Placement and Final Report
- Minor Dissertation or Curation Project
Why Choose This Course?
Why choose this course?
Taught by respected practitioners and academics, this programme offers you the opportunity to engage with the larger Arts community both locally and nationally through course work and extracurricular activities. You can immerse yourself in all that the vibrant city of Galway offers while engaging in a programme which offers you a range of modules designed to develop your skills and support future employment. As a student of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media you will also engage with students from across our diverse range of Media programmes through shared modules and events You will also have all the opportunities which come from studying at one of the world’s top Universities, including access to a range of seminars and high-profile guest speakers, who have in the past included Gabriel Byrne, Laura Mulvey, Lenny Abrahamson, Roddy Doyle, Donald Clarke, Hugh Linehan, Daniel Jewesbury and Stephen Frears.
Graduates from the MA in Arts Policy and Practice have secured employment in a wide range of organisations and public bodies. Recent graduates are working in organisations such as Royal Irish Academy, Galway International Arts Festival, Arts and Disability Ireland, University Societies Office, Landmark Trust, Draoicht and Poetry Ireland.
Graduates are also employed in the many various festivals taking place nationwide such as TULCA, Cuirt and Dublin Theatre Festival along with local authority Arts Offices.
PhD opportunities exist for those wishing to pursue further studies in the area.
Who’s Suited to This Course
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
M.A. EU Full time programme: €6,015
M.A. EU Part time programme: €3,065 p.a.
P.Dip. EU Full time programme: €5,965
Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition. You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee. An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.
Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.
Maria Casey | MA Arts Policy and Practice 2014 Communications Assistant EV
Equipping me with essential skills needed to work within the business side of the arts, this course offered me a foundation in all areas of the creative industries. The wide variety of volunteering positions available throughout the year made this programme unique from any other course. Being taught by leading professionals within the arts world makes the MA in Arts Policy & Practice current and up-to-date, which is an essential factor in finding work after the course is completed.
Lily McGarry | MA Arts Policy and Practice 2012: Administrator, Associatio
Coming to Galway and doing the MA in Arts Policy and & Practice has been the best thing for me. The course covers such a wide subject matter and it gives the students many opportunities to gain practical experience both on and off campus. All the lecturers are actively working in their fields and this means that students are given up- to- date information on their various areas of expertise. The course has greatly surpassed my expectations; I have gained so much from it, and the support and hands on opportunities that are on offer are something to be prized.