NUI Galway CAO ‘Performance Points’ Scheme for the Creative Arts

Dr Garry Hynes with NUI Galway students Dale Leadon-Bolger, Emily Noctor and Mollie Ball during 2014 Druid Academy workshops.
Feb 03 2015 Posted: 09:32 GMT

Students who meet strict criteria will be awarded 40 CAO ‘Performance Points’ for eligible undergraduate courses under the NUI Galway Creative Arts Scholarship Scheme.

Building on the success of the inaugural Creative Arts Performance Points scheme in 2014, NUI Galway is to again reward a limited number of students with exceptional achievements in selected disciplines in the creative arts with CAO ‘Performance Points’ for entry into undergraduate courses in the University. This is the only Creative Arts Scholarship Scheme of its kind offered by a university in Ireland.

The Creative Arts Scholarship Scheme is offering 40 ‘Performance Points’ in recognition of the significant time and dedication applicants have shown to reach an exceptional level in their chosen field in the creative arts, along with evidence of academic achievement and commitment.

CAO applicants for this scheme must meet strict criteria in a number of creative arts achievements. The 40 ‘Performance Points’ will be added to a minimum requirement of 350 CAO Points from a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate in 6 subjects. The closing date for applications is 14 February 2015. This year’s offer will be made to a maximum of 15 candidates who are selected through a two-stage process involving an application (stage one) and interview (stage two). Candidates will be made a conditional offer of their performance points prior to the Leaving Certificate and the CAO change of mind.

The Creative Arts scheme is available in areas where the University has an acknowledged international standing:

  • Creative Writing
  • Digital Arts and Media
  • Drama, Theatre and Performance
  • Film
  • Non-fiction writing, including Journalism

Students with high standards of achievement in any of those areas may apply for any undergraduate course within the University, with the exception of Medicine (GY501). Successful applicants will be assigned a mentor in their Creative Arts discipline. Mentors will assist the students’ development as artists during their time at NUI Galway.

President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne said “NUI Galway is proud of the many alumni who have excelled in the creative arts. As a University, we aim to lead in our research, innovation and learning and the Arts Scholarship Scheme recognises and supports similar ambition and dedication in those that excel in the creative arts.”

NUI Galway’s Professor of Drama and Theatre, Patrick Lonergan added, “Many NUI Galway students have benefitted from the support that the University has offered them in creative arts for many years. The Performance Points Scheme will broaden the horizon of achievement both for NUI Galway and for students with an interest in creative arts, and we have the facilities, structure and supports in place to help students achieve their goals, both academic and creative.”

In recent years NUI Galway graduates have had great success in the creative arts. Cathal Cleary was named Britain’s most promising young director in 2012; Aoife Spillane-Hinks has directed plays for Rough Magic Theatre, the Gate Theatre Dublin, and more; Deirdre Sullivan is the author of  Prim Improper (nominated for Children’s Book of the Year, 2011);  Tara McKevitt is a playwright whose works have appeared with Smashing Times Theatre Company and Tron Theatre Glasgow; and Duncan Lacroix appeared in Outlanders, a 16-part serial for Sony Television produced by Ron Moore (Battlestar Galactica) and directed by John Dahl (Dexter, Breaking Bad).

Applicants will be selected through a completed application form, samples of work provided, references and an interview process. The assessment will be based on the selected creative arts areas, and will also consider evidence of academic achievement and commitment. The successful candidates will then receive a conditional offer of the 40 performance points prior to the Leaving Certificate and CAO changes.

Successful candidates will receive benefits such as dedicated mentoring and support for resources. These supports will be for the duration of the undergraduate degree of the successful candidate and will be reviewed on an annual basis.

This scheme will only apply to new entrants applying for full-time undergraduate courses at NUI Galway. Students must receive a minimum of 350 CAO Points from a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate in six subjects, and must achieve all minimum entry and course specific requirements.

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