Postgraduate taught 

Playwriting & Dramaturgy MLitt

21st Century Theatre in Britain: New Writing in Context THEATRE5039

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will provide a snapshot of significant 21st century playwriting trends and developments in Britain, studying the work of a range of emerging playwrights, established names that continue to produce innovative theatre, and lesser-known voices. We will examine how new writing across Britain has thematically, formally and methodologically responded to urgent issues in our historical moment.


10x3hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus

Excluded Courses

THEATRE4090: 21st Century Theatre in Britain




Individual/Group Presentation (15-20 minutes) - 30%

Essay (3500 words) - 70%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The course aims to:


■ Introduce students to key texts and figures in 21st century playwriting across Britain.

■ Enhance students' understanding of the relationship between contemporary playwriting in Britain and the historical, cultural and artistic context in which the plays studied were written and staged.

■ Provide students with knowledge of key concepts and debates in theatre, cultural and political theory associated with the works studied.

■ Develop students' skills of dramaturgical analysis and engagement with theory.

■ Develop students' critical reflection on the politics of canon formation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Recognise, describe and critique at an advanced level new trends and developments in 21st century playwriting in Britain, with clear awareness of the historical and artistic contexts in which these emerged.

■ Identify and appraise current critical theories and debates appropriate to the study of 21st century playwriting in Britain, and to mobilise these theoretical frameworks rigorously and critically in their assessments.

■ Construct detailed dramaturgical analyses of case studies in 21st century playwriting in Britain in oral/written assessments.

■ Present their ideas clearly, coherently and persuasively in oral and written form, following scholarly conventions as appropriate.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.