Bachelor of Arts (Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge)

Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge

Cad a deir ár léachtóirí

Cad a deir ár léachtóirí

Cad a deir ár mic léinn

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Ag staidéar cumarsáid

Course overview

The BA (Cumarsáid & Gaeilge) is a creative and lively four-year degree in media and Irish which is taught entirely through Irish. It covers the latest thinking and research in the fast-changing world of digital media, and provides a balanced mix of academic study and practical, hands-on learning in journalism, television and radio production, broadcasting and multimedia, together with a thorough grounding in Irish language and literature and a focus on Gaeltacht heritage and culture.

A key aim of this robust programme is to develop the critical and analytical skills needed to become a ‘reflective practitioner’ in the media, able to parse and examine from an objective standpoint the conflicting voices and demands journalists face in their everyday work, and sift the spin from the substance. Graduates will be skilled storytellers who will be equally at home telling stories with pictures, in soundscapes or with words. They will also have strong television presentation skills, and an ability to express themselves with confidence and persuasion.

The programme differs significantly from its predecessor, the BA sa Chumarsáid, in that for the first time graduates will have a recognised qualification in Irish and will be able to teach Irish at second-level once they obtain a postgraduate qualification in teaching. Another key difference is that the course has moved from An Cheathrú Rua to the Galway campus.

If you are thinking about a media course through Irish you may also wish to consider Léann na Cumarsáide, a new optional subject on the three-year Joint-Honours Arts degree at NUI Galway (GY101).

Key facts

Entry requirements

Applications are welcome from people who have achieved the H3 standard in Irish in the Leaving Certificate examination, and who satisfy the University's general entrance requirements. Minimum A-Level Grades: Grade C in A Level Irish.

Additional requirements


Duration: 4 years

Next start date: September 2016

Entry points(2015): 310


Average intake: 25

Course outline

The teaching on this programme takes place in small, intimate groups with individual attention and advice available on a daily basis from tutors and mentors. Formal lectures on aspects of theory and literature are blended with workshops on practical and language skills during which active student participation is encouraged. As well as frequent contact with dedicated University teachers, you will have many opportunities to meet journalists, photographers, film-makers and other media professionals as part of structured talks or guest workshops. You will be given lots of help and encouragement to build your own portfolio of television, radio and journalism work which will become a key asset when you seek employment following graduation. You will also be encouraged to play an active part in college societies such as An Cumann Gaelach, An Cumann Drámaíochta, the Literary and Debating Society, DramSoc and FilmSoc, and to take full advantage of the many seminars, conferences, guest speakers and workshops on offer from time to time in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies.


Year One

First Year modules cover a broad range of topics including an introduction to journalism, digital storytelling in video and audio, basic video shooting and editing, storyboarding and scriptwriting, television presenting , communication skills, critical analysis and the study of key media texts. The academic content includes an examination of the role of the media in society, particularly its function as opinion-formers and shapers; discourses which challenge the traditional role of mainstream media as gatekeepers of information and legitimacy; and the crisis of public broadcasting in contemporary society.

The language and literature modules are focused on enabling students to acquire a high standard of fluency in both spoken and written Irish as a living, contemporary language, while attending to its broader literary and cultural heritage.

First Year modules include: Digital Storytelling; Critical Thinking and Presentation; Irish Language Literature and Culture; Broadcasting Skills; Media Computing Systems; The Language of Communications.

Year Two

In Second Year you will deepen your engagement with journalism and broadcasting, explore various forms of interviewing and research, learn about the importance of the soundscape in digital storytelling, and study the grammar of composition and editing. The academic focus shifts to efforts to contextualise and analyse the broader implications of technological and social change on media and society by situating specific contemporary issues within a larger historical context.

You will broaden and deepen  your study of the literary, cultural and linguistic heritage of the Irish language from the earliest times to contemporary life, including such highlights as the late medieval Irish love poetry in the 'amour courtois' tradition, and the work of contemporary writers such as Máirtín Ó Cadhain and Seán Ó Riordáin.

Second Year modules include: Creative Video Design; Broadcast Journalism; Media Analysis; Irish Language Literature 1200-1900; Modern Literature in Irish; Radio and Television Broadcasting; The History of Irish-Language Media; The Feature Article; Language and Community; The Language of Communication.


Year Three

During the first semester of Third Year you will be bases at the University's Gaeltacht campus in An Cheathrú Rua at the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht. Here you will have the opportunity to focus on written and spoken Irish, and deepen your understanding of Gaeltacht heritage and dúchas. During the second semester you will work as an intern in a media of public relations organisation, complete a community-based learning project, or study abroad. If you chose the work experience option you will gain invaluable industry experience in  high-quality internships in TG4, RTÉ, Raidió na Gaeltachta, local radio stations, television production companies, public relations firms and other organisations working with the media. These sought-after opportunities will give you a unique insight into the contemporary media world during which you will make invaluable contacts and gain practical, on-the-ground skills that will help you in your future search for employment.

Gaeltacht Semester: Gaeltacht Heritage, Learning in the Community, Irish and Communicative Skills, Career Competencies, Language Accuracy.
Second Semester: Internship in a media or public relations organisation, or a community-based learning project, or study abroad.


Year Four

In Fourth Year you will examine some key developments in the contemporary media landscape, including media convergence, the development of mobile and citizen journalism, and recent developments in Irish-language media. You will hone your skills in broadcasting, media production and journalism. You will also investigate key ethical and structural dilemmas in contemporary media production. These include the impact of 'churnalism' on real journalism; funding issues in public service broadcasting; and the impact of social media's 'Daily Me' on social cohesion. You will also carry out a specific final year project on an area of your choosing.

You will deepen your study of Irish literature and the living language, including contemporary drama and literature. The focus on Irish in media and communication will help you further develop the range of presentation and communicative skills you need in order to become a successful television or radio presenter.

Fourth Year modules include: Video Production; The Media in Minoritised Communities; Applied New Technology; Irish Language Literature; Language and Community; Applied Journalism; The Economy of the Media or The Audience; Irish Language Literature 1200-1900; The Language of Communication; Final Year Project.


Further education

Following your graduation, if you wish to deepen both your academic understanding of the media and your role as a ‘reflective practitioner’, you may wish to consider the MA (Cumarsáid)(GYA93 on, also offered by the Acadamh through Irish at NUI Galway, or other academic programmes such as GYA23 MA in Journalism or GYA63 MA in Production and Direction at NUI Galway.


Find out more

Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill / Caroline Ní Fhlatharta

Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge

T +353 91 595 101



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Fees for this course

EU (Total): €5,822 p.a. 2015/16
 - Tuition: €2,598 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student contribution: €3,000 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €12,750 p.a. 2015/16

EU Fees 2015/16:
- 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.

Current Students

Sláine Hutchinson

BA (Cumarsáid)

"...Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is a brilliant place to develop and learn through the medium of Irish in the heart of Irish Language broadcasting in an Cheathrú Rua. We are like a small family helping and talking to each other. The lecturers are always available to advise us, and students mix well and support each other. Acadamh students have an excellent opportunity to learn because TG4 and Raidió na Gaeltachta are nearby. There is always a lovely atmosphere in an tAcadamh and I think that it is very important in college life..."