Film Studies - Theory & Practice

Film today offers a broad mix of employment opportunities, including in academia, film and media industries, and in film/creative arts administration. This programme combines a strong academic focus on the theoretical and historical study of film, with modules addressing screenwriting, digital film practice, film education and film festival curation. The programme has close connections with PALAS— Galway’s award-winning arthouse cinema as well as the annual Galway Film Fleadh.

This programme allows students to pursue either an academic-focused pathway or a practice-based approach to film, including the possibility of completing a feature-length screenplay during the academic year.

Subjects taught

Core modules:
Critical Theory I & II (Semester 1 and 2)
Film History I: Hollywood & Genre

Optional Modules may include:
Film History II: Cinema Beyond Hollywood since 1945
Ireland on Screen
Gender, Sexuality and Cinema
Screenwriting Fundamentals
Screenplay Development
Digital Play & Practice
Film Exhibition, Admin & Education
Sport and Film

Entry requirements

QQI Level 8 degree or equivalent, H2.2. GPA 3.0 or equivalent international qualification. Students who do not meet the honours degree requirement but have a Level 7 degree (Merit 1) may be admitted to the PDip course with the possibility of progressing to the MA if they receive a minimum of 60% in their course work during the year. Applicants are required to submit a writing sample, consisting of either a graded academic essay or a review essay of a recent film (1,000 words), and a personal statement with their application.

Application dates

You are advised to apply early, which may result in an early offer.

The online application system opens early October to accept applications for entry to the following September. As many courses fill up quickly, you are advised to apply as early as possible. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow ample time to organise a study visa.

Review/Closing Dates (for Taught Programmes)
For most programmes, University of Galway does not set specific closing dates for receipt of applications. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and course quotas will be reviewed continuously throughout the application cycle with the exception of applications for some programmes which are reviewed after the specifed closing date*. Candidates who do not have their final degree marks available may be made a conditional (provisional) offer.

*For programmes that have a set closing date, the closing date will appear on the individual course webpage.


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

Enrolment dates

Next start date September 2024
Closing Date Offers are made on a rolling basis.

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
Graduates have gone on to further research at PhD level and have acquired positions as lecturers and researchers in third level institutions. Graduates have also found employment in a range of film festival, film and media production, and journalism roles, including university lecturer, television producer, publisher’s production assistant, film producer and director, newspaper editor, journalist, teacher, theatre administrator, and film festival programmer.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ),Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time

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    Course provider