School of Creative Arts

School Description:

School of Creative Arts

Our research covers a wide range of outputs and themes. Our staff are actively engaged in practice-based research, creating theatre works, music compositions and documentary films that explore conceptual issues through performance and other creative modes of expression. At the same time, we are fully committed to conventional academic publications. We believe in the value of research-based teaching and student learning. The School’s research activities are guided by three core objectives: Ireland & the Arts, Globalisation & the Arts, and Technology & the Arts. The School is a member of the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity’s Arts and Humanities Institute, and is an active participant in the Hub’s research themes, particularly: Making Ireland, Identities in Transformation, and Creative Arts Practice. The School hosts three taught MPhil programmes and has a thriving postgraduate research culture. We hold a weekly Creative Arts research seminar during term time, which offers an opportunity for staff and research students to present and receive feedback on their work in a collegial surrounding. We also host visiting speakers at these and other public events.

Staff are actively engaged in research networks, on editorial boards, and regularly organise conferences and other public events.
We welcome proposals for research projects at M. Litt (Masters by research), doctoral and post-doctoral levels in areas covered by staff in Drama, Film and Music and advise you to familiarise yourself with our staff profiles so you can see who might be available to supervise your work. Please be sure to contact that staff member in advance of submitting your proposal so that you can refine your ideas and can confirm the relevant staff member’s availability for supervision and mentoring.

Our Departments:

Research strengths in Drama currently lie in the field of Irish & European Theatre, Theatre and Nation, Interculturalism/globalisation and performance, Identity Politics & Performance, and Performance and Technology. The School is located in the Samuel Beckett Centre that comprises a theatre, acting studios and seminar rooms. The School of Drama has a formal link with the Abbey Theatre principally for the development of training for theatre practitioners, and with the International Institute for Integration Studies. It boasts a large research community of M.Litt. & Ph.D. students.

The Department of Film enjoys an international reputation for its research in Irish cinema and the cinemas of the Irish diaspora, as well as for its work in the fields of film theory, and digital culture. Film Studies’ facilities (screening room, film library, and digital video production room) are located on campus near the Samuel Beckett Centre. It is closely associated with the Irish Film Institute. Recently completed PhD topics include: ‘White Cottage/White House: Irish-American Masculinities and spaces of home in Hollywood cinema, 1930-1960’, ‘Noir point blank – the ‘dark interval’ in Film Noir’, and ‘Cinematic Verbalists: dialogue integration in the work of selected contemporary American writer-directors’.

Music has three principal areas of research: composition, musicology, and music technology. Among the staff is composers, experts on melodrama, film music, twentieth-century sketch study, Debussy & Purcell. In addition it enjoys the resources of an extensive Audio Archive and two music technology labs (undergraduate and postgraduate). It is located in Front Square of College in its own dedicated premises. The Department offers the MPhil in Music Composition which attracts applicants from all over the world and research degrees (M.Litt. & Ph.D.) in its principal areas of expertise.

Applicants are advised to cover the following topics when applying for a PhD;

  • Why are you applying to Trinity?
  • How do you plan to fund your research?
  • Are you planning to do a PhD by Practice?
  • Project title
  • Brief description of your research topic - be as specific as possible
  • Central research questions of your project
  • Aims, objectives, scope and focus of your project
  • Highlight any exceptional education achievement
  • Principal conceptual and methodological questions your project poses; investigative methods and theoretical frameworks you intend to use
  • Relationship of your project to existing research: why is your project needed; what will it add to existing scholarship; how will it change the way we look at this topic? (a Ph.D. thesis must make a significant and original
    contribution to knowledge in your area of research)
  • Principal primary sources for your project
  • Indicative bibliography, including key scholarly works in the area of your project and works mentioned in your research proposal

In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to register retrospectively. Applicants wishing to be considered for retrospective admission should contact the Graduate Studies Office by emailing