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The University of Edinburgh: Playwriting

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
Telephone 0131 650 4360
Study type Taught


Led by award-winning playwright, director and dramaturge Nicola McCartney, our MSc in Playwriting offers a high level of contact with the theatre industry. It will appeal to emerging playwrights, directors, dramaturges, performance artists and critics.

The programme focuses not only on the craft of writing for performance, but also on how a script plays out in real space and time, and in front of an audience.

You will be taught through a dynamic combination of seminars, workshops, one-to-one supervision and professional masterclasses by some of Europe’s leading playwrights and theatre artists.

Previous collaborators include world famous and award-winning practitioners such as:

  • Cora Bissett

  • Sir Michael Boyd

  • Gregory Burke

  • Kai Fischer

  • Tanika Gupta

  • Philip Howard

  • Rosie Kellagher

  • Lucy Kirkwood

  • Matthew Lenton

  • Linda McLean

  • Orla O'Loughlin

  • Adura Onashile

  • Robin Soanes

  • John Tiffany

A core component of the degree is a series of workshops, facilitated by Playwrights' Studio Scotland, to develop your own work with professional actors and directors.

Why Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a theatre city, home to the world’s largest theatre festival and a lively, thriving and diverse year-round theatre scene.

As a student on the Playwriting MSc programme, you will benefit from established links with leading theatres and organisations, including:

  • Traverse Theatre (Scotland’s new writing theatre)

  • the Royal Lyceum (one of the UK’s leading repertory theatres)

  • Playwrights' Studio Scotland

The University of Edinburgh has a long and rich tradition of student drama. Based in Bedlam Theatre, the oldest student-run theatre in the UK, the Edinburgh University Theatre Company has helped to develop an array of outstanding theatrical talent over the years, with alumni making reputations and careers in professional theatre.

By the end of the programme, you will have written at least two short works and one full-length piece for live performance.


University of Edinburgh 


Be open to possibilities. Be open to the extraordinary.
The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 15th in the 2023 QS World University Rankings Our entrepreneurial and cross-disciplinary culture attracts students and staff from across the globe, creating a unique Edinburgh experience. Whatever excites you, whatever your ambition, whatever makes you ‘you’, we know one thing; nothing ordinary comes from this extraordinary place.

Our students have been making an impact on the world for more than 400 years. Each year is different – every …

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