Pioneering Masters Programmes Combining Film Practice, Theory and Screenwriting at NUI Galway

Nov 21 2016 Posted: 11:26 GMT

Huston School of Film and Digital Media revamp their two flagship MA programmes

Building on the established tradition of postgraduate teaching in film studies and film production at NUI Galway, the Huston School of Film & Digital Media has announced the relaunch of their two flagship MA programmes – the MA in Film Production and Direction and the MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice.

Designed to equip graduates for the changing employment and research environments of the digital age, these programmes have been revised to include training in screenwriting within their core and optional modules.

The MA in Film Production and Direction is a full-time rigorous, skills-based course offering training in directing, producing, screenwriting, camera, sound and editing by leading industry practitioners. As well as the practical filmmaking skills acquired on this course, students are exposed to the history and diversity of film as an art form through weekly screenings and lectures. From the beginning, students are involved in collaborative filmmaking tasks which offer real-world training in a range of roles across the film production process while developing core technical and creative skills informed by a critical awareness of film history and analysis. Throughout the year-long programme, students will develop their creative skills in a supportive environment with the opportunity to specialise in areas such as television drama or short film making.

Uniquely in Ireland, the MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice enables students to mix or concentrate on academic or practice-based pathways, including mentorship in screenwriting and the possibility of developing a feature-length screenplay. Core modules examine foundational and contemporary themes in the study of global cinema and introduce students to digital film practice. The programme also includes a range of optional modules allowing students to focus on specific film, screenwriting, media-related areas, and a module examining the role of film in arts administration, education and festival curation. For their final project, students have the option of producing a written dissertation, a video essay, or a feature-length screenplay. The programme can be taken on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Dr Seán Crosson, Programme Director of the MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice, said: “Students on these innovative programmes benefit from small-group teaching and seminars providing close interaction and mentorship from lecturers and industry professionals. As a student at the School you will be part of a collaborative creative community, working with students across a range of MA programmes to develop your understanding of film theory and practice. Students have access to a range of seminars and high-profile guest speakers, who have included to date Gabriel Byrne, Laura Mulvey, Seamus McGarvey, Stephen Rea, Lenny Abrahamson, Mark O’Halloran, Colin McArthur, James Cromwell, John Boorman, Evan Goldberg, Roddy Doyle, John Carney and Atom Egoyan.”

Employing over 6,000 people nationwide, and generating an estimated €550 million annually, the creative industries are central to Ireland’s economic and cultural achievements on the global stage. As a UNESCO City of Film, and the home of the Irish Film Board, Galway is situated at the heart of Ireland’s creative and cultural sector. Research and taught programmes at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media are built upon the strong links between the school and the wider creative community, offering students the unique opportunity to collaborate with top industry professionals. Many Huston graduates are pursuing successful careers in the fields of Film and Media both in Ireland and abroad, including Will Collins, who was the screenwriter of the animated film Song of the Sea, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2015.

For more information on the MA in Film Production and Direction, the MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice, and other programmes on offer visit To enquire about the programmes email


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