Diploma of Licentiate (Teaching Diploma)

Diploma of Licentiate (Teaching Diploma) Entry Form →

Download a copy of the Diploma Syllabus for 2021-22 →

The Irish Board of Speech and Drama Diploma of Licentiate is a speech and drama teaching qualification.

The Licentiate syllabus encourages candidates to develop dramatic skills which will form the basis for their teaching of practical speech, drama and communication skills to their future students. The syllabus also encourages candidates to acquire a comprehensive practical knowledge and understanding of the field of speech and drama, which will provide a firm foundation for their teaching career.

The Reflective Practice Journal encourages candidates to reflect critically on their lesson planning, teaching practice and evaluative skills.

The Dissertation provides an opportunity to research and explore a particular aspect of speech and drama of interest to the candidate.

Please see our Diploma section for exam dates and closing dates for entries. Examination fees are available here.


To be eligible for entry, a candidate must:

  • be at least 20 years of age
  • hold the Associate Diploma (Teaching) of the Irish Board of Speech and Drama (AIBSD (Teaching))
  • submit with the entry form a letter from a recognised Speech and Drama teacher confirming that the candidate has been studying Speech and Drama for at least three years.

Documentary evidence of eligibility MUST be submitted with a candidate’s entry form.


Section One: Practical Performance

  1. Introduce and perform from memory a seven minute recital incorporating prose, verse, drama and a linking script. The recital may be on a theme, or it may contain the works of one author (50%)
  2. Perform a short piece of movement to music, choreographed by the candidate, OR Perform a two minute abstract mime (35%)
  3. A discussion with the examiner(s) on your experience in speech and drama, and how you aim to use your licentiate qualification (15%)

Section Two: Teaching Reflective Practice

Submit a reflective practice journal detailing the preparation for, execution and evaluation of four distinct speech & drama classes taught, together with ideas about how your teaching practice might be made more effective, in each case.

Section Three: Written Assignments

Part One 
Each candidate will be required to write an essay of no more than 1500 words on each of four topics out of six supplied by the Irish Board, based on the following:

  • Teaching and Learning, including an understanding of current theories of teaching and learning and their application in the teaching of speech, drama and communication.
  • Participation and Engagement, including effective methods for engaging students, encouraging participation, maintaining discipline and commitment, and maximizing learning in speech and drama classes.
  • Lesson Planning, including devising and compiling a programme of work for a term/year on any particular aspect of speech, drama and communication to a defined group of students. Formulation of aims, objectives and lesson plans. Forms of classroom-based assessment of progress and achievement.
  • Resources, including sourcing, selecting, collating, grading and preparation of teaching resources and materials. Sourcing and storage of costumes, props, equipment, sets and so on, required for class work and for performance.
  • Establishing a School/Academy, including market research, location, venue/premises/facilities required, marketing and advertising, fees and fee collection, financial management, insurance, staffing, health and safety, child protection measures, equipment, relationship with parents and the community.
  • Festivals, féiseanna and examinations, including their purpose, value, advantages and disadvantages, the organisation and administration of a private or local Féis, preparing students for competitions in general, preparing students for particular competitions and/or examinations in verse speaking, prose, drama (solo, duologue, group), reading, choral verse speaking, mime, movement to music, improvisation and public speaking.
  • Adjudicating and examining, including the differences between adjudicating and examining, skills and qualities required in an adjudicator/ examiner, preparation for an adjudication/ examination assignment, criteria for assessment and marking, marking schemes, the purpose and value of verbal adjudications.
  • School Concert, including the purpose and value of the School Concert, the advantages and disadvantages of the School Concert from the points of view of the school, teachers, parents and students, devising and compiling a concert programme, organising a school concert (venue, stages and staging, sets and scenery, costumes, lighting, stage management, make-up, prompting, props, music)

Part Two 
Each candidate will be required to write an essay of no more than 1500 words on each of four topics out of six supplied by the Irish Board, based on the following:

  • History of Western Theatre, including an outline knowledge of the characteristics, themes and influences on modern theatre of Greek theatre, Roman theatre, Medieval European theatre, theatre of the Italian Renaissance, Elizabethan theatre, Restoration theatre, 18th and 19th Century theatre, 20th Century theatre and Contemporary theatre. The history of theatre in Ireland. Outline knowledge of key theatrical genres.
  • Acting Theory and Methods, including knowledge and understanding in particular of the work and influence of Aristotle, Brecht, Boal, Stanislavski, Artaud, Strasberg, Meisner and Brooke.
  • Acting Styles, including the differences in acting style required for stage, film and television.
  • Costumes, including an outline knowledge of costumes through the ages, ideas about costumes for children and the school play/concert, sourcing, designing and making simple costumes for children.
  • Play production with adults and children, including the processes of producing and directing plays from initial reading to performance. Casting, staging, set design, sets and scenery, props, costumes and make-up, direction, and backstage organisation.
  • Stage lighting and sound, including lighting equipment (floods, spots, follow spots, beamlights and gobos), lighting control systems, lighting design, the use of colour, devising a lighting plot/ marking a script, lighting effects, creating atmosphere with lighting. lighting a performance with limited or no professional lighting equipment. The design, selection and use of music and sound effects in theatrical productions; knowledge of basic sound equipment; the pros and cons of using microphones in young people’s productions.
  • Stage Management, including the role, responsibilities and functions of the stage manager throughout the production process.
  • Poetry, knowledge and understanding of poetic forms and genres, rhythm, metre, metrical patterns, rhyme, alliteration, assonance and consonance.

Section Four: Dissertation

Write and submit a dissertation of not less than 4000 words on any aspect of Speech and Drama, bringing in your own experiences as a teacher. The thesis must be the candidate’s own work. The dissertation should contain an introduction outlining the aim of the dissertation and should be laid out in logical fashion. Any quotations must be referenced with the name of the author, the date and, if appropriate, the publication from which it is taken. A bibliography of sources (including internet-based sources) must be included.

Dissertations should be typed/word processed, printed clearly in black ink on one side of white A4 paper, should be covered, titled and soft-bound. Submitted dissertations will be retained by the Irish Board of Speech and Drama.

75% in each section of the Diploma examination is the mark required to pass.

Candidates may attempt each section a maximum of three times.

Candidates must complete all sections of the Diploma of Licentiate within three years of undertaking their first section.