Theatre Directing (M.F.A.)

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


Course Overview

The M.F.A. in Theatre Directing programme is the first entirely practiced-based Masters programme of its kind in Ireland. It was introduced following extensive consultation with the Irish theatre community and is a direct response to the stated needs of the industry and of talented emerging artists. This innovative course is taught in the newly established The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin, which is the professional training institution of the School of Creative Arts.

Throughout the training, students will also develop skills of the practitioners of theatre other than the theatre director, with a view to 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.

Is This Course For Me?

If you have a passion for theatre and are interested in the collaborative process of creating a production, from concept to completion, you should consider the M.F.A. in Theatre Directing. Theatre Directing combines the skills of leadership, management, and artistic creativity to bring a production to life.

Career Opportunities

This programme is tailored to provide talented individuals with the necessary skills to pursue a career in the professional theatre and related industries. Many now work as practitioners in the creative industries (in roles such as playwrights, producers, performers, facilitators); others go onto further study at Ph.D. level and begin careers in academia. Graduates are also eminently suited to fields such as publishing, broadcasting, or education.

Course Structure

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

Full-time and part-time students will take three concurrent modules in the first two terms. The final module 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 performance studios. Term Three will be supplemented by an ongoing series of masterclasses from professional directors and theatre-makers.

Course Content

Students on the M.F.A. in Theatre Directing will take four compulsory modules, Contemporary Theatre Practice, Directing Workshop Theatre Production and Drama for Theatre Directing.

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, masterclasses 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.

Click here for further information on modules/subjects.

Study a postgraduate degree 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

4 Places

Next Intake

September 2024

Course Director

Annabelle Comyn

Closing Date

30th June 2024

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Admission Requirements

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

  • Letter of application – a letter that outlines your theatre education and theatre directing experience to date (this may also include experience in other areas of theatre as well as directing in film). Applicants are required to have some theatre directing experience to be accepted onto the course.
  • Statement of purpose – a statement outlining your ambitions in terms of theatre directing. In this you can include what theatre is to you, why you have chosen a career in theatre directing, the work you want to make, why you want to pursue a MFA in Theatre Directing and your future plans.
  • Resume – a CV clearly listing your education and experience in theatre and theatre directing.
  • Portfolio – a portfolio of your theatre and directing work. We accept portfolios as PDFs, websites or in any other convenient format.
  • Critical assessment – a critical assessment of recently directed work. This is an analysis of a production directed by the applicant. It is an overall evaluation of their process; from the initial artistic impulse, their ambitions for the work, their pre-production plans and the development of the work, an analyses of their process when working with designers, actors, and the production team, and finally a reflection and critical analyses of the work achieved and any learning outcomes.
  • Two references – two references or testimonials; one from those familiar with your work and one from third level education. It is a good idea to reach out and ensure that those uploading your references are aware of your application and have received the notification to upload their testimonial.

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

What I've gained from this Master's is a sense of clarity and conciseness. The tutors have empowered me to think about who I am as a director, my own experiences and bringing that into the space. It's given me the confidence to go into the professional world with the fortitude to do the work.

Joy Nesbitt