Course Overview

Scholarships are available for this programme.

This is a one-year full-time Master’s programme, with the option to be delivered as a two-year part-time programme if required.

It introduces students to concepts, debates, tools and practices related to the application of digital technologies to both the creative arts and humanities research. It therefore offers students scope for both reflective analysis and advanced digital skills acquisition.

The programme is interdisciplinary and will allow students to follow ‘research-focused’ or ‘practice-focused’ streams, provided through a menu of core and optional modules. The programme offers a combination of themes and skills unique among Irish third-level institutions. For some graduates the programme will provide a stepping stone to a PhD project; for others it will provide a foundational skill-set for employment in the fields of ICT, cultural heritage, and the creative arts.

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course


  • Professor Sean Ryder, School of Humanities
  • Dr Justin Tonra, School of Humanities
  • Mr David Kelly, Digital Humanities
  • Dr Anne Karhio, School of Humanities

Additional staff are drawn from School of Engineering and Informatics, James Hardiman Library archives unit, Huston School of Film and Digital Media, School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and School of Geography and Archaeology.

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants will require a NQAI Level 8 degree, Second Class Honours, or equivalent, with a 2:1 in a related subject. Where applicants do not meet the formal academic requirements they can apply for entry through the University’s Recognition for Prior Learning Policy.

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time
2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting



Course code

GYA83 (full-time)
GYA84 (part-time)

Course Outline


Introduction to Digital Humanities
This course will explore a range of topics from the intersection of computing and the humanities, with a particular emphasis on literary studies. Topic and questions to be addressed include: the history of computing in the humanities, and how computers can augment traditional analytic methods in the humanities. Classes will be divided between in-depth discussions of assigned readings and more hands-on exploration and use of pertinent digital tools and platforms.

 Digital Literature, Arts and Creative Practice

The course will explore the ways in which new technologies have been used in the creation of “born-digital” works of literature and other arts, and the impacts of these developments on ideas of creativity, publishing and creative practice.

Digital Tools

The course will be conducted as a series of workshops that will introduce students to basic skills in digital tools including database construction, programming and coding, data visualisation and digitisation.

Culture Society Technology

A postgraduate introduction to issues and problems in the relationships among culture, society and technology. The course will examine the impact of technologies, especially digital technologies, from cultural, political, ethical, legal and other points of view.

Digital Cultures Workshop & Final Project 

Independent research project in digital arts and humanities. Students will design, plan and complete a practically-based digital project or a dissertation in a relevant area, under direction of a member of programme staff. Workshops supporting the research project will be held during Semester Two.

 OPTIONS (two to be chosen; menu of options may vary from year to year)

a) Digital Analytics and Visualisation for Arts & Humanities
A specially-tailored introduction to the analysis and visualisation of data for arts and humanities research. Students will be introduced to basic visualisation applications and tools, and to the wider issues of the design and purpose of data visualisation.

b) Text Technologies

This course provides historical, theoretical, and practical training in text technologies for the postgraduate student in the humanities. The course is comprised of two major parts: first, students will learn about the history of texts and text technologies from the creation of writing to the present day, and study a variety of theoretical perspectives on textuality and the interpretation of text. This forms the basis for the second part of the course, where students will learn a range of practical computational corpus linguistics and text analysis procedures for the preparation, manipulation, analysis, and exploration of digital texts. Students will write basic programmes to count the number or words in a text file, and move from there to more complex analytical investigations of text. This course will be of interest to humanities students who work with texts of all kinds, and will empower those who wish to use computational techniques for working with texts.

c) Digital Editions and Digital Archives

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of digital archiving and digital scholarly editing. Students will gain hands-on experience creating digital editions and archives, and understand the theoretical and practical issues involved in the creation and use of these digital forms. The course will be co-taught with staff from the James Hardiman Library.

d) The Abbey Theatre Digital Archive

This course involves using content from  NUI Galway’s Abbey Theatre Digital Archive as the basis for an independent project using digital archiving / digital editing / visualisation / data-mining skills, under the guidance of a staff member.

 e) E-Literature

This course is an exploration of the theory and practice of electronic (born-digital) literature. The course will examine its major genres, the challenges it poses to traditional literary theory, and the complex issues at stake in this emerging field of creativity.

e) Introduction to GIS

This course covers the basic concepts and applications of a geographic information system (GIS). The topics of GIS data concepts, modelling, attribute management, input and analysis are explained. GIS software ArcGIS is selected as the main training software package for computer practicals in this course. Students will get general knowledge of GIS and acquire the basic techniques of GIS software to independently produce professional maps and carry out spatial queries and basic GIS analyses.

f) Digital Play and Practice

This module introduces students to creative problem solving, creative process and designing strategy for digital media experiences. In the module students will explore techniques for short-form content creation and basic practical skills for the production of a piece of film / content for the Internet. The module will also introduce emerging technologies in digital arts such as Virtual Reality (Film/Animation/Gaming/Experiences), Augmented Reality, Holography, 3D Projection.

g) Digital Film and Culture

This course provides a critical understanding of the relationship between film and digital technology, assessing the impact of digital filmmaking on film production and film theory. Through task-based learning, students will be asked to consider the impact of digital media on our relationship to visual culture. The course will consider what the place of film (and cinema) is in the digital age and the impact which digital technology has on our relationship to visual media.

h) Data Journalism

In this module students will learn a range of techniques for sourcing, analysing, and representing data-based stories through practice-driven learning.

Further Education

Depending on subjects studied at undergraduate level, graduates of the MA in Digital Cultures will be eligible to apply for PhD in a variety of arts and humanities disciplines, and will also have opportunities for doctoral studies in areas of ICT and practice-based research.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates will be able to follow employment opportunities where a combination of high level of information technology skills may be required in conjunction with core humanities skills in communication, analysis, research and creativity. This includes areas such as information and communication technologies; creative arts; cultural heritage; media; teaching and further research.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,200 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€5,976 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,250 p.a. 2018/19

Find out More

Professor Sean Ryder
School of Humanities
NUI Galway
T: +353 91 493 009