Entry Points (2015)

Course Overview

The BA with Irish Studies offered by NUI Galway is a four-year degree programme, in which students take two subjects to degree level in addition to their Irish Studies specialism.

Students will study what it means to be Irish through aspects of Irish culture, including literature in Irish and in English, tradiational music and dance, and television and film.  How has Irish identity and Ireland's self-image changed over the past two centuries, from the thatched cottages of de Valera's Ireland to the self-confident multiculturalism of Riverdance and the tiger economy, and the economic and cultural anxieties of post tiger recession? Who are the 'new Irish' and how do they challenge our sense of identity and nationhood? Students will explore the extend to which writers, film-makers and musicians create and critique stereotypes of Ireland and Irishness, and how we construct a sense of Irishness for ourselves and for others.

All classes will be taught through English; Irish language material wil be studied in translation.

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Minimum Grade HC3 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at H or O level in the Leaving Certificate, including Irish, English, another language and three other subjects recognised for entry purposes.

Additional Requirements


4 years

Next start date

September 2017

A Level Grades (2015)

BCC or equivalent combination

Average intake


Closing Date

Next start date

September 2017

NFQ level


Mode of study

ECTS weighting




PAC code

Course Outline

An interdisciplinary approach is adopted throughout as students explore the core question of what it means to be Irish through literature, music and dance, television and film. Students examine how Irish identity and Ireland’s self-image has changed over the past two centuries, from de Valera’s Ireland to the self-confident multiculturalism of Riverdance and the challenges of the post-Celtic Tiger economy. The programme focuses on the extent to which writers, film-makers and musicians create and critique stereotypes of Ireland and Irishness, and how a sense of Irish identity is constructed for ourselves and for others. All classes are taught through English.

 Year One

• Writing Ireland I: An introduction to twentieth century Irish writing.

• Writing Ireland II: The migrant experience in modern and contemporary Irish writing.

• Performing Ireland I: An introduction to traditional Irish music and dance since 1893/Music in the Diaspora.


Year Two

• Writing Ireland III: A sense of place: location and dislocation in modern Irish writing.

• Performing Ireland II: Tunes and Texts: Constructing identies in Irish music and dance.


Year Three

• Semester 1: Irish Studies Abroad: all students will spend the semester studying at an international partner university.

• Semester 2: Irish Studies Independent Research Project: students will spend this semester conducting an independent research project, which may involve placement, archive research and/or fieldwork.


Year Four

You will complete your studies in your two core degree subjects and may incorporate in your final year projects the specialist skills and knowledge you have gained in Irish Studies over your previous three years.

Further Education

The degree provides a basis for further studies in literature, history, ethnomusicology, social and political science and related disciplines. An interdisciplinary MA in Irish Studies is offered in addition to the Masters programmes available in Gaeilge, History and English.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The knowledge and skills acquired in this programme are relevant to a range of career options, including education, journalism and communications, arts and heritage, publishing and the public service.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,822 p.a. 2016/17

Fees: Tuition

€2,598 p.a. 2016/17

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2016/17

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2016/17

Fees: Non EU

€12,750 p.a. 2016/17
EU Fees 2016/17:
- Tuition: may be paid by the Irish Government on your behalf if you qualify for free tuition fees see - free fee initiative.
- Student Contribution: €3,000 - payable by all students but may by paid by SUSI if you apply and are deemed eligible for a means tested SUSI grant.
- Student Levy:  €224 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI.

Find out More

College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies
T +353 91 493 958

T +353 91 402 051
F +353 91 495 508
E collegearts@nuigalway.ie 


What Our Students Say


Caroline Grealish |   BA Connect (Irish Studies)

The BA connect with Irish Studies gives the student a true sense of what it is to be Irish and how this has changed over the years. It gives one an insight into the Irish identities through literature, music and media. I chose Irish Studies as part of my Bachelor of Arts as this module interested me greatly and I believed it would help my study in other subjects. Irish Studies is taught in more of a classroom based environment with small groups. I found the small groups beneficial, it gives students the confidence to engage in class discussion and ask questions.