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, that focus on  performance, direction, dramaturgy, theatre business and production, and more. An internship (by application) with an Irish theatre company forms part of the course. During the summer months, students complete a minor dissertation  project, which may involve practice-as research, under the supervision of a member of staff.

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.

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.

Programme Information

Why study this programme?

We offer access not only to award-winning academics but also to world-leading theatre professionals. We see theory and practice as inherently interconnected, and the 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 core modules to situate their learning in theatre practice and production. They then build on these through a varied choice in optional modules, which include a focus on performance, directing, dramaturgy, applied theatre, Irish theatre history, and more.

 Students also complete a minor dissertation which can include a practice-as-research enquiry.

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

“As a mature student my approach to the MA was simple; to immerse myself in the work, to seek out opportunities, take risks and be a team player. All of my efforts were rewarded by NUI Galway’s excellent Drama department and team of lecturers in the vibrant surroundings of the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. It was a great privilege to study and research Irish theatre in such a progressive environment. It quickly became apparent to me that this was not only a place where creative work was imagined and encouraged, but a place where ideas where made possible. 

The diverse range of modules and theatrical practice allowed me to focus on the skills that I needed for a professional career in theatre. The curriculum included, theatre business, applied theatre, playwriting, performance, Irish drama and theatre history. The programme also provided opportunities to see new Irish and international performances. Furthermore, the internship programme afforded me the occasion to work in a hands-on capacity with one of Ireland’s leading theatre company’s, Druid Theatre. During my time at Druid I gained valuable insights into almost all aspects of the company’s operation, particularly in Stage Management, Production and Venue Management.”

Michele Ann Kelly, Civic Theatre Associate Artist 2018

MA Theatre Practice and Production 2016-17


“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