The MA Festive Arts programme at the University of Limerick

Study in Ireland

The MA Festive Arts programme at the University of Limerick gives students the opportunity to study festivals from a number of perspectives. This unique MA combines arts management, cultural policy, creative curating and programming with performance and the study of festival and its role in society. Throughout this year-long programme, students combine academic research with performance development and hands-on, practical management experience. The MA Festive Arts programme is based at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, one of Ireland’s premier academies for performing arts as well as academic research into traditional, contemporary and international music and dance. The presence of the MA Festive Arts at the Irish World Academy extends its remit to include subjects such as curating, festival programming, arts management, as well as developing festival performance and studying festival in different cultural and historical contexts.


University of LimerickThe MA programme is based around three key strands, which can be described in brief as ‘produce’, ‘perform’ and ‘reflect’. ‘Produce’ refers to the practical aspects of festival management and development, including curating, programming, production, safety and security, legal requirements, funding, audience development management and artist liaison. ‘Perform’ refers to the development of festival performance, as well as developing performance skills across a range of disciplines. The ‘reflect’ strand, meanwhile, involves exploring and examining the dynamics of different festivals in society, looking at how they are sustained, how people participate in them, and what they mean to different people at different times. While all students engage with these three strands, they have the opportunity to specialise in the strand which best reflects their own career path and development. Therefore, while students can develop their performance practice in the context of festive arts, the MA Festive Arts programme is also suitable for students who want to develop their skills as arts managers, curators, producers or as academics who want to further understand the role of festivity in society. Students do not have to be performing artists to take the programme, but will have the opportunity if they wish to develop different aspects of their work or practice through elective options and independent study modules.

For further information, please contact the MA Festive Arts programme director, Dr. Niamh NicGhabhann at or visit the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance webpage at


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