Irish Theatre History & Archives

Your Course
This course offers a hands-on approach to the study of Irish theatre history as a living process. We move from the nineteenth-century plays of Oscar Wilde to the early Abbey plays of W.B. Yeats and Sean O'Casey, to the towering genius of Samuel Beckett in mid-century, to major contemporary dramatists such as Brian Friel, Marina Carr and Enda Walsh and, finally, to the growing role of interdisciplinary arts practice, dance and collaborative theatre-making approaches including in the contemporary Irish theatre today.

Students on this course have unprecedented access to one of the world's greatest Irish theatre archives – working with the treasures of the Abbey Theatre Digital Archive, as well as the papers of Thomas Kilroy, Druid Theatre, the Lyric Players' Theatre and many more. These archives include hundreds of videos of performances and original promptbooks, as well as correspondence between major authors, drafts of plays and set and costume designs. With classes taught by world-leading scholars, this course offers students the opportunity to work in the major international centre for research on Irish theatre and performance and gain access to hands-on work experience in either archive maintenance and acquisition and/or literary management for the theatre.

3 Good Reasons To Study This Course

1. NUI Galway's world-leading archives of Irish theatre material, includes the digital archive of the Abbey Theatre and the Gate Theatre, as well as the papers of Thomas Kilroy, Druid Theatre, the Lyric Players' Theatre and more.

2. Students on this course have unprecedented access to these materials—almost all of them unavailable anywhere else

3. This MA also provides valuable skills in archiving and other research methodologies.

Entry requirements

Minimum 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 professional 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. Students will be accepted on the basis of the degree result, a writing sample (5–6 pages) – this can be an academic essay, creative writing or theatre reviews – a personal statement outlining suitability for and interest in the programme, and names and contact details of two references.


1 year full-time.

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
Students on this course will be well prepared to pursue further research on Irish theatre history, or to seek a career in archiving (or other related library services) and/or literary management and dramaturgy for the theatre. The course also offers all the benefits of an MA degree, providing students with transferable skills in such areas as research, writing, group work, and archiving.

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    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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