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MA in Drama

MA and PhD students strongly contribute to Drama’s thriving research culture. Our MA in Drama continues to grow in size and is increasingly attracting international students to provide well-qualified candidates for PhD study. All of our PG students are fully integrated into postgraduate activities at the School of Creative Arts, playing an active role in the development of graduate conferences and research seminars.

The MA in Drama is a programme spanning multiple aspects of contemporary theatre, performance and practice, with a particular focus on (post)conflict theatre; applied drama; intercultural and Irish theatre; movement and dance; and practice as research (PaR). The programme takes advantage of the international cross-disciplinary staff at the Brian Friel Centre for Theatre Research and the excellent facilities of the Brian Friel Theatre.

The first semester of the MA programme features a compulsory Research Methods module, taught in close conjunction with several archives, library, and museum collections, combining the methodological skills of archival research with critical frameworks drawn from performance studies, theatre history/historiography and PaR. Students are also introduced as to how theatre and performance have responded to the post-conflict experiences of different countries, from Northern Ireland to South Africa, and examine the role of the creative arts in cultural regeneration and conflict transformation.

The second semester of the MA programme allows students to diversify their studies and to focus on specialised fields in which Drama staff members are established as international authorities: Intercultural Theatre; Applied Drama; and Movement in Performance. These modules investigate their subject through seminars and workshops; involve distinguished visiting speakers and address contemporary developments in these fields within philosophical, performative, cultural and historical contexts.

The programme culminates in a double module Dissertation where students work one-on-one with a supervisor on a project, which may involve the creation of a collaborative practice-as-research performance. The specialised nature of the dissertation project not only makes it ideal for students’ professional development, but is also often a springboard for further doctoral studies.

The MA programme is superbly supported by a dynamic range of research seminars and conferences featuring leading international scholars, practitioners and artists.

Research Methods: Archives, History, Performance

Choice of three additional modules from:
Applied Drama
Intercultural Theatre: Local and Global
Movement in Performance
Theatre and Conflict

Entrance Requirements

Applicants to MA programmes are normally expected to have a 2.1 or higher in an undergraduate degree. If you would like to discuss your application please contact the pathway convenor, Dr Mark Phelan.


Funding:  We have a number of MA Scholarships and postgraduate travel awards in memory of Michael Barnes, the former director of the Belfast Festival which are kindly funded by his friend, Michael Palin.  For funding information visit the school funding/scholarships page.


Apply: Click here to apply