NUI Galway has announced the creation of a new scholarship in honour of the late Professor Pat Sheeran.
The Pat Sheeran MA in film studies scholarship is worth €2,000 and will be awarded to a student of the master’s degree in film studies, on application.
The scholarship marks Professor Sheeran’s contribution to the development of Film Studies in NUI Galway. A much-admired member of the university’s English department, Professor Sheeran’s seminal study of the John Ford classic, The Informer, was published after his untimely death in 2001. He also co-wrote the feature film, The Fifth Province and initiated the Galway Film Project which ultimately led to the founding of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media in 2003.
The programme director of the MA in film studies, Dr Sean Crossan, welcomed the announcement.
“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,” he said.
“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 (film, culture and society ) emphasises the relationship between film as a medium and wider society. The course is taught by leading film studies academics, both Irish and international. Students are given a grounding in film history and theory, and optional modules allow them to explore areas like Irish film, films in the digital age, and gender issues in cinema.
Previous graduates of the programme have gained employment in a range of film-related areas, such as lecturing, teaching, and arts journalism.
A graduate of the MA in film tudies, Gar O’Brien praised the course.
“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,” Mr O’Brien, the current programmer for the Galway Fim Fleadh, said.
“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.”
In keeping with NUI Galway’s emphasis on promoting the Irish language, and the success of Irish language films in recent years, the MA in film studies also offers a specialist module through Irish, ‘Scéalta Scáileáin na Gaeilge’ or ‘Screen Stories in Irish’.
The Huston School also offers postgraduate degrees in screenwriting, production and direction, and digital media. Visiting speakers to the school have included Roddy Doyle, Gabriel Byrne, John Boorman, and Fionnula Flanagan.