Playwriting (M.F.A.)

NFQ Level 9
1 year full-time / 2 years part-time
5-7 Places


Course Overview

The theatrical landscape is constantly being moulded by theatre makers who are presenting original works or reimagining classics. Critical to this process is new writings and adaptations. The Master in Fine Art degree in Playwriting at The Lir Academy offers every student the opportunity to develop and hone their unique writing skill so that each play written is the best it can be.

Through a series of skills-based writing workshops and tutorials with professional playwrights, directors and a dramaturge, the individual voice of the student writer will be nurtured and developed. Classes in dramaturgy and contemporary theatre practice will supplement the training. The course will culminate in the writing of a full-length play for the stage. Excerpts of these final works are shared in a public event with an invited audience of industry professionals.

Students on the course will work in a dedicated space for writers in The Lir building. In addition to the core classes and workshops, individual tuition from The Lir’s dramaturge will be a key feature of the training. In addition, master classes by visiting practitioners will supplement the student experience.

The course is designed to complement the existing MFA Theatre Directing and the MFA Stage Design including 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.

Is This Course For Me?

If you have a passion for theatre and are interested in the process of playwriting, from idea to completion, you should consider the M.F.A. in Playwriting. This course is designed to encourage, nurture and promote the individual voice of the developing writer.

Career Opportunities

This course is designed to equip students of exceptional talent with the skills necessary to pursue a career in theatre and related industries through the development of skills, professional practices and creative approaches to writing for performance

Course Structure

Students elect to take this course either full-time (12 months) or part-time (24 months).

Full-time students take Contemporary Theatre Practice (20 ECTS), Dramaturgy (20 ECTS), and Writing Workshop (20 ECTS) modules in the first two terms, and The Play (30 ECTS) module in the third term and subsequent summer months.

Students who to take the course part-time ordinarily complete:

Year 1: Dramaturgy (20 ECTS); Writing Workshop (20 ECTS)
Year 2: Contemporary Theatre Practice (20 ECTS); The Play (30 ECTS)
The Play module will be taught by an ongoing series of individual tutorials.

Course Content
Core modules include:

Contemporary Theatre Practice: Enables students to become conversant in the styles, forms, theories, and practices that constitute contemporary theatre making in Ireland.
Dramaturgy: Introduces students to a range of dramatic texts for the theatre or related media with an emphasis on the dramaturgical composition of those texts.
Writing Workshop: Students share their creative writing in a workshop format and receive both group feedback and individual tuition in the development of their craft.
Play: Individual supervision and showcase staged reading of a student’s full-length play.

Click here for further information on modules/subject.

Learn about the postgraduate degrees at The Lir Academy

Join The Lir's Director, Loughlin Deegan, to learn more about the three M.F.A. programmes at The Lir Academy, available full-time and part-time. He outlines course content, finance, funding opportunities, and more.

Course Details


NFQ Level 9

Number of Places

5-7 Places

Next Intake

September 2024

Course Director

Professor Brian Singleton.

Closing Date

30th June 2024

students working in library/>

Admission Requirements

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

  • A letter that outlines the applicant’s theatre education and highlights the applicant’s writing experience to date.
  • A ‘statement of purpose’ that refers to the applicants ambitions in terms of writing style, form and medium.
  • A résumé (CV).
  • A writing sample in the form of a play, with a minimum 45 minutes reading time (samples will not be returned and The Lir does not provide critiques of writing samples).
  • Two academic or creative references / testimonials.

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

+353 (0)1 896 2559



Register Your Interest

Register your interest in studying at Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

Register Your Interest

I chose this programme because I wanted to finesse my writing and learn a more considered approach. This course encourages you to question what you are writing. One of the best things about it is there are many others studying different disciplines, so you graduate with a ready-made theatre company with people who can help stage your work.

Jane Madden