Diploma in English and Drama

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies

Course overview

The Diploma in English & Drama aims to introduce students to the fundamentals of literary analysis.  Students learn to deal with issues of genre and style, to apply diverse critical perspectives and to recognise the ways in which literature and theatre functions in society.

Through a detailed study of poets, the programme explores relationship between form, content and culture in poetic art.  In its focus on drama, the programme analyses selected plays playing close attention to issues such as theatrical practice, spectatorship and the social function of theatre.  The diploma programme also introduces students to the world of fiction, to its formal and thematic properties and looks at facets of fiction writing such as characterisation, plot, setting and diction.

This programme offers a broad overview of the field, demonstrating the many ways in which English and Drama Studies form a basis for a spectrum of critical thinking and cultural analysis.  The programme also entails the study of specific literary and theatrical areas.  Students taking this specialism will refine, develop and/or acquire skills in close reading and critical analysis, improve and enhance oral and written expression, and emerge with an expanded sense of imaginative and cultural possibility.

Who is this programme intended for?

The Diploma programme is intended for adult learners who are interested in English and Drama and is equally attractive to graduates and non-graduates alike.  Students graduating with this diploma should have acquired an appreciation of the cultural and expressive resources of literature and drama and an ability to think critically about literary text and drama.  It could be seen as a first step towards degree-level studies or to work in related arts and education fields.  It may be of particular interest, but not exclusively so, to first and second level teachers and others interested in the contribution of English and Drama to education, local studies, heritage and tourism.

Key facts

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for the Diploma in English and Drama. 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.

Additional requirements


Duration: 2 years, part-time

Next start date: September 2015

ECTS weighting: 30

Average intake: Unlimited

Closing date: August 31st, 2015.

NFQ level: 7

Mode of study: Blended learning

Course outline

There are six modules on offer within the programme structure and student are required to take three modules each year.

Programme content - Year 1

Victorian Literature 1832 - 1901

Poems, Stories and Politics – An Introduction to the Study of Literary Texts

Theatre Histories 1


Programme content - Year 2

Old English Poetry

Literary Borrowings: Studies in Genre and Adaptation

Theatre Histories 2


Alternative modules may be on offer in year 1 or year 2 due to the variety of specialisms on offer in each Diploma cycle.


Classes will be held approximately one Saturday per month.

Applications and selections

Apply here


Maria McHugh

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development

NUI Galway, Nuns' Island


Tel: 091 492144

Fax: 091 525051

E-mail: maria.mchugh@nuigalway.ie



Requirements and assessment

All modules in the Diploma are individually assessed. The assessment for each module takes the form of essays, written assignments or presentations during the semester and a written examination at the end of the semester.

Find out more

Maria McHugh

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development

NUI Galway, Nuns' Island


Tel: 091 492144

Fax: 091 525051

E-mail: maria.mchugh@nuigalway.ie


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €970 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €1,470 p.a. 2015/16

Current students

Mark Shanahan

The Diploma in English Literature was an immensely enjoyable and stimulating course. The lecturers across all modules were passionate and knowledgeable, and the small class size promoted interaction and participation amongst the students. By encouraging me to think critically, the course really broadened my appreciation of literature. A highly recommended and rewarding course.