Choral Studies

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.

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

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.

Entry requirements

• Recognised honours primary degree (Level 8) in Music, or in which Music is a subject, with a minimum of Second Class Honours. OR
• 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. OR
• 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.
• International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language.

Due to the specialist nature of this programme, additional criteria may be used to assess suitability to undertake this programme.

Application dates

Application Deadlines
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until the following dates:
Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2025
Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2025

Application Queries
For EU applicant queries, please visit or email
For non EU applicant queries, please visit or email

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

Please note, this programme commences next in September 2025. There is no 2024 intake.


2 years part-time.

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

Enrolment dates

This programme won't have an intake in 2024 but will have an intake in 2025.

Post Course Info

Potential Careers
Graduates may progress or enhance their careers in areas such as:
• Choral conducting
• Composition
• Ensemble singing
• Music teaching (subject to relevant qualifications)
• Choral arts administration
• Music criticism
• Broadcasting
• 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