MA in Drama and Performance Studies

 (Full-Time or Two years Part-Time)

The MA in Drama and Performance Studies is aimed at graduates whose ambitions are to work in theatre, the cultural sector, media, education and/or research. This MA attracts those who are passionate about analysing, exploring, and reflecting deeply on modern and contemporary theatre and performance within their broad cultural, societal, and political contexts. Our pedagogic ethos emphasizes the hybridity and complementarity of theory and practice.

By exploring the various complex interfaces between creative and critical practices, this programme will add greater depth, knowledge and value to the existing skill sets of our students. Structured theatre visits in Dublin and an annual trip to London are one of the means by which we allow experiences of liveness to inform our teaching. Students are expected to advance the well-established relationships of UCD Drama Studies with the Irish and international academic and artistic theatre and performance communities. Our unique and purposeful learning environments comprise seminars, laboratory sessions, master classes, research seminars, field trips, work placements and supervised research. Students and their lecturer/tutors work together in a spirit of mutual inquiry, reflection, experiment, discussion and debate. Dedicated onsite facilities allow students the opportunities to engage in practice as research and present findings/presentations in studio settings.

This palette of assessment strategies leads to purposeful, broad-ranging, testing and rewarding learning experiences. Core values, such as independence, creativity, collaboration, critical reflection, cultural engagement, invariably play to the strengths and inclinations of our student cohort. 

Core Modules:

Thesis (12-14000 words) (40 Credits)

Body in Performance (10 Credits)

Research and Analysis in Drama and Performance (10 Credits)

Issues and Perspectives in Theatre (10 Credits)

Options Modules (Choose Two):

Contemporary Irish Theatre in Performance (1) (10 Credits)

Gender and Identity in Performance (10 Credits)

Writing for Theatre (10 Credits)

Performance Research (10 Credits)

(Modules may vary from year to year)


Assessments include essays, class presentations, theatre reviews, performance analysis, practice-based studio presentations, portfolios, guided independent research practice / production, reflective journals, playwriting/dramaturgical exercises, as well as minor thesis/ practice-as-research projects.

Admission Requirements

We welcome applicants with academic qualifications and/or professional experience and expertise. You are encouraged to apply early. For further information please contact Joanne Dalton, Email: Dr. Eamonn Jordan, Email: Telephone: (01) 716 8936. 

We are now accepting applications for 2023/24.

Candidates may apply for a place on the M.A. degree if they have obtained one of the following:

- B.A. degree with at least Second Class Honours, Grade II, in a relevant subject and at least Second Class Honours, Grade II in the second subject; or

- B.A. degree with at least Second Class Honours, Grade I, in a relevant subject; or

- Second Class Honours, Grade I, in a relevant post-graduate diploma; or

- Second Class Honours, Grade I, in the relevant M.A. Qualifying Examination.

We also welcome applications from prospective candidates, including mature students, who do not fulfill the normal academic requirements, but who have relevant professional expertise and experience.