Master in Fine Arts - Theatre Directing

The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin.

Program Description

Master in Fine Arts - Theatre Directing

The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin.

This programme is tailored to provide talented individuals with the necessary skills to pursue a career in the professional theatre and related industries.

In addition to the core classes and workshops, individual and group tuition from The Lir’s Head of Directing will be a key feature of the training. In addition, master classes by visiting practitioners will supplement the student experience. Professional placements are a key feature of the programme and all students will showcase their work in public performances at the culmination of the course. Students can opt to take this course either part-time (24 months) or full-time (12 months).

Full-time and part-time students will take three concurrent modules in the first two terms. The final module (Module 5) will be taught in the third term and subsequent summer months (for full-time students) or in the second year of the course (for part-time students) and will culminate with a professional production staged in one of The Lir’s performances studios. Term Three will be supplemented by an ongoing series of master classes from professional directors and theatre-makers.

On completion of this postgraduate degree, you will qualify and graduate from Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Application Details


In addition to the information required on the online form, you are also required to upload a copy of each of the following:

a) a letter that outlines the applicant’s theatre education and highlights the applicant’s theatre directing experience to date.

b) a ‘statement of purpose’ that refers to the applicants' ambitions in terms of theatre directing.

c) a résumé (CV)

d) a portfolio of your work including a critical assessment of recently directed work

e) two references/testimonials from those familiar with your work and/or third level education

f) personal statement with a financial plan which indicates clearly how you intend to finance yourself if successful in gaining a place on the course.


Contemporary Theatre Practice

This compulsory module will introduce students to a range of contemporary theatre practices. It will focus on Irish and international artists and companies, with a particular emphasis on contemporary productions staged in the theatres of Dublin. The principal aim of the course is to enable students to become conversant in the styles, forms, theories and practices that constitute contemporary theatre-making in Ireland and across the world. The Contemporary Theatre Practice module is shared by all Master in Fine Art students (directors, designers and playwrights).

Directing Workshop

In this compulsory module, students will investigate various directing processes in a workshop format. Students will work with The Lir’s Head of Directing and visiting directors, as well as professional and student actors. Students will receive both group feedback and individual tuition in the development of their craft. Workshops will cover such areas as text and a creative world-view; developing an awareness of the professional directing context; develop an explicit, personal aesthetic; working collaboratively with actors and other artists. This module also outlines career development and provides a constructive framework for group and self critique. It introduces research skills and rehearsal etiquette by working in a professional environment. The overall aim of this module is to prepare students to direct a play in the Theatre Production Module.

Theatre Production

This compulsory module aims to enable students to apply the skills acquired in the other Modules to the development of their individual creative voice and practice, and in the direction of a theatre performance of between 30-60 minutes which will be showcased to the professional industry as part of The Lir’s on-going programme of public performances and events. Each student will be individually supervised in pre-production, rehearsals, tech and public performances throughout Term Three and over the summer months. Two Assistant Director placements working alongside professional theatre directors will form a key component of the preparation for the final production.

Dramaturgy for Theatre Directing

This elective module is taught by a professional dramaturge. Its aim is to introduce students to a range of dramatic texts for the theatre with an emphasis on the dramaturgical composition of those texts. An understanding of the contexts within which those dramaturgical strategies were produced will also be fostered. This seminar-based module requires students to examine key problems related to the creation and structure of scripts for performance. Students will consider a variety of theories regarding dramatic structure, consider the research requirements of script creation, explore different approaches to script development and learn to apply a dramaturgical vocabulary to a number of case studies. Similar to the Contemporary Theatre Practice module, Dramaturgy is shared with MFA playwriting students (for whom it is a compulsory module) and MFA design students (for whom it is an elective module) and is supported by specific tutorials focusing on each individual strand of the MFA programme.

Throughout the training students will develop skills of the practitioners of theatre other than the theatre director, with a view to them becoming proficient in and conversant with the creativity of others, and to enhance the craft of the student director by broadening their experience of theatre making. Students will explore the crafts of the actor, designer, stage manager, production manager and stage technician through workshops with teachers and professionals in the various disciplines.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated February 8, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
12 - 24 months
Part time
Full time
10,698 EUR
Mar. 30, 2018
Ireland - Dublin
Start date: Sept. 2018
Application deadline Mar. 30, 2018
End date Request Info
Sept. 2018
Ireland - Dublin
Application deadline Mar. 30, 2018
End date Request Info
Ireland and EU fees (including matriculation fee). Overseas/non-EU fees (including matriculation fee) €19,253 Part-time fees (including matriculation fee) (EU) €5,483 p.a. Part-time fees (including matriculation fee) (non-EU) €10,708 p.a.