Stage Design (M.F.A.)

NFQ Level 9
1 year full-time / 2 years part-time
7-10 Places


Course Overview

The Stage Design programme is purposely designed to allow students to either specialise on one area of stage design (set, costume or lighting design) or to combine disciplines as desired (for example, set and costume design or set and lighting design).

In addition to the core classes and workshops, individual and group tuition from The Lir’s Head of Design 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 productions at the culmination of the course. Students can opt to take this course either part-time (24 months) or full-time (12 months).

The course is designed to complement the MFA in Playwriting and the MFA in Theatre Directing. 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 many elements of stage design, you should consider the M.F.A. in Stage Design. This course is perfect for professionals looking to get practical experience and specialise in costume or set design.

Career Opportunities

This programme allows students to specialise in or combine stage design disciplines (set and costume design) and is tailored to provide talented individuals with the necessary skills to pursue a career in professional theatre and related industries.

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), and two elective modules (20 ECTS x 2) in the first two terms, and Production Design (30 ECTS) in the third term and subsequent summer months.

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

 - Year 1: Contemporary Theatre Practice (20 ECTS); 2 elective modules (20 ECTS x 2)
 - Year 2: Production Design (30 ECTS)

The final Production Design module will be taught by an ongoing series of individual tutorials.

Course Content

Students will take two core modules:

- Contemporary Theatre Practice: enables students to become conversant in the styles, forms, theories and practices that constitute contemporary theatre making in Ireland.

- Production Design: individual supervision of two placements as assistant to a professional designer, and realisation of a design for public viewing in one of The Lir studios.

Students will choose 2 elective modules, among the following: Set Design Workshop, Costume Design Workshop, Lighting Design Workshop, Dramaturgy for Stage Design.

Click here for further information on modules/subjects.

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 and more.

Course Details


NFQ Level 9

Number of Places

7-10 Places

Next Intake

September 2024

Course Director

Loughlin Deegan, Director of The Lir

Closing Date

30th June 2024

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Course Options



Admission Requirements

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

  • A letter that outlines the applicant’s theatre education and highlights the applicant’s stage design experience to date.
  • A ‘statement of purpose’ that refers to the applicants ambitions in terms of stage design.
  • A résumé (CV).
  • A portfolio of your work.
  • Two references / testimonials; one from those familiar with your work and one from third level education.

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

If you want to learn about yourself as a designer, as an artist, if you want a year of work to explore your practice, come to The Lir Academy, it's a good place to do it. My favourite thing is that I now have a lot of designer friends and directing friends because the course involves a lot of collaboration.

Pai Rathaya