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Research Centre

Since opening in 2009, the Friel Theatre and Centre for Theatre Research consolidates the reputation of Drama at Queen’s which was acknowledged by the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise that rated the majority of our research as world-leading or internationally excellent and ranked our unit in the top ten.

Research in Drama comprises critical and practice-based methods and whilst recent activities and outputs primarily relate to Irish theatre, dramaturgy, post-conflict performance and applied theatre, our cluster specialisms also include theatre history and historiography, practice-as-research, theatre and medical ethics, modern European, and American drama. A number of academic staff have extensive professional experience working in the theatre industry and our department has superb connections to all local theatre institutions, companies, archives and arts organizations.

Drama at Queen’s has also been active in developing international networks that support and disseminate research, such as our Belfast-Sarajevo Initiative, operated in conjunction with the Academy for Performing Arts in Sarajevo. We have also hosted number of Fulbright, Leverhulme and Distinguished Visiting scholars. The Friel Theatre and Centre for Theatre Research has also hosted several international conferences as well as touring productions from around the world with a view to establishing the Centre as one of the foremost facilities in Ireland and the UK.

Currently, we have 16 full-time Ph.D. students, most of whom are in receipt of external research awards, and our successful MA programme continues to grow in size and is increasingly attracting international students to provide well-qualified candidates for PhD study. Our students are fully integrated into postgraduate activities at the School of Creative Arts, playing an active role in the development of graduate conferences and research seminars.

Our vibrant graduate community contributes strongly to Drama’s thriving research culture and in the last three years we have hosted several major international conferences and festivals examining the work of Brian Friel, Stewart Parker, Samuel Beckett as well as on the wider topics of Translation, Dramaturgy, Theatre and Visual Art, Queer Theatre/Performance, and Post-Conflict Legacies in Northern Ireland, South Africa and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Although still a relatively young subject within the Humanities curriculum at Queen’s, Drama has already been awarded grants from research councils, including several MA and PhD awards from the last AHRC Block Grant Partnership, as well as from various other arts and media bodies. Drama has also secured a number of other prestigious awards through endowments and successful fund-raising, including the Brian Friel MA and PhD awards and several MA and Travel Bursary Awards funded by Michael Palin.

  • For general enquiries about applying for Ph.D. study, please contact Dr Paul Murphy
  • For general enquiries about our Taught MA programme in Drama and Performance Studies, please contact the MA Convenor Dr Mark Phelan
  • For general enquiries about our Taught MA programme in Arts Management, please contact the MA Convenor Ali fitzgibbon
    Senior Lecturer in Arts Management and Cultural Policy