Diploma in English Literature

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies

Course overview

The Diploma in English Literature aims to introduce students to the fundamentals of literary analysis. Students learn to deal with issues of genre and style, to apply diverse critical perspectives and to recognise the ways in which literature functions in society.

Through a detailed study of selected poets, the programme explores relations between form, content and culture in poetic art. In its focus on drama, the programme analyses selected plays paying close attention to issues such as theatrical practice, spectatorship and the social function of theatre. The diploma programme also introduces students to the world of fiction, to its formal and thematic properties and looks at facets of fiction writing such as characterisation, plot, setting and diction.


Who is this programme intended for?

The Diploma programme is intended for adult learners who are interested in English literature and is equally attractive to graduates and non-graduates alike. Students graduating with this diploma should have acquired an appreciation of the cultural and expressive resources of literature and an ability to think critically about literary text. It could be seen as a first step towards degree-level studies or to work in related arts and education fields.

Key facts

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for the Diploma in English. Candidates who are 21 years or over on or before January 1 st of year of entry may gain entry to the programme on the basis of mature years. Candidates under 21 years should meet the minimum matriculation requirements as outlined in the Frequently Asked Questions section.

Additional requirements


Duration: 2 years, part-time

Next start date: September 2015

ECTS weighting: 30

Average intake: Unlimited

Closing date: Summer 2015

NFQ level: 7

Mode of study: Classroom-based

Course outline

There are six modules on offer within the programme structure and student are required to take three modules each year.


Programme content - Year 1

Introduction to Poetry
Introduction to Drama
Introduction to Fiction

Programme content - Year 2

Studies in Contemporary Literature in English
Literary Periods and Literary History
The Fiction of Adolescence


Alternative modules may be on offer in year 1 or year 2 due to the variety of specialisms on offer in each Diploma cycle.


Classes will be held on Wednesday evenings.

Applications and selections

Apply here


Maria McHugh

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development

NUI Galway, Nuns' Island


Tel: 091 492144

Fax: 091 525051

E-mail: maria.mchugh@nuigalway.ie



Requirements and assessment

All modules in the Diploma are individually assessed. The assessment for each module takes the form of essays, written assignments or presentations during the semester and a written examination at the end of the semester.

Find out more

Maria McHugh

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development

NUI Galway, Nuns' Island


Tel: 091 492144

Fax: 091 525051

E-mail: maria.mchugh@nuigalway.ie


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €970 p.a. 2014/15 (Inclusive of Levy)
Non-EU (Total): €1,470 p.a. 2014/15

Current students

Mark Shanahan

The Diploma in English Literature was an immensely enjoyable and stimulating course. The lecturers across all modules were passionate and knowledgeable, and the small class size promoted interaction and participation amongst the students. By encouraging me to think critically, the course really broadened my appreciation of literature. A highly recommended and rewarding course.