Diploma in Irish Food Studies

Course overview

Ever wondered what foods our ancestors ate? How they were produced? What effects they had? Would you like to explore the evolution and development of Irish food and Irish food systems from prehistory right up to the 1970s, to  trace the history of what we consider to be signature Irish products, methods, ingredients and dishes?

Ever noticed the role of food in the work of great Irish writers like Joyce and McGahern? Fancy learning about, and trying your hand at, image design, popular food writing and the presentation of food in food tourism? Want to explore styling, photography, recipe editing and testing, restaurant reviews and food-related feature writing?

Are you interested in exploring issues relating to the contemporary production of Irish food and related materials? Want to learn more about regulations, finance, marketing and promotion? Want to hear the stories of some successful Irish food practitioners, to engage with leaders in Irish food tourism and Irish food production?

Key facts

Entry requirements

Applicants for the programme should meet the University’s requirements for mature students.

Duration: Two years, part time.

Next start date: Applications accepted from April 2014, course commences September 2014

ECTS weighting: 30

Average intake: N/A

Closing date: Closing date for applications, August 2014

NFQ level: Level 7

Mode of study: Classroom based

Course outline

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI, Galway is pleased to announce a new diploma in Irish Food Studies, to commence September 2014. This two-year, part-time, diploma is designed to introduce participants to diverse aspects of Irish Food Studies and, for the first time, combine the practical with the academic. The programme welcomes anyone with an interest in Irish food, whether that interest is casual or career-oriented. If you want to simply learn more about Irish food, or if you have prior experience in the world of food, are already working in a related area and are looking for a university qualification, additional skills and knowledge, then this course is designed for you.


The information and skills introduced by this programme might contribute to careers in areas such as food tourism, food writing, food production, brand development and marketing. Topics to be covered will include the ancient heritage of Irish food, its literary depictions, historical traditions and practical production. The course will be taught by experts in the field, including Regina Sexton, Aoife Carrigy and Peter Ward. Teaching will comprise illustrated lectures, in-class interviews with current successful practitioners in the field, in-class demonstrations and some practical hands-on experimentation!


Year 1 modules, in order of offering (examined by essay/project/exam)

1. What our ancestors ate - the physical evidence from the past.

2. Contemporary Irish Food I.

3. An Appetite for Reading: The Representation of Food in Irish Writing.


Year 2 modules, in order of offering (examined by essay/project/exam)

4. Irish Food History and Culinary Culture.

5. Contemporary Irish Food II. 

6. Creativity in Irish Food.

Applications and selections

Applications will be online.

Requirements and assessment

All modules will be examined by essay/project/exam

Find out more

For content queries, contact:


Dr. Michelle Comber

Centre for Irish Studies

NUI Galway


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €970 p.a. 2013/14
Non-EU (Total): €1,470 p.a. 2013/14