Producing and Curation, MA

National University of Ireland, Galway
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Master's programs


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Course Overview

This is a one-year full time Master’s programme. It defines creative producing as the practice of realising an artistic vision by putting in place the practical steps needed to deliver that vision to an audience – whether the work is in the performing arts, literature, visual arts, or an interdisciplinary area. It sees curation as the assembly and delivery of artistic experiences for audiences, whether those experiences are in the form of arts collections, digital objects on a website, or a programme of performances in a festival (among other possibilities). The programme runs these two strands throughout the academic year, ensuring students have well balanced skills in these two overlapping areas. You will also gain hands-on skills in writing about the arts and your work for public audiences.  This programme also includes a module on career development in which you carry out an internship with an arts organisation and participate in the Galway International Arts Festival’s SELECTED Programme, a bespoke programme that gives you the unique opportunity to see how Ireland’s major annual cultural event is put together. The MA programme concludes with a practice-based dissertation in which students will produce and/or curate an original artistic event for an audience and write a long reflective essay that explores the preparation for and impact of that event. 


  •  Develop skills needed to successfully run creative arts events and careers. 
  • Equip students to reflect upon and analyse the processes, policies and challenges faced within the creative arts.
  •  Enhance students’ skills in research, communication, and innovative thinking.
  •  Provide professional experience and networking opportunities through internships, placement with partner oganisations such as Galway International Arts Festival, and public-facing projects.

Learning outcomes

  • Critique key concepts and debates relating to producing and curating in the creative arts
  •  Employ a range of learnt skills in the areas of event management, networking, exhibiting, promotion, leadership, group project management, and applying for funding.
  •  Understand and implement working structures, processes and policies relating to producing and curating.
  •  Plan, develop and complete an independent practice as research project in producing and/or curating. 

Graduate attributes

KnowledgeHave a broad knowledge of different curating and producing practices and policies from around the world and the innovations, challenges and debates current within creative arts.

SkillsHave skills in producing and curating which will include event organising, artistic programming, project development, policy implementation, managing teams, networking, exhibiting, marketing and promoting; in research methods and critical analysis; in oral and written communication; and in project design and completion.

Critical reflectionHave a critical understanding of the importance of creative arts research and creative practice, and of the need for critical analysis and reflection on the methodologies, processes and impact of these applications.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications SystemApplicants will require a NQAI Level 8 degree, Second Class Honours, or equivalent, with a 2:1 in a related subject. Where applicants do not meet the formal academic requirements they can apply for entry through the University’s Recognition for Prior Learning Policy.  

Selection is based on a candidate’s academic record.Applicants must submit:

  1. Two reference names are required from mentors, educators or employers. 

Who Teaches this Course

  • Mary McPartlan (professional producing experience)
  • Catherine Morris (professional curation experience)
  • Patrick Lonergan (professional writing experience)
  • Druid Theatre Artist in Residence

Requirements and AssessmentEntry Requirements

Applicants will require a NQAI Level 8 degree, Second Class Honours, or equivalent, with a 2:1 in a related subject. Where applicants do not meet the formal academic requirements they can apply for entry through the University’s Recognition for Prior Learning Policy. 

Selection is based on a candidate’s academic record.

Additional RequirementsNFQ level

DT6127: Producing 1This module builds understanding of the role of the producer and the practical skills needed to fulfil that role. It covers such areas as setting up a creative arts company, strategic planning and development, financial planning, project management, while also focusing on key case studies from the Irish arts sector. Students will enhance their understanding of the field by attending events in the Arts in Action programme on campus and other arts and speaker events followed by a talk with the relevant producer or performer. 

DT6131: Curation 1This module involves a practical interaction with the university’s collection of archives and art collection and a weekly examination of key case studies from around the world. There will be regular visits to key cultural venues within Galway and (from time to time) elsewhere in Ireland; it will include international engagement with arts practitioners from around the world through the use of digital resources. 

DT6132: Advanced Producing and CurationIn this module students will explore further evolving definitions and policies of multifaceted curatorial and producing activity across arts forms. Students will develop a practice based curatorial inquiry and alternative ways of thinking, developing, and implementing artistic activities. 

DTXXX: Career Development and FieldworkThis module has three elements. In the first, students explore key elements of professionalization (building a CV, forming a network, self-producing). In the second, which will usually happen during the period April-June, they will carry out an internship with a key arts organisation where they will gain hands-on experience in an area of interest. In July, students complete the third part of the module, when they spend two weeks participating in the Galway International Arts Festival SELECTED programme, which requires them to attend key events in the Festival and to go backstage and enjoy talks with key practitioners. 

DT6129: Production and Curation Ideas LabIn this module, students work through phases of developing a project that will aim to find innovative solutions to key problems in the creative arts. Established methodologies for working through a project from an idea to its realization are explored through weekly seminars and practical sessions. While the module involves the development of key skills (structuring workshops, pitching for a project) and critical thinking it will also place strong emphasis on learning through doing. There will be a presentation of the project at the end of the semester.  The project developed may form the basis for the larger project explored in the practice-based dissertation. 

Practice-Based DissertationThe dissertation project has three elements :

  • Proposal and pitch—in the middle of semester two, students must complete a pitch proposal for their practice-based project.
  • Practice-based project
  • Reflective element—students complete a 9,000 word reflective dissertation that places their practice-based project and its outcomes in appropriate contexts (e.g. historical, theoretical, cultural).

Optional modules

DT6126: Writing for Theatre and PerformanceThis module involves a weekly writing workshop that builds skills in writing across the creative arts. Students will create a portfolio of writings that include formulating an artistic statement, applying for funding, building a social media persona, creative arts reviewing, blogging, monitoring and evaluation, and communications.

DT6130: Critical Methods in Drama, Theatre and PerformanceThis module aims to develop students’ critical approaches to writing about theatre and performance.  Different modes of ‘seeing,’ analyzing, writing about performance from semiotics to reception theory will be introduced and examined. Students will confront in class discussion and in essays issues related to writing on theatre such as the role of the critic, gender, globalisation, and technology as well as the theoretical perspectives of postmodernism, psychoanalysis and theatre historiography.


Why Choose This Course?

Further study opportunitiesDepending on subjects studied at undergraduate level, graduates of the MA will be eligible to apply for PhD in a variety of arts and humanities disciplines and will also have opportunities for doctoral studies in practice-based research. 

Career opportunities for graduatesGraduates will be able to follow employment opportunities in museums, galleries, libraries, arts centres, arts festivals, cultural centres and producing for theatre companies, arts organisations, arts festivals, and state sponsored arts bodies.

Who’s Suited to This CourseLearning Outcomes

About NUI Galway

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Posted on


Master's programs


Galway , Ireland