Course Overview

‘Could anything better typify the move from donkey-and-cart picture-postcard Ireland to high tech global leader in software technology that Ireland has become in recent decades?’

President of Ireland Mary McAleese, speaking about the Irish Studies online programme.

Irish Studies Online – What’s it all about?

Irish Studies Online is an interdisciplinary introduction to Irish Studies, developed by the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI, Galway. The two-year part-time diploma programme offers an excellent opportunity for those interested in Ireland, especially those without access to traditional programmes of study in this area. The purpose of the diploma is to provide a basic introduction to Irish life and culture through the disciplines of Archaeology, History, literature in English and in Irish (presented in translation), Political Science and Sociology, traditional Irish music and dance.

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

All modules will be examined by essay.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants for the programme should meet the University’s requirements for mature students.

Additional Requirements


Two years, part time

Next start date

September 2016

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Next start date

September 2016

NFQ level

Level 7

Mode of study

Online learning

ECTS weighting




PAC code

Course Outline

The Courses

Irish Studies online comprises six modules: Early Christian Ireland (431-1169 AD), Medieval Ireland (1169-1603 AD), Early Modern Ireland (1603-1845 AD), Modern Ireland (1845-1998 AD), Social and Political Change in Contemporary Ireland (1922-2003 AD), and From Ceili to Riverdance: Irish traditional music and dance in the 20th century. The courses provide an overview of Irish history from the pagan Celtic world and the coming of Christianity, through to the cataclysmic famines of the 1840s, the establishment of an independent state in 1922 and Ireland’s integration into the European community which has been ongoing since the 1970s. Students are introduced to Irish literature in both the Irish (Gaelic) and English languages, from the Old-Irish sagas and early Irish lyrics through the emergence of Anglo-Irish literature in the 18th century, to the 20th century revival of writing in Irish. Emphasis is also placed on the study of Irish society since independence with due consideration of such crucial issues as gender, religion, modernization, identity and socio-economic development.

Year 1 modules, in order of offering (examined by essay)

  1. Early Christian Ireland 431-1169
  2. Medieval Ireland 1169-1603
  3. Early Modern Ireland 1603-1845

Year 2 modules, in order of offering (examined by essay)

  1. Modern Ireland 1845-1998
  2. Social and Political Change in Contemporary Ireland 1922-2003  
  3. From Ceili to Riverdance: Irish Traditional Music and Dance in the 20th Century

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€970 p.a. 2016/17

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€1,470 p.a. 2016/17
A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment. Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following: Job-seekers Benefit, Job-seekers Allowance, One-parent family allowance, Disability allowance, Community Employment Scheme or signing for social insurance contribution credits. Please download the 2016_2017 Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

Dr. Michelle Comber
Centre for Irish Studies
NUI Galway