Course Details

Course Code(s):
Course Start Date:
2 Years
NFQ Level 9 Major Award
Faculty: Irish World Academy of Music and Dance
Course Type: Taught
Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Name: André Swanepoel
Email: Mobile: + 353 89 271 6810

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Brief Description

This unique 2-year Masters course focuses on the needs of the individual student and is aimed at gifted string players as the final step towards a professional career. Refining solo, chamber music, orchestral skills, and audition preparation, whilst developing a greater awareness of the importance of the body, creativity & all-round musicianship, students are encouraged to explore their own ‘personal path’ towards realising their full musical potential.

The course welcomes national and international applications. Any enquiries about auditions etc. can be sent to the acting Course Director:

*Please note that auditions may take place in person or online (students from abroad).

The Irish World Academy’s Master of Arts in Classical String Performance is offered in association with the Irish Chamber Orchestra (ICO). The ICO is world-renowned for its vibrant approach to creative chamber music-making, which also lies at the heart of this MA programme. The programme is led by Principal players of the ICO, who rehearse, tutor and perform with the students.

Students receive weekly individual lessons, regular technique classes, weekly chamber music classes and 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, Dalcroze Eurhythmics & creative embodied performance development, and other real-life requirements. The programme also includes regular sessions with a pianist, including intensive coaching weeks on duo sonata repertoire.

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

MA Classical String Performance students present solo or chamber music repertoire in an ongoing series of concerts through Limerick and the surrounding area, and gain automatic acceptance onto the Irish Chamber Orchestra Academy Project – an exciting, annual 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
  • A copy of your birth certificate (long document)
  • Two signed letters of personal recommendation
  • If your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language this will suffice
  • If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided:
    • English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts
    • English language competency certificate

    For more information Click Here


EU - €7,270 per annum*

Non- EU - €12,500 per annum*

*Please note year two fees are subject to change

Further information on fees and payment of fees is available from the Student Fees Office website. All fee related queries should be directed to the Student Fees Office (Phone: +353 61 213 007 or email


Please click here for information on funding and scholarships.

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