University College Cork is committed to being a fully inclusive global university. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are core values under the UCC 2022 Strategic Plan. UCC holds a Bronze Athena SWAN award in recognition of the University’s commitment to advancing equality in higher education.

The UCC School of Film, Music & Theatre is a place of ground-breaking creative learning and experimentation that promotes parity of esteem for theoretical and practical teaching, research and practice.

Our School nurtures the ambitions of all who walk through its doors. We encourage the widest diversity of applicants. We value the enrichment that comes from a diverse community and seek to promote equality, prevent discrimination, and protect the human rights of each individual in line with equality legislation.

Read below about some examples of how EDI principles inform work in the School of Film, Music & Theatre.


FSM Partnership with Adult Continuing Education and Screen Ireland

The Department of Film & Screen Media has partnered with Adult Continuing Education and Screen Ireland to develop pioneering new courses for screen professionals aimed at fostering inclusivity and better working practices in the creative sector:

Certificate in Continuing Professional Development in Neurodiversity for the Screen Industry

This programme provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the concept of Neurodiversity in the context of the screen industry. The programme provides students with a holistic and people-centred understanding of the multi-faceted concept and movement of Neurodiversity. Coordinated by Eleanor McSherry (ACE) and anchored in the Department of Film & Screen Media. See also Screen Ireland.

Wellbeing Coordination for the Screen Sector

This course is aimed at all screen industry professionals who wish to expand their skill set to include wellbeing coordination. Coordinated by Eleanor McSherry (ACE) in conjunction with the School of Nursing and Midwifery (Mental Health Nursing) and the Department of Film & Screen Media.

“Fostering Diversity On and Off Screen”

Issue 24 of Alphaville, the international peer-reviewed, open-access journal published by the Department of Film and Screen Media, was devoted to Fostering Diversity On and Off Screen. Edited by by Marsha Berry, Kath Dooley and Margaret McHugh, it aimed, in the words of its editors, “to present research that suggests a way forward for practitioners, educators and members of the broader screen industries from all over the globe in regard to improving gender and diversity imbalances”.

Developing the Next Generation of Irish Creatives: Screen Careers for Transition-Year Students

The Department of Film & Screen Media is partnering with Lord David Puttnam and Atticus Education on an initiative for Transition-Year students, funded by Screen Ireland's Stakeholders Scheme. The project is aimed at removing some of the barriers to access to creative careers by educating transition-year students in schools across Cork county on opportunities in the screen sector. Students will engage with seminars and mentoring provided by pioneering educationalist and Oscar-winning film producer Lord David Puttnam. They will also learn about higher education pathways and meet with filmmakers and industry professionals at a networking event hosted by UCC.



MINdDS: Music as an Intervention in the Neurological Development of children with Down Syndrome is an ongoing project in collaboration between Dr Eva McMullan (Department of Music), Dr Jason Chan and Dr Annalisa Setti (School of Applied Psychology), and Prof. Yvonne Nolan (Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience).  

In association with Down Syndrome Cork, ongoing voluntary music workshops with 3–5-year-olds with Down Syndrome take place every Thursday in the Department of Music UCC under the direction of Dr Eva McMullan and assisted by Megan Collins a final-year undergraduate student. 


MiniMINdDS is a study that involves speech development though song and sign in collaboration with Dr Pauline Frizelle (Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences)

Brain Awareness Week

Music and the Brain collaboration between Dr Eva McMullan (Department Music) and Dr Rebecca Henry (Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience). Presentations in various Primary Schools around the City. 

The id+ Project  

The Department of Music are delighted to participate in the id+ Project which promotes the fundamental rights of people with intellectual disabilities to attend third-level education and to progress to paid employment. 

As part of the project, students have the opportunity to participate in a range of "co-learning" modules for meaningful inclusion as part of their Certificate in Social Citizenship course. 

MU2112 Music Education 

In this co-learning module, CSC students and Music students work together to explore different musical instruments, as well as music sounds in the environment. They learn about how music is part of people’s lives, and create a musical piece together as a group. 

This module is taught by id+ Project Fellow Dr Michelle Finnerty of UCC’s Department of Music. 

MU3034 Choral Studies 

In this co-learning module, CSC students and Music students learn about different ways people can sing together, and how singing can be a way of celebrating inclusion. Together they help to plan and organise a concert with the UCC choir and a special guest. 

This module is taught by id+ Project Fellow Dr Eva McMullan of UCC’s Department of Music.


In The Department of Theatre we work to foster and activate principles and practices of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion across teaching, research and arts practices. We work to learn with and from diverse communities and to develop open spaces for collaboration and learning across our work environments. We have supported a disAbility audit of the Granary Theatre by the id+ project students as a learning case study for their module on auditing spaces.  We initiated the Autism-specific call-out for the UCC-COH Theatre Artist in Residence Programme. As a result we’ve had a pleasure to welcome Jodi O’Neill into a range of classes in the department and also Jodi curated a series of talks in our research platform, Perforum in Spring 2023. We hosted the Neurofestivity event also in Spring 2023 which provided a platform to a number of neurodivergent artists and featured writers and performers such Jody O’Neill, Stefanie Preissner, Kel Menton and Ian Lynam, as well as students from the neurodiverse community in UCC. Fiona Ferris (Deputy CEO, AsIAm) chaired a panel discussing processes of creating work as a neurodivergent artist, and Red Ink hosted an open lunch discussing items of inspiration for their work.  We supported the Youth Anti-Racism Summit 2023 with preparation space for their theatre showings, in collaboration with Cork Migrant Centre. We have done the groundwork for a radically inclusion-focused renovation of the Granary Theatre.

Working with communities and artists

Most recently we hosted LASTESIS, a feminist collective from Chile at the Granary Theatre, the event curated by Ceire Broderick from Department SPLAS. Colectivo LASTESIS is a group of critical thinkers, artists, and performers from Valparaíso, Chile. Their most well-known performance, 'Un violador en tu camino/A rapist in your path' initially performed in 2019, criticizes gender-based violence and victim-blaming narratives. It has been performed worldwide across many languages and cultures, including here at UCC. The strong message against sexual violence and the impunity that accompanies it, made the original performance by LASTESIS relatable across the world. It also aligns with the active work being done in UCC to promote a culture of zero tolerance towards sexual violence, highlighting the issues related to these forms of violence, and finding comprehensive ways to deal with them across the UCC community.  This represents ongoing cross disciplinary collaborations where we work to engage in feminist led actions such as the multilingual flashmob which theatre staff and students alongside colleagues from School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

We welcomed Autistic playwright Roderick Ford's production of Daughter of God (Once off Productions) in the Granary (2022), featuring neurodivergent cast members.

Making Play (2018) was a Community based theatre/visual art collaboration at the Lantern Project (Nano Nagle Place). This series of workshops in 2018 was followed by a sharing of Tableau Vivant at Nano Nagle Place as part of Cork’s 16th Life Long Learning Festival led by Dr. Marie Kelly (Department of Theatre, UCC) in collaboration with visual artist Johanna Connor (Crawford College of Art & Design).

(2018/9) Funded by the Arts Disability Mentorship Scheme (Arts Council of Ireland). mentorship by Dr. Marie Kelly of Passing as Normal: An ethnodrama by deaf playwright Noel O’Connell. This new play explores the stigma of sign language experienced by deaf people in the primary education system in Ireland of the 1970s. Mentorship also included collaborative input from colleague, Fionn Woodhouse, and the Applied Theatre students of the Department of Theatre (UCC) as well as Irish Sign Language Interpreters, Susanne Carey and Ray Greene.

Jools Gilson and Fionn Woodhouse were both involved in Participatory arts for advocacy, activism and transformational justice with young people living in Direct Provision in 2022. Final Video is here. Through the lockdowns we taught theatre / movement workshops to young people online and then we led these in person at Millstreet Direct Provision Centre.

Yvon Bonenfant’s project Resonant Tails, which began in 2018, is still being used in three schools in the United Kingdom as part of support to young people with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities to develop their vocal artistry on their own terms. Project Loop Love, for adults with Mild to Moderate Learning Disabilities, won an Arts Council Participatory Arts project award to be constructed and delivered in the Cope Foundation and in short public showings in 2023-24. The project involves a large artistic team, including sculptor Alex Pentek, sound and media artist Jeff Weeter, facilitators Eva McMullan and Saoirse Garet. It is currently in residence at Bonnington Training Centre inside Cope and will visit three Cope locations in 2023. A whole range of Bonenfant’s publications since 2010 have explored the non-normative; or extra-normal; voice in performance practice and its place in artistic research-creation, including a book chapter on vocalic methods in artistic research (2018). A transformative contribution to the field of voice studies was the 2010 article Queer Listening to Queer Vocal Timbres (Performance Research 15:3).

Innovative courses and approaches to teaching

We co-developed and co-delivered/assessed the pilot Inclusive Dance modules delivered by Dance Cork Firkin Crane as microcredits, 2022-23. These are the first modules of their kind delivered for university credit in Ireland.

We have participated in the id+ Project integrating students in BA classes supported by peer buddies in the programme.

Under the direction of Dr. Marie Kelly (Department of Theatre and Eibhlín Gleeson, CEO Cork Opera House) the MA in Arts Management & Creative Producing programme fosters student learning on arts producing that is socially aware, people-centred, and that embraces difference. Modules such as DR6049 Creative Producing & Curating and DR6051 Dialogues on Culture include visits from practitioners with expertise in the arts and inclusivity such as Eleanor McSherry on neurodiversity in the creative industries, Ray Greene on deaf awareness in the arts, Eoin Nash (Cope Foundation) and Jody O’Neill (playwright/actor theatre-artist-in-residence) on the arts and inclusivity. Across the academic year students learn how to conceptualise and mount an arts event as part of their end of year dissertation (usually a mini-festival) and are guided in this by a syllabus that promotes diversity and inclusivity. Examples of events coordinated by students of the programme include: Alphabet Soup (curated by Isabella Dogliani for Cork City Library,2022): A visual arts exhibition of the work of Danielle Sheehy at Cork City Library and a public panel discussion at Granary Theatre which highlighted the achievements of neurodiverse and dyslexic individuals. Leaving Limbo & Change the Beat! (curated by Ciara Hayes in association with Glucksman Gallery, 2020): Screening and panel discussions on the documentaries, Leaving Limbo and Change the Beat! both of which shed light on the experiences and achievements of young asylum seekers living in Direct Provision in Ireland

We maintain a strong EDI focus across the curriculum. At MA level for example, Jools Gilson teaches DR6002 (Composition Theatre & Performative Practices [15 credits]) which includes a theory seminar on Ecofeminism & Intersectionality which is integrated into practical sessions, this year in collaboration with the Glen River Park. DR6003 (Business of Theatre & Performative Events) focuses on all aspects of developing a professional practice in ethical, creative and progressive ways, strongly connected to students' specific interests / aspirations. She also has a teaching interest in race & theatre / performance and in recent years have taught African American & Black British Women Playwrights as well as feminism / theatre, performance, somatic practices. DR6001 is another key area in which EDI is integrated into our teaching. DR6001 looks at 'theatre +' various identity categories, and explores how paying attention to marginalised social positions and identities has pushed forward the aesthetics of performance across registers. Themes taught include: theatre and racialisation; theatre and disAbility; theatre and feminism(s); theatre and Queer identities; theatre and marginalised languages; and a brief introduction to global theatres. Students must develop a concept for a research-creation progress that aligns with a theme of this kind and practice exploring how theories, intersectionality and identity can inform the creative process for performance.

At BA level Fionn Woodhouse teaches a series of modules that engage in Applied Theatre practices focused on Theatre in Education and Youth Theatre.

Theatre, Disability and the Arts (2018): Masterclass at the College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences UCC (involving workshop, discussion and performance) bringing together artists, teachers, therapists, advocates and students to discuss creative practice and disability. Contributors: Dr. Noel O’Connell (playwright and post-doctoral fellow, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick). Dr. Claire Edwards (Applied Social Studies/ISS21, UCC), Eoin Nash (Cope Foundation), Dr. Gill Harold (Applied Social Studies, UCC), Dr. Marie Kelly, Fionn Woodhouse and students of the Department of Theatre, UCC.

School of Film, Music and Theatre

An Scoil Scannánaíochta, Ceoil agus Amharclannaíochta

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh, College Road, Cork, T12 K8AF