MA in Drama and Theatre Studies (Full Time/Part Time)


The MA in Drama and Theatre Studies, housed at the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, 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.

As a student at the O’Donoghue Centre, the world-leading centre for study and research in Irish theatre and performance, you will benefit from being immersed in a supportive, invigorating community of world-class practitioners and scholars, whilst also being based in Galway, home to a vibrant arts and theatre scene.

This MA 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.

Students can opt to take the course on a full-time (one year) basis or a part-time (two year) basis. 

Why study this programme?

The O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance is the most exciting place in the world to study and research Irish theatre.

 We place strong emphasis on interacting with working theatre professionals, as shown by our exciting partnerships with Druid Theatre, Galway International 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 with leading theatre institutions such as the Abbey, Druid, Fishamble, Corn Exchange, or Rough Magic; 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, theatre, and performance; performance studies; intercultural theatre; theatre and feminisms; and much more. We are also home to the Abbey and Gate Theatre Digital Archives, as well as the Druid, Siobhán McKenna, and Arthur Shields archives. 

Programme Outline

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

Part-time students take the two core modules and two electives in Year One. They then take three electives in Year Two.

At the end of the course, 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.

Career Opportunities

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.

What Our Students Say

"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).

Contact Us

For more information about the course, please contact:

Dr Miriam Haughton
Director of Postgraduate Studies in Drama, Theatre and Performance