Course Overview

‘Could anything better typify the move from donkey-and-cart picture-postcard Ireland to high tech global leader in software technology that Ireland has become in recent decades?’

President of Ireland Mary McAleese, speaking about the Irish Studies online programme.

Irish Studies Online – What’s it all about?

Irish Studies Online is an interdisciplinary introduction to Irish Studies, developed by the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI, Galway.  The two-year part-time diploma programme offers an excellent opportunity for those interested in Ireland, especially those without access to traditional programmes of study in this area.  The purpose of the diploma is to provide a basic introduction to Irish life and culture through the disciplines of Archaeology, History, literature in English and in Irish (presented in translation), Political Science and Sociology, traditional Irish music and dance.

Applications and Selections

Online applications will reopen in April 2018.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

All modules will be examined by essay.

Applicants are expected to be proficient in the use of computers and the internet.

All applicants, whose first language is not English, or who have not been educated through the medium of the English language during their two most recent years of study, must present one of the following qualifications in the English language: IELTS: 6.5 or TOEFL (IBT): 92. Please see this webpage for further information:

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.


Key Facts

Entry Requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for the Diploma in Irish Studies (Online).  

Candidates who are 21 years or over on or before January 1st 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 FAQs section.

Additional Requirements


Two years, part time

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Next intake September 2018.

Next start date

September 2018

NFQ level

Level 7

Mode of study

Online Learning

ECTS weighting




PAC code

Course Outline

Irish Studies Online comprises six modules.  The modules provide an overview of Irish history from the pagan Celtic world and the coming of Christianity, through to the cataclysmic famines of the 1840s, the establishment of an independent state in 1922 and Ireland’s integration into the European community which has been ongoing since the 1970s.  Students are introduced to Irish literature in both the Irish (Gaelic) and English languages, from the Old-Irish sagas and early Irish lyrics through the emergence of Anglo-Irish literature in the 18th century, to the 20th century revival of writing in Irish.  Emphasis is also placed on the study of Irish society since independence with due consideration of such crucial issues as gender, religion, modernization, identity and socio-economic development.

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

  1. Early Christian Ireland 431-1169
  2. Medieval Ireland 1169-1603
  3. Early Modern Ireland 1603-1845

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

  1. Modern Ireland 1845-1998
  2. Social and Political Change in Contemporary Ireland 1922-2003  
  3. From Ceili to Riverdance: Irish Traditional Music and Dance in the 20th Century

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€970 p.a.

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€1,470 p.a.

A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment.  Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following: 

  • Job-seekers Benefit
  • Job-seekers Allowance
  • One-parent family allowance
  • Disability allowance
  • Community Employment Scheme
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Signing for social insurance contribution credits

Please download the 2017_18 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

 Dr. Michelle Comber

Centre for Irish Studies
NUI Galway

Access the Student Launchpad for course outlines, timetables etc.