The Masters in Playwriting & Dramaturgy gives you a practical and theoretical engagement with the many forms of writing and production for theatre. The programme is designed for those wishing to develop playwriting skills and knowledge of script development and support, opening the way to many theatre roles, including dramaturgy.
- Theatre Studies at Glasgow is one of the longest-established theatre programmes in the UK. Our internationally renowned reputation for research, practice and teaching ensures an ideal environment for the pursuit of Masters study.
- A significant part of the programme is delivered by professional writers and dramaturges, ensuring you engage with a wide variety of practices and that the programme content is relevant and up to date with the latest trends in theatre.
- The programme includes the opportunity for playwrights to develop a major script, through workshops and staged readings with actors and directors.
- In addition to masterclasses and workshops with external specialists, the work placement or internship builds on our long-term links and collaborations with an extensive number of theatre practitioners and arts organisations, including the National Theatre of Scotland, the Playwrights’ Studio, The Arches, the Centre for Contemporary Arts, The Tron and the Citizens’ Theatre.
- The city of Glasgow provides an unbeatable location for the programme. Glasgow is home to a huge variety of theatres and nationally significant theatre organisations that produce and show a range from the experimental and risky to the traditional and repertory, from canonical and new writing to devised and physical performance.
Our programme is the only one in Scotland that combines playwriting with dramaturgy. You will undertake core practical playwriting courses and core dramaturgy courses before choosing to specialise in one pathway.
A significant part of the programme is delivered by professional writers and dramaturges. This programme also includes the opportunity for playwrights to develop a major script, through workshops and staged readings with actors and directors.
Core teaching is delivered in two semesters, followed by an independent desk- or practice-based project.
Our core courses introduce you to the foundations of both playwriting as a craft, and dramaturgy as a historical and contemporary practice.
In addition, core courses develop other skills useful to the role of the dramaturg and the practitioner, including critical reading, writing and reflection, independent research skills (such as archival and audience research), and presentation skills.
These courses will also prepare you to pursue doctoral study in the future.
- Dramaturgy: histories and practices
- Reading and interpreting performance
- Dramaturgical work placement
- Research methods
- Independent project.
Our successful programme is currently the only one in Scotland that combines playwriting with dramaturgy. All students undertake a practical playwriting course and a dramaturgy course, before then choosing to specialise in one pathway.
This combination of playwriting and dramaturgy mirrors the reality of theatre practice. Playwriting, as a craft, inevitably engages processes of dramaturgy – including the construction, structure and form of a play. The programme design also responds to the contemporary theatre industry where playwrights are often employed to undertake dramaturgical functions. Equally, whilst dramaturges need not be playwrights, an understanding of the craft and practice of playwriting is invaluable for those operating in dramaturgical capacities. Dramaturgical roles in the theatre industries are multiple, encompassing both literary and production dramaturgy, and include Literary Management, Script Development, Adaptation and Translation, Production Research and Development, Educational Resources, and Programming.
The Playwriting & Dramaturgy programme is designed to give you practical experience and critical knowledge of writing for the theatre. Its structure ensures engagement with a wide variety of historical and contemporary plays and dramaturgical approaches. The pathways allow all students an element of choice, ensuring that those who commence the programme with little experience of playwriting have the opportunity to test their skills in this capacity; and those with greater experience of playwriting have the opportunity not only to further develop their playwriting craft, but also to consider how the skills of playwriting can be applied in other contexts within the theatre industries.
The Playwriting & Dramaturgy Programme is delivered by the subject area of Theatre, Film and Television Studies. This has been ranked as one of the top ten in the UK. Our facilities include a studio theatre and a large flexible-stage theatre seating over 200 spectators, alongside a 140-seat cinema. We are part of the School of Culture and Creative Arts. Other subject areas in the School are Music, History of Art and Cultural Policy. This combination of subjects allows for vibrant interdisciplinarity and the exchange of creative practices and knowledge. The School is home to more than a hundred taught postgraduate students, many of them leading and delivering postgraduate student activities (including film screenings, reading groups and symposia). Theatre Studies has a friendly and approachable team of permanent staff, with interests ranging from Scottish and German Theatre to Shakespeare to Ecological Performance to Devising and Physical Theatre. All Theatre Studies staff contribute to the Playwriting & Dramaturgy programme, engaging their own areas of research expertise to ensure that students are introduced to cutting edge ideas. The friendliness of both staff and students ensures there is a thriving and welcoming teaching, learning and research culture.
Regular seminars and events with invited speakers introduce students and staff alike to key debates and influential practitioners. Recent speakers have included Robert Sturm, the Artistic Director of Tanztheater Pina Bausch Wuppertal, performance artists Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Kira O’Reilly, and academic practitioners Elinor Fuchs and John Hall. These are in addition to ongoing visiting speaker seminars offered across the College of Arts (open to all students), as well as events programmed by other institutions in the city (including Friday lectures at the Glasgow School of Art, post-show discussions, workshops, symposia and artists talks).
The city of Glasgow provides an unbeatable location for the Playwriting & Dramaturgy Programme. Glasgow is home to a huge variety of theatres that between them programme and produce show that range from the experimental and risky to the traditional and repertory, from canonical and new writing to devised and physical performance. Venues include:
Many of these venues have multiple spaces, allowing them to programme main house shows alongside more intimate, studio events. On any given night of the week, you will be spoilt for choice; thankfully, the price of tickets is extremely reasonable, with all venues offering student discounts. Many of our students are also to be found working as ushers or front of house staff.
Glasgow is the base for a number of nationally significant theatre organisations too, including the National Theatre of Scotland, the Playwrights Studio, Ankur Arts, Vanishing Point and Theatre Cryptic. The city also hosts annual theatre and performance festivals including: Mayfesto - a season of political theatre; Glasgay! – the LGBT arts festival; Behaviour – a festival of new work; and New Territories, a festival of live art. Located only 45 minutes by train from Edinburgh, over the month of August you can easily make regular trips through to the Edinburgh Festival (a much more economical way of attending!).
The programme is designed in two pathways, with students taking shared, core courses alongside options. Core teaching is delivered in Semesters 1 and 2, with Term 3 dedicated to an independent project.
- Core courses are: Playwriting 1, Debating Dramaturgy 1, Debating Dramaturgy 2 and Research Methods.
- Optional courses – you can select to undertake either Reading and Interpreting Performance or Contemporary Devising Practices.
- Pathway courses are: Playwriting 2 OR Dramaturgy Placement.
- An independent project is completed during the final phase of the course, from April to September.
Our core courses introduce you to the foundations of both playwriting as a craft, and dramaturgy as a historical and contemporary practice. In addition, core courses develop other skills useful to the role of the dramaturg and the practitioner, including critical reading, writing and reflection, independent research skills (such as archival and audience research), and presentation skills. These courses also prepare students who may wish to pursue doctoral study in the future. As a good working knowledge of plays (texts and productions) is essential for both the practicing playwright and dramaturg, courses engage with a diverse range of dramatic texts and their stagings.
For Playwriting 1, you write a short play as well as a script report. For Debating Dramaturgy 1 you deliver an oral presentation and produce an essay on a selected topic relating to the history or contemporary practice of dramaturgy in the UK, Europe or the USA. Assessment for Reading and Interpreting Performance comprises an oral presentation and an essay that uses close reading of play texts or production histories. For Debating Dramaturgy 2, you engage in a number of workshop events and complete a research journal mapping your learning, alongside an essay on a question that can be devised by you. Research Methods provides an opportunity for you to scope out a research project, which you may then seek to complete in your independent research project.
The Playwriting and Dramaturgy Programme is designed to allow you to engage with both playwriting and dramaturgy as practices. All students complete the Playwriting 1 course in Semester 1. In Semester 2, you then decide whether to undertake advanced playwriting or an applied dramaturgical project, via a work placement.
- Playwriting 2 is an advanced playwriting course. Students are mentored one-to-one by a professional playwright, working towards developing a full-length play for the stage. At a mid-point in the development process, plays are given a reading by professional actors, facilitated by a professional director.
- Dramaturgy Placement allows students to develop and apply their dramaturgical skills within a real context. The focus of the work placement is determined, as far as possible, by the interests of the student. Previous work placements have included working as a Production Dramaturg for the Director of the Citizens’ Theatre (Hamlet); archiving and organising a database of plays written by writers resident in Scotland (for the Playwrights’ Studio); working with a group of young people to develop a new play (Ankur Productions). The experience of the placement is captured in a reflective portfolio.
Independent Research Project
The IRP offers you a range of opportunities to explore something of interest to you, applying an appropriate methodology. For example, you may choose to produce a 15,000 word dissertation, undertaking primary and secondary research in the pursuit of new knowledge that relates to the fields of playwriting and dramaturgy; or you may choose to undertake a more applied project, for example, producing a Teacher’s Pack to accompany a touring production of Peter Pan; or you may choose to further practice your playwriting skills.
Teaching methods are determined by the different needs of the courses and include seminars, one-to-one tutorials, placements and workshops. They are delivered by staff in Theatre Studies, alongside professional practitioners. The playwriting courses are both delivered by professional practitioners, whilst other practitioners are invited to contribute workshops to Debating Dramaturgy 2. Other occasional workshops, seminars and events are organised throughout the year by both staff and students. Students also have the opportunity to audit other courses, as appropriate. Students are encouraged to create opportunities for informal peer support outside teaching hours.
Practitioners, Processes, Professions
Theatre Studies runs a strand of workshops/seminars under the title ‘Practitioners, Processes, Professions’. We regularly invite practitioners to discuss their work with students and staff, and often to accompany these discussions with a 3-hour workshop for interested students.
In recent years, visiting practitioners have included:
- Euan Downey, Polish Laboratory Theatre
- Nic Green, performance artist/director
- Guillermo Gómez-Peña, international performance artist
- Ben Harrison, Grid Iron theatre company
- Adrian Howells, performance artist
- Stewart Laing, international director and artistic director Untitled Productions
- Kira O'Reilly, UK-based artist
- Tian Qinxin, theatre director, National Theatre of China
- Anthony Schrag, performance artist
- Reckless Sleepers, performance company
- Robert Sturm, Artistic Director of Tanz Theater Pina Bausch Wuppertal
Theatre Studies Research Seminars
The Theatre Studies Research seminars are held three to four times during term-time, and host papers from visiting speakers and distinguished scholars, as well as profiling on-going research by staff from within the Subject group. The seminar series provides a forum within which postgraduate students and staff can meet to discuss and debate current research in the fields of drama, theatre and performance studies. Each session offers an interdisciplinary context for discussion.
In previous years guest speakers at the Theatre Studies Research Seminar series have included:
Lucy Weir, History of Art, University of Glasgow: In Vogue: The Evolution of 20th Century Contemporary Dance: a lecture/demonstration with Ruth Mills
Professor John Hall, University College Falmouth: Practising and essaying near the sign of Performance Writing
David Grant, Queen’s University, Belfast: ‘Living in the Moment’: time, space, the arts and dementia
Robert Sturm, Artistic Director of Tanztheater Pina Bausch Wuppertal: The Work of Pina Bausch
Dr Anna Birch, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RCS): Repetition and performativity: multi layered fresco as living monument
Professor Elinor Fuchs, Yale School of Drama: Postdramatic theatre and its discontents: the future of a theory
Dr. David Williams, Royal Holloway, University of London: Lone Twin Theatre’s Catastrophe Trilogy
The programme is team-taught by University staff and external specialists --
The core members of the teaching team in Theatre Studies are:
Other internal Theatre Studies staff members include:
The playwriting elements of the programme are taught by:
Graham is a theatre maker who also works in visual arts and film. He co-founded Suspect Culture theatre company in 1992 with writer David Greig, and was Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Suspect Culture from 1995 until the company ended in 2009. During this time Graham directed and occasionally performed in fifteen productions for the company which gained an international reputation for high-quality, innovative new work. His most recent projects include directing HeLa by Adura Onahsile which won Scottish Arts Club Best Scottish Production at the Edinburgh Fringe, and The Making of Us, an interdisciplinary collaboration with artist Graham Fagen for Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2012. The film of The Making of Us premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013.
Douglas has been one of the most popular and produced playwrights in Scotland for over a decade. His plays have also been performed in translation in Germany, Norway, Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, Holland, Sweden, South Korea and Japan. Douglas’ work in the last few years includes Promises Promises (which transferred to New York under the title The Promise in 2011, where it earned a Drama Desk Award Nomination for the actress Joanna Tope); a 10th Anniversary revival of the award winning Decky Does a Bronco; a version of Wedekind's Spring Awakening for the Traverse; The Miracle Man for the NTS, and Small Town, written with DC Jackson and Johnny McKnight for Random Accomplice. His short play, A Respectable Widow Takes To Vulgarity was read as part of The Traverse Theatre’s “Dream Play” series during the Edinburgh Fringe 2012. For a more detailed biography click here.
Collaborations, Placements and Guest practitioners:
In addition to the staff members above, students benefit from collaborations with and dramaturgy placements at local and national theatre companies and arts organisations. Previous students on the programme have, for example, undertaken placements at: The Arches, the CCA, The Citizens’ Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland, Òran Mór, Playwrights’ Studio Scotland, The Traverse, and The Tron Theatre. Students also benefit from dramaturgy workshops and masterclasses facilitated by professional practitioners – guest workshop facilitators have included Graham Eatough (theatre director and former Artistic Director of Suspect Culture), Adrian Howells (performance artist), and Pamela McQueen (dramaturg).
Our facilities include a studio theatre and a large flexible-stage theatre seating over 200 spectators, alongside a 140 seat cinema.
James Arnott Theatre
The Theatre, named in memory of the founding Head of Drama, has a capacity of 182 in studio-theatre format. It has a large wire-mesh 'trampoline' lighting grid installed, the only example of its kind in Scotland and one of only three in the UK. Lighting and sound are fully computerised.
This space is equipped with lighting and sound facilities and may be used as a rehearsal room or where practical work such as video production, theatre direction, playwriting, design or stage management can take place.
Andrew Stewart Cinema
The Cinema is used for lectures and screenings. The following media can be projected:
- 35mm film
- 16mm film
- Mini DV
- Computer data
We have 2 non-linear digital video edit suites installed in the building in recognition of the fact that TFTS have been developing a need for high-quality, digital editing facilities to be accessible on-demand by students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, working on Video Production Projects or on Multimedia Production and moving-image digitisation assignments of various kinds.
Both suites are of a similar specification:
- 27" iMac
- 3TB external HDD
- Super drive
- Final Cut Pro X
- Adobe Creative Cloud suite (Premiere Pro, Photoshop, After Effects, etc)
- Wireless keyboard and mouse
One suite also has a VHS deck for capturing from that format.
The Resources Room (RR) is an indispensable part of our teaching, learning and research environment. It provides a suitable environment, encouraging student users to take increased responsibility for their own learning while supporting them in the development of approaches to independent study and the acquisition of 'transferable' skills. It also provides a flexible infrastructure within which methods of teaching and assessment related to information technology can be introduced.
The RR consists of 19 fully networked PCs, 12 TV/VHS workstations with DVD and digital satellite viewing also available, and an extensive, fully computerised video library (VHS/DVD) of over 6000 items including feature films, television programmes, cinema shorts, recorded theatrical performances, extracts and documentaries relating to a wide range of cinema, broadcasting and theatre activity.
Why did you choose this course?
The MLitt Playwriting and Dramaturgy course offered a challenging and exciting blend of academic knowledge and practical experience, with a work placement and a playwriting module, creating a lot of professional contacts for students.
What did you enjoy the most about being a student at Glasgow?
The stimulating environment with close access to staff and visiting practitioners benefiting from their expertise in debating current theory and practice.
What is your current job?
I am currently at University of Leeds as a PhD researcher on a St John York University studentship. I also maintain some freelance dramaturgical work developing new plays in collaboration with artists and mentoring new writers.
Why did you choose this course?
Because I am a writer and wanted to learn more about the discipline of playwriting, whilst also learning more about theatre as a whole.
What did you enjoy the most about being a student at Glasgow?
The general atmosphere of Glasgow as a city, the vibrant and eclectic theatre scene, exploring the extensive library, and the friendly atmosphere of the campus and its staff and students.
How do you think your degree and your experience at the University of Glasgow has helped with your career?
It has helped me to feel more confident about my writing. It has also opened up lots of doors in terms of the types of theatre projects I now feel able to apply for, and has also left me with the desire to one day return to academia.
for entry in 2015
Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject unless otherwise specified.
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.5
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 22 with Speaking no less than 23
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 176
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 176
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 64; minimum 62 in writing
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: email@example.com
Tuition fees for 2016-17
|Home and EU|
|Full time fee||£6950|
|Part time 20 credits||£772|
|Full time fee||£15250|
Fees are subject to change and for guidance only
The design of the Playwriting & Dramaturgy programme is intended to develop both the practical and critical skills of students. There is both subject-specific development (including knowledge of playwriting as a craft and dramaturgy as a role, working knowledge of the playwriting process, in-depth knowledge of plays and processes of textual and production analyses) alongside more generic skills development (including presentation skills – written and oral, a capacity for critical reflection, project management, team work, and independent research skills).
The role of the dramaturg is becoming increasingly recognised within the theatre industries, as is the capacity of playwrights to apply their skills and knowledge to other tasks (including, for example, providing script development support for emerging writers). This programme aims to equip playwrights and potential dramaturges with knowledge of other writing roles in theatre.
The critical components of this programme also provide a good foundation for students wishing to progress to doctoral study.
Graduates of this programme have gone on to become commissioned playwrights, production dramaturges, theatre critics, literary advisors, doctoral students, theatre makers and academics.
We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.
You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.
Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?
Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.
Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?
No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.
What documents do I need to provide to make an application?
As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:
- A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
- A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
- Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
- Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
- Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
- Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
- A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?
Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.
How do I provide my references?
You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?
If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.
You may send them to:
Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
Fax: +44 141 330 4045
Can I email my supporting documents?
No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.
What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?
You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.
What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?
If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.
Guidance notes for using the online application
These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.
- Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
- Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
- Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
- Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
- Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
- English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
- Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
- References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.
Standard application deadlines
- International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016
- UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016
Classes start September 2016 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.