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Drama and theatre studies

B.A.; 17 places

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What is Drama and Theatre Studies (single honour)?

Students in this course devote their full time to the history, theory, and practice of theatre and performance studies. It is particularly appropriate for those who already have experience in community, school or youth theatre, and it includes considerable work in practical theatre activities. For single honour students there are approximately 14 hours per week of classes plus rehearsals.

Drama: The course for you?

These courses provide students with a broad foundation in all aspects of theatre and performance. They allow students to specialise in one or more practical areas of theatre and are designed to prepare students for careers and further training in theatre and related fields. The strong developmental nature of Drama and Theatre Studies means that, in addition to a high level of analytical ability, you will need to possess resourcefulness, self-motivation and good time-management skills. By its nature, practical theatre work calls for full-time commitment to rehearsal and production at certain times of the year. You will also need to have the ability to work as a member of a team to succeed on this course.

Drama @ Trinity

Since its establishment in 1592, Trinity has educated some of the greatest dramatists in world theatre, from Congreve and Goldsmith to Synge and Beckett.

Drama at Trinity is housed in the purpose-built Samuel Beckett Centre. Within the centre are the Samuel Beckett Theatre, a 208-seat black box performance space, the Players Theatre (the studio theatre of Trinity’s student drama society), a dance studio/rehearsal space, seminar rooms and offices.

Contemporary playwrights, directors, actors and designers often visit Trinity to discuss their work and give workshops or courses. In past years, visitors have included Augusto Boal, Michael Bogdanov, Gabriel Byrne, Sue-Ellen Case, Max Stafford-Clark, Garry Hynes, Pamela Howard, Patrick Mason, Harold Pinter, Fiona Shaw, Jim Sheridan, Gunilla Palmstierna-Weiss, Yong Li Lan, and Phillip Zarrilli.

Graduate skills and career opportunities

Most graduates of both the single honour and the TSM course seek employment in theatre or related professions. Many opt to take further training or apprenticeships in specialist areas of theatre, film, or television (such as directing, acting, design, writing, management, community drama and teaching). A number of recent graduates have formed their own theatre companies, have won awards, or have active careers in theatre, film, or television. Others have chosen research careers beginning with further study at postgraduate level.

Your degree and what you’ll study

Both these courses enable you to explore the relationship between the theory and the practice of theatre and to discover how and why theatre works. They do this by uniting elements of literary, cultural, historical and sociological studies with a practical understanding of the various performing arts.


First and second years will provide you with the skills of the theatre historian, analyst and practitioner. During these years, the course provides an introduction to drama, theatre and performance. Teaching is by lecture, seminar and practical workshop, delivered in parallel modules on Theatre History – from the Greeks to the present – and Performance Studies – including attention to theoretical approaches like semiotics, feminism, postmodernism, and documentary theatre among many others. Single honour students, in addition to all of the courses above, take courses in practical areas of theatre (Introduction to Performing, Introduction to Theatre Making and Technical Theatre) as well as Contextual Studies. These practical courses run through both first and second years.

In first year these courses are supplemented, for all students, by classes in study and writing skills and multimedia technology. Second year (both single honour and TSM) supplement their practical experience of theatre in a full year-end ensemble production in the Samuel Beckett Theatre.


Third and fourth year curriculum offers library-based courses in theatre and performance history with more practical workshop-based courses. There is a compulsory course entitled “Contemporary Irish Theatre in Context” for all students. The remainder of the curriculum is constructed by each student via selection from a range of optional modules. TSM and single honour students are treated equally in third year (meaning there is no prioritisation), with TSM students taking half the number of courses required of single honour students. In fourth year, there is no difference in curriculum between single honour students and TSM students who major in Drama.

The range of courses allows you to favour study in historical and theoretical fields or in practical aspects of theatre, although some balance is required. The range of options is vast and may include courses in the theatre history of Ireland, Europe, Asia, and the USA, stage, costume and lighting design, devising, directing, theatre management, film theory and history, acting, and performance and technology. In your final year, in addition to course options, you will undertake an individual research project guided by a member of staff and culminating in submission of a dissertation.


Assessment is by a combination of essays, journals, practical assignments, class presentations, written and oral examination and, in your final year, a dissertation.

Study abroad

You may apply to spend third year at a European university as part of the Erasmus exchange programme. Drama has exchange agreements with the University of California, the University of Helsinki, the Université de Paris-Nanterre (Paris X), the Freie Universität Berlin, the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, the University of Glasgow, Goldsmith’s College (University of London) and Royal Holloway College (University of London).


Tel: +353 1 896 2266

Social media:
Twitter: @DramaTCD

What our graduates say

Maeve Stone. TSM Theatre and English 2005–2009, Theatre Director.

“My four years at the Samuel Beckett Centre in Trinity were a turning point in my development as a young theatre practitioner. For me the course balanced academic analysis of work and context with practical exploration of ideas in a really satisfying way.
It immersed me in the world of theatre, pushed me to discover what I had to say as an artist, and provided the tools to begin investigating my own personal practice.”


Claire O’Reilly. TSM Theatre Studies and Film 2011–2015. TV Presenter/Theatre Maker.

“Drama at Trinity is a program that stimulates far beyond the lecture hall. The course content, taught through a combination of theoretical and practical approaches, is hugely varied, and the structure over its 4 years encourages you to experiment outside your comfort zone, often juggling multiple disciplines at once. The accompanying resources on offer are invaluable, from rehearsal space, to mentorship, to instantaneous, lifelong contacts, and of course, to the neighbouring (and aptly titled) playground that is DU Players. These are just some examples of the tools in place that nurture creativity, and facilitate opportunities to develop a vast range of skills as an artist. I primarily perform and direct, but I’m comfortable with the title “Theatre Maker”, because that’s one of the many things this course enables you to be.”

What our current students say

Colm Summers. TSM Theatre. Studies and History of Art and Architecture 2012–2016.

“Theatre Studies in Trinity offers its students an opportunity for real growth in a robust, compassionate atmosphere of responsibility, which challenges them to act to the best of their abilities, both onstage and off.”

Course Options



Number of Places


CAO code (Central Applications Office code) is



TR025 - Drama and theatre studies is a single honor course where Drama and theatre studies is read almost exclusively for four years.

TR001: Drama studies (TSM) Drama Studies must be combined with one other TSM subject. An honours degree is awarded in both subjects.

For subjects that combine with Drama studies see TSM: possible combinations

See also:

TR001: Drama studies
Stage management and technical theatre

Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here

Restricted entry

This is a restricted entry course. Applications must be submitted by 1 February 2017.

Applicants will receive a questionnaire in March to be completed and returned. On the basis of the completed questionnaire, some applicants will be called to attend a workshop and interview (during April and May), before final selections are made.



To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO.

Mature Student – Supplementary Application Form

Read the information about how to apply as a mature student then select the link below to complete the TCD Supplementary Application Form for mature students.

Drama and Theatre Studies, 4 years full-time Closing Date: 01/02/2017

Non-EU Applicants

  • Drama and Theatre Studies, 4 years full-time Closing Date: 01/FEB/2017
  • Advanced Entry Applications

    Read the information about how to apply for Advanced Entry, then select the link below to apply.

    CAO code (Central Applications Office code) is



    TR025 - Drama and theatre studies is a single honor course where Drama and theatre studies is read almost exclusively for four years.

    TR001: Drama studies (TSM) Drama Studies must be combined with one other TSM subject. An honours degree is awarded in both subjects.

    For subjects that combine with Drama studies see TSM: possible combinations

    See also:

    TR001: Drama studies
    Stage management and technical theatre