The National University of Ireland, Galway was founded in 1845 as Queens College, Galway. It then became a constituent college of the National University of Ireland and changed its name to University College, Galway. It retained this title until 1997 when the Universities Act changed it to the National University of Ireland, Galway.
The university was given special responsibility to use the Irish language as the working language of the college.
The university has five colleges including the college of arts, social sciences and celtic studies, college of business, public policy and law, college of engineering and informatics, college of medicine, nursing and health sciences and the college of science.
The university has more than 110 active societies and more than 50 sports clubs. The oldest society is the literary and debating society which was founded in 1846.