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Classical String Performance MA

Course Details


Available: Full- Time

Duration: 2 Years

Faculty: Irish World Academy of Music and Dance

Course Type: Taught

Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Diane Daly
Irish World Academy of Music & Dance
+353-86 8830085

Brief Description

This 2-year MA in Classical String Performance at the University of Limerick is a unique two-year full-time programme offering advanced tuition in violin, viola, cello and double bass, with a specific focus on Chamber Music. 

The aim is to finesse solo, chamber music and orchestral skills, whilst developing a greater awareness of the importance of the body, creativity and all-round musicianship. Students are invited to explore what it is they really want to say with their music, as they prepare to enter the profession.

Applications are invited and applicants wishing to enquire about auditions should write to the course director Diane Daly at

*Please note subject to public health guidelines and travel restrictions, auditions may either take place virtually or face to face. 

Face to face teaching has been facilitated this year, in line with all public health guidelines for the MA Classical String Performance programme of study.

The MA is run by the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in partnership with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. The ICO is renowned all over the world for its vibrant approach to creative chamber music-making and this lies at the heart of the MA programme. 

Students receive weekly individual lessons from ICO principals, regular technique classes, weekly chamber music classes and a number of other weekly specialized workshops and sessions.

Specialised tuition is offered in a wide range of performance practice aspects including audition techniques, orchestral excerpts, baroque and contemporary music styles, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, self-marketing and performance anxiety. The programme also includes a weekly session with an accompanist, plus intensive coaching weeks on duo sonata repertoire.

In addition to the core skills an eclectic range of elective subjects are offered, including multimedia, improvisation, traditional Irish, gamelan, somatic movement, composition and many more.

MACSP students present solo or chamber music repertoire in an ongoing series of concerts through Limerick and the surrounding area and also gain automatic acceptance onto the Irish Chamber Orchestra Academy Project – an exciting, twice yearly collaboration project involving elite students from around the world and members of the ICO. Click here for more information.

To apply, please send:

  • a current CV
  • a cover letter telling us a little about yourself and why you are interested in this MA programme
  • a recent video recording
Year 1  Year 2
Semester 1: 
  • Technique, Repertoire and Style 1
  • Ensemble 1
  • Creative Process 1
Semester 3: 
  • Technique, Repertoire and Style 3
  • Ensemble 3
  • Elective
Semester 2: 
  • Technique, Repertoire and Style 2
  • Ensemble 2
  • Creative Process 2
Semester 4: 
  • Final Presentation


Content of modules can be found by using the search option on the book of modules.

Primary degree in a suitable discipline with first or second class honours or an approved equivalent qualification (Primary degree: Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland), or an equivalent capability based on prior professional experience.
A performance audition, either in person or through audio or video recording, is required for all applicants.
An interview will be required in all cases.
Additional materials may be requested at the discretion of the course director.

What to include with your application

  • Qualification transcripts and certificates
  • English language qualification if English is not your first language
  • Certified English translations of your transcripts/certificates where the originals are in a language other than English.
  • A copy of your birth certificate (long document)
  • Two signed letters of personal recommendation.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or meet one of the criteria below (no longer than two years prior to application):

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:

  • Matriculation examinations from European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved
  • Irish Leaving Certificate English –Ordinary Level Grade D or above
  • TOEFL – 580 (paper based) or 90 (internet based)
  • IELTS – Minimum score of 6.5 with no less than 6 in any one component.
  • English Test for English and Academic Purposes (ETAPP) – Grade C1
  • GCE ‘O’ level English Language/GCSE English Language – Grade C or above
  • Cambridge Assessment English - Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C / Certificate in Advanced English Grade B
  • GCE Examination Boards – Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations – Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate – School Certificate Pass 1-6 / University of London Entrance and School Examinations Council – School Certificate Pass 1-6

Results in examinations other than those listed above may also be accepted as meeting our English language requirements. Contact the International Education Division for advice.

click here

For information on funding and scholarships please click here.

Students of the Masters in Classical String performance programme come from many countries including Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Our graduates are employed as professional musicians, soloists, chamber musicians or as members of professional orchestras and ensembles including the Irish Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, RTE Concert Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Con Tempo Quartet, Stradivari Quartet, Kuala Lumpur Symphony Orchestra, Concerto Malaga, Gyor Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Prague Chamber Orchestra. 

Many graduates are in teaching positions up to third level in their respective countries while others are pursuing further studies or completing their doctorates.

 I’ve really enjoyed my time on the course and I’m looking forward to what’s coming next. Working with the Irish Chamber Orchestra so closely has been inspiring and an amazing opportunity I will never forget.

Renee Neeson

We each receive a lot of individual attention. We are then able to concentrate on whatever areas we feel are most in need of improvement.

Andrew Sheeran

When I did the MA Classical String Performance, I was involved in many collaborative projects including live performances with dancers, filming and recording sessions and it was an amazing experience. The facilities and atmosphere at the Academy make it easy to embody your ideas in a creative practice. Currently I am doing a PhD at the Royal Holloway, University of London and studying at the inspiring Irish World Academy was a brilliant platform for my doctoral research.

Elena Alekseeva, Student 2012- 2014
PhD Candidate, Royal Holloway,
University of London Lecturer in Digital Music Production,
School of Arts & Media, Southampton SOLENT University