Music - Cork School of Music & Cork

A full-time, 120 ECTS-credits, taught course for performers (instrumentalists/singers/ accompanists/chamber ensembles), conductors and composers

Instrumentalists/singers receive weekly individual lessons and ensemble coaching sessions as appropriate

Conductors receive weekly individual lessons and supervised rehearsals

Composers receive weekly individual lessons and supervised reading/performance/ recording sessions

Performers are examined primarily through a series of three public recitals/concerto performances; conductors will be examined through a series of three public concerts and associated rehearsals; composers will be examined primarily through the submission of a portfolio of compositions in three instalments. As an alternative to the third public performance, suitable candidates may undertake a dissertation, or a compositional or conducting module. The programme will include opportunities to participate in masterclasses with international artists as well as workshops with professionals operating in the international cultural sector.

During the first semester, all students are required to submit a Planning Portfolio exploring planning issues, repertoire and preparation of performances/compositions. Students will also benefit from training in recording technology and interact with peers from the Taught MA/MSc in Music and Technology course. Using the School’s state-of-the-art facilities, students will be able to obtain high quality recordings of their performances as well as producing demo recordings. A free choice module is also taken during the first semester. This can be in a cognate area, such as Research Methodology or Music and Technology, but need not be directly related to music.

All students take a common Professional Studies course over the first two semesters dealing with entrepreneurial, organisational, presentational, and technological issues common to all performers/composers, and (during the second semester) each student delivers a case study arising from the lecture material to the cohort of postgraduate students and leads the ensuing seminar.

In the last semester, candidates will also be required to submit a Reflective Portfolio for examination. Although this will consist primarily of written reflections on the learning experiences relating to the core practical elements of the course, it will also include a written summary of the candidate’s seminar presentation for the Professional Studies element of the course.

Established professional performers, conductors and composers are entitled to apply for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) in respect of the assessment requirements by submitting scores/recordings for assessment. Students may also avail of the Erasmus programme to earn credit through study at a partner institution.

Entry requirements

Either a primary degree (a BMus degree or a BA degree with Music as the major subject) awarded with at least 2nd Class Honours in a relevant area, or an equivalent degree in another area together with a recognised professional qualification awarded by a Conservatory or International Examining Body in Performance at Licentiate or Fellowship level), or be prepared to submit to a QQI-approved qualifying process.

Candidates will be required to present for an audition/interview, normally in the month of June. Applications received after the 15th of June may be assessed in early September.

Please note that applicants will be required to pay an acceptance fee of €500 online if a place on a course is offered. This fee is deductible from the overall course fee.

Note: You will not be charged for applying for the programme by clicking the 'apply now' button, you are only asked to pay an acceptance fee if a place is offered to you and you wish to accept it.
Late applications may be considered if places are available.​


2 years full-time.

Post Course Info

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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