Music - Conversion Course
The Higher Diploma in Arts (Music) is for graduates in subjects other than music who want to study music intensively at a level equivalent to that of a primary honours degree in music. In this way, the Higher Diploma acts as an important conversion course between subject areas and enables graduates in non-music subjects to make themselves eligible for consideration subsequently for graduate courses in music at master's and doctoral levels.
The course is an extremely flexible one that may be tailored to suit your interests and your aspirations for specialisation in music. It is ideal for those who have acquired skills in music in previous years and now wish to build on that experience and advance it to professional levels with the potential for a career in music or further postgraduate study.
This is a 60 credit course that may be taken full time over nine months (September to May) or part time over two academic years (September to May in each year). The modules are selected from the modules designed for UCC's BMus and BA (Arts-Music) honours degree courses: 30 credits from level/year 2, and 30 credits from final year. HDip in Arts students share classes with our Music undergraduates, with identical course-requirements for the particular modules chosen. This makes for an ideal environment for study and personal growth: your experience is greatly enriched by the dynamic of working alongside other music students and collaborating with them in seminars, for instance, and in creative work (performance and/or composition).
Students accepted for the course are offered a range of options that are selected in consultation with the course coordinator and other staff. You are encouraged to select options that build on your existing interests in music but also help you to explore the subject further and develop a specialism, whether in an area of scholarship and/or in music performance and/or composition.
A special feature of our course is that each student takes two modules that are important ingredients of the final year of an honours degree course: a seminar class and a major study option under the supervision of a member of the Department's staff. This option, the most substantial requirement of the course, can take a number of forms: a dissertation, a portfolio of compositions, a recital given in public, a music-technology project, etc. This advanced work is ideal as the bridge to postgraduate study in music.
If you are applying for this course to gain a teaching subject please consult with the Teaching Council subject Declaration form to view specific requirements for this subject.
If you are applying for this course for future eligibility into the Profession Master of Education, further information is available at https://www.ucc.ie/en/pec01/.
As well as attending classes for several hours per week during term-time, much of your time on this course is devoted to self-directed study (in preparation, for instance, for performance or composition classes, or for seminar participation and coursework submissions). All HDip students are also encouraged to participate in the Department's Research Seminar series.
Additional Teaching Mode Information
The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
It is intended for those who already have a 3 or 4 year primary degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences, and who wish to study the subject Music intensively over one academic year. The Higher Diploma in Arts is a conversion programme and applicants would not normally have studied the relevant subject to Honours Degree level previously.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.
In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023
How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.
For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.
2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:
Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.
3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.
Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
Please detail your computing/technical/IT skills.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that the Higher Diploma in Arts programme is NOT the teacher training programme. Graduates must complete the Professional Masters of Education to qualify as a secondary school teacher. Please see www.ucc.ie/en/pec01 for further details.
The Department of Music employs a wide range of assessment methods, matching the nature and requirements of its various course options. They include: continuous assessment and practical examinations for performance options; a portfolio of written and/or audio-visual submissions for composition options; written responses to set texts and to seminars and coursework that ranges from formal essays to learning journals. The major study option is assessed by a panel of staff and the external examiner for the course.
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.
Start Date 7 September 2020
Post Course Info
Skills and Careers Information
The skill sets of our HDip graduates vary enormously, depending on the modules chosen, the types of music studied, and the areas of study in which they specialise. In general terms these areas of speciality fall into the broad categories of music scholarship and teaching, music performance, and music composition.