Postgraduate Degrees

MFA Theatre Directing

  1 year / 2 years

The Master in Fine Art Theatre Directing programme is the first entirely practised-based master's programme of its kind in Ireland. Applications for 2023 are now open. The closing date is June 30, 2023.
Apply Now

Course Information

Course Begins: Mon 18 Sep 2023
Type: Postgraduate Degree
Duration: 1 year, 2 years
When: Full-time, Part-time


If you have any further questions, enquire and we'll contact you.


This programme is tailored to provide talented individuals with the necessary skills to pursue a career in the professional theatre and related industries.

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, 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 performances at the culmination of the course. Students can opt to take this course either part-time (24 months) or full-time (12 months).

Full-time and part-time students will take three concurrent modules in the first two terms. The final module (Module 5) 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 master classes from professional directors and theatre makers.

On completion of this postgraduate degree, you will qualify and graduate from Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin.

Applications for Sept 2023 start are now open here. Initial deadline 31 March, early application advisable as places offered after that date. Final deadline 30 June.

Browse the 2023 prospectus here.

The Lir Academy continues to be guided by the HSE guidelines in relation to Covid-19. You can see more here.


Apply Now for the MFA in Theatre Directing click to

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

a) a letter that outlines the applicant’s theatre education and highlights the applicant’s theatre directing experience to date.

b) a ‘statement of purpose’ that refers to the applicants ambitions in terms of theatre directing.

c) a résumé (CV)

d) a portfolio of your work

e) a critical assessment of recently directed work

f) two references/testimonials; one from those familiar with your work and one from third level education


Apply Now
Modules click to

Contemporary Theatre Practice
This compulsory module will introduce students to a range of contemporary theatre practices. It will focus on Irish and international artists and companies, with a particular emphasis on contemporary productions staged in the theatres of Dublin. The principal aim of the course is to enable students to become conversant in the styles, forms, theories and practices that constitute contemporary theatre making in Ireland and across the world. The Contemporary Theatre Practice module is shared by all Master in Fine Art students (directors, designers and playwrights).

Directing Workshop
In this compulsory module students will investigate various directing processes in a workshop format. Students will work with The Lir’s Head of Directing and visiting directors, as well as professional and student actors. Students will receive both group feedback and individual tuition in the development of their craft. Workshops will cover such areas as: text and a creative world-view; developing an awareness of the professional directing context; developing an explicit, personal aesthetic; working collaboratively with actors and other artists. This module also outlines career development and provides a constructive framework for group and self critique. It introduces research skills and rehearsal etiquette by working in a professional environment. The overall aim of this module is to prepare students to direct a play in the Theatre Production Module.

Theatre Production
This compulsory module aims to enable students to apply the skills acquired in the other Modules to the development of their individual creative voice and practice, and in the direction of a theatre performance of between 30-60 minutes which will be showcased to the professional industry as part of The Lir’s on-going programme of public performances and events. Each student will be individually supervised in pre-production, rehearsals, tech and public performances throughout Term Three and over the summer months. Two Assistant Director placements working alongside professional theatre directors will form a key component of the preparation for the final production.

Dramaturgy for Theatre Directing
This elective module is taught by a professional dramaturge. Its aim is to introduce students to a range of dramatic texts for the theatre with an emphasis on the dramaturgical composition of those texts. An understanding of the contexts within which those dramaturgical strategies were produced will also be fostered. This seminar-based module requires students to examine key problems related to the creation and structure of scripts for performance. Students will consider a variety of theories regarding dramatic structure, consider the research requirements of script creation, explore different approaches to script development and learn to apply a dramaturgical vocabulary to a number of case studies. Similar to the Contemporary Theatre Practice module, Dramaturgy is shared with MFA playwriting students (for whom it is a compulsory module) and MFA design students (for whom it is an elective module) and is supported by specific tutorials focusing on each individual strand of the MFA programme.

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

Fees click to

Fees for 2022/23

Ireland and EU fees €11,972
Overseas/non-EU fees €21,789
Part-time fees (EU) €5,987 p.a.
Part-time fees (non-EU) €11,982 p.a.

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.

For funding opportunities click here.

The Lir Academy Bursary click to

The Lir Academy Student Bursary Fund is open to all EU students who have been offered a place on the Undergraduate Bachelor in Acting, Undergraduate Bachelor in Stage Management and Technical Theatre or any of the Postgraduate courses at The Lir, National Academy of Dramatic Art, or are already studying here.

Students can apply for the bursary once a place has been offered on the course.

Non-EU students cannot apply for The Lir Academy Bursary, but they are eligible for other Trinity College bursaries. More information here.

MFA Theatre Directing Course Handbook 2022 - 23 click to

Download the course handbook here

MFA Theatre Directing Course Handbook
Samantha Cade

The MFA in theatre directing at the Lir offered me a practical, rigorous and professional based approach to developing my voice as a theatre director while at the same time supporting me as a student. The school provided me with the space to explore creatively and learn from the industries top theatre directors, designers and technicians. One of the most influential parts of the program for me was the invaluable opportunity to do an assistant directing placement with ANU productions.

Samantha Cade

Enquire about MFA Theatre Directing