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Music and Dance

Music and Dance
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree

Entry Route: Bachelor of Arts - LM002

Course code:
LM002 - Arts (Common Entry)
4 Years

Course leader:
Dr James Carr
Email: Tel:
00 353 61 213578
Tel: 00 353 61 202015

Music and Dance can be taken as part of the UL Arts Degree as a joint honours combination. Review the subjects you can study with Irish Music and Dance by looking on the BA Arts course page.

About You

Do you enjoy Irish traditional music and/ or dance? Do you want to invest in your future and develop your knowledge and understanding of this and related performance practices? Do you want to unlock your potential and learn from the world’s top experts in the field of traditional music and dance studies? If so, this may be the subject choice for you.

Why Study Music and Dance at UL?

Music and dance are an intrinsic part of the cultural life of this island being significant economically as well as artistically and socially. The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick has become a world leader in the study of these phenomena, situating music and dance in the centre of a number of critical approaches and disciplines in the study of culture and society.

This subject is designed to develop your academic and vocational skills. The main thrust of this subject in this context is the academic study of various music and dance practices. You will also engage in vocational studies directly relevant to music and dance. For example, you will have the opportunity to record CDs and videos, use digital media, write business plans, plan tours and organise performances.

You will also engage in specific academic studies in traditional music and dance, popular music and dance, histories of western music and dance, ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology, music and dance education and music and dance psychology. You will also have the opportunity to engage with the wider cultural, social and historical context of this island through a number of modules in Irish cultural studies.

To find out more, go to


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What you will study

This degree is designed to develop your performance, academic and vocational skills. To develop your performance skills you will work with resident and visiting tutors who are among the best performers in Ireland and beyond. The main bulk of performance work is solo but there is also a significant amount of ensemble work. You are encouraged to develop second performance skills – making you more versatile as a performer. You will also engage in vocational studies directly relevant to traditional music and dance. For example, you will record CDs and videos, use digital media, write business plans, plan tours and organise performances. You will also engage in academic studies relevant to your performance skills in areas such as traditional music and dance studies, popular music and dance studies, histories of western music and dance, ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology, music and dance education and music and dance psychology. You will also engage with the wider cultural, social and historical context of this island through a number of modules in Irish cultural studies.

The BA Irish Music and Dance is a four-year programme. Six or seven semesters are spent in Limerick; one is spent on the Cooperative Education programme, which provides work experience, and another is spent either in Limerick or off-campus on the Study Abroad programme.

Music and Dance Joint Honours Pathway

Modules are subject to change

Year 1 Semester 1   Semester 2
MU4001 Critical Encounters with Irish Music and Dance MU4012 Critical Encounters with Western Arts Music and Dance
Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4
  Students select 2:   Cooperative Education Placement
MD4081 Irish Music and Dance Studies    
MD4113 Performing Arts Technology    
MU4011 Critical Encounters with World Music and Dance    
Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6
  External Academic Placement MU4013 Research Skills: Ethnomusicology/ Ethnomusicology/ Ethnochoreolgy/ Arts Practice
      Students select 1:
    MD4034 Contextualising and vocational Studies 3
    MD4114 Critical Encounters with Global Pop
Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8
MU4007 Professional Skills for the Performing Artist MD4093 Classical Music Studies
MU4033 World Music and Dance Survey 1 MU4106 Arts and Health


Entry requirements

Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: Two H5 (Higher level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

Note: Grade F6 in Foundation Mathematics also satisfies the minimum entry requirements. Foundation mathematics is not reckonable for scoring purposes.

In addition, students wishing to study a Language must hold a minimum H4 grade in that language, with the exception of beginners German or beginners Spanish where a H4 grade in a language other than English is required. Specialist requirement in Mathematics also for those studying Economics or Mathematics.

For certain subjects, additional special qualifications specific to individual subjects or disciplines may be determined by the respective departments in accordance with Academic Council regulations.

Applications are especially welcome from Mature Students. Mature applicants must apply through the Central applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.

QQI Entry

Certain QQI Awards are acceptable in fulfilling admission requirements for this programme. go to the UL Admissions QQI page for a full list of modules.

Fees & funding

Student course fees are broken into three components - Student contribution, Student Centre Levy and Tuition Fees.

A number of illustrative examples of fees for this course based on the current fee levels have been set out in the tables below.

An explanation of the components, how to determine status and the criteria involved is provided below the examples as is a list of possible scholarships and funding available.

EU Students with Free fees status in receipt of a SUSI grant

HEA paysTuition Fees€2,558
SUSI paysStudent contribution€3,000
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

EU Students with Free fees status not in receipt of a grant

HEA paysTuition Fees€2,558
Student paysStudent contribution€3,000
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

Students with EU fee status not in receipt of a grant

Student paysTuition Fees€2,558
Student paysStudent contribution€3,000
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

Non-EU Students

Student paysTuition Fees€12,178
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

Student course fees are comprised of three components:

Student Contribution

Annual charge set by the government for all full-time third level students. All students are liable unless they have been approved for a grant by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please refer to to determine your eligibility for a grant and for instructions on how to apply. The curent student contribution is set at €3000.

Student Centre Levy

All students are liable to pay the Student Centre Levy of €90. Please note the Student Centre Levy is not covered by the SUSI Grant.

Tuition Fees

These are based on Residency, Citizenship, Course requirements.

Review the three groups of criteria to determine your fee status as follows

  1. Residency
    • You must have been living in an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland for at least 3 of the 5 years before starting your course
  2. Citizenship
    • You must be a citizen of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland or have official refugee status
  3. Course Requirements (all must be met)
    • You must be a first time full-time undergraduate (Exceptions are provided for students who hold a Level 6 or Level 7 qualification and are progressing to a Level 8 course in the same general area of study).
    • You must be undertaking a full-time undergraduate course of at least 2 year’s duration
    • You cannot be undertaking a repeat year of study at the same level unless evidence of exceptional circumstances eg serious illness is provided (in which case this condition may be waived)

Depending on how you meet these criteria your status will be one of the following -

More information about fees can be found on the Finance website


These scholarships are available for this course

Title Award Scholarships available
The Noel Ryan Scholarship
€2,000 per year for 4 years
1 per year

These scholarships are available for all courses

Title Award Scholarships available
Johnson and Johnson WiSTEM2D Programme
Individual Award - a bursary to the value of €2000. Team Project Grant - €1750
1 of each
Plassey Campus Centre Scholarship Programme
All Ireland Scholarships - sponsored by J.P. McManus
Higher Education Grants & VEC Grants
Financial Aid Fund
Elaine Fagan Scholarship
Stuart Mangan Scholarship
Provincial GAA Bursaries Scheme
The Michael Hillery and Jacinta O’Brien Athletics Scholarship
Various benefits equating to over €7,000 in value
Paddy Dooley Rowing Scholarship
UL Sports Scholarships
Varies depending on level of Scholarship
Cooperative Education Award
1 medal per faculty
UL 40 Entrance Scholarship

Your future career

This subject is designed to produce graduates with a broad range of skills that can be employed in a number of professional contexts. Great emphasis is also placed on the development of transferable vocational skills, enabling you to access a diverse range of less obvious career pathways.

Follow on Study:

Student Profile - Alisha McMahon

I personally love the course as I have learned a huge amount both musically and academically. For example, it is essential we have an Irish language module - this module gives us the basic knowledge and understanding to help us if we were to speak Irish on the television, radio or anywhere else. We also have modules looking at business and technology that could potentially be the way some people would like to make a living in the future. These modules, amongst many more, are extremely beneficial to all the students in the BA Irish Music and Dance module.

For me, the most important aspect of the course is the individual and smaller group practical classes. As performers, we need to get that individual attention to continue progressing, and these one-on-one classes are vital in our musical development. These classes are tailored for each individual student and can focus on both their weaknesses and strengths. I have learned so much from my tutors because of the way these classes are designed and this will help me in my future career as a performer.

I am thoroughly happy with my choice of coming to the University of Limerick to study the BA Irish Music and Dance course. I have benefitted in every way possible and I am so looking forward to my next two years here. 

Student Profile - Nicholas Yenson

Hi! My name is Nicholas Yenson from Washington D.C. in the United States. The reason I came to UL is that I wanted to continue studying Irish dance, and this is the only place in the world where you can study Irish dance at an advanced level for university credit. All the courses offered at other universities were introductory only and weren’t available at a degree level. I also liked the idea of approaching Irish dance as a career and learning the context and development of Irish dance (as related to Irish music and other dance forms).

I love being able to devote several hours a day to dance. For dancers, half of the course is spent in academic lectures (Irish music & dance studies and contextual work) and the other is spent in the dance studio (in choreography, cross-training, and dance technique classes). It’s a good balance between theoretical and practical work.

I spent the first half of my coop as a freelance dancer, performing with some shows and musical acts throughout Europe, including Belgium and Germany, and then to the US. The second half of my placement was spent in the Riverdance corps, touring the US and Canada. I met some wonderful friends and made many contacts, not to mention being able to put the big ‘R’ on my CV.