NUI Galway has officially launched its 'CONNECT Programme', consisting of seven new specialised undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degrees. Designed to increase the employability of graduates, the four-year programmes will develop distinctive skills and provide real world experience by creating connections for students with life beyond the campus.
The seven new CONNECT degrees are: BA with Children's Studies; BA with Creative Writing; BA with Film Studies; BA with Human Rights; BA with Irish Studies; BA with Theatre and Performance; and BA with Women's Studies. The degrees will immerse students in their chosen field and include a full year of educational placement in the community, portfolio preparation, creative practice, study abroad, service-learning or work experience within Non-Governmental Organisations.
According to Professor Kevin Barry, the Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, "The new CONNECT programmes will enable students to engage in a very practical way with their most passionate interests, and to develop their confidence in the public sphere. Whether they choose Theatre and Performance, Children's Studies, Human Rights, or Film, in each CONNECT programme students will enjoy active participation both on campus and in the world of work".
Professor Barry added "NUI Galway, and the city of Galway itself, have developed very strong resources in these areas, as well as in Irish Studies, Creative Writing and Women's Studies. The CONNECT programmes are designed to open these resources for the first time to a new generation of undergraduate students".
In the first year of a BA CONNECT Programme each student will select three subjects and a specialism. Each CONNECT student group will meet weekly in an active learning environment to engage with their chosen specialism, under the guidance of the Programme Director. In second year, students continue with two subjects and their chosen specialism.
In third year students will pursue their specialism in a choice of environment that may include: on-campus and off-campus learning opportunities; study at a partner university in North America, the UK or Europe; placement with public bodies (for example, Non Governmental Organisations) and work experience within the creative industries of film and drama.
In fourth year, students will complete their studies in their two Degree subjects and incorporate in their final projects knowledge gained in the specialist study they have followed in the previous years.