Choral Studies

DCU's MA in Choral Studies is the first programme of its kind in Ireland. It offers an unrivalled opportunity to engage with the interpretation of choral repertoire from historical and contemporary contexts, and to create and perform new music under expert guidance.

In this programme, you will explore:
1. Choral conducting and choir leadership
2. Composing for choirs
3. Historical approaches to choral music
-4. Cultural policy and the arts sector

Programme Aims and Objectives
Through this programme, students will acquire an advanced level of knowledge, understanding, and skills in the areas of historically informed choral interpretation, composition for choirs, leadership in choral performance and vocal technique, stylistic ensemble singing, editing, analytical score preparation, and the arts sector in Ireland.

The programme will equip students with the academic, critical, musical, and research expertise to underpin their activities in conducting, composing, and ensemble singing, and will facilitate a deep understanding of the relationship between cultural policy, public bodies, and enterprise in the arts.

Programme Content and Structure
The programme is offered part-time over two years. Lectures take place in Drumcondra on Monday evenings and on one Saturday per semester.

Students must successfully complete six core taught modules:
Conducting, Interpretation and Style
Choral Music: Historical and Analytical Approaches
Composition for Voices
Creative Approaches to Text
Choral Contexts: National Infrastructure for the Arts
Choral Leadership

In addition, students complete a research module, which includes a series of seminars on research methodologies and a minor thesis on choral studies or a portfolio of compositions/arrangements.

Course Life
DCU is a vibrant hub of choral and compositional activity. DCU music staff include internationally recognised and award-winning experts in the field of choral studies. The MA in Choral Studies is based in DCU's School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music, where students will find a dynamic, supportive, research-led learning environment with a strong commitment to social and cultural engagement, and creative approaches to teaching that promote independent, scholarly, critical thinking.

Why Do This Programme?
The MA in Choral Studies combines the study of choral conducting and composition within one programme. Students will gain valuable experience in the use of conducting gesture as a representation of musical style and expression, and in the creation of new music for choral ensembles, informed by historical practice, scholarly literature, and the latest developments in compositional techniques.

Students will acquire a deep understanding of stylistic and contextual influences on performance and composition, and will receive regular feedback in choir leadership, ensemble singing, and creative work.

Subjects taught

To view the current course structure, please visit the Provider's website.

Entry requirements


General Entry Requirements
- Recognised honours primary degree (Level 8) in Music, or in which Music is a subject, with a minimum of Second Class Honours.

- Recognised honours primary degree (Level 8) in another discipline, with supporting evidence of competence in Music, such as Grade 8/Diploma in instrumental/vocal studies, Grade 5 theory (ABRSM), and vocal/choral experience appropriate to commencing a Level 9 programme.


- Practitioners in the fields of conducting and composition who do not meet these prerequisites will be invited to submit a curriculum vitae and details of competence in music (as above), and may be asked to participate in an interview.

- In the case of International applicants, having educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language, they must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language, with a minimum score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Application dates


Make an Application
To apply for this programme:

All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal.

Provide Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation, if applicable.

Please also include your CV.

Provide a personal statement of 500-750 words maximum. The statement should include:
(i) Why you wish undertake the MA programme

(ii) What learning and /or experience you bring to this programme.

(iii) The impact which you expect the MA programme would have on your future career.

If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements. Please see link

Please note if you are a non EU student and require a study visa, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Application Deadlines:
This programme will not have an intake in September 2022.

Queries from EU applicants should be directed to

Queries from non EU applicants should be directed to


2 years part-time.

Enrolment dates

Commencement of Programme
The programme commences in September 2022.

Post Course Info

Potential Careers
Graduates may progress or enhance their careers in areas such as:

Choral conducting
Ensemble singing
Music teaching (subject to relevant qualifications)
Choral arts administration
Music criticism
Recording and production
Editing and choral publishing

Graduates may also pursue doctoral research in choral studies or related areas.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider