Music & Culture

Cutting-edge research with an Irish grounding and a world-wide reach lies at the heart of our taught Master's programme, which gives students the opportunity to work with scholars of international standing in the School’s core disciplines of ethnomusicology, historical musicology and composition. Foundation modules in these areas are followed by case studies based on the research specialisms of our staff. Irish musical culture features prominently in the programme, including case study modules on “Sounding Ireland Onscreen” and “Popular Music in Ireland,” yet the profile of the degree is by no means restricted to Irish topics.

Overall, the degree furnishes students with the core intellectual tools for pursuing musicological or practice-based (composition) research while also facilitating specialisation and encouraging independent scholarship. Students are part of a lively, collaborative research culture and engage regularly with visiting seminar speakers. Students often go on to doctoral study, when they are supported by faculty during the Masters to develop research ideas and funding proposals, yet also go on to a range of related careers in the arts and cultural heritage sector, media, teaching, and many other professions.

The UCD School of Music is one of the leading centres for graduate musical study in Ireland and a QS World Top 100 Performing Arts department.

Who should apply?

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

Subjects taught

The core modules listed below are offered every year; some spring trimester option modules may vary from year-to-year.

Autumn Trimester (30 credits)

Foundations in Historical Musicology, 10 credits (option)
Foundations in Ethnomusicology, 10 credits (option)
Foundations in Composition, 10 Credits (option)
Doing Research, 5 credits (core)
New Ideas in Musicology, 5 credits (core)
Spring Trimester (30 credits)

Popular Music Ethnography, 10 credits (option)
Post-Truth, Politics & Music, 5 credits (option)
Music & Philosophy, 10 credits (option)
Music Industries, 5 credits (option)
Death in Music, 5 credits (option)
Sounding Ireland Onscreen, 5 credits (option)
Popular Music in Ireland, 5 credits (option)
Advanced Music Theory, 5 credits (option)
Composition 1, 5 credits (option)
Composition 2, 5 credits (option)
Graduate Colloquium, 5 credits (core)
Summer Trimester (30 credits)

Dissertation, 30 credits (option)
Composition Portfolio, 30 credits (option)

Entry requirements

A Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor in a cognate area with a minimum 2.1 or an equivalent of a UCD GPA of 3.08 (NFQ Level 8) or equivalent. Cognate areas include Music, Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Music Education and Performance Studies. In some cases the School of Music will accept applicants from English, History, Sociology and Anthropology. However, the School will first assess the applicant's ability to read musical notation and engage with Music Theory. Written sample work (1000-4000 words) and two positive academic references will be required. Applicants whose first language is not English are also required to submit evidence of their English language proficiency. It is expected that applicants will normally have reached an overall 7.0 in IELTS, with no individual band lower than 6.5, or equivalent.

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes.

Application dates

The following entry routes are available:

MMus Music & Culture FT (Z357)
Duration 1 Years
Attend Full Time
Deadline 01-MAY-24

MMus Music & Culture PT (Z358)
Duration 2 Years
Attend Part Time
Deadline Rolling*
* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.


MMus Musicology Music and Culture (Z357) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 7315
nonEU fee per year - € 19900

MMus Musicology Music and Culture (Z358) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 4390
nonEU fee per year - € 9950

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

Enrolment dates

NEXT INTAKE: 2024/2025 September.

Post Course Info

Career & Graduate Study Opportunity
Many alumni of the MMus Degree have gone on to successful careers in arts administration, journalism, and teaching. Recent graduates have also gone on to pursue doctoral work in musicology and ethnomusicology at internationally-renowned institutions such as Cambridge University, King’s College London, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Our graduates occupy academic posts throughout Ireland and the UK (including Royal Holloway, Goldsmiths, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester) and further afield (including Queensland and Sydney); they also hold positions with the BBC and RTÉ (radio and television) and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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