MA Festive Arts

The MA Festive Arts Programme at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance offers students the opportunity to develop skills in arts management, curating, production, performance and research with an emphasis on festivity and the role of festival in society. Bringing together artists, performers, curators, producers and researchers, the MA Festive Arts Programme provides a unique context for the acquisition and development of skills in this field. There is a strong emphasis on the development of practical skills and experience, with a central internship module, and a focus on working with practitioners and experts in the field.

The MA Festive Arts Programme is a one year, full-time, postgraduate programme. The programme offers a comprehensive grounding in the key skills around the creation and production of festivals and other related arts events. These include:

  • Arts management
  • Curating and commissioning
  • Management of funding structures and applications
  • Project management
  • Event development and production
  • Effective arts marketing and audience development
  • Community engagement and outreach

There is an emphasis on creative and cultural entrepreneurship, on developing sustainable enterprises, and on building links with key stakeholders such as civic authorities, private business, the tourism sector and funding bodies.

The MA Festive Arts Programme is coordinated by Dr. Niamh NicGhabhann, and is taught by a range of visiting lecturers and workshop coordinators, who bring a wealth of practical experience and industry knowledge to the programme.

You can watch a short UL Talk on the MA Festive Arts Programme here:

Appropriate performance and research studies will also be included in students’ studies. Elective Modules also facilitate access to other postgraduate programmes at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, such as contemporary dance, traditional dance, traditional music performance, classical strings and piano performance.


The aim of the programme is to provide a comprehensive grounding in the areas of arts and festival management, curating and production, performance and the study of festivity and of public art in society in a cross-cultural context. Students are provided with the opportunity to pursue and develop related individual interests in a supported context, drawing on the broad range of expertise available within the University of Limerick.


  • provide students with a strong foundation in theoretical and methodological principles relevant to the study of festival.
  • provide students with practical experience in the creative development of festival-based artistic programmes, events management, and festival-based performance.
  • provide students with the skills to engage in reflexive scholarship around their own practice, and to develop confidence in their ability as festival practitioners.
Programme of Study

The MA Festive Arts is a one year, full-time postgraduate programme. It comprises six modules across two semester of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. These include elective and internship modules. In the third semester, the students develop a final project. The final presentation can take the form of a written research paper, a curatorial/ production project with a written component, or a performance with written component. The final format will be decided in consultation with the course director. Students will take three modules each semester. The elective module is a self-directed module with guided expertise drawn from the staff of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.

Semester 1

MD6091 Introduction to Local and Global Festivity

MD6091 Professional Development for the Performing Arts

MD6121 Festival Development and Production

MD6141 Research and Discovery for Festival Studies


MD6111 Colloquium 1

MD6031 Media Technologies for Performing Arts and Arts Research

MD 6051 Independent Study 1

MD6o61 Introduction to Somatics 1

Semester 2

MU5092 Programming and Production

MD6122 Introduction to Culture and Performance

MD6122 Introduction to Curating Performance

MD6062 Critical Contexts for Arts Management and Cultural Policy


MD6111 Colloquium 2

MD6082 Choreography for Camera

MD 6052 Independent Study 2

MD6072 Writing and the Documentation of Arts Practice 2


Entrance Requirements:

A primary degree with first or second class honours


an approved equivalent qualification


an equivalent capability based on prior professional experience.



Postgraduate Admissions Office
Graduate School
Foundation Building
University of Limerick

Tel: +353 61 234377
Fax: +353 61 233287


Click here for UL Academic Calendar


Click here for UL International  Office 


Click here for Postgraduate Fees


Click here for a list of scholarships available to prospective Irish World Academy of Music and Dance students.



“Excellent experience. I feel I have learned so much in the course of a year. The busy schedule has pushed me to surprise myself and demonstrate what I am capable of achieving, in the best possible ways. Excellent teaching faculty, guest lecturers, facilities and classes. There is a great balance to the curriculum and I have found myself going back to previous assignments to help me, for example when I was on work placement, so for me this proved that there was a great harmony and logic to the programme that is interesting, beneficial and helpful. I could not recommend this programme enough’. (MA Festive Arts Student feedback, 2015/16 Academic Year).


The MA Festive Arts Programme won the ‘Best New Course’ Award at the 2015 GradIreland Awards. The judges commented that ‘not only is this course a world first, it supports national economic, social and cultural needs with a clear practical focus’.


Applicants wishing to discuss detailed elements of the programme may contact the course director:

Dr. Niamh Nic Ghabhann

Course Director, MA Festive Arts

Room No: IW1-032,
Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,
University of Limerick,
Limerick, Ireland.
Tel : +353-61-202798

For further details, information and brochures about the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance:

Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,
University of Limerick,
Phone: + 353 61 202590

For queries to the University of Limerick Postgraduate Admissions Office:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Graduate School
Foundation Building
University of Limerick

Tel: +353 61 234377
Fax: +353 61 233287