MA in Drama and Theatre Studies


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, playwriting, theatre criticism, or a blend of all four.

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.

As a student on the course, you can 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.” Led by Garry Hynes, the Druid Academy involves masterclasses, workshops, and visits to shows.


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 as part of the Druid Academy, attend weekly workshops with visiting practitioners, have the option of carrying out an internship, and visit the theatre often, both in Galway and Dublin.

Teachers on the MAs in Drama and Theatre Studies have internationally renowned expertise, especially in Irish drama.


All students take two core modules:

  • Critical Approaches to Theatre and Performance
  • Theatre and Thought

  Students then choose five modules from a variety of options including:

  • Fieldwork and Theatre Business (including internship with Irish theatre company)
  • Ensemble and Devising
  • Performance Lab
  • Directing for Stage
  • Applied Theatre
  • Exploring the Michael Chekhov Technique
  • Irish Drama and Theatre from Wilde to O'Casey
  • Irish Drama and Theatre from Beckett to the Present
  • Discovering the Archives
  • Applied Dramaturgy

 At the end of the year, all students will complete a minor dissertation.  Your minor dissertation can consist of original research or a practice-as-research project that might include the production of a play or creation of a new performance piece.


Recent graduates have gone on to work with many theatre companies including the Abbey Theatre, the Gate Theatre, Rough Magic, the Young Vic (London) 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.


"I can't recommend the MA in Drama & Theatre Studies highly enough. it was an incredibly stimulating and rewarding year. I left NUI, Galway with a greater understanding and appreciation of Irish playwriting and theatre practice as well as being able to realistically think about pursuing a career as a theatre director which, thankfully, I've been doing since."

 -Cathal Cleary, Freelance Director and Artistic Director of Zelig Theatre. Recent credits include Arthur Miller’s The Last Yankee at the Print Room Theatre, London (2013), Associate Director on Michael Grandage Company’s production of Privates on Parade by Peter Nichols at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End (2013),Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs at the Young Vic London (JMK Trust Directors Award, 2011).