Course Details

Course Code(s):
Course Start Date:
1 year
Faculty: Irish World Academy of Music and Dance
Course Type: Taught
Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Name: Dr Sandra Joyce
Address: Irish World Academy of Music and Dance Email: Telephone: +353 61 202065

Express Interest

Register your interest here for more information or to be notified when applications are open.

Brief Description

The MA in Irish Music Studies is intended for scholars and scholar-practitioners who wish to study Irish Music (traditional, folk, classical, popular and related genres) from critical, cultural, historical, ethno/musicological, and practice-based perspectives. The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance has been a leading centre for the study of Irish traditional music for some time. More recently, we have added expertise in other ‘Irish’ genres, encompassing practices and discourses within and beyond the island of Ireland, connecting to regional, national and global musical flows. This programme explores the structures, sounds, and ideas of what is constituted as ‘Irish music’, historically and currently, and why and how that might matter.

The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance has become a leading centre for the Study of Irish music through both performative and academic perspectives. This programme is intended to provide an extra pathway into this type of study at the Irish World Academy and Dance, utilising a vast array of resources from across the Academy. The MA in Irish Music Studies caters for students who wish to study and research Irish music from a number of cultural, historical and practice based perspectives.

The programme will:

  • Equip students with a professional qualification in musicology
  • Provide sound and thorough basis for further research in the area of traditional music studies
  • Provide a thorough grounding necessary for teaching
  • Allow students to further develop practical music skills
  • Allow students engage traditional music studies from various theoretical orientations      


Autumn Semester Spring Semester Summer


  • MD6171 Framing Irish Music:  Sources & Discourses 1
  • MU6061 Music Ethnography
  • MD6021 Introduction to Fieldwork Techniques
  • MD6161 Irish Traditional Music Performance Research Seminar
  • MD6041 Introduction to Ritual Studies

Options: students choose two options from the list below

  • MD6111 Colloquium 1
  • MD6051 Independent Study 1
  • MD6031 Media Technologies for Performing Arts & Arts Research
  • MD6071 Writing & the Documentation of Arts Practice 1
  • BR5001 Broadening through Awareness, Activism and the Arts (postgraduate)


  • MD6152 Framing Irish Music: Sources & Discourses 2
  • MU5022 The Anthropology of Music
  • MD6081 Critical Engagements with Irish Traditional Music

Options: students choose two options from the list below

  • MD6102 Colloquium 2
  • MD6052 Independent Study 2
  • BR5002 Broadening: Introduction to Place-Making (postgraduate)
  • MD6062 Critical Contexts for Arts Management & Cultural Policy
  • MD5022 Final Presentation


A primary degree in a suitable discipline with a first or second class honours, or an approved professional qualification (Primary degree: Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland).  An interview will be required in all cases, as well as an audition where necessary. Candidates may be required to submit additional audio visual and/or written material. 

What to include with your application

  • Qualification transcripts and certificates
  • A copy of your birth certificate or passport  
  • 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

 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.

EU - €7,270 

Non- EU - €16,900

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.

The degree course is designed to meet the continuing education needs of graduates in music and in cognate and closely related disciplines or those with extensive engagement with the communities of traditional music. Students of this programme will be interested in developing critical engagement with research into areas of traditional music practice, contemporary and historical, developing their own research questions and outcomes in the process.  The course is also designed to cater to the occupational and vocational needs of the following professions: university and college lecturers, secondary teachers of music, professional music performers, music archivists, music administrators, music educators, and media specialists.