Course Information


The MA in Theatre Practice and Production at the O’Donoghue Centre prepares students for professional-level work in the theatre and other creative industries. Students take modules in many different aspects of theatre practice, including ensemble performance, direction, performance, and more. An optional internship with an Irish theatre company forms part of the course. During the summer months, students complete a practice-based research project in acting, playwriting, direction, devising or design – and this is used for their final dissertation.

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.

Central to the programme is the work of the Druid Academy. The course functions as an intensive laboratory that is student-directed and that enables close collaboration between theatre practitioners and academics. It allows students to benefit from NUI Galway’s extraordinary partnerships with Irish theatre companies, notably Druid Theatre – recently described by the New York Times as “one of the world’s great theater companies”. Students work directly with the Druid Director-in-Residence and participate in master classes and workshops with members of the company including artistic director Garry Hynes, the first woman to win a Tony Award for Directing.

Programme Information

Why study this programme?

We offer access not only to award-winning academics but also to world-leading theatre professionals. That blend between the academic and the practical characterises our approach to teaching and learning. We connect students to the history and the working practice of theatre today.

Students benefit from our continuing links and partnerships with many Irish theatre companies, including Druid, the Abbey (Ireland’s national theatre), the street theatre company Macnas, the world-renowned Galway International Arts Festival, and many others.  Our intensive programme of talks by leading artists and scholars puts you directly into conversations about the state of theatre now. 

Programme Outline

Students take four core modules:

  • Critical Approaches to Theatre and Performance
  • Theatre and Thought
  • Ensemble Acting and Devising
  • Performance Lab

They then choose three electives from a variety of options including:

  • Directing for Stage
  • Exploring the Michael Chekhov Technique
  • Applied Theatre
  • Theatre for Children and Young People
  • Fieldwork and Theatre Business

 Students also complete a minor Practice-as-Research (PaR) dissertation which is based on a practice-based project of their own creation.

Career Opportunities

Recent graduates of our practical MA modules have gone on to work with many theatre companies including the Abbey Theatre, the Gate, Rough Magic, the National Theatre London, the Young Vic Theatre, and others. They have also found employment in education, the heritage and tourist industries, arts organisations, business and the public service. Many have formed their own performance companies and/or work independently as artists in the theatre, television and film industries.

What Our Students Say

“The MA in Theatre Practice and Production at NUIG provided me with invaluable opportunities to experience live Irish theatre in many forms. There was always something noteworthy happening, whether it meant staying in Galway for a night at the Town Hall Theatre or planning a busy day at the Dublin Theatre Festival.

As an international student, I found the atmosphere of NUIG to be both welcoming and encouraging. Our MA class was diverse, we came into the program with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. The variety of perspective gave us the opportunity to explore theatre not only in the perspective of modern Ireland but in a European and even global context.”

Emily Bohannan, Stage Management Association, Alley Theatre, Houston, TX

Contact Us

For more information about the course, please contact:

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