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Full Time MA Degrees in Galway, Ireland

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The MA in Gender, Globalisation and Rights is a flagship programme of the Centre for Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway. It offers a unique opportunity for in-depth study of the gender dimensions of globalisation and global issues, through an interdisciplinary programme that combines the fields of. Read more
The MA in Gender, Globalisation and Rights is a flagship programme of the Centre for Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway. It offers a unique opportunity for in-depth study of the gender dimensions of globalisation and global issues, through an interdisciplinary programme that combines the fields of: gender and women’s studies, international development, human rights, and peace and conflict studies. Students acquire the theoretical, conceptual and practical tools needed to apply a gender perspective and undertake gender analyses in relevant domains of practice and employment at local, national and international levels, as well as for advanced research at doctoral level and beyond. In addition to modules on globalisation, development, human rights, gender and feminist theory, health and sexuality, women in agriculture, historical perspectives, and peace and conflict, skills-based modules are offered in research methods, applied gender analysis and empowerment. Students also have the opportunity to undertake an accredited, two-month professional placement with a relevant organisation working on issues related to programme themes.

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The MA in Culture and Colonialism explores literature, politics and culture from Ireland to India, from Africa to the Middle East. Read more

Multicultural, Multi-Disciplinary MA

The MA in Culture and Colonialism explores literature, politics and culture from Ireland to India, from Africa to the Middle East. Students analyse imperial ascendancies, race and racial theories, nationalist movements, postcolonial experiences, the rise of neo-colonial thought, multiculturalism and interculturalism, and the implications of globalisation and development for the modern world.

This MA allows students to combine the specialisation of postgraduate research with the adaptable skills training of a multi-disciplinary approach. Students benefit from the legacy of an MA programme established in 1994; the programme has continuously re-invented itself in changing ideological climates while maintaining its primary goal: to offer a critical education in the cultural discourses of power.

Careers

MA in Culture and Colonialism graduates have gone on to careers in development work, NGOs, law, university lecturing, publishing, media, journalism, community work, teaching (primary and secondary), film-making, advertising, and the Civil Service. The programme has a particularly strong record in research training: a high proportion of its students have proceeded to doctoral programmes in Ireland, Britain and North America, with many of them winning prestigious funding awards.

Teaching Staff

The programme's teaching staff over the years has been drawn from the disciplines of English, History, Political Science and Sociology, Economics, Irish Studies, Film Studies, Spanish, French, Archaeology, German, Italian, and Classics, and is supplemented by Irish and international guest lecturers.

Programme Outline

The full-time degree taken over a twelve-month period from September. The year is divided into two teaching semesters (September to December and January to April), with the summer period devoted to completing the dissertation. A two-year part-time option is also available. Students take six taught modules together with a (non-assessed) research training seminar, and produce a 15,000-word dissertation (30 ECTS) on a topic of their choice.

Programme Modules

Central Modules

EN541 Colonialism in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Cultural Theory
This module focuses on issues of identity, political agency and representation. It offers an introduction to twentieth-century theorisations of colonialism and neo-colonialism, especially in relation to cultural production, and their implications for twenty-first century socio-political thought. The distinctive position of Ireland in relation to postcolonial theory is considered, together with other national and international contexts. Some of the theorists discussed include Fanon, Said, Spivak and Ahmad.

SP544 Decolonization and Neo-Colonialism: The Politics of 'Development'
The phenomena of development and underdevelopment in those lands that have experienced colonial rule have been theorised in two broadly contrasting ways in social science: the modernisation perspective, which derives from the northern hemisphere by and large, and a series of counter-perspectives (such as structuralism, dependency, neo-Marxism and world systems theory), whose exponents hail from the southern hemisphere in the main. The module also considers the issue of how much light modernisation and counter-perspectives can shed on the Irish experience of development and underdevelopment.

HI546 Studies in the History of Colonialism and Imperialism
This module introduces students to some of the key thinkers and concepts in the writing of British imperial history. The work of scholars such as J. A. Hobson, Ronald Robinson and Jack Gallagher, Peter Cain and Tony Hopkins, Chris Bayly, Alan Lester and John Darwin will be discussed. Concepts such as finance imperialism, informal empire, the official mind, gentlemanly capitalism, colonial knowledge, imperial networks, and bridgeheads will be examined from a critical perspective. Students will be asked to read key texts, undertake wider reading and research to help put these key texts in context, comment on their readings, and present their own ideas as the basis for class discussion and debate.

Research Seminar (compulsory but not examined)
This module provides a training in research, analysis and writing techniques appropriate to the programme, as well as individual consultations on the formulation of dissertation topics. The seminar will take place throughout the year.

Option Modules (two chosen)

EN547 Literature and Colonialism
This module considers the relationship between literary modes and aesthetics and political power. It analyses literature connected to the British Empire and its former colonies, discussing English, Irish, Indian and African writers in relation to colonial power structures, nationalist movements and postcolonial developments. Genres covered include imperial adventure fiction, travel writing, late-Victorian urban Gothic, modernist and post-modernist fiction and poetry, postcolonial writing, and the twenty-first century multicultural novel.

EC535 Political Economy, Colonialism and Globalization
The aim of the module will be to identify the fundamental concepts of globalization by analysing the various ideologies, systems and structures that underpin the progression of global capitalism through the ages. Underlying philosophical theories will be linked with political, legal sociological and economic ideals that are often the driving forces behind these processes.

EN573 Travel Literature
The genre of travel writing includes a vast array of literary forms from journals to letters, ambassadorial reports, captivity narratives, historical descriptions, ethnographies, and natural histories. The appearance of such accounts explodes in the early modern period in an era of expanded travel for purposes of trade, education, exploration, and colonial settlement. This module looks at a range of documents from different historical moments to track the development of this important genre, including the emergence of travel writing by women.

EN549 Cinema and Colonialism
This module considers the relationships between colonialism and the theory and practice of cinema. Seminars may address the following themes: the Hollywood genres of the ‘Western’ and the ‘Vietnam movie’; postcolonial theories of cinema; Cuban cinema; cinema of anti-colonial revolution; neocolonialism and Irish cinema; African cinema; gender, colonialism and cinema; and Western representations of imperialism.

HI588 Studies in Regional Identities
This module introduces students to concepts of regional identities and explores various interpretative approaches to regional identity. Students will examine the role of history, language and religion in the construction and perpetuation of regional identity and will consider the relationship between regions and nation states. This is a team-taught module. While the content may vary according to the availability of staff from year to year, it will include Irish and European case studies.

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Global issues of environment, security and development have never been so important. Read more

Programme Overview

Global issues of environment, security and development have never been so important. A long war on terror with no end in sight, ongoing structural economic inequalities on a global scale, and the threat of climate change have brought questions of Western interventionary practices, neoliberalism and environmental sustainability to the fore. The MA in Environment, Society and Development is designed to enable students to synthesize both theoretical and practical concerns in bringing critical thinking to these vital challenges. The programme involves engagement with a number of core areas in critical human geography, including issues of geopolitics, development and political ecology, and exposes students to global concerns that encompass a complex and dynamic mesh of environmental, social and economic processes.

Field-Based Learning

Running through the MA is an overarching aim to impart understanding of how different philosophical and ideological approaches to environment-society relations influence policy formulation and implementation. In this context, our hope is to empower students to become critically informed by, and ethically engaged with, the various geopolitical, social, economic and environmental processes that shape the world in which we live. The practical emphasis of the MA is reflected in a field-based learning module in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where students intersect with the development work of UN agencies, and range of CSOs and NGOs. In connecting with the work of UN agencies like the United Nations Development Programme, a key challenge for students involves thinking through the scalar nature of all forms of development, in which initiatives on the ground are framed by broader geopolitical, economic and institutional structures that both enable and hinder development in complex ways.

Career Opportunities

The programme will prepare students for a range of workplaces including government departments, non-governmental organizations, planning and environmental management agencies and specialist research and policy institutes. The transferable and problem-solving skills gained from the field-based learning practices embedded in all modules are a particular strength for graduates. Each year, students gain vital experience working on the ground in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a variety of international development practitioners and local community leaders. Since its inception, the programme has had ICOS and other international students from a range of countries, including Ethiopia, Germany, Italy, Malawi, Norway, Russia, Sri Lanka, UAE, UK, USA and Vietnam. Many have gone on to work in NGOs and UN agencies and, in addition, to pursue PhD research in leading Geography Departments across the world. In terms of a critical human geography Masters, the depth and breadth of the programme puts students in a very strong position in applying for PhDs, and post-MA we strongly encourage applications, internationally, nationally and here at NUI Galway, where Geography has strong research clusters in Geopolitics and Justice and Planning and Sustainability.

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This Masters Programme is extremely timely as it comes when there is increasing attention being placed upon the role and function of rural economies and societies. Read more
This Masters Programme is extremely timely as it comes when there is increasing attention being placed upon the role and function of rural economies and societies. The development agenda for rural areas within a rapidly-changing context for agriculture and the broader countryside sees pressures to achieve economic competitiveness and efficiency balanced with concerns relating to food security, environmental protection and climate change, and where questions of equality, social inclusion, quality of life and the public good are central. Reflecting particularly the globalizing nature of agriculture and rural development processes, the MA in Rural Sustainability addresses the nature of rural and agricultural change not only across a range of dimensions (economic, social, political, cultural), but also scales (local, national, global), locations (Europe and beyond), and interfaces (e.g. human and non-human). As such, it situates itself within the context of leading contemporary and emerging thinking and research on the rural, drawing on concepts and theories, as well as methodologies and practices that critically engage with these varied dimensions of the rural.

€3000 Award for Best Student Performance in MA in Rural Sustainability

The Dr. Patrick Commins Rural Research Award, valued at €3,000 per annum, for the best overall MA student performance was announced at the official launch of the MA in Rural Sustainability in December 2012. Dr. Maura Farrell, Director of the MA, spoke of her delight at the announcement of this prestigious award, and praised Teagasc for their generous sponsorship and their support of the programme. Dr Farrell described the award ’as a considerable incentive for current and future students interested in rural studies and a real vote of confidence in the quality and importance of the Masters programme’. In particular Dr Farrell felt that in these economically stringent times, the award was a statement about the importance of rural issues in broader global economic recovery and the need to develop well-informed and educated leaders who understand the complexities of rural economy and society. The award is a tribute to Dr. Commins who was a leading academic and researcher in rural issues and had a long and distinguished career with their organisation. His reputation as an expert on rural affairs extended well beyond Ireland, and his knowledge and experience was regarded as key to informing EU and wider international academic and policy debates.

Launch of the Master of Arts in Rural Sustainability

NUI Galway has officially launched a new Masters Programme in Rural Sustainability. The full-time, one year postgraduate programme is being co-ordinated by the Discipline of Geography within the School of Geography and Archaeology, and it already has a full complement of students in place for the first year of its operation. The Programme has been devised in response to increasing attention nationally and internationally on the role and function of rural economies and societies. NUI Galway holds a distinguished tradition of rural research and teaching. As a European University that is itself situated in a rural and peripheral location, it seeks to continue its leadership role in rural affairs through providing a postgraduate career path in rural studies. The Programme was officially launched by Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc. This association with Teagasc, particularly with its own strong leadership in rural research, is an important component of the programme as it unites expertise in rural theory, research and practice, ultimately benefiting the student experience and future employability.

Why Choose this Programme?

If you are interested in rural sustainability, rural innovation, multifunctionality and agriculture, and you wish to contribute in a meaningful way to rural affairs and potentially influence the contribution rural areas can make in revitalizing the economy at national and European level, this MA Programme can support such an ambition. This MA will enable students to develop theoretical competencies and independent research capacities, with the ability to transfer and apply these to real world contexts and settings.

The programme is delivered by a team of dedicated and highly respected academics and researchers from the School of Geography & Archaeology and by motivated contributors from other associated Schools, from other Universities and from Research Institutions; by individuals drawn from policy and practice-based domains.

This MA situates itself within contemporary and forward-looking perspectives on the rural; however, it also builds on a long-established track record of rural studies and rural research conducted at NUIG, with strong networks of collaboration at national, European and wider international levels across academic and research institutions, as well as the Institutions of the European Union.

In particular, this MA expands on a highly successful EU-funded Framework 7 research project (DERREG), exploring contemporary and future challenges facing rural areas in an era of globalization. It thus represents an important transfer of knowledge from research that has been built on relevant international case-study examples from 6 EU member states and which has informed critical theoretical discussions and policy debates on the rural at EU level. This development to a taught programme offers students an opportunity to benefit from such knowledge and expertise drawn from widely differing rural contexts.

Career Opportunities?

As a graduate of this programme, you will possess a depth of rural-specific knowledge combined with a host of transferrable skills. This combination will equip you to work in a selection of contexts that require the ability to think at conceptual levels about rural-related issues and transfer this knowledge into practical applications and solutions in policy, management and consultancy domains. Among the potential employment settings are national and international organizations and agencies with a rural development remit, groups and consultancies related to a range of government programmes, government departments and other public sector organizations concerned with the rural sector.

The MA is Rural Sustainability is also designed to enhance students’ prospects for undertaking further research at PhD level, with our students being well placed to pursue PhD studies in universities nationally and internationally.

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