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Composition and Creative Music Practice MA

Course Details


Available: Full- Time

Duration: 1 Year

Award: Masters

Qualification: NFQ Level 9 Major Award

Faculty: Irish World Academy of Music and Dance

Course Type: Taught

Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Dr Eoin Callery
+353 (0)61 20 202542

Brief Description

The MA Composition and Creative Music Practice is a unique, one-year, full-time postgraduate programme for composers, sound artists, improvisers and performers from all music traditions who wish to develop their own individual artistic practice and explore cross-genre, cross-arts and cross-cultural creativity.

A one-year, full-time postgraduate programme, the MA Composition and Creative Music Practice is designed to develop individual artistic practice and facilitate collaborative exploration of cross-genre, cross-arts and cross-cultural creativity. Students create acoustic and/or electronic music through an inclusive range of composition, improvisation and performance practices. The programme welcomes students from all music traditions (traditional, folk, popular, world, classical) and sound art practices, working with and/or without music notation. 

The MA Composition and Creative Music Practice is:

  • Ideal for creative musicians who wish to work within a particular tradition and/or at the intersections of Irish traditional music, classical music, ‘new’ and experimental music, popular music and world musics
  • Progressive and interdisciplinary in its approach to creativity, supporting cross-arts exploration, collaboration and inventiveness
  • Designed to develop the complementary creative music practices of composition, performance and improvisation
  • Committed to developing oral/aural creative processes and/or score-based practices  towards the creation of acoustic and/or electro-acoustic music
  • Inclusive of diverse, local and global music traditions and practices
Semester 1  Semester 2  Semester 3
Workshop in Creative Music Practice Inter-Arts Music Making  
  • Professional Development for the Performing Arts
  • Peer Forum 1
  • Composing Traditions Seminar

Creative Pathways 1 - choose one of the following:

  • Creating for the Voice
  • Performance Practice  (Academy Ensembles and Individual Tuition)
  • Real-time Audio and Video
  • Critical Contexts of Arts Management and Cultural Policy
  • Peer Forum 2
  • Elective Modules

Creative Pathways 2 - choose of the following

  • Creating for Strings 
  • Performance Practice (Academy Ensembles and Individual Tuition
  • Improvisation
  • Final Project

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. 

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 or passport
  • All applicants can submit a portfolio of their work. Portfolios can be sent directly to the course director - Dr. Eoin Callery:

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. 

Note: Due to Covid-19 restrictions, any interviews or auditions (as required by the Course Director) during the application process will now take place virtually.




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For information on funding and scholarships please click here.

Graduates emerge with unique artistic profiles to pursue diverse careers as composers, sound artists, improvisers, performers, educators and arts-practice scholars.