Galway 2020 - European Capital of Culture

We love creative minds.

We love how they’re never happy with the status quo. Constantly challenging, transforming and innovating – we all benefit from the new perspectives they bring to life

We nourish creative minds.

From the lab to the lecture hall, through sports, Societies and volunteering, on stage, on screen and in schools, we believe that the best way for our students to learn is through hands-on experience, teamwork and group learning.

We are creative minds.

Our researchers and teachers never stop questioning the world – and impacting it for the better. Their passion is driving our growing reputation around the world.

Engaging with Europe

The European Capital of Culture bid challenges us to reach out to Europe in new and innovative ways - celebrating our shared heritage, our distinct cultures and our joint future together.

We believe that Galway is uniquely ready to rise to this challenge. Located on the edge of Europe, our city and region has a history of reaching out to the world. In famine times and in boom times, we have survived and thrived by building enduring partnerships overseas. In culture, trade, research, education, sport and tourism, Galway has a tradition of developing networks that span the globe.

NUI Galway is Ireland's most diverse university - located in Ireland's most diverse city! We attract more international students from around the world than anywhere else in the country. We are ready to welcome Europe with open arms. Read our strategy for further internationalisation in our Vision 2020 below.

Vision 2020

Áit Faoi Leith, Cultúr Faoi Leith, Am Faoi Leith

Áit faoi leith is ea Gaillimh. Agus é suite idir Conamara agus Boireann an Chláir, ar bhruach Chuan na Gaillimhe, tá an suíomh atá againn idir uathúil agus aoibhinn. Ón suíomh seo ar chiumhais Atlantaigh na hEorpa, ta traidisiún láidir againn maidir le rannpháirteachas agus ceangal leis an saol mórthimpeall. Tá idir fhuinneamh agus spleodar daonra óig agus éagsúil agus mhórtas áite, staire agus traidisiúin le brath sa cheantar. Tá ár gcáil amuigh mar áit a ndéantar na healaíona agus an cultúr a cheiliúradh, a athmhúnlú agus a roinnt leis an saol mór. Is mór againn an nasc uathúil atá againn leis na pobail Ghaeltachta. Leanfaidh an Ollscoil uirthi ag tarraingt ar an oidhreacht shaibhir chultúir agus teanga sin agus ag cur léi.

Cultural Powerhouse

Galway is a cultural hub. The city and county are renowned for our rich cultural heritage, our unique Gaeltacht traditions, our colourful festivals, and the generations of writers, actors, musicians and producers that have called Galway home.

NUI Galway contributes to this cultural dynamism through a diverse range of teaching programmes focused on the creative arts. Whether its film, language, creative writing or theatre, the University is training the next generation of arts makers in the West of Ireland.

To find out about our diverse range of creative programmes, click below.

Creative Arts at NUI Galway

Galway 2020

We believe that Galway 2020 can be a gamechanger for our city and region - a celebration of culture in which everyone can take part.

Over the past few months the people of Galway have come together to show their support. The energy and enthusiasm that our community has brought to the bid is second to none.

The city, county and University have done an incredible job of supporting (and realising) the ambition to be European Capital of Culture 2020. Through social media, wearing badges and wristbands, and decorating our home and business. We're all very proud to be the European Capital of Culture 2020. Visit for more.


Film Studies

In September 2008, the Huston School commenced its first undergraduate degree programme: BA (Connect) with Film Studies. This offering is unique in Ireland, allowing students to pursue a traditional double-subject Bachelor of Arts degree with an extra specialisation in Film Studies.

The strength and diversity of the Huston's programme is linked with Galway city's far flung fame as a unique centre of culture and creativity. The presence in the school of so many interrelated courses, in a city of so much creative industry, enhances the experience of students of each individual programme. Read more about the course here


NUI Galway is the leading international centre for the study of Irish theatre and offers students and researchers exciting opportunities to learn from excellent lecturers and leading theatre practitioners. We offer a range of courses in the area of drama and theatre at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. We have particular expertise in Irish theatre, theatre archives, playwriting, and much more.

We have a range of courses, including two undergraduate courses (the BA in Drama and Theatre and a BA Connect with Performing Arts Studies). PhD applications are also being accepted.

NUI Galway also has one of the world's most important collections of Irish theatre archives, including the digital Abbey Theatre archive, the papers of such major Irish companies as Druid Theatre, Galway Arts Festival and the Lyric Players' Theatre, the papers of leading writers such as Thomas Kilroy, and many others.

Cultural Connections

NUI Galway is the leading international centre for the study of Irish drama, theatre and performance. We foster an environment of creative growth and discovery through our many partners in Theatre, Music, Song & Dance, Film & Visual Arts, and Writing.

NUI Galway is an Official Lead Partner with the Galway International Arts Festival. Each year eight students on the SELECTED programme experience the festival first-hand by working with the GIAF production team on selected productions. NUI Galway have partnered with the Galway International Arts Festival introcucing a SELECTED Programme, a two-week initiative that will allow participants from NUI Galway's MA in Drama and Theatre Studies immerse themselves in all aspects of the Festival.

Learn more about our cultural connections within the community here.

Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance

We have first-rate facilities, including a new purpose-built Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, as well as major archival collections, including the digitised papers of the Abbey and Gate Theatres, as well as the literary archives of John McGahern, Thomas Kilroy, John Arden and Margarette Darcy, and others.

All of these activities are grounded in the west of Ireland, widely regarded as Ireland’s cultural capital and a place of great natural beauty that is home to a lively, cosmopolitan university city. The Creative Industries are an area of huge growth in the west of Ireland, with an estimated 8,000 new jobs likely to be created in this region in the next decade alone.

The university’s strong international links ensure that our graduates have opportunities to develop their skills in local, national and global contexts.