Undergraduate (BA)

There is no theatrical production without dramaturgy. None. Zero. Zip. Nada.
The question is merely how it gets done, and by whom.

Michael Mark Chamers

About the programme in general

Three year undergraduate Dramaturgy Studies programme is the only programme of study in Croatia dedicated to playwriting and screenwriting, theoretical and practical dramaturgy, and its interdisciplinarity and methodological diversity, but also the range of perspectives it opens to its students are placing it amongst the leading Dramaturgy programmes in the international context.

Dramaturgy Studies have been founded in 1978 on the initiative of Ranko Marinković, and theatre director and theoretician Dr Vladan Švacov. The Studies were at the time already conceived as a programme for theoretical and practical research of “drama phenomena” in theatre and film, for writing plays and scripts, therefore as a link of a sort between Theatre and Film Studies. During its 30 year history Dramaturgy Studies went through several reforms. Starting from the late 1990s the Studies started to widen the range of issues and educational and research areas to include Contemporary Dance, Music Theatre, Performance Art, hybrid Postdramatic forms, Performance Activism, interdisciplinary, collaborative and New Media practices, Performance Studies and Performing Arts Criticism. During the implementation of the so-called Bologna Process, the Department has defined and launched a unique area of artistic and theoretical reseach – Dramaturgy of Performance.

Many distinguished scholars and artists were teaching at the Dramaturgy Department, including members of The Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts Nikola Batušić, Vlatko Pavletić and Nedjeljko Fabrio, writers Ivan Kušan and Ranko Marinković, film director and screenwriter Zvonimir Berković, already mentioned Vladan Švacov, writer Martina Aničić, and Professor Emeritus Vjeran Zuppa.

Amongst the alumni of our Department there are leading playwrights, screenwriters, dramaturgs, theatre and film directors of Croatian theatre and cinema, many of them internationally acknowledged. Let us mention some of them: Pavlica Bajsić, Goran Ferčec, Miro Gavran, Ivana Ivković, Lada Kaštelan, Goran Sergej Pristaš, Ivana Sajko, Asja Srnec Todorović, Katja Šimunić, Tena Štivičić, Dubravka Vrgoč, Tomislav Zajec and others.

About academic staff

Interdisciplinarity of Dramaturgy Studies is also reflected in the academic staff list at the Dramaturgy Department, artists and scholars who confirm the relevance and excellence of their work, both on and off stage, in Croatia and abroad, with publications in Croatian and foreign languages, as recipients of numerous awards and grants, for leading local and international research and educational projects. The range and diversity of competences, experiences and interests of the academic staff at the Dramaturgy Department offers students a wealth of opportunities to gain knowledge, develop skills and proficiencies in various aspects of dramaturgical calling, from playwriting to theatre criticism, from theoretical thinking to organization of artistic community, from adaptation, i.e. dramatization of original prose to creative production, from dance dramaturgy to TV and film screenwriting.

About the study programme

In the course of conception and implementation of the study programme, special attention was paid to the correlation and balance of artistic and practical with theoretical and scholarly approach, as well as to the revisions of programme in accordance with current discussions in artistic production and scientific research. Apart from the curriculum of main artistic modules (Dramatic Writing, Screenwriting, Writing for Performance and Analytical Writing), and main theoretical and vocational modules (Dramatology, History of Theatre and Drama, Film Theory, Film History and Radiophony), students can also choose from a range of elective modules of various focus and approaches (theoretical, practical, scientific, interdisciplinary) by the academic staff from Dramaturgy Department, and offered by other departments of the Academy, Faculty of Philosophy and other educational units of the University in Zagreb.

Professional dramaturgical work is inevitably characterized by collaboration with colleagues from other artistic fields. Besides motivating their individual work and authorial voice, students are also encouraged to engage in practical collaboration with students of Theatre and Film Directing starting from the first year of undergraduate studies, as well as to develop their own projects. The projects are discussed in the framework of specific modules and can be carried through at the Academy or in the program of collaboration with theatres and cultural centres in Zagreb.

During the study, the Department organizes a series of workshops and lectures of internationally prominent dramaturgs, writers, theoreticians and scholars.

On future prospects after graduating

Dramaturgy students gain their first experiences in artistic production already during their studies, via student practice and internship or assistance on various projects in the framework of the Academy and outside of it. The Dramaturgy Department collaborates with a range of institutions and organizations, such as theatres, institutes and festivals, film production companies and festivals, TV and radio stations, publishing houses, newspapers and Internet media, theatre, performance and dance companies. Successful students work as dramaturgs in theatrical institutions and independent companies, as university professors, researchers at scientific institutions, journalists and editors in the media and academic journals, screenwriters on TV, but also freelance artists (playwrights, screenwriters, dramaturgs), independent critics and theoreticians, directors, choreographers and performers.

Students about the Course

Dramaturgy Studies have enabled me a wider understanding of theatrical and film art through both theoretical and analytical approach and practical aspect of artistic work. Accordingly, and also thanks to the wideness of the field of dramaturgy itself, Dramaturgy Programme constructs a deep and detailed insight for the student into the possibilities of one’s own artistic and intellectual development through constant intermixing of theory and practice, film and theatre, classical and contemporary.

Dino Pešut, 3rd year student of BA Dramaturgy

Dramaturgy Course offers a wide theoretical approach to theatre and film art and encourages practical use of the knowledge gained. Due to a diversity of the Course and various studying methods, there is a variety of different jobs available to the dramaturg. Dramaturgy Course provides students with enough space to create their own authorial poetic, but also enables her or him to get acquainted with, and to collaborate on various academic projects with students from other departments of the Academy od Drama Art.

Ivan Penović, 2nd year student of BA Dramaturgy

Applying to Study Dramaturgy

Admission exams are taking place twice a year – in Summer and Autumn. The exam consists of two rounds:

  • After the first round the exam board, basing its decision on the assesment of submitted written works, shortlists applicants for the second round.
  • During the second round the applicants are expected to pass a general knowledge test, write an essay on specific themes that will be confirmed at the time, solve a problem in the field of practical dramaturgy and take an oral exam with the board.

All aspects of the admission exam will be assessed, and the total points gained by the end of the second round will determine the successful applicants. Every year we accept up to 6 local and 3 international students.


Please access the schedule for all semesters here.


The list of modules can be accessed here.