Undergraduate Courses.

Foundation Diploma in Acting and Theatre

  1 year

Applications for 2025-2026 will open in autumn 2024.

Course Information

Duration: 1 year
When: Full-time
Ages: 18+


Full details on the course and application can be found below.

If you have a question that requires assistance, please use the enquire button.


The foundation course is aimed primarily at school leavers who are interested in preparing themselves for three year actor training at conservatoire level, either at The Lir or a similar academy. With an additional focus on broadening students’ reading and understanding of plays and theatre history, it also prepares students for broader drama degrees and related areas of study and work. The course is taught by a committed team of teachers, including many of The Lir’s core acting tutors and teachers from our Master of Fine Art programmes.The personal development of the foundation course students is enhanced by regular individual tutorials with The Foundation Course Director, a dedicated member of staff who supervises all aspects of the programme.

The course also encourages students to develop their own individual creativity with a focus on collaboration, improvisation and lateral thinking.

This course is an NFQ Level 7 Diploma (60 credits)

Applications for 2025-2026 will open in autumn 2024.

Note: Audition slots become available a month at a time.

Read about The Lir Academy Tutors here.

Read the 2023 - 24 Prospectus here.

The Foundation Diploma in Acting and Theatre at The Lir Academy is not part of the CAO point’s race. Students are expected to have achieved the minimum matriculation requirements for Trinity College Dublin courses, however, exceptions may be made based on the demonstration of exceptional natural talent at auditions. Matriculation requirements can be found here


Application Procedure click to

Students are free to apply for both the Bachelor in Acting (Hons) Degree (three year full-time) and the Foundation Course in Acting (one year full-time). Only one application form and one registration fee is necessary. Students who apply for both courses will initially audition for the Bachelor in Acting (Hons) Degree and subsequently for the Foundation Course.

This process starts off in the same way as the Bachelor in Acting degree recruitment process. After the initial audition successful students will be advised whether they will progress towards the Bachelor in Acting degree or the Foundation Course.

Students who are successful after the final round of auditions will then be asked to formally apply to Trinity College for admission to the course. Successful students will not only be students of The Lir Academy, but also students of Trinity College.

There is an intake of 16 students each year. All eligible candidates who apply before the closing date will receive an audition.

Audition Procedure

1st Round Audition - The first round of auditions will be held throughout November, December, January, and February. Applicants will have the option of doing their first-round audition in person (in The Lir Academy, Dublin) or live, online (over Zoom).

To participate in the first round audition online you will need:

- a reliable internet connection

- a device with a functioning camera and a microphone (PC/smartphone/laptop/iPad)

- a space/room where you could work independently without major interruption for at least 15 minutes

Final Round, Foundation Diploma in Acting and Theatre - Half Day Workshop in May 2022. Applicants based on the island of Ireland must attend in person, international applicants can attend over Zoom.

Applicants who progress to the 2nd and/or Final Round of the Bachelor in Acting auditions but are not offered a place on the BA course can still be considered for the Foundation Diploma course (their final score will be based on their 2nd Round result).

Full details on the Audition Procedure can be found here

Choosing Your Monologue

A guide to choosing the right monologue can be found here

Equality and Diversity

​Candidates should feel free to disclose impairment at any time during the audition process if they have not done so on their application form. Disabled applicants who demonstrate talent and potential will be put forward to each stage of the audition process by the panel members who will not concern themselves with the implications the disability may have on subsequent training.The panel will be informed of any disclosed disability on a candidate’s application form unless the candidate has asked for the disability to be kept confidential.

Further Information

Further information on audition requirements, assessment and process is available here.

Course Overview click to

The programme runs for 24 weeks, over Michaelmas and Hilary Term. It is devised into three eight week modules each of which culminates with an intensive week of rehearsals and project based work.

  • Classes run Monday to Friday with 7-8 hours contact time per day
  • Classes are led by The Lir’s regular teaching staff
  • Core classes in Movement, Voice and Acting
  • Individual Tutorials with dedicated Foundation Course Coordinator
  • Project based work, focussing on classical and contemporary theatre, culminating in week-long intensive rehearsal periods
  • Improvisation & Physical Theatre
  • Text analysis and sight reading
  • Choral singing
  • Acting for Screen
  • Solo Shakespeare and Shakespeare Scenes
  • Theatre History
  • Audition Technique classes
  • Professional Development and career progression classes, with a focus on professional acting and non-acting based theatre, TV & Film careers
Entry Requirements click to
  • Candidates must have complete fluency in the English language
  • The minimum age for admission is 17
  • Students are expected to have achieved the minimum matriculation requirements for Trinity College Dublin courses, however, exceptions may be made based on the demonstration of exceptional natural talent at auditions. Further information on the matriculation requirements can be found by clicking here

Please note, acceptance onto the course is at the discretion of The Lir Academy. If The Lir feels for whatever reason that a participant is not suitable for the course, he/she will not be accepted. All decisions are final and not subject to appeal.

Fees and Funding click to

As this is only a one year course, it does not attract government funding. All students offered places on the foundation course are required to fund both the annual fee and all living costs privately.

As this course will be placed on the National Framework, it will be open to EU and Non EU students. Non EU students will be eligible to get a student visa to undertake this course in Ireland.

EU/UK fees

€9,332 plus additional student levies and charges of €191.75 (2023/2024)

Non EU fees

€21,080 (2023/2024)

Annual Review of Tuition fees and other charges by Trinity College Dublin

Please note, tuition fees and other charges are subject to annual review by Trinity College Dublin which may result in a fee increase each year. All students (Undergraduate and Postgraduate, EU & Non EU) on courses/programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees and other charges (Commencement/graduation fee, Sports Centre Charge and USI levy) may be subject to increase annually. The annual revision is approved by Trinity’s Committee and College Board and typically increase by approximately 3% per annum or more in any given year

Application Fees & Audition Dates click to

Applications received before Christmas will incur an admin cost of €50.

Applications received after Christmas will incur an admin cost of €75.

First round auditions will be held from November 2022 until March 2023.

Cancellation policy: Please take care when booking your audition as we do not readily give refunds or offers to reschedule if you cannot attend the date you originally booked. Refunds and/or rescheduling are at the discretion of The Lir, which may require you to provide evidence supporting your request for absence, i.e medical certificate.

In the event that The Lir need to cancel an audition date, an alternative means of auditioning will be provided.

New audition dates will be released on a rolling basis between now and the deadline to apply, February 1st 2023.

Application Fee Waiver click to

One of The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art’s key aims is to ensure fair access to training for the most talented students, regardless of their background. As a result, The Lir Academy has committed to providing application fee waivers to make sure that applicants from low-income households are encouraged to apply.

You can download the application fee waiver below.

Application Fee Waiver
Virtual Tour click to

The Lir Academy Virtual Tour is available HERE. But first, make sure you're familiar with a few ground rules that will help you get the most out of this experience!

1. On the bottom left-hand corner you will find a play button.

You can press that button if you want to be taken to the building automatically, or you can just click through the building to move at your own pace. To move through the building, click on the walls, floor, or use the shortcut links to go directly to a selected part of the building.

2. Throughout the tour you will be guided by our students' voice-overs and have the option to watch videos and photo selections that will transport you straight into life at The Lir Academy. Here's a map for finding your way around this material:

  • The purple buttons are voice-overs.
  • The red buttons are videos and photo slideshows.
  • The green buttons will present you will give some information you may not have known about The Lir Academy.
  • At a few different points throughout the building, the green dots will present you with a shortcut to a different area of the building

3. Please note that if you have virtual reality glasses, you can use them to physically walk through the building. All you have to do is click the "View in VR" symbol on the bottom right-hand corner.

5. Want to share your excitement with your friends and family? You can click the share button on the bottom right-hand corner and help us spread the word on social media!

But most of all, enjoy your virtual tour of The Lir Academy!

Foundation Diploma in Acting and Theatre Course Handbook 2023-24 click to

Download the course handbook below.

Diploma in Acting and Theatre Course Handbook
Enquire about Foundation Diploma in Acting and Theatre