Course Overview

Ireland’s only postgraduate programme dedicated to literature and publishing, this MA provides the opportunity to study the history and business of publishing within the context of literary study. The programme offers a perspective on the industrial and commercial dimensions to the production of literature and provides insight into book and magazine production, copyediting, publishing law, marketing, electronic publishing, book history and digital studies.

The publication of the journal ROPES is integral to the programme and students take full responsibility for its production.

A weekly speaker series, Publishers on Publishing, brings people working in publishing in Ireland and abroad to discuss their careers.

There are opportunities for visits to publishing houses, printers, and other relevant businesses. Some students volunteer with book fairs and literary festivals and some become interns with Irish publishers.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online here. In the first instance, all applicants to this programme should supply the following supporting materials: 1) a personal statement of approximately 600 words; 2) scanned copies of all university transcripts (not required for applicants who earned their BA from NUIG); 3) a scanned copy of their passport or birth certificate (not required for applicants who have been previously enrolled as students at NUIG); 4) and the names and full contact details for two academic referees willing to provide a letter of recommendation (relevant professional referees may be substituted by applicants who are a long time out of the education system). Please note that referees may be contacted and asked to supply references to the MA programme director. At a later stage of the process, applicants may be required to supply hard copies of documents or additional materials, such as evidence of English-language competency (for applicants whose first language is not English).

Who Teaches this Course

  • Dr Dermot Burns PhD
  • Dr Daniel Carey PhD
  • Dr Caitriona Clear PhD
  • Dr John Cunningham PhD
  • Dr Rachel Hilliard PhD
  • Dr Muireann Ó Cinnéide PhD
  • Ms Maureen O' Sullivan
  • Mr Toner Quinn
  • Dr Lionel Pilkington PhD
  • Dr Lindsay Reid PhD
  • Mr Rob Smyth
  • Dr Elizabeth Tilley PhD
  • Dr Justin Tonra PhD
  • Dr Ann Torres PhD

Requirements and Assessment

Assessment is at the end of each semester either by examination, essay or continuous assessment. A minor dissertation is completed in the summer and submitted in mid-August.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

NQAI Level 8 degree with an overall degree result of H2.2 and with a H2.1 in one subject is required (GPA 3.0 or equivalent overall).

Please note the IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent if applicable. 

Two satisfactory hardcopy academic references are required for this programme at application stage (or relevant professional recommendations in the case of applicants who are a long time out of the education system).

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2020

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please refer to the offer rounds/closing date webpage.

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

The course is a full-time degree which commences in September and continues until the following August. Students take six or seven courses, depending upon ECTS weighting, and a minor dissertation is submitted in August. The journal ROPES is published each year by students on the programme. The course also includes a weekly speaker series, Publishers on Publishing, in which people working in publishing both in Ireland and abroad discuss their experience in the industry and in which experts in publishing studies discuss trends in the field. Students have the option to take a non-assessed course in electronic publishing.

The programme is based on six or seven modules.

Courses include: Contemporary Publishing; Copyediting and Proofreading; Publishing Law; Promotion Management; Introduction to Business; E-Business Marketing; Book History; Practicum; Critical Approaches; Introduction to Digital Humanities;Textual Studies; Medieval Aesthetics and Poetic Art; Early Modern Print and Manuscript Cultures; The Nineteenth Century Literary Marketplace; Travel Literature; Discovering the Archives; Thinking about Theatre; Irish Drama from Wilde to O’Casey; Irish Drama from Beckett to the Present; Literature and Colonialism; Studies in Oral History; Regional Identities; Film in the Digital Age.

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Optional DT6102: Irish Drama and Theatre from Wilde to O'Casey - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional EN579: Contemporary Publishing - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional MG529: Introduction To Business - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW871: Media Law - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional MK5101: Digital Marketing - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional EN559: Promotion Management - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional EN570: Book History - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional EN6103: Representations of the Book in Literature and Film - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional EN6105: Introduction to Digital Humanities - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional DT6106: Thinking about Theatre - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional DT6113: Applied Dramaturgy - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Required EN529: Dissertation - 30 Credits - Semester 1
Optional EN6109: From Globe to Globe: Contextualising Shakespeare on stage and on screen - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN547: Literature And Colonialism - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional EN581: Copy-editing and Proofreading - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional HI561: Studies in Oral History - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN522: Medieval Aesthetics And Poetic Art - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN527: Literature Of North America - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN573: Travel Literature - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN593: Publishing Law: Theory and Practice - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional DT6101: Irish Drama and Theatre from Beckett to the Present - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional FM6105: Digital Film and Culture - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN610: The Nineteenth-Century Literary Marketplace - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN6101: Books Journalism - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN6125: WB Yeats and the Cultural Revolution - 10 Credits - Semester 2

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates have found positions in a range of fields, including publishing, advertising, bookselling, journalism, arts administration, public relations and teaching. Employers include Gill & Macmillan, Columba Press, the Educational Company of Ireland, Business & Finance, Angry Robot, Elsevier, and Penguin. Some graduates opt for further study in doctoral programmes.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,400 p.a. 2019/20

Fees: Tuition

€6,176 p.a. 2019/20

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2019/20

Fees: Non EU

€15,550 p.a. 2019/20

Please note:  The fee payable by EU students is listed under "Fees: EU".  This field is the sum of the student levy + tuition.  Fees are payable each year and are subject to change year-on year.

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your full-time tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay full-time TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Find out More

Dr Lindsay Reid
T: +353 91 492 565

What Our Students Say


Mandy Shelton |   MA Literature and Publishing 2012-2013

After working in publishing in the States for about eight years, doing everything from stocking shelves to editing textbooks, I enrolled in the MALP to refocus my career in a more literary direction. Galway is the perfect place for creative pursuits, and all the opportunities available on campus serve as constant reminders of why we need art in our lives. At the same time, the MALP emphasizes publishing as a business, and a rapidly changing one at that. The field trips to publishing houses and tech companies, the volunteer opportunities at literary festivals, the seminar series with Ireland's top publishers, and, of course, the entire publication process of ROPES underline and italicize the practical value of the course. For every hour spent quietly with the books in the library, there is an equal amount of time dedicated to discussion and collaboration about publishing. I have learned more about the digital shift, author relations, and how academic theory might apply in the publishing marketplace than I could have imagined a year ago.


  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020 PDF (21 MB)