Course Overview

NUI Galway has one of the world’s leading archives of Irish theatre material, including the digital archive of the Abbey Theatre, as well as the papers of Thomas Kilroy, Druid Theatre, the Lyric Players’ Theatre, and many more.

Students on this course will have unprecedented access to these materials – almost all of them unavailable anywhere else – to learn about such major Irish writers as W.B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, G.B. Shaw, Lady Gregory, Sean O’Casey, Samuel Beckett, Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Thomas Kilroy, Marina Carr, Martin McDonagh, Enda Walsh, and many others.

We will read these writers’ plays and discuss the historical staging of their work. Students on this programme will be able to access archival material relating to these authors – including videos of performances, original promptbooks, correspondence, drafts of plays, and so on. The course thus provides students with exciting and unique ways to explore the history and practice of Irish theatre.

This course is ideally suited to anyone with an interest in Irish drama and theatre. It provides skills in research and archiving and will thus be of special interest to anyone interested in PhD research on Irish drama—yet it is also very well suited to people with a general interest in Irish drama who wish to develop their knowledge further. It also has practical components, and involves attendance at theatres in Galway and Dublin. Students will also be able to benefit from the University’s partnerships with the Abbey Theatre and Druid.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

Professor Patrick Lonergan
Dr Charlotte McIvor
Dr Miriam Haughton
Thomas Conway, Druid Director-in-Residence
Professor Lionel Pilkington

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

The programme is intended for graduates with at least a university arts degree (minimum standard H2.2 or GPA 3.0). Applicants who do not meet the minimum entry requirements may be admitted via a qualifying exam if they have relevant professional experience, or be admitted to the PDip. Students who do not meet the Honours degree requirement but have a Level 7 degree (Merit 2) may be admitted to the PDip course with the possibility of progressing to the MA if they receive a minimum of 60% in their course work. Students will be accepted on the basis of the degree result, a personal statement addressing their theatre experiences and aims, and two letters of reference.

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2016

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing date website.

Next start date

September 2016

NFQ level


Mode of study


ECTS weighting




PAC code


Course Outline

All students take the following four courses, each worth 10 ECTs.

  • Irish Drama and Theatre from Wilde to O'Casey
  • Irish Drama and Theatre from Beckett to the Present
  • The Abbey Theatre Digital Archive                  
  • Druid Theatre in History and Practice

Students then choose two further modules from the following list:

  • Writing about Theatre and Performance           
  • Theatre Theory                          
  • Irish Theatre in Practice
  • Reviewing Theatre in Ireland

All students also complete a minor dissertaion, worth 30 ECTs, on a topic of their choice related to Irish drama.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The course is ideally suited to people who wish to go on to pursue an academic career in the fields of Irish Theatre Studies, Irish Studies, or Drama Studies generally. It also provides valuable skills in archiving and other research methodologies. Students who take the course will also be able to use it in such fields as education, tourism, cultural heritage, theatre and arts management.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,015 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Tuition

€5,791 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Non EU

€13,250 p.a. 2015/16

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your full-time tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay full-time TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224. 

Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.

Find out More

Charlotte McIvor
T +353 91 49 2631