What to expect from a postgraduate degree: hear from our students 

It’s a big leap from the experience of an undergraduate to the pressures and demands of a postgraduate degree. Postgraduate studies require much more self-motivation and time management than undergraduate degrees, while also requiring other skills, including organisation and communication, all vital to a successful experience. So, if you’re feeling lost and worrying about the expectations and demands that come with a new postgraduate course—you’re not alone!   

The best way to find out what it’s really like to study at NUI Galway is to hear directly from our students. Reading their stories and learning about their experiences should help you comprehend how your journey as a future postgraduate student will be.  

Here is what they have to say: 

Madeline Stephens

MA (English)

“The decision to pursue the MA in English at NUI Galway was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only has it allowed me to further explore my areas of interest, but it has challenged me to become a better student, scholar, and world citizen.  

The course has allowed me to be surrounded by other students who share a love for literature and has allowed me to explore works of great authors in new and exciting ways. 

 From our core module to our electives, the MA in English has prepared me to continue my advancement in understanding the subject while also giving me the tools to make a real impact in my chosen field.  

Whether you are from Ireland or an international student like myself, NUI Galway is a school known for its quality of education and advanced curriculum. Taking on an MA in English was something that I always dreamt of doing, and NUI Galway made that a possibility. I am so grateful for my experiences, the friends and connections I have made, and the knowledge I have received. J.R.R. Tolkein wrote, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time given to us”, and choosing this course is time well spent.” 

Odhran Whelehan

MA, PDip (Public Policy)

“I would absolutely recommend studying for the MA in Public Policy at NUI Galway. The course prepares you to work in a variety of fields ranging from government to NGOs and civil society organisations. The core modules help to build your understanding of the policy-making process while also affording you the chance to make real-world proposals to both national and European bodies.  The variety of optional modules available gives any student the opportunity to specialise in their own unique area of interest. 

 I was able to build on my undergraduate studies relating to domestic Irish politics while also discovering a new-found interest in urban planning and city design. The networking trip to Brussels also grants students the opportunity to gain a first-hand insight into the vibrant political system that is the EU. The trip appeals to the group’s variety of interests by engaging with sitting MEP’s, lobbying groups, NGO’s and unions. The range of meetings and engagements also allows you to expand your professional network, giving you a distinct advantage over many graduates. Finally, the overall learning experience of the course is greatly enhanced by the level of 1:1 support offered by the lecturers and coordinators.”

Michelle Perrill—Graduate

PDip Social Work Practice Teaching, Supervision and Management

“I was first attracted to the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Practice Teaching, Supervision and Management, having identified a need to become better skilled in mentoring students. While it can be challenging at times to balance work commitments and coursework, I found the lectures on the course to be extremely supportive and flexible as needed. As the course was almost fully online, I had a valuable opportunity to engage with social workers outside of our local area. From these conversations, we shared personal and professional examples with each other that I feel privileged to have learned from. I particularly enjoyed the lectures where we had an opportunity to utilise the theory of Social Work and relate it to reflect critically on our everyday practice. This course supported me in continuing my daily work with a refreshed perspective on the importance of social justice and human rights for our clients.   

As part of the course, I had to mentor a student in the second term, which I had been nervous about. The course material from the first term helped me plan and organise my practice teaching journey. I had learned it was nothing to fear from the course, and it immediately became an enjoyable experience. My confidence at work and in myself and my knowledge has grown immensely since commencing the course. As a result, new pathways within my career have opened. The knowledge I learned has helped me become more comfortable in a mentoring role, not just with students but with other experienced colleagues. I also found the course material extremely beneficial in applying for other social work positions to further my career. I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone considering enhancing their professional knowledge within Social Work, particularly those aspiring to (or currently) mentoring others in their career.” 

Adrian O DálaighHaematology Clinical Nurse Specialist at Letterkenny University Hospital

Master of Science in Nursing (Advanced Practice Nursing)

“As a ‘mature student’ undertaking the postgraduate diploma in Nursing (Advanced Practice) in NUI Galway and having not undertaken any significant studies in the preceding 10 years, I approached this programme with a certain sense of apprehension and anxiety. The support I received from Catherine, the programme facilitator, prior to even applying for the course was superb. This support was echoed by all the various tutors involved in this advanced practice programme. Contact details of all the tutors are readily supplied, and all emails or phone call inquiries were returned in a very timely manner. The core focus of all tutors on this programme, and the course curriculum itself, is to allow students to develop expert knowledge around issues such as the professional, ethical and legal issues and pharmacology of nurse prescribing, along with advanced health assessment and clinical practicum.  
The mix of ‘face to face’ practical demonstrations, virtual classroom lectures, and online webinars make this programme easy to navigate and supplies the student with the skill set necessary to become autonomous practitioners who are clinically and professionally competent to act as advanced practitioners in their chosen fields. This course also fosters relationships with colleagues from different nursing backgrounds in different centres and helps form a bond of encouragement and support from your peers, which certainly supported me during those occasional times of wondering where my next assignment paragraph was coming from. I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone interested in pursuing an advanced practice role and who wants to do so in a supportive and encouraging environment.” 


For more information:  

Postgraduate Studies at NUI Galway
Apply online here  

NUI Galway is one of Ireland’s top universities for graduate employability. 94% of postgraduate students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. Career prospects are excellent for NUI Galway graduates both in terms of an exceptionally high employment rate upon graduation and in terms of career progression.