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 on course webpage (url below).
Why Choose This Course
This course is ideal, and unique in Ireland, for graduates in non-music subjects who want to qualify in music to degree level and beyond. Success in this course may be said to be the equivalent of acquiring a degree in music. Passing the course at a high level — with at least second class honours — makes you eligible to apply for master's degrees at UCC and at other universities that hold a similar view about equivalence.
Our experience is that many of our students have valued music in their lives from a young age (as music-lovers, as performers) and retained a deep interest in music while preferring, on leaving school, to take a degree in another subject. After graduation, in seeking to return to the study of music, you are often highly motivated and will in time be excellent postgraduate students in music programmes, if that is your ambition.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Graduates must complete the Professional Master of Education teacher training programme to qualify as a secondary school teacher, please see http://www.ucc.ie/en/pec01
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 available online.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country online.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please 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.
Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.
For more information please contact the International Office.
How to apply
1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.
2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.
Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.
3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.
Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
Any supplementary items requested for your course.
Please log into the online application portal for more details.
4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates below.
The UCC application portal will open on November 1st for admission in September 2022.
Irish, EU, UK, EEA and Swiss Applicants: UCC operates a rounds closing date system for the majority of postgraduate taught courses, which means offers are made at a minimum of four times a year on a rolling basis.
The UCC rounds closing dates for postgraduate taught courses are below. Applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible.
Deadline for receipt of full applications/ Offers will be made:
For all completed applications received by January 17th, 2022 -
Offers will be made by January 31st, 2022
For all completed applications received by March 7th, 2022 -
Offers will be made by March 21st, 2022
For all completed applications received by May 3rd, 2022 -
Offers will be made by May 17th, 2022
For all completed applications received by July 1st, 2022 -
Offer will be made by July 15th, 2022
After July late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity.
Applicants from outside of EU, UK, EEA, Switzerland: Information may be found on the International Office Website.
NON-EU CLOSING DATE: 15 June
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
The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.
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.