MA/PGDip (Irish Drama and Theatre)

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies

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. And 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.

The 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 will involve 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. 

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 professioinal 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.

Duration: 1 year, full-time

Next start date: September 2015

ECTS weighting: 90

Average intake: 15

Closing date: Please refer to the review/closing date website.

NFQ level: 9

Mode of study: Taught

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.

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

Find out more

Charlotte McIvor
T +353 91 49 2631   

PAC code


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,015 p.a. 2015/16
 - Tuition: €5,791 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €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.