Close icon
Close icon

BA in Contemporary & Applied Theatre Studies (International)

This degree is level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) awarded by University of Limerick.
This programme page is for International Students only. Information for CAO applicants has a separate page labelled with a CAO code.
Places Offered: Up to 30
  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • How to Apply
  • Ask a Question
  • Programme Overview

    The BA in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies is an innovative four year, full-time honours degree in drama and theatre studies but can be shortened to three years in the case of some international applicants. Launched in 2015, it is the first programme of its type in Ireland and gives students a round and broadly-based education in drama and theatre, and a specific set of skills in the contemporary and applied aspects of the field. It deals with all the general areas of drama, such as ensemble performance, the study of plays, theatre visits and studio practice. Students will have the opportunity to develop their own artistic skills and specialise in their own particular areas of interest. The programme will give participants a diverse, sophisticated and vocational experience.

    BA in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies students

    Distinctive Features

    Applied theatre is considered to be the study of drama and theatre across a range of practical applications and non-traditional settings, not defined by stage performance or the study of literary texts. Contemporary theatre signals that the programme will deal largely with current and emergent modes of theatrical production and reception.

    Unique aspects of the BA CATS programme include:

    • A unique qualification in drama not offered elsewhere on the island
    • A strong balance of studio/workshop to classroom teaching
    • Access to two professional theatres (Lime Tree Theatre & Belltable), their staff and facilities
    • Participation, as part of coursework, in three full-scale productions, staged to professional standards
    • Up to 15 theatre visits per year as part of the course
    • The opportunity to engage with professional, touring and community-based theatre practitioners and projects
    • The chance to develop a specialised set of skills and knowledge in areas such as drama facilitation, drama teaching, technical theatre, cultural policy and administration
    • The four-year programme (Year 3 spent off campus) can include professional placements, giving students a unique range of contacts in an extensive range of arts organisations in Limerick, across the country and abroad

    Modules & Off-Campus Programme

    The programme focuses on the contemporary role of theatre and its practitioners in society. At its heart is the concept of ensemble, which values and emphasises the importance of the practice of the group and collective when working in drama. The idea of a pro-social theatre is also very important for our programme. This highlights how theatre can be used to engage with specific sites and audiences, and it exists not only as entertainment, but also has a core societal function. This programme will be offered in close association with the Lime Tree Theatre which is located on the College campus, and which has hosted over 100,000 patrons since opening as a professional venue in October 2012. Through our relationship with the Lime Tree and our other venue, the Belltable, students on the programme will be exposed to the best local, national and international practice through visiting companies, festivals, etc., and from the input of a range of visiting lecturers and practitioners. Teaching on the programme is research-led and informed by a practice-based approach. Students will encounter a range of classroom-based, studio-based and virtual learning contexts. Each module will be assessed independently of each other through continuous assessment and a variety of assessment methods each semester.

    Three years of the BA CATS programme are delivered on campus at Mary Immaculate College, and one year (Year 3) on a professional work placement and/or a study abroad programme. Semesters 5 and/or 6 of the BA CATS Programme offers students the opportunity for work-based learning and professional placements are provided for students in a variety of relevant settings. If they so choose, students can also expand their knowledge and skills through international study in one of MIC's partner universities in Europe, North America and Australia.

    Career Opportunities

    Possible destinations for graduates include further academic study in the field of drama/theatre; or further vocational training in a specific discipline of drama/theatre such as acting, theatre design or stage management. Graduates may also enter employment with a theatre company or venue, or may work in a freelance capacity in some aspect of drama/theatre artistic practice. Graduates of the BA CATS programme may be particularly suited to work in the following specific disciplines of theatre:

    • Community theatre
    • Theatre for Young Audiences
    • Youth Theatre
    • Theatre in Education
    • Drama education/teaching
    • Street theatre
    • Storytelling
    • Theatre for development;
    • Museum theatre
    • Reminiscence theatre
    • Theatre in health education
    • Dramatherapy
    • Technical theatre
    • Documentary/Verbatim theatre
    • Site-specific theatre
    Real Performances
    Real Performances
    A production image from the student ensemble theatre piece 'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui'

    Programme Information

    Dr Michael Finneran, Programme Coordinator, BA CATS &

    Head of Department of Drama & Theatre Studies

    T: +353 61 204976


    Admission Enquiries

    EU Applicants:

    Non-EU Applicants:


    Programme Content

    Semester 1 (Year 1)
    Introduction to Drama, Theatre and Performance
    Movement, Voice and Body in Theatre
    Introduction to Technical Theatre
    Contemporary Irish Theatre 1
    Devising Theatre
    Semester 2 (Year 1)
    The History of Theatre and Performance
    Introduction to Applied Theatre
    Masks and Puppetry in Performance
    Ensemble Performance 1
    Semester 3 (Year 2)
    Theatre for Young Audiences
    Critiquing Theatre
    Contemporary Irish Theatre 2
    Ensemble Performance 2
    Semester 4 (Year 2)
    Contemporary European & World Theatre
    Digital Theatre
    Storytelling & Poetry in Performance
    Community Theatre
    Performance & Music

    Note: If completing the four-year degree, Semesters 5 & 6 (Year 3) are outlined in the table below. If completing the three-year degree, students will progress automatically to the modules detailed in Semesters 7 & 8 (Year 4).

    Semesters 5 & 6 (Year 3)
    Off-Campus Programme 1 & 2 (Work Placement and/or Study Abroad)
    Semester 7 (Year 4)
    Scenography, Costume & Lighting Design
    Cultural Policy & Administration
    Research Skills/Practice as Research
    Directing & Writing for Theatre
    Undergraduate Research Project 1
    Semester 8 (Year 4)
    Drama Education
    Contemporary Performance Theory
    Ensemble Performance 3
    Undergraduate Research Project 2

    How to Apply

    EU Applicants

    You are advised to contact the MIC Admissions Office before applying 


    Non-EU Applicants

    Entry requirements and the application process vary according to country of origin.

    Check your country here.

    Application Information

    Intake onto this programme is once a year in September.

    Download and complete the application form, paying particular attention to the following requirements:

    • Please enclose detailed certified results and awards for all examinations mentioned in the application form (certified original documents and certified English translation where applicable).
    • Official results and award of examinations to be taken should be submitted as soon as they are available.
    • If you are from a non-English speaking country, you will be required to show evidence of a high level of competence in English as part of the application. Click here for English language requirements.
    • Please note that your application form cannot be considered unless certified results and awards are submitted.
    • When detailing result/grade/mark, please include QCA/GPA, mark or percentage relative to marking system at your university.

    Intake onto this programme is once a year in September

    You are advised to contact the MIC International Office before applying ;  

    Telephone: +353 61 204988 / 774790

    Transferring from another 3rd Level Institution

    The transfer route into MIC depends on the content overlap of your new and old course and the number of places on the new course in the year you apply. Before submitting an application you should contact where we will consider your case with the relevant Head of Department of the course you wish to transfer to.

    EU/Non-EU Status Assessments

    The designation of a student as being from the EU or a Non-EU country determines the fees they will pay at MIC, i.e. there may be cases where a non-EU national acquires EEA citizenship during the course of their third-level studies and would qualify for EU fees for example. 

    Click here for more information on EU/Non-EU assessments which will be conducted by MIC International office to determine status. 


    Fees: To check the undergraduate programme fees please click here.

    US Students please note that you can apply for Federal Aid. Click here for more information.

    Ask a Question

  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • How to Apply
  • Ask a Question