Course Overview

The next intake date is September 2024.

‘Could anything better typify the move from donkey-and-cart picture-postcard Ireland to high tech global leader in software technology that Ireland has become in recent decades?’

President of Ireland Mary McAleese, speaking about the Irish Studies online course.

Irish Studies Online – What’s it all about?

Irish Studies Online is an interdisciplinary introduction to Irish Studies, developed by the Centre for Irish Studies, University of Galway.  The two-year part-time diploma course offers an excellent opportunity for those interested in Ireland, especially those without access to traditional programmes of study in this area. The purpose of the diploma is to provide a basic introduction to Irish life and culture through the disciplines of Archaeology, History, literature in English and in Irish (presented in translation), Political Science and Sociology, traditional Irish music and dance.

Mode of Study: Online Learning - please visit our Online Learning webpage for further details on what is required to be an online learner.

Applications and Selections


The next intake date is September 2024.

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Applications System. This course is listed under Adult Learning & CPD Courses Application.

Please visit our How to Apply page for Application tips and Supporting Documents information.


Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

All teaching and student-teacher interactions will take place online in the course’s online learning environment. Course content comprises illustrated text,  online asynchronous discussions with lecturer and classmates, and multi-media content that includes recorded mini-lectures and recorded site visits. There are no live teaching sessions, rather set tasks to be completed by specified days of the week, removing the requirement to be online at any particular time. Support will be provided to students to help them become familiar with the online learning environment. The assessments take the form of weekly online reports and discussions, and essays completed at the end of each module.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for part-time students can be found in our FAQs section (i.e. age, english language requirements etc.). There are no specific entry requirements for the Diploma in Irish Studies (Online).

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


2 years, part time

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date


NFQ level

Level 7

Mode of study

Online Learning

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

Irish Studies Online comprises six modules. The modules provide an overview of Irish history from the pagan Celtic world and the coming of Christianity, through to the cataclysmic famines of the 1840s, the establishment of an independent state in 1922 and Ireland’s integration into the European community which has been ongoing since the 1970s. Students are introduced to Irish literature in both the Irish (Gaelic) and English languages, from the Old-Irish sagas and early Irish lyrics through the emergence of Anglo-Irish literature in the 18th century, to the 20th century revival of writing in Irish. Emphasis is also placed on the study of Irish society since independence with due consideration of such crucial issues as gender, religion, modernization, identity and socio-economic development.

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Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The information and skills introduced by this course may contribute to careers in a wide variety of areas, such as in the heritage, tourism and education sectors.

Who’s Suited to This Course

This course will appeal to those who are interested in Ireland’s past and culture including primary school teachers, secondary school teachers and heritage employees.  It will also be of interest to those who are employed in the tourism industry.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU


A fee scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment. For more information download the 2023_24 Fees Scholarship Form

Find out More

Centre for Irish Studies, University of Galway

Tel: 091 492051



What Our Students Say


Brian McDonough |   Diploma Graduate

The strength of the course is that there is constant involvement with our lecturer and other students. Each week we completed written assignments relevant to our studies. A key part of the assignments are discussion groups which allow the student to interact with other learners on a regular basis. Over a two-year period we became "friends" and learnt a great deal from each other. Michelle Comber, our lecturer, expects commitment and effort which makes the time spent quite worthwhile. The videos presented online are well thought out and the content is superb. This course allows the student to not just study history, but to examine the culture and the interplay between historic events and the shaping of the people.