See how our University community is supporting the cultural legacy of Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture

"As the official legacy partner to the European Capital of Culture project, NUI Galway is committed to respecting and supporting the development of a cultural legacy programme which will leave a far reaching impact on Galway city and its hinterland."

- Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, University President

For more information about the University's contribution and activities during Galway's year as European Capital of Culture in 2020, email:

Building a Shared Legacy

As European Capital of Culture for 2020, Galway has a unique opportunity to build a lasting legacy for the cultural and creative arts sector in the city and its hinterland, boosting the reputation of the city and region, and building new relationships across Europe and the wider world.

As Official Legacy Partner to the European Capital of Culture project, NUI Galway will support the development of a cultural legacy programme which will have a lasting impact on Galway’s creative arts sector.

Read more

Evaluating the Impact

The University and Galway 2020, in collaboration with The Audience Agency, will deliver the monitoring and evaluation framework for the European Capital of Culture programme via a bespoke range of research projects, case studies and events. This will be a multi-disciplinary effort led within the university by the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies with support from several departments.

The European Capital of Culture designation represents a unique opportunity for researchers within the Moore Institute to develop innovative projects with the potential to impact on cultural policy and practice internationally. The Moore Institute is already working with the Arts Council, Belfast City Council and a range of European stakeholders to deliver an innovative research project, gathering and analysing data to assess the impact of the European Capital of Culture designation on Galway City and County. Such academic research is key to developing NUI Galway’s international reputation in the cultural and creative industries.

Student Volunteers

Student Volunteers

Our students will be involved in all aspects of Galway 2020, through our amazing ALIVE student volunteering programme.


Cultural Arts Project Awards

The University's Centre for Creative Arts Research invited submissions from across the campus for Cultural Arts Project funding. This initiative aims to support activities that are relevant to Galway 2020 and its themes of Language, Landscape and Migration. Applications were invited under three categories: Large Projects (awards of up to €10,000), Small Projects (awards of up to €2,000) and  Visiting Fellowships (awards of €2,000). The successful projects address aspects of European culture, identity and creative cities that connect with the University and its wider communities.

Find out more about the successful projects here.

Our unique contribution

NUI Galway will contribute to the legacy of Galway's year as European Capital of Culture across a number of strands:

  • A Legacy Cultural and Performance Space: the University has committed to considering the legacy of Galway 2020 in terms of space, both physical and conceptual, for the performing arts through its capital development programme.
  • Galway 2020 Events on Campus: the University will become a hub for selected Galway 2020 events, bringing leading artists, researchers and audiences to the campus, expanding on its commitment to playing a leading role, as an engaged university, in the life of the city and the region.
  • Dedicated Projects for 2020: Galway 2020 in association with NUI Galway will present two further projects in the Galway 2020 programme – The Immersive Classroom, which will engage students, educators, and the general public in how we use new technologies to understand the world, and Aistriú, which will shed new light on Irish language literature on the theme of migration.
  • European Cultural Parliament will come to Galway in 2020 and the University will host the University Network of Capitals of Culture conference.

Read the Galway 2020 programme

Culture at the heart of the University’s Mission

The University will invite ambition in research that enriches creativity and culture, and it is committed to partnering with and supporting cultural and creative organisations, regionally and nationally, to champion cultural expression for all. 

Our legacy will also see the development of new courses – including a new Masters in Producing and Curating, the recruitment of new students into Creative Arts programmes, and the development of new local, national and European partnerships in teaching and research.

Scroll down to find out about our existing Creative Arts programmes.

Cultural Connections

NUI Galway is the leading international centre for the study of Irish drama, theatre and performance. We foster an environment of creative growth and discovery through our many partners in Theatre, Music, Song & Dance, Film & Visual Arts, and Writing.

NUI Galway is an Official Lead Partner with the Galway International Arts Festival. Each year eight students on the SELECTED programme experience the festival first-hand by working with the GIAF production team on selected productions. NUI Galway have partnered with the Galway International Arts Festival introcucing a SELECTED Programme, a two-week initiative that will allow participants from NUI Galway's MA in Drama and Theatre Studies immerse themselves in all aspects of the Festival.

Learn more about our cultural connections within the community here.

Film Studies

In September 2008, the Huston School commenced its first undergraduate degree programme: BA (Connect) with Film Studies. This offering is unique in Ireland, allowing students to pursue a traditional double-subject Bachelor of Arts degree with an extra specialisation in Film Studies.

The strength and diversity of the Huston's programme is linked with Galway city's far flung fame as a unique centre of culture and creativity. The presence in the school of so many interrelated courses, in a city of so much creative industry, enhances the experience of students of each individual programme. Read more about the course here


NUI Galway is the leading international centre for the study of Irish theatre and offers students and researchers exciting opportunities to learn from excellent lecturers and leading theatre practitioners. We offer a range of courses in the area of drama and theatre at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. We have particular expertise in Irish theatre, theatre archives, playwriting, and much more.

We have a range of courses, including two undergraduate courses (the BA in Drama and Theatre and a BA Connect with Performing Arts Studies). PhD applications are also being accepted.

NUI Galway also has one of the world's most important collections of Irish theatre archives, including the digital Abbey Theatre archive, the papers of such major Irish companies as Druid Theatre, Galway Arts Festival and the Lyric Players' Theatre, the papers of leading writers such as Thomas Kilroy, and many others.


In September 2018, NUI Galway admitted its first cohort of students undertaking a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Music. This is an exciting development for music making and music education in the west of Ireland, and builds on the University’s established reputation for excellence in creative arts subjects.

All Music students have the opportunity in their third year to undertake a music-related placement. Students also work with top musical professionals throughout their degree, notably through strategic partnerships with the Galway Music Residency and Music for Galway.

The core of the degree is a thorough grounding in musicianship - theory, harmony, keyboard harmony and critical listening - and training in the repertory and culture of western classical and Irish traditional music. Students also take core modules in performance, composition and sound technology over the course of their first two years. Students also learn from leading professional musicians during their degree through masterclasses and concerts.

Click here for more information on the new BA in Music.

Creative Writing

The BA with Creative Writing provides a unique opportunity for undergraduates with an aptitude and passion for literary expression. From the start, students are guided and advised on a one-to-one basis by the programme director and mentor, and they are immediately placed in a learning environment with people of similar creative interests. Students develop skills in the forms and varieties of fiction and non-fiction, the voices and styles of poetry, and script writing for drama, and they learn about the range of writing professions. The programme provides a focus for students as creative writers through a series of cooperative workshops that facilitate and guide them in their self-directed learning.

The MA in Writing is a one-year, full-time course that covers a range of genres and forms, and interacts with our other postgraduate offerings in Literature and Publishing, Drama and Theatre, and Film. The course builds on our strengths in the teaching of writing for page and stage, screen, journalism and other media. The course is open to applicants from any disciplinary background (within and beyond Arts) and welcomes all types of writing interests. A weekly ‘Writers Seminar’ features writers, publishers, agents and other visitors from the writing professions. Galway’s Cúirt literary festival is the focus in April. Students attend events and complete a related assessment.

Click to find out more about the BA with Creative Writing and the MA in Writing