Choosing a course is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make! View our courses and see what our students and lecturers have to say about the courses you are interested in at the links below.
Each year more than 4,000 choose NUI Galway as their University of choice. Find out what life at NUI Galway is all about here.
About NUI Galway
About NUI Galway
Since 1845, NUI Galway has been sharing the highest quality teaching and research with Ireland and the world. Find out what makes our University so special – from our distinguished history to the latest news and campus developments.
Colleges & Schools
Colleges & Schools
NUI Galway has earned international recognition as a research-led university with a commitment to top quality teaching across a range of key areas of expertise.
- Business & Industry
- Alumni, Friends & Supporters
At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
PhDs in Drama and Theatre Studies
NUI Galway is the world’s leading centre for the study of Irish theatre history. The Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance is the ideal location for you to pursue your PhD in this area, as well as other specialisations within contemporary and international theatre and performance practice, using either research or practice-as-research methodologies.
The Abbey Theatre Digital Archive contains original material from almost all of Ireland’s leading writers, including Nobel Prize winners W.B. Yeats, G.B. Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. It also features work by Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Conor McPherson, Marina Carr and hundreds of others. With access to videos, prompt books, designs, administration records, and more, NUI Galway students have unique opportunities to understand the history and practice of Irish theatre – and to consult material that in some cases has never been seen before. This resource is exclusively available at NUI Galway. It complements our other archival holdings in Irish theatre, including the archive of Druid Theatre, the playwright Thomas Kilroy, the Lyric Players Theatre, and much more.
Our staff also excels in the study of contemporary theatre and performance in an Irish context and beyond, with recent staff research addressing the relationship between topics as diverse as:
- Performance and social media
- Race, migration, performance and social policy
- Gender, trauma, commemoration and national histories
- Popular performance and mass culture
For students interested in a practice-as-research PhD, you will also interact one-on-one with leading Irish theatre and arts professionals. Recent guests or residencies have included ANU Production’s Louise Lowe (2012 Irish Times Theatre Award winner for Best Director), Blue Raincoat Theatre Company (Ireland’s only professional theatre ensemble), Mark O’Rowe (author of Howie the Rookie, Intermission, Terminus), Áine Phillips (visual artist, writer, curator, and academic) and several of Ireland’s leading up-and-coming theatre and dance companies including Brokentalkers (winner of Total Theatre Award at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe), Junk Ensemble, and THEATREclub.
WHAT WE OFFER
The Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance offers:
- Structured PhD AHSS in Drama and Theatre Studies [full-time] (GYG43)
- PhD in Drama and Theatre Studies [full-time] (GYG44)
- PhD in Drama and Theatre Studies [part-time] (GYG45)
These courses allow students to undertake doctoral research in any areas related to Drama and Theatre Studies. PhDs may be conducted in the area of practice-as-research (playwriting, direction, devising, etc.) and academic research (theatre history, contemporary drama, etc.).
The Structured PhD AHSS in Drama and Theatre Studies [full-time] (GYG43) is a four-year programme which offers added value to the core component of doctoral training. Students on this programme are offered disciplinary or dissertation-specific modules, as well as generic and transferable skills designed to meet the needs of an employment market that is wider than academe. The programme is flexible and student-centred, as candidates choose their own pathways in consultation with their Supervisor and Graduate Research Committee.
The PhD in Drama and Theatre Studies [full-time and part-time] (GYG44 and GYG45) are self-directed research degrees undertaken in consultation with the supervisor and Graduate Research Committee without additional coursework.
AREAS OF SPECIALISATION
We provide supervision in areas of drama and theatre studies as well as the wider discipline of performance studies including:
Theatre Archives and Theatre History
The Abbey Theatre Digital Archive
Irish Drama and Theatre
Theatre Practice and Production
Gender, Sexuality and Performance
Ensemble and Devising
Theatre and Social Change
Theatre and Digital Humanities
PERSPECTIVES FROM CURRENT PHD STUDENTS
“I feel quite fortunate to be a PhD student at the Centre: myself and my cohort always feel supported by a department that actively practices collegiality, solidarity, respect, and academic kindness. We are presented with so many resources to broaden our skill sets and to help us along the way towards completion: whether it's special professionalisation seminars, conference volunteering, or tutoring students on different aspects of performance. I'd encourage anyone to join such a thriving, vibrant, close-knit, and friendly department!”
Emer McHugh, “Shakespeare in Modern Irish Theatre: Performance and Cultural Politics,” Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar, 2014-2018
“As a postgraduate researcher in DTP I have benefitted immensely from the discipline's collaborative environment and structural supports. The programme is dedicated to furthering my professional development and both my peers and the staff are incredibly generous and encouraging.”
Justine Nakase, “Hyphenating Irishness: Performing Irish Identity in an Intercultural Ireland,” Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar, 2014-2018