Course Overview

Important: this course is not on offer for entry 2018.

This programme offers a professional qualification to those seeking to further their careers in the management, marketing and administration of the Arts in Ireland and abroad. We welcome graduates seeking to further their education in the specific area of Arts management and policy, whilst equally offering practising artists, managers and curators the opportunity to develop their managerial and administrative skills and explore contemporary cultural trends. We strongly welcome applications from those with substantial and relevant professional experience.

NUI Galway graduates of the Higher Diploma in Arts Policy and Practice (formerly Arts Administration) are eligible to apply for the MA Dissertation Only programme. Further information is available on request.

Modules for full time course

Modules for part time course

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course



Requirements and Assessment

Assessments on the programme are designed to develop students’ writing and presentation skills, as well as their ability to undertake individual and group work and to critically assess their own work and that of their peers. Modules are assessed through a combination of essays, presentations and group work. A unique aspect of this programme is the collaborative project by which a hypothetical event is proposed (e.g. exhibition, festival, website, education programme) and, using the skills taught across several modules, a project is realised which conveys how an event is produced from proposal to the actual production. As a form of assessment, the project offers students a practical opportunity to apply the knowledge acquired in class.

Students also undertake a 4–6 week work placement at the end of semester 2, during which they are given the opportunity to put the skills they have learned on the programme into practical effect. Students have the opportunity to specialise in a particular aspect of the programme through a 16,000–18,000 word minor dissertation or through a Curation Project, which is submitted in early August.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

NQAI Level 8 degree or equivalent H2.2. GPA 3.0 or international qualification. IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent if applicable. Students who do not meet the honours degree requirement but have a Level 7 degree (Merit 2) may be admitted to the PDip course with the possibility of progressing to the MA if they receive a minimum of 60% in their coursework during the year.

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time
2 years, part-time

Next start date


A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Not applicable. Not on offer for entry 2018.

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting

MA—90, PDip—60



Course code

GYA60 part-time
GYA61 full-time

Course Outline

The programme provides a wide range of modules that are balanced between practical training in the specific skills of Arts administration, and analysis of policy formation in the arts. Students come from diverse backgrounds including artists, administrators and managers, from both inside the Arts sector and beyond. The MA offers full-time and part-time options, taken over a 12- or 24-month period respectively. The year is divided into two teaching semesters (September to December and January to April) whilst the summer period is used to complete a six-week placement and a minor dissertation or curation project.

Module work includes the production of live campus events through the Arts in Action programme and also participation at the TG4 Gradam Ceoil awards. A tailored series of guest speakers introduces the class to respected practitioners within the cultural sector.

This programme offers a valuable work placement opportunity within an organisation of your choosing. Previous placements have included Galway International Arts Festival, Galway Arts Centre, the Arts Council, Royal Hibernian Academy, VISUAL , Model Art Gallery and various local authority Arts Offices. 

There are some scholarship opportunities available for this programme. Please visit the MA (Humanities) Scholarships website for more information.


  •  Arts Forms
  • Public Funding / Practitioners’ Approaches
  • Basic Accountancy, Office Management
  • Marketing the Arts
  • Theatre in Ireland
  • Key Issues/Education & the Arts
  • Heritage Management
  • Traditional Music
  • Law (Copyright and Health & Safety)
  • Visual Arts
  • Placement and Final Report
  • Minor Dissertation or Curation Project

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Why choose this course?
Taught by respected practitioners and academics, this programme offers you the opportunity to engage with the larger Arts community both locally and nationally through course work and extracurricular activities.  You can immerse yourself in all that the vibrant city of Galway offers while engaging in a programme which offers you a range of modules designed to develop your skills and support future employment. As a student of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media you will also engage with students from across our diverse range of Media programmes through shared modules and events You will also have all the opportunities which come from studying at one of the world’s top Universities, including access to a range of seminars and high-profile guest speakers, who have in the past included Gabriel Byrne, Laura Mulvey, Lenny Abrahamson, Roddy Doyle, Donald Clarke, Hugh Linehan, Daniel Jewesbury and Stephen Frears.

Career opportunities
Graduates from the MA in Arts Policy and Practice have secured employment in a wide range of organisations and public bodies. Recent graduates are working in organisations such as Royal Irish Academy, Galway International Arts Festival, Arts and Disability Ireland, University Societies Office, Landmark Trust, Draoicht and Poetry Ireland.

Graduates are also employed in the many various festivals taking place nationwide such as TULCA, Cuirt and Dublin Theatre Festival along with local authority Arts Offices.

PhD opportunities exist for those wishing to pursue further studies in the area.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

This programme offers a valuable placement opportunity within an organisation of your choosing.

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,200 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€5,976 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,250 p.a. 2018/19

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.

Find out More

Dee Quinn
T: +353 91 495 076

Dr Conn Holohan
T: +353 91 495 686

What Our Students Say


Maria Casey |   MA Arts Policy and Practice 2014 Communications Assistant EV

Equipping me with essential skills needed to work within the business side of the arts, this course offered me a foundation in all areas of the creative industries. The wide variety of volunteering positions available throughout the year made this programme unique from any other course. Being taught by leading professionals within the arts world makes the MA in Arts Policy & Practice current and up-to-date, which is an essential factor in finding work after the course is completed.

Lily McGarry |   MA Arts Policy and Practice 2012: Administrator, Associatio

Coming to Galway and doing the MA in Arts Policy and & Practice has been the best thing for me. The course covers such a wide subject matter and it gives the students many opportunities to gain practical experience both on and off campus. All the lecturers are actively working in their fields and this means that students are given up- to- date information on their various areas of expertise. The course has greatly surpassed my expectations; I have gained so much from it, and the support and hands on opportunities that are on offer are something to be prized.