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


IMAGE: Performers in Active* Consent’s The Kinds of Sex You Might Have in College, an original research-based play created by Drama and Theatre Studies students including postgraduates with staff and in development and production since 2014. Learn more here.

The MA in Drama and Theatre Studies, housed at the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, is a world-leading course that combines critical perspectives on the practice of theatre history/theory with theatre-making.

A diverse range of modules allows students to build a programme that suits their chosen career trajectory– whether in theatre-making, producing, playwriting, theatre analysis, theatre for educational, social and community contexts, or general interest.

You can choose to declare a designated emphasis in your MA OR you can stay with a self- directed selection of elective modules in your overall MA in Drama and Theatre Studies.

Designated Emphasis pathways in the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies currently include:

  • Designated Emphasis in Theatre Practice and Production
  • Designated Emphasis in Playwriting and Dramaturgy

All MA in Drama and Theatre Studies students build a portfolio of coursework and experiences including the possibility of a work placement that equips graduates for a range of career and further education opportunities in theatre, performance and the creative arts more broadly.

We are in the process of ensuring our programme has added value for students interested in teaching the forthcoming Leaving Certificate subject ‘Drama, Film and Theatre Studies’, in collaboration with the Huston School of Film and Digital Media.

Read the full programme outline below.

Further information on MA programmes is available on request via email to

There are competitive and/or achievement-based scholarships available for the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies.  

These include the Siobhán McKenna Scholarship, the Taught Postgraduate Master’s Scholarship (EU), the Merit Scholarship (International Students only), and University of Galway University of Sanctuary (UoS) Scholarships. 

You can download our scholarships informational sheet Scholarship FAQ's to learn more about how to be considered for these awards.

In order to make an application to any of our Postgraduate programmes please click here.

You may also find the FAQ section on the Postgraduate Admissions website helpful.


All Drama and Theatre Studies MA students take one core module each term that address key critical methods and creative practices in Drama, Theatre and Performance. These core modules build towards key objectives such as your dissertation project in your MA programme and/or transferable skills in areas including technical and educational theatre.

Students then choose two optional modules per term from a variety of options which may include:

  • Devising and Ensemble
  • Producing
  • Creative Arts Ideas Lab
  • Playwrights Workshop I and II
  • Applied Theatre
  • Irish Theatre and Performance Histories
  • Drama and Theatre Studies Work Placement

All students also have the option to take a Drama and Theatre Studies work placement module above, in which they are matched with a company and/or organisation for an intensive period under the supervision of staff.


Image: MA students in the Applied Theatre module reach new heights with our Galway Community Circus partners in 2023.

Minor Disseration

At the end of the course, all students will complete a minor dissertation under the supervision of a member of staff. 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.

Designated Emphasis Pathways

You can declare a designated emphasis in Theatre Practice and Production OR Playwriting and Dramaturgy if you take the modules designated on these streams for the year within the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies in which you are enrolled.

Please contact for more information on how to pursue the designated emphasis within the MA and the benefits of doing so.


As part of Drama and Theatre Studies in the School of English and Creative Arts at the University of Galway, MA in Drama and Theatre Studies students gain access to many special partnerships, spaces and resources that form an integral part of their studies.


Our Druid Academy curates specialised masterclasses with the Druid ensemble for MA students, in particular, workshops in Directing with Tony award-winner Garry Hynes, and workshops in performance, dramaturgy, playwriting, casting, costume, set design, lighting design, and producing. The Druid Academy is a core part of our theatre community, connecting the university with the city and further afield, ensuring Galway’s creative ethos and energy is nurtured for future generations. Previous workshops have been led by Tony award-winning performer Marie Mullen, performer and director Aaron Monaghan, director Sara Joyce, playwright Sonya Kelly, producer Brian Fenton, Set and Costume Designer Frances O’Connor, Lighting Designer Jim Ingalls, Costume Designer Clíodhna Hallissey, Movement Director David Bolger, and Company Manager Jean Halley. In addition, students have benefited from attending dress rehearsals, on-stage technical workshops, and visits to Druid’s set and costume creation workshops.


Drama and Theatre Studies also maintains significant partnerships with leading theatre organisations and companies throughout Ireland to ensure our MA students have access to work placements. Previous placements have occurred at the Abbey Theatre, Druid Theatre, , Galway International Arts Festival, the Gate Theatre, Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, Galway Theatre Festival, Decadent Theatre, Thisispopbaby, Macnas, Galway Community Circus, Pan Pan, ANU Productions, Rough Magic, Branar Theatre, Fíbín, and more. Through this type of hands on engagement, our students conclude their study with an updated CV, networks and sectoral-specific skills in theatre, performance, production, communications, operations, and research.


The MA in Drama and Theatre Studies is based at the O’Donoghue Centre which offers state- of-the-art facilities for teaching, rehearsing, and performing theatre practice.

We offer:

  • Three spacious Studio rooms for rehearsals.
  • A mezzanine meeting room
  • A fully-equipped classroom for teaching, reading and discussion groups
  • Backstage changing room and fully-accessible backstage toilets

Our O’Donoghue Theatre black box auditorium seats up to 120, with a fully equipped lighting rig. We have hosted productions by department staff and students, the Galway Theatre Festival, Arts In Action, and many more. The auditorium is available to hire for theatre productions and events. The building is managed by Head of Production and Curation Marianne Ní Chinneide and Technical Officer Mike O’Halloran: to make a booking, simply email

 For full details, please see the Tech Specs for the O'Donoghue Centre.

The O’Donoghue Centre is also fully accessible for all patrons and practitioners regardless of mobility or gender identity, with disability-access and gender neutral bathrooms available. A lift is also in operation. Baby changing facilities are also available.

Please refer any booking queries to the following email:


University of Galway has extensive theatre archive holdings including the world’s largest theatre archive digitisation of the Abbey Theatre Digital Archive and our great world- renowned Tony Award winning Druid Theatre, who are direct partner of the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies.

Take digital journey through Irish Theatre History with the Abbey Theatre Digital Archive:

Archives that you will be able to engage with in your study, research and theatre-making practice in the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies include but are not limited to:

Druid Theatre Company. The archive includes a record of the multi-award winning theatre company whose roots go back to their time in the then University College Galway. Druid have been recognised as world leaders in touring and staging the best of Irish plays and exploring the work of playwrights such as John M. Synge, John B. Keane, Geraldine Aron, Martin McDonagh and Tom Murphy. The Druid Theatre archive catalogue can be viewed here.

The Thomas Kilroy Archive consists of the papers of the celebrated playwright, Thomas Kilroy. Famous especially for his epic history plays such as the 'O'Neill' and, for his relationship with the likes of Field Day Theatre Company – with his work 'Double Cross' – and also for his time as Literary Editor at the Abbey Theatre, Kilroy is one of the giants of 20th Century Irish Theatre. The Kilroy Archive catalogue can be viewed here.

The Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe Archive is the administrative and creative archive of the national Irish Language Theatre of Ireland. Based in Galway, the Taibhdhearc Archive is a comprehensive record of the growth of this Irish language movement within theatre and how the Taibhdhearc has connected and influenced playwrights writing in Irish and also those translating English language works by Irish and international playwrights into Irish. The Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe Archive is catalogued and available for consultation. For information click here.

The Lyric Theatre, Belfast Archive is one of the premier cultural and theatrical venues in the North of Ireland and it has been so for over half a century. Founded by Mary O'Malley and with the theatre first based in her home, the Lyric Theatre and Lyric Players would quickly outgrow their first base and establish itself in the heart of Belfast's and the North's cultural heart. Mirroring the Abbey in its founding principles, the Lyric is a theatre of great Yeatsian tradition and offers a detailed account of administrative and creative records of the theatre but also unheralded insights into the correspondence and professional relationships of Mary O'Malley to the theatre community of Ireland. The Lyric Archive catalogue can be viewed here.

The Arthur Shields Archive consists of the papers of the actor and revolutionary Arthur Shields. Steeped in the Abbey tradition, Shields was a regular and one of the much loved members of the Abbey Company in the 1930's and was part of their many touring productions to the United States at that time. The papers offer a great insight into the Abbey Theatre of that time and also a beautiful photographic record of the Abbey, its U.S. tours and also the personal and private life of Arthur Shields. The Shields Family archive catalogue is available here.

The Siobhan McKenna Archive is the archive of one the great actresses of the Irish stage. Remembered so specially for her portrayal of Mommo in Tom Murphy's seminal play, 'Bailegangaire', McKenna was lauded throughout her life for her work in English and Irish. The papers offer a view into the life and career of McKenna and documents exactly why she is so fondly remembered in Irish Theatre. The Siobhan McKenna archive catalogue can be viewed here.

The Galway Arts Festival Archive documents the growth of this festival, again from roots in University College Galway to a festival for the community and city of Galway through to its incredible growth in becoming one of the largest annual multi-disciplinary Arts Festivals in Europe. The Galway Arts Festival is synonymous with exploring Irish culture, identity and tradition through national and world leaders in the Arts. The Galway Arts Festival Archive catalogue can be viewed here.