MA in Drama and Theatre Studies

MA in Drama and Theatre (FULL-TIME)

Course Level: Level 9

Duration: one year, full-time

Entry requirements: Primary Degree with second class honours (GPA 3.0) or equivalent. Applicants with a proven track record in theatre may also be admitted.


PAC Code: GYA03

CONTACT: For more information please contact or phone 091 49 2631





Application Deadlines

The MA in Drama and Theatre accepts applications through a series of rolling deadlines. Students can apply as early as they wish. Offers will continue to be made until the course is full. Do note that the course is expected to fill well before the final round, so early application is strongly advised. Students who have not yet completed a primary degree may apply anyway - we can issue a conditional offer, based on the student securing a particular exam result in his/her final exam.

Round 2 Deadline: 15 February 2013.
Round 3: 31 March
Round 4: 1 May
Round 5: 1 June 

If places are still available after 1 June, applications will be considered until the course is full.

Current students please follow this link to the English Department webpage:


The MA in Drama - Choose Your Own Pathway

The MA in Drama and Theatre Studies is a world-leading course that allows students to build a programme that suits their own interests – whether in theatre practice, Irish drama, playwrighting, theatre criticism, or a blend of all four. Weekly theatre visits in Galway and Dublin are an essential part of the programme.


Students on the course benefit from NUI Galway’s unique partnership with Druid Theatre, recently described by The New York Times as ‘one of the world’s great theatre companies’. The partnership involves masterclasses, workshops, and visits to shows.


NUI Galway also has one of the world’s richest collections of Irish theatre archives, including the Abbey Theatre Digital archive, which features scripts, designs, videos and images from throughout the history of Ireland’s national theatre.


This one-year full-time programme blends theoretical and practical approaches to the study of drama, and is particularly suited to applicants who wish to produce theatre publicly, write or review plays, teach drama, or carry out further academic research. Applicants with a general interest in theatre are also very welcome.


Why study this programme?

This programme allows you to choose modules that will allow you to develop your own interest in drama and theatre studies. Whether your interests are primarily practical or academic – or combine both – you can pick modules that will enhance your skills or introduce you to new areas.


NUI Galway places strong emphasis on interacting with working theatre professionals, as shown by our exciting partnerships with Druid Theatre, Galway Arts Festival, the Abbey Theatre and others. Students take workshops with Druid Theatre, attend weekly workshops with visiting practitioners, carry out an internship, and visit the theatre weekly, both in Galway and Dublin. Every year students attend the Dublin Theatre Festival, and during any academic year, you can expect to see performances by most of Ireland’s major theatre companies.


Teachers on the MA in Drama have internationally renowned expertise, especially in Irish drama. Furthermore, Galway is widely regarded as Ireland’s cultural capital, and students who study here can immediately immerse themselves in a vibrant and close-knit creative community.


Programme Modules

All students select a course entitled Fieldwork and Theatre Business (a year-long series of workshops with visiting practitioners and scholars), and also take a course on Reviewing Theatre today. They also complete an end-of-year portfolio. They then choose four other modules from the list below:


Courses with a Practical Focus

  • Ensemble Acting and Devising
  • Twentieth Century Directors and Theorists
  • Directing
  • Changing Stages: Performance Pre-1900


Courses with an Academic Focus

  • Druid Theatre: Past, Present and Future.
  • Discovering the Archives
  • Irish Playwrights Since the 1960s
  • Theatre and Modernity: the Irish Literary Revival
  • Theatre and Globalization
  • The Abbey Theatre Archives


Courses on Writing

  • Playwrights Workshop
  • Screenwriting
  • Vocabularies of Theatre Composition
  • Reviewing Theatre in Ireland Today


Students can pick any courses from the list above, depending on their interests. They can specialise in one of the above areas, or may choose to sample all three in order to have a broad degree. Students should note that where some courses are mainly practical and others mainly academic, most will blend both approaches to some extent.



Recent graduates have gone on to work with many theatre companies including the Abbey Theatre, the Gate Theatre, Rough Magic, and others. They have also found employment in education, the heritage and tourist industries, arts organisations, business and the public service. Many have progressed to PhD study, often winning scholarships in support of their studies.