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Scholarship: Pat Sheeran MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice, valued at €2000

Posted: 01/02/2013

The Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway has launched the Pat Sheeran MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice Scholarship. All students applying to the MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice programme in the coming year will be considered for this scholarship, valued at €2000, based on their application and supporting documentation.

The scholarship has been established to mark the substantial contribution of the late Professor Sheeran to the development of Film Studies in NUI Galway and the establishment of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media. A vital and inspirational member of the English department, Professor Sheeran’s publications included a seminal study of the John Ford classic, The Informer (1935), published by Cork University Press shortly after his untimely passing in 2001. He was also co-writer of the Irish feature film The Fifth Province (1997) and initiated the Galway Film Project that laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Huston School in 2003.

According to MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice Programme Director, Dr. Seán Crosson, ‘This scholarship provides a great opportunity for students interested in furthering their knowledge and employment prospects in a wide range of film-related careers or in enhancing their potential for undertaking further research at PhD level through the completion of our MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice programme. It is also an opportunity for us to recognise the huge contribution Professor Sheeran made to students and colleagues in NUI Galway before his untimely death.’

The MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice is a pioneering programme that prepares students for a range of careers in film and media related areas. Film today offers a broad mix of employment opportunities, including in academia, film practice and arts administration. This programme, which may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis, responds to this changing environment combining a strong academic focus on the critical and historical study of film with modules incorporating aspects of digital film practice or reflecting on film’s role in arts administration and festival curation. While the programme provides the opportunity for students to take the traditional academic pathway, including the completion of an 18,000 minor dissertation, students may also choose to undertake a final practice-based project to complete their degree. NUI Galway is approved by the US government to certify financial aid under the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. US citizens attending NUI Galway as full time degree seeking students can arrange private or Federal Direct Loans to finance their education. For more information, please refer to

Previous graduates of the MA in Film Studies programme have acquired positions in an array of film-connected areas, including lecturing, teaching, programming and exhibition, curatorial work, and arts journalism. Former Film Studies graduate and current Galway Film Fleadh programmer, Gar O’Brien, says: “Any expectations I might have had would have proven insufficient for the breadth and scope of the MA in Film Studies programme at Huston. I found myself in a class of like-minded individuals where we were guided, supported and encouraged by the staff there, not only to learn about everything from genre and the auteur theory to the relationship between situationist politics and art cinema, but to find our own voice and outlet for our passion for cinema. This had a profound effect on me and, without any hyperbole, it is fair to say that this course represented a major turning point in my life.”

A unique aspect of the Huston School is the pioneering suite of postgraduate programmes the school offers, including in Screenwriting, Production and Direction, Digital Media, Arts Policy & Practice as well as Film Studies, and the connections the school encourages between students in each of these areas. This includes the sharing of modules and also the impressive array of world renowned visitors and guest lecturers, open to all programmes, during the year. Previous visitors and/or guest lecturers have included Roddy Doyle, Laura Mulvey, Fionnula Flanagan, Lenny Abrahamson, Diane Negra, James Cromwell, John Boorman, Evan Goldberg, Gabriel Byrne, John Carney, Patrick McGilligan, Noel Burch, Mike Figgis, Brian Winston, Christopher Frayling and Victor Perkins.

Building on the success of TG4 and Irish-language film production over the past ten years, the programme also includes an Irish-language option module (the first of its type on an MA in Film Studies programme in Ireland), ‘Scéalta Scáileáin na Gaeilge’, which focuses on the history of screen production in the Irish language and expands students’ employment prospects in the growing area of Irish- and English-language film and television.

All applications to the MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice should be made online at

Further Information on the MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice is available at


Dr Seán Crosson,
Programme Director,
M.A./Postgraduate Diploma in Film Studies: Theory and Practice,
Huston School of Film & Digital Media,
NUI Galway.

Tel: + 353 (0) 91 495687