January in Ireland, Scotland and England

Unique, eccentric, attractive and intriguing – are just a few words to describe the cities of Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stratford and London. Combine this with a plethora of interesting history, art and culture and you have the perfect study tour for Shakespearean and drama students!

Program Overview

On the January in Ireland, Scotland and England program, you will visit 5 significant and historic cities in 17 nights, including a week in London – one of the most visited cities in the world!

Bringing Theatre to Life

Plays and playwrights are not bound by time or geographically drawn borders. They speak to each other and influence each other across time and space. This program will focus on major playwrights, both historical and contemporary, of arguably the greatest theatrical tradition of all time – that of England, Ireland, and Scotland. From Shakespeare to writers like Synge, O’Casey, and Shaw to modern playwrights like Martin McDonagh, Carol Ann Duffy, David Hare and Caryl Churchill, students will look at what made those playwrights so influential in their own time, as well as how they continue to influence contemporary writers.

Studying Shakespeare

Special attention will be paid to Shakespeare as a writer for the stage and a man of the theatre, with visits to theatres to hear and see plays, backstage tours, and critical discussions of directorial, design and acting choices.

Art and Culture

From London’s eye-catching buildings to Stratford’s green landscape, and to Dublin and Edinburgh’s distinct charm, you will explore a diverse range of art and culture while taking in the compelling history of the British Isles. You will be amazed by London’s unique sense of style – there is so much to see in just 1 week, including the magnificent Big Ben, the famous Tower of London, Piccadilly Circus and Westminster Abbey – just to name a few. The home of the great wordsmith is also sure to impress – the eccentric city of Stratford and its green landscape will add warmth to your study-tour. The cobblestone streets of Dublin and Edinburgh will lead to museums, libraries, historic pubs, trendy bars and restaurants and exclusive shops, surrounded by beautiful architecture.

Meet the Professor

Dr. David Hay, a professor at the University of San Diego for 26 years, has a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring to the table. His career in professional theatre spans 32 years and includes directing more than 70 productions across England. Dr Hay’s impressive career also extends to the publication of two books, including a drama textbook.

Want more?

This January academic travelling program finishes mid-January, allowing you time to set off for another adventure and explore some of the same locations in more detail or explore new horizons. The opportunity to travel and explore the British Isles or Europe is endless, with affordable and accessible transport systems (trains, buses and budget flights).


Here are some of the highlights you can expect throughout this unique travelling study program:

  • Hit the home of famous playwright Shakespeare
  • Learn from experienced professors in the field
  • English-speaking support services staff
  • Combine travel with study
  • Meet a range of fellow students – local and from around the world

Sample Itinerary

This program is largely travel based. The itinerary offers a blend of academic, social, cultural and recreational activities. The free time you have can be spent exploring your host city with other students.

Please do not make any travel or academic arrangements until you’ve received a confirmed itinerary from CISaustralia.

Dublin, Ireland 28 December – 1 January
Edinburgh, Scotland 1-5 January
Stratford-upon-Avon, England 5-7 January
London, England 7-14 January
Program Departure 14 January

Choose Your Course

The January in Ireland, Scotland and England program is hosted by IAU College, France.

GPA Required: To qualify students must have a sound academic standing with a GPA of 4.0 (out of 7) or equivalent. If your current GPA falls below the requirement please contact us to discuss your situation and we will work with you to find a suitable program.

Course Load: 1 course (equivalent to one full-time academic course)

  • Depending on your Australian university, you may refer to “courses” as “subjects” or “units”.
  • Each course/subject/unit you undertake on a CISaustralia program overseas is designed to be a full-time, semester course that has been condensed to fit into an intensive, short-term program. As such, for any 1 course you study abroad, you should receive the credit points for 1 full-time course/subject/unit at your Australian university.
  • Many universities work off of a 1-for-1 equivalency (1 course abroad = 1 course in Australia), but ultimately credit approval is the decision of your faculty and Australian university.
  • CISaustralia strongly recommends that you have any overseas courses pre-approved for credit before you depart for your program. Some documentation that may be useful are the course outline/syllabus, program overview, and the contact hours.
  • Although you will only take one course in the January program, it is best to get 2-3 courses approved by your university before you go overseas. This gives you some flexibility. Why not consider opting for an interesting elective if your degree allows?
  • Your CISaustralia Program Advisor can assist with any questions or details your university needs to make a decision.

Course Descriptions

The course ‘Theatre Alive: Theatre in England, Ireland and Scotland’ will be offered as the following for January 2020:

  • Theatre 385
  • Literature 385
  • English 385

The syllabus for this program remains the same regardless of which course the student undertakes. As students are visiting the same sites, attending the same lectures, partaking in the same activities, etc., they are learning the same content. The difference is in their assessment pieces. The topic and focus of a student’s assessment pieces will be based on what course they have chosen.

Theatre Alive: This program provides an introduction to three major dramatic traditions that will be stimulating, challenging and enjoyable. Classes will be primarily discussion. Special emphasis will be placed on close reading, character development, poetry and major themes. Students will also visit key historical sites to better understand the political and intellectual circumstances in which these traditions developed and continue to exist. Special attention will be paid to Shakespeare as a writer for the stage and a man of the theatre, with visits to theatres to hear and see plays, backstage tours, and critical discussions of directorial, design and acting choices.

The program will look at plays as literature on the page, and in performance on stage, as they are meant to be encountered. Students will also visit key historical sites in order to greater understand the political and intellectual circumstances in which these writers were working and in which their successors continue to work.

View the 2019 course syllabus

Program Facilitators

David Hay, PhD, is a professor at the University of San Diego (USD) and is a co-founder of the MFA Program in Acting, a program he directed for seven years. He has also been the director of the Southeast San Diego Tutoring Program and the director of the Undergraduate Theatre Arts Program at USD.

In addition to 26 years of work at USD, Dr. Hay was also an associate director at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego for ten years, and for nine years was the artistic director of Center Repertory Company in Walnut Creek, CA. He has had a 32 year professional theatre career, directing more than 70 productions at theatres across the country. He has also published two books, a critical edition of a 17th century play, Nobody and Somebody, and a drama textbook, Contact With Drama, co-authored with James F. Howell. Professor Hay’s photo courtesy of the University of San Diego.


During this study tour in Ireland, Scotland and England, you will have 1 week to explore the many things that London has to offer. City tours will allow you to take in the best of each city. You will go to the theatre, exhibitions and galleries, and also see the hometown of Shakespeare himself. Don’t miss the chilling Westminster Abbey, with its cold, dark and gothic feel. What better way to study theatre than to learn while exploring these great cities!

Possible London excursions include:

  • Big Ben
  • London Eye
  • Buckingham Palace
  • British Museum
  • Tower of London
  • London Bridge
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Oxford and Regent Streets
  • Borough Market
  • Portobello Road Market
  • Camden Market
  • Harrods
  • Hyde Park
  • River Thames Bike Tour


Students will bring the theatre to life while staying in:

  • Dublin: 4 nights
  • Edinburgh (including day trip to Glasgow): 4 nights
  • Stratford: 2 nights
  • London: 7 nights

The University

The academic host for this program is IAU College, France. Located in Aix-en-Provence, it is one of Europe’s premier academic centres with a strong emphasis on immersion in French language and culture. IAU College will bring experts from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds to provide students with the greatest insight into each visited location throughout this academic travelling program.


During this program you could stay in a combination of local 3-star hotels, guest houses, university on-campus housing, hostels and / or serviced apartments. All rooms are same gender shared rooms – usually 2 students per room. You will share your room with other program participants. Details will be provided as part of your final detailed itinerary closer to the program start date. Accommodation will vary according to availability in each city.

Program Fee & Dates

January 2020
Application Deadline27 September 2019
Arrival Date28 December 2019
Departure Date14 January 2020
Program Fee A$ 7,999
OS-HELP A$ 6,791


Program fees include the following:
  • Tuition fees
  • Accommodation in 3 and 4-star hotels or similar
  • Most breakfasts and some group dinners
  • Entrance fees to all museums and guest lecture venues
  • Entrance fees to all theatre productions
  • Health and medical insurance
  • 24/7 on-site and emergency support
  • CISaustralia support before and during the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial advice
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure guide and session
  • On-site orientation
  • Intra-European travel to each city during the program
  • IAU College official transcript
  • CISaustralia Certificate of Completion

What is not included:

  • Flight to the program starting location
  • Return flight from the program ending location
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Vaccinations (if required)
  • Meals (unless mentioned above)
  • Extra travel/excursions (other than those mentioned above)

Dates are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

CISaustralia reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.

Adventure Awaits

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