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Writing for Theatre

Throughout its history University College Dublin has been deeply involved in the progress of Irish literary affairs. Indeed, many of Ireland's leading writers were educated at UCD including, James Joyce, Kate O'Brien, Flann O'Brien, Thomas Kinsella, Edna O'Brien, Frank McGuinness, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Neil Jordan, Roddy Doyle, Marina Carr, Joseph O'Connor, Emma Donoghue and Conor McPherson.

On this specific playwriting MA, you will have a real opportunity to develop your writing for theatre, through an initial module, Writing for Theatre (10 Credits) - taught in association with a leading playwright (currently Conor McPherson), through a second semester module Enhancing Creative and Dramaturgical Practices (10 Credits) and through a Playwriting Project (40 Credits - the equivalent of a standard MA minor thesis). This Project will be developed in association with Fishamble Theatre Company (currently UCD Drama Studies Company-in-Association), who are renowned for their role in the development and production of new work.

This Playwriting MA will provide a range of advanced practical strategies for approaches to writing for theatre, will develop your dramaturgical skills and editing competencies, will encourage disciplined practices, and will broaden your creative expression.

This Writing for Theatre MA offers you the opportunity devote a considerable amount of time to write, evolving and reflect on your own practices, in the context of a supportive academic environment dedicated to the analysis, exploration, and reflection on modern and contemporary theatre and performance.

Course Description

• Writing for Theatre 1 (taught in association with a leading Playwright/Director) (10 Credits)

• Writing for Theatre 2 (10 Credits)

• Research and Analysis in Drama and Performance (10 Credits)

• Issues and Perspectives (10 Credits)

• Playwriting Project (40 Credits) This project includes script development support with group sessions with members of Fishamble Theatre Company, who are renowned for their role in the development and production of new work.

• Elective module (10 Credits) from European Theatre in Context, Contemporary Irish Theatre, the Body and Performance (TBC)

Professional contributors over the past number of years include Conor McPherson, Frank McGuinness, Mark Doherty, Rachel Feehily, Declan Hughes and Sophie Motley.

Throughout the year you will be offered detailed consideration of and feedback on your writing practices. This programme supports students to develop their skills in analysing and evaluating theatre writing and performance from around the world, and invites you to engage with current theoretical and practical philosophies of dramaturgy and performance. Seminars and workshops will foster a supportive, collegial ethos.

Teaching throughout the MA includes seminars, process, rehearsed readings, laboratory sessions, theatre visits, critical appraisals, and regular feedback from peers and members of staff. All students are offered the opportunity to develop their writing, research, analytical, communicative, and reflective skills, as well as their presentation and teamwork skills. Field-trips take in what is on in Dublin during the Fringe and Theatre Festivals, as well as an annual 3-day visit to London in December.

Entry requirements

1) Academic/Professional Entry requirements: GPA 3.08, or recognition of Prior Learning as approved by the Graduate School Board of the UCD College of Arts and Humanities equivalent to final GPA 3.08 (as per UCD Academic Secretariat 6.3 (p.29) re: UCD M.A. Taught Awards: Honours Classification Table. *In exceptional circumstances applications may be considered in lieu of academic qualification as appropriate, where evidence of training, knowledge and substantial experience of the professional theatre industry is demonstrated. An offer will normally only be made after interview.

2) IELS, or equivalent, with an average score of 7.00 over all components and with a miniumum of 6.5 in each band of the Academic Version.

3) Interview, Audition; CV/Portfolio; Writing sample (essay/critical review); Two references (one of which to be academic); Personal Statement.


1 Years / 2 Years

Number of credits


Further enquiries

Contact Name:Stacy Grouden

Subjects taught

Stage 1 Core

Research and Analysis in Drama and Performance DRAM40010
Issues and Perspectives in Drama and Performance DRAM40030
Writing for the Theatre DRAM40370
Writing for Theatre 2 DRAM40480
Creative Play Writing Thesis DRAM40490

Stage 1 - Option

The Body in Performance DRAM40020
Contemporary Irish Theatre and Performance DRAM40060
European Theatre in Context DRAM40070
Queer Frictions: Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Literature & Culture ENG41860

Application date

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The following entry routes are available:

MA Writing for Theatre FT (Z249)
Duration 1 Years
Attendance Full Time
Deadline Rolling

MA Writing for Theatre PT (Z250)
Duration 2 Years
Attendance Part Time
Deadline Rolling *

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake:2018/2019 September

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