Careers in Acting

By Ethan Moser - Last update

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What is Acting? 

Acting or Drama Studies is the study of the theory and practice of becoming an actor for stage and/or screen performances. Students pursuing careers in Acting will study performance, theatre history, and production.

What 3rd Level Courses are Available? 

  • Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas: 
    • Stage Management & Technical Theatre – the study of the technical aspects of theatre such as lighting and sound design, and set/costume design. 
    • Drama Studies – the study of the practice and history of theatre and performance.
    • Playwriting – the study of writing for the stage. 

Studying Acting in College

Most first year study involves an overview of the subject. This will offer students an introduction to the foundational principles of Acting and theatre, including performance, production, and stage management. 

Depending on the focus of their Acting studies, students will likely move from exam-based modules to more hands-on production modules. Most media studies courses will combine lectures, exams, performance projects, and written practical work as benchmark assessments for students. 

Most undergraduate Acting courses in Ireland run for three or four years. In some cases universities will facilitate work or internship experience as a facet of their program. 

It is common that all performing arts-based courses will require students to complete long-term research or performance projects including a final Capstone project. This will ensure the completion of a rigorous curriculum and prepare students for postgraduate studies or for their careers in Acting. 

A bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts is adequate for many careers in Acting. For example, graduates with a bachelor’s degree may start working in theatre, television, and film. 

Career Options

Graduating from college with a degree in Acting will serve you well as it equips you with a unique and marketable skill set. A performing arts degree teaches students how to think both critically and creatively as well as equipping them with invaluable performance and communication skills. 

Many recent graduates have entered into ‘entry-level’ careers in Acting working as actors, arts administrators, and as stage managers.

Other jobs that require a higher degree of responsibility will typically require further education, training, and/or experience to qualify for. 

Related Jobs Include:

  • Actor / Actress
  • Arts Therapist
  • Choreographer
  • Presenter for TV/Radio
  • Stage Manager
  • Arts Administrator
  • Sound/Lighting Designer
  • Set/Costume Designer
  • Broadcaster
  • Director
  • Teacher/Instructor

Further Study

An undergraduate degree in Acting studies is often the first step towards further postgraduate study. Postgraduate students will often specialize in their choice of either performance, production or research. 

Visit for more information. 


  • What points do I need to study Acting?
    • Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always best that you check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or Four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, English, Irish or another language.
  • Are there any particular qualities you need to study Acting?
    • Students interested in careers in Acting will need to enjoy intense and immersive theatrical training, performance, and collaboration. You will need to be innovative, perceptive and curious as well as being able to successfully communicate your own ideas and opinions. 
  • Where can I study Acting?
    • Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Women were rarely seen on the stages of Western Europe in the Medieval Period and before. Actresses became more common during the English Restoration of 1660 because King Charles II enjoyed seeing women on stage. 
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is the only building in London still permitted to have a thatched roof after the Great Fire of 1666.
  • At London’s Palace Theatre, two seats are permanently bolted open for the theatre’s ghosts to sit in. 


Ethan Moser

Visual Media
Careers in Drama


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