Master in Fine Arts - Playwriting

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

Programme Description

Master in Fine Arts - Playwriting

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

The theatrical landscape is constantly being molded by theatre-makers who are presenting original works or reimagining classics. Critical to this process is new writings and adaptations. On the Master in Fine Arts degree in Playwriting, at The Lir Academy, we offer every student the opportunity to develop and hone their unique writing skill so that each written play is the best it can be. Modules in contemporary theatre practice, dramaturgy, and workshops in writing, are supplemented with one to one training and development so that each individual student has quality time with playwrights, directors and designers The training culminates with the students writing a full-length play whilst being mentored by the Head of Playwriting, Graham Whybrow. Graham brings a wealth of experience to this role including twelve years as Literary Manager of the Royal Court Theatre.

The course is designed to complement the existing Master in Fine Theatre Directing and the Master in Fine Art Stage Design incl Lighting Design, Costume Design and Set Design. Students on all three programmes will work together in collaboration, developing a shared understanding of contemporary theatre practice and a collective appreciation of the dedication and commitment required to make innovative performances happen.

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

b) a ‘statement of purpose’ that refers to the applicants' ambitions in terms of writing style, form, and medium.

c) a résumé (CV)

d) a sample of writing in the form of a play (minimum 45 minutes reading time)

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

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.

(Please note that writing samples will not be returned under any circumstance and that The Lir does not provide critiques of writing samples).

Compulsory Modules

Master in Fine Arts Playwriting

Full-time and part-time students will take three concurrent modules in the first two semesters. The fourth module will be taught in the third semester and subsequent summer months (for full-time students) or in the second year of the course (for part-time students). The fourth module will be supplemented by an ongoing series of masterclasses from professional writers and script editors.

Contemporary Theatre Practice

This module will introduce students to a range of contemporary theatre practices as evidenced 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. In addition, students will be introduced to a range of dramatic production in related media (radio, television, and film) whose styles and forms will be analyzed in this module. The Contemporary Theatre Practice module is shared by all Master in Fine Art students (directors, designers, and playwrights).


This module will be taught by a professional dramaturge. Its aim is to introduce students to a range of dramatic texts for the theatre or related media 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.

Writing Workshop

The overall aim of the module is to prepare students for the writing of a play for performance in Module 4. Students will share their creative writing in a workshop format and will receive both group feedback and individual tuition in the development of their craft. The module includes creative workshops; developing an awareness of the professional writing context; developing an explicit, personal aesthetic; and offers the possibilities for writing in numerous professional contexts (theatre, education, community), and for various media (theatre and recorded media). This module also outlines career development and group or self-critique; it introduces research skills, rehearsal etiquette, and re-drafting.


This module will be taught through individual supervision of the writing of a student’s full-length play (of between 45 and 90 minutes performing time). The play will be submitted for examination along with a reflective journal of the student’s practice. The development of the script will be aided by the involvement of professional actors and directors in the redrafting process. The module will culminate in a rehearsed reading of a selection of students’ work in a semi-staged showcase to an invited audience of theatre professionals. This showcase, which does not form part of the assessment, is designed to bridge the gap between training and the theatre and related industries.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 21, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
12 - 24 
Part time
Full time
10,698 EUR
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.
Ireland - Dublin, County Dublin
Start date : Sept. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2018
Ireland - Dublin, County Dublin
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info