NUI Galway Symposium on Sexual Consent

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This NUI Galway Symposium will critically examine the grey areas of sexual consent. What Role Can Performance Play in Changing the Script?

This symposium puts the participants work in conversation with ongoing NUI Galway-based Sexual Consent research led by Dr Charlotte McIvor from Drama and Theatre Studies and Dr Padraig MacNeela and Dr Siobhan O’Higgins from the School of Psychology, on the role of theatre, film and media in sexual attitude and behavioural change amongst third-level students. This follows on from the researchers’ autumn 2018 launch of their education and awareness campaign, Consent=OMFG (Ongoing, Mutual, Freely Given) designed in collaboration with Drama Theatre and Performance and Psychology students at NUI Galway during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Short Films

The symposium will also premiere the second of four short interactive consent films Dr Charlotte McIvor has developed with her Drama and Theatre Studies students as part of the Consent=OMFG multimedia public health campaign for third level students. The new film, ‘Kieran and Jake,’ one of a short series of four, was collaboratively written and researched by the students led by Dr McIvor. The interactive film gives the viewer control over characters’ decisions at key points, leading to three possible endings to each film. The four films (co-directed by McIvor and Mick Ruane) portray sexual encounters from heterosexual and LGBTQ perspectives, as well as long-term and casual sexual relationships.


The Consent=OMFG awareness campaign sends out the message that consent should always be ongoing, mutual, and freely given. The campaign amplifies the messages at the heart of Dr MacNeela and Dr Higgin’s ‘SMART Consent’ workshops in order to spread them throughout the campus community. SMART Consent workshops were created through research led by MacNeela on sexual consent and sexual experiences of third-level students in Ireland, in partnership with organisations including Rape Crisis Network Ireland.

SMART Consent workshops have been provided at NUI Galway, UL, QUB, DCU, NCAD and GMIT, with over 2,000 students taking part to date resulting from research data from over 3,000 students nationwide being utilised to design the activities used within the SMART Consent workshops. To launch the campaign, the NUI Galway researchers launched a new report, ‘Are Consent Workshops Sustainable and Feasible in Third Level Institutions?’ last August.

About SMART Consent

During 2017-18, the researchers trained over 100 facilitators to lead SMART Consent workshops at NUI Galway, Queens University Belfast, the National College of Art and Design, Dublin City University, the University of Limerick, and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. The report compares Pre-Workshop and Post-Workshop attitudes of 761 of the students who took part in a workshop with those trained facilitators during 2017-18:

This symposium is supported by the School of Drama and Theatre Studies, School of Psychology and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Research Support Scheme

The first film, ‘Tom and Julie’ can be viewed at and the second film ‘Kieran and Jake’ will be available on the same link on the day of the symposium.

Find out more here.


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