UCC Undergraduate courses

Theatre & Performative Practices

Course Fact File
Duration3/4 years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesStudent Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.
CAO Points2023: 341
CAO Points Range2023: 341-613

Course Outline

Our BA (Hons) Theatre & Performative Practices degree at University College Cork (UCC) is a window to the exciting world of theatre and performance. Our programme explores the world of theatre and the wide spectrum of performance: such as dance, outdoor performance, and music theatre. Our teaching focuses on three key themes:

  1. Making theatre
  2. Theatre for change
  3. The business of theatre and performance production

You will create and make work: indeed, you usually devise, perform and evaluate your own material, rather than putting on existing plays. You will also learn how theatre can engage with and respond to cultural change. We also look at the business side of theatre production through study and internships.

These core strands of teaching are supported by an exciting voyage into the history of theatre, the kinds of ideas and theories and underpin theatre, and what theatre can do for you, for society, and for culture. This is a broad-based degree, that seeks to leverage your creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, is taught by researchers, makers, and practitioners. Practical workshops and classes, alongside academic study and passionate argument, are at the core of your learning. You will have the chance to perform, create work, direct, and be involved in the technical development of productions as well as debate and examine ideas and theories.

Why UCC?

Here at UCC, we believe in your artistic potential. Our teaching encourages you to explore, expand, and refine your skills, knowledge, tastes, and critical thinking. UCC’s heritage as a top global university, and its courageous stance toward the future, form the perfect integrated backdrop for how we teach and research, and for how you will navigate your time with us and imagine new futures for us all.

Our faculty at the Department of Theatre include prolific performance and interdisciplinary artists; experienced project managers; casting directors and producers; applied youth and educational theatre specialists; deep-thinking theorists; and refined skills teachers. We have close links with leading theatres both abroad, and at the local level, including the Everyman Theatre, the Triskel Arts Centre, and Firkin Crane, among others. The UCC Granary Theatre is located right beside the department and our unique partnership with the Cork Opera House provides a range of dynamic performance opportunities and learning and internship possibilities.

We are also an unusually interdisciplinary department where you will be able to study from a range of arts subjects to degree level. This programme allows you to choose between a single or joint subject degree, as well as engage in public events, performances, and research collaborations with creative artists through our interdisciplinary research centre.

Degree Pathways & Modules

Ultimately there are four possible pathways from CK112 Theatre and Performative Practices and all pathways take the same core modules in Year 1.

Year 1: All incoming CK112 Theatre and Performative Practices students take a Joint Honours pathway in first year, from either

  • 50% Theatre modules and 50% other Arts subjects


  • Theatre & Music – 50% Theatre modules & 50% Music modules

Important Note: Students who wish to take Theatre & Performative Practices with Music must also complete the Music audition - details will be provided as part of the Theatre Admission process.

Core modules for all pathways:

  • DR1005 Performative Writing: Dramaturgy (Part I) (5 credits)
  • DR1006 Performative Writing: Dramaturgy (Part II) (5 credits)
  • DR1007 Introduction: Theatre and Performative Practice (10 Credits)
  • DR1009 Performance in Culture (5 credits)
  • DR1010 Cultures of Performance Practice (5 credits)


Choose two Arts Subjects (15 credits each) from groups 3, 4, 5, & 6. 50% Theatre modules and 50% other Arts subjects pathway


Year 1 Arts Subjects Group Table


ArchaeologyChinese StudiesGermanLatinMathematicsMathematical StudiesPolitics


FrenchSociologyStudies in Music


EconomicsEnglishGreekBéaloideasReligions and Global Diversity




Celtic CivilisationPhilosophySpanish

*Groups 6(a) and 6(b): Students may not combine Italian with Celtic Civilisation or Philosophy in Year 2.  Students may not combine Geography with Celtic Civilisation, Philosophy or Spanish in Year 2.

Theatre and Performative Practices with Music

Year 1 Theatre and Performative Practices with Music students take Theatre and Performative Practices (30 credits) with Music (30 credits) and continue with this joint pathway in second and subsequent years. Students who wish to take Theatre & Performative Practices with Music must also complete the Music audition - details will be provided as part of Theatre Admission process.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Why Choose This Course

I really enjoyed learning from professionals in various theatrical and academic fields, forming bonds with my classmates and just getting to spend so much time in the Theatre Lab...

Maxine Acton-Carey, Graduate

Find Out More
It's active, participative, on your feet learning...

Fionn Woodhouse, Lecturer, Department of Theatre

Find Out More
I loved my time at UCC and the Theatre Department taught me so much about just how much theatre there is to learn. I’ll always be thankful ...

Mary Condon O’Connor, Graduate

Find Out More
It was a safety net without ever being a comfort zone. I wouldn't be the same person I am now without that course. I'll never forget its title: CK112...

Stefanie Preissner, Graduate & Writer-Director

I could carve my own path of study in terms of module choice and be led by deeply passionate teachers...

Julie Kelleher, Graduate & Artistic Director

My advice to anybody thinking about doing this course is to be open to new experiences and to look at and understand theatre through different lenses...

Bridget Hisako Brabazon, Student

Find Out More
The balance between theatre modules & those of the minor subject was ideal for me, and the blend of theoretical and practical elements made for a good grounding to begin to understand theatre more...

Fern Kealy, Student

Find Out More

This is a unique degree. It is both scholarly and performative:

  • It offers both a joint- and single honours degree in Theatre and Performative Practices and another Arts subject such as English, Music, Languages, Maths, etc.
  • It is committed to excellence in teaching and national and international research, housing an interdisciplinary research centre in performance practices
  • It is dedicated to the teaching of theatre and performative practices alongside theoretical and critical approaches in the field.
  • It has use of excellent facilities alongside UCC's main campus (comprising the Granary Theatre, studio space, drama lab, and seminar rooms).
  • It has close connections with local, national, and international theatres as well as national and international cultural organisations. Our graduates are pursuing careers in the theatre, television, and film industry and also in the field of applied theatre, including community theatre and education.

Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Performance Practices

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Performance Practices (CIR) was initiated by the Department of Theatre at UCC; it brings together the various research interests of our department colleagues and embraces the world of theatre in all its manifestations.

Connected Curriculum

We encourage innovative teaching and learning practices at UCC. This learning approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between disciplines across the Theatre & Arts programme.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study abroad: If you select the International pathway, you will spend Year 3 studying at one of our numerous partner universities in Europe, North America, or Asia.

Work placement: There are a number of options for work placement both in the summer prior to and during your final year. There are also supported options through CACSSS Professional Work Experience. This module offers preparatory training, a work placement organised by the UCC Careers Office, and post-placement follow-up.

Skills and Careers Information

The UCC Employment and Employability Guide note that University College Cork (UCC) graduates are highly sought-after by employers. Our graduates go on to the widest range of careers after this study. From theatre performance and production to video-making; from stage and screen to arts administration; from teaching at primary and secondary levels to giving workshops in the community; from the social services and youth theatre to digital art and coding: our students succeed. Many students pursue postgraduate study.

You will have an opportunity to elect to study our international pathways and spend your third year abroad. Our partnerships open up opportunities in Denmark, Germany, Malta, France, Canada, the US, Mexico, and beyond, in English or in other languages.   

UCC has a long and established theatre tradition and our alumni include some outstanding examples of this tradition, and include:

  • Cillian Murphy (actor)
  • Fiona Shaw (actor)
  • Graham Norton (TV presenter/actor/writer)
  • Jessica Reagan (National Theatre, London)
  • John Crowley (theatre & film director)
  • Lochlainn McKenna (music video director)
  • Oonagh Kearney (film director)
  • Ray Scannell (composer/actor Abbey Theatre)
  • Stefanie Preissner (writer/actor/director)
  • Thomas Conway (Druid Theatre Co.)
  • Tom Creed (Festival, Theatre and Opera director)

Postgraduate Study Options

This BA (Hons) degree also qualifies you to explore exciting postgraduate options, at home and abroad. Some UCC options include:

Music (HDip in Arts)

MA Theatre & Performative Practices

MA Music & Cultural History

MA Music - Ethnomusicology

MA Experimental Sound Practice

MA Arts Management & Creative Producing

See the postgraduate study page for CACSSS graduates for more information on a vast array of postgraduate programmes including PhD options for CACSSS graduates.


Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements

At least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H5 in two subjects and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

EnglishIrishOther Language
O6/H7 O6/H7 O6/H7
Additional Requirements

This is a restricted programme, all applicants must apply to the CAO on or before 1 February in the year of entry. Late applications cannot be considered.

All applicants are required to pass an Admission Interview and will be called for this automatically once the application is made through the CAO. The Admission Interview is usually held in March and again in April and May of the incoming year.

Students who wish to take Theatre & Performative Practices with Music must first apply through the CAO for Theatre & Performative Practices (CK112). In addition to the normal CAO requirements, such students must also satisfy the Professor of Music and the College that they are capable of successfully completing the Music component of the programme by taking and passing a Music test. Music tests happen in April – please contact the Music Department at music@ucc.ie to book your test.

EU/EFTA/UK Qualifications

EU/EFTA/UK applicants presenting an equivalent school-leaving qualification should review the EU/EFTA/UK Applicants page for information on equivalent grades and how to prove their level of English.

Mature Students

To compete through the mature entry route, applicants must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the application year and apply online via the CAO by 1 February. The application should include a statement of interest, and prospective students must also apply for and sit the Mature Student Evaluation (MSE) test as well as those in the Additional Requirements above.

Further information on applying as a mature student is available on the Mature Applicants and Mature Student Entry support pages. 


Applicants who meet the required level of distinctions in required subjects can apply for entry to this course using specific QQI FET qualifications. Please review the Programme Requirements on our Information for QQI FET Applicants page for information on related QQI courses, and visit Access UCC’s QQI/FET Entry section for further support. 

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact