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: Triona McCaffrey

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Brief Description

Applications are accepted throughout the academic year preceding commencement of programme. Interviews are normally scheduled in December, February, April and June. We recommend early application as places are filled first come first served. The deadline for applications is May 31st 2024, but applications are considered after this date if places still remain.

The MA in Music Therapy is a two-year full-time programme of study which prepares graduates for professional practice as a music therapist. The course requires a high level of music skill at entry allowing students to make the transition to the use of these music skills in therapeutic work with a range of client groups in different contexts.

For more information on all aspects of the programme, including blended learning, please see

The MA in Music Therapy is a two-year full-time programme of study which prepares graduates for professional practice as a music therapist. The course requires a high level of music skill at entry allowing students to make the transition to the use of these music skills in therapeutic work with a range of client groups in different contexts. Music skills on piano, guitar and vocals are emphasized throughout the course and students are also encouraged to develop skills on their primary instrument. Students attend clinical placements throughout each semester of the course; these are usually offered at various sites in Ireland but sometimes can be offered abroad. Music therapy theory, research skills, sensitivity to cross-cultural issues and the use of the self in relating to others form the basis of studies to prepare students for work in the clinical practice context.


  • To prepare students for professional practice as a music therapist
  • To develop socially aware graduates who are able to make a contribution to the developing profession of music therapy in Ireland
  • To contribute to the research base of the profession

For academic queries on this programme please see the link below to the Irish World Academy website:
Web:  -


Semester 1

Semester 2

  • MU5211 Clinical Orientation
  • MU6081 Arts and Health Practice and Enquiry
  • MD6031 Media Technologies for Performing Arts and Arts Research

Options: students can choose one option from the list below

  • MD6101 Interdisciplinary Improvisation
  • MD6061 Introduction to Somatics 1
  • MD6111 Colloquium 1
  • MU5072 Music Therapy Practice 1
  • MU5062 Music Therapy Fieldwork Practice 1
  • MD6052 Independent Study 2

Options: students can choose one option from the list below

  • MD6102 Colloquium 2


Semester 3

Semester 4

  • MU5043 Music Therapy Project 1
  • MU5033 Music Therapy Practice 2
  • MU5023 Music Therapy Fieldwork Practice 2
  • MU5223 Seminar in Clinical Music Therapy
  • MU5004 Music Therapy Fieldwork Practice 3
  • MU5532 Music Therapy Final Project

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

For more information on all aspects of the programme, including blended learning, please see

A high level of music skills in performance. A degree qualification (Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland) or equivalent in any of the following; music, psychology, health sciences, medicine, education or related discipline. Ability to play guitar and piano, and sing competently. Ability to improvise on primary instrument. Relevant Work Experience (paid or voluntary) of working with vulnerable populations in health or social care settings. A willingness to engage with the personal development opportunities in the course through attending the self-funded psychotherapy component. An interview/audition will be offered to short-listed candidates who will be required to perform pieces on their first instrument and sing at least one song accompanying themselves on piano and guitar.  It is not possible to enter the course without successfully completing the audition process.

Garda clearance is also required for this programme.

What to Include with your Application - Please note you must upload these documents with your application as supporting information in order to have your application considered.

  • Qualification transcripts and/or certificates (including certified English translations if applicable)
  • A copy of your birth certificate/passport
  • 2 letters of references
  • A Supporting Statement (maximum 1 x A4 page) outlining (1) why you wish to undertake the MA in Music Therapy (2) Relevant work or voluntary experience you believe is relevant to your application (3) Musical experience and (4) any other information you feel supports your application.
  • A short recording (max five minutes) of yourself with 2 musical excerpts (1) playing their primary instrument; then (2) singing accompanied by either piano or guitar. Recordings should be saved to an online sharing platform (such as Youtube or Vimeo), with the link to this included in a separate document entitled 'Music Links'. - Please note that ONLY music audio and video files that cannot be uploaded can be emailed to All other files must be uploaded.

  • 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

Applicants from Ireland and the UK are expected to attend for audition in person. Applicants from other countries will be expected to audition via telephone/Skype interview. Accompanists are not provided for the audition. Should an accompanist be required then it is up the candidate to arrange and fund this themselves. 

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 - €7,718 per annum*

Non- EU - € 16,900 per annum*

*Please not 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.

Graduates of the MA in Music Therapy have attained successful careers in the health and education services in Ireland and abroad. Graduates work in special schools, nursing homes, hospice services, residential services for adults with intellectual disability and adults who have acquired brain injury.

Maeve Rigney graduated from the MA in Music Therapy course in 2008. She initially worked in the Northern Ireland before moving to London in 2010. Since then, Maeve has worked with the paediatric population in various clinical and educational settings. Maeve is currently the Senior Music Therapist and Therapies Manager at Haven House Children’s Hospice in North East London. Working within a holistic model of care, Maeve supports children, young people and their families who are affected by life limiting and life threatening conditions. Maeve is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and a member of the British Association of Music Therapists (BAMT). Maeve has completed further training in humanistic and psychodynamic counselling at Goldsmiths University and has presented papers and posters at both music therapy and paediatric palliative care conferences.

Grainne O’Hagan graduated from the MA Music Therapy in 2012. She established Soundhaven Music Therapy in the Monaghan/Cavan area and currently provides Music Therapy in Special Needs Schools, ASD groups, Nursing Homes and with private clients. She works closely with families in the community, the HSE and Tusla. She recently joined the extended MA Music Therapy team as a placement supervisor.

Clara Monahan graduated from the MA Music Therapy course in 2008. She worked full time for two years with the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust (now ‘Everyday Harmony’). During her time there she worked with children and young adults with a range of disabilities in education and health settings. Following this Clara recorded and released her debut album of original material called, ‘A Portfolio’ and toured with her band nationwide. She set up a private practice in the Dublin region in 2011 and has been providing music therapy services across a range of settings both in disability and older adult services. Clara has released a collaborative album with songwriter/musician Don Baker called ‘Baker Rose’ and continues to tour Ireland and Europe.Currently Clara is working with St. Michael’s House, St. John of God’s and in Tallaght Hospital in Older Adult acute services along with some private work with children with ASD.

Linda Coyle graduated from the MA in Music Therapy course in 2006. Drawing on her background as a speech and language therapist, she has built a private practice based in West Cork. A particular specialism is voice, in which she offers a range of services, from voice care for professional voice users, voice therapy to address voice problems, and vocal psychotherapy which uses the voice and sound to address mental health needs. She also provides medico legal assessments in the areas of music therapy and speech and language therapy. Further information is available from

Lorraine Ní Bhriain graduated from the MA in Music Therapy course in 2009. She works in Northern Ireland as part of a creative art therapy team in an organisation that provides counseling and creative arts therapy to children, young people and adults who are at risk of suicide, self harm, eating disorders, bereaved by suicide, who have suffered abuse and those who have trauma related difficulties. Lorraine also works with adults with acquired brain injury in a day centre in Belfast which provides services and support to survivors of brain injury in order to rebuild their lives. Along with this work, she provides group music therapy sessions in residential homes to older adults, many of whom have Dementia. Lorraine is a registered music therapist with the Health Professions Council in the UK and a member of the British Association of Music Therapists (BAMT).

Tommy Hayes graduated from the MA in Music Therapy in 2002. He initially worked in adolescent care and he is now in private practice working with adolescents, children and adults with Autism, cerebral palsy, and in the mental health services. Prior to becoming a music therapist he was a professional percussionist for 28 years mostly performing traditional Irish music.

Tracey Jones graduated from the MA in Music Therapy in 2000. The best thing about the course was the opportunity to experience a variety of music therapy placements including, older adults, intellectual disability, hospital setting, psychiatric services & adults with drug addiction. She has worked full time since graduating as a music therapist in Cheeverstown House, Dublin, which is a service for adults and children with intellectual disability. Tracey works with individuals across the life span: early services, school age, and adults presenting with a variety of difficulties.


Fabian Joyce, MA Music Therapy graduate and practicing Music Therapist, “The skills acquired over the course of the training are invaluable tools for the journey through life, whether you intend to practice as a music therapist after. I would strongly recommend this programme.”

James Burns MA Music Therapy

James Burns, MA Music Therapy 

The MA Music Therapy at the University of Limerick equipped me with a comprehensive understanding of therapeutic practices and the necessary skills to provide sensitive, appropriate, and effective music therapy intervention. The course offers a balance between the areas of clinical practice, empirical research, and scientific theory which shapes students into becoming well-rounded music therapy practitioners.

The programme is taught by leading experts in the field of music therapy with broad teaching and practice experiences. Regular guest lecturers from Ireland and abroad offer unique learning opportunities and expose students to wide variety of perspectives. Clinical placements were an integral part of the programme and provided fantastic opportunities to develop your skills. I learnt from highly experienced and inspiring professionals and was exposed to variety of settings and numerous populations.

Research modules covered arts-based research methodology and finely honed my academic writing and research skills. It was through this incredibly stimulating and rewarding two-year programme that I uncovered my passion for research. The music therapy department at UL boasts unparalleled resources for music therapy research and produces high-quality internationally recognised research in this field.

Since graduating in 2022, I have continued my studies at UL, perusing a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Hilary Moss. My research aims to explore the effectiveness of music therapy intervention on language and communication in children with acquired communication impairments. I have also set up my own business, Encore Music Therapy, offering professional music therapy services to people of all ages and abilities.