Music - Performance - Music

The MA in Performance (Music) is an exciting programme that provides inclusive access to a thorough grounding in music performance skills across a uniquely diverse range of music genres and styles, including popular music, Irish traditional music, world musics, jazz, new and experimental music and western classical music. Students develop their instrumental/vocal skills in their chosen genre(s) through participation in a series of master classes delivered by external professional musicians chosen to match students' instrumental/vocal specialisms. In addition to this unique opportunity to develop individual, genre-specific performance skills, students' have the opportunity to explore an inclusive range of music genres and develop their understanding of cross-cultural performance practices in music through a series of workshops led by accomplished expert performers. Students also have an opportunity to develop their creativity in the context of collaborative music making through participation in a exceptionally wide range of music ensembles, including gamelan, Irish traditional music, popular music, early music, and many other ensembles. In addition, students have the opportunity to develop their music composition skills, transferrable research skills and their ability to integrate academic and practical work.

The MA in Performance (Music) offers a unique opportunity for students to explore the performance of a diverse, cross-cultural range of music genres while gaining expert individual tuition in a specialised area of performance through participation in masterclasses with leading professional musicians. The MA in Performance (Music) is suitable for accomplished musicians in all genres.

Entry requirements

Candidates who have an Honours Bachelor Degree with an award of Second Class Honours, Grade II or higher, and who demonstrate an appropriate level of accomplishment in the performance of music, will be conisdered for entry to the MA in Performance (Music).

Candidates without an Honours Degree, who possess equivalent professional skills and experience (eg. a professional musician or other artist of high standing), and who demonstrate evidence of academic ability may also be considered for entry to the MA in Performance (Music). Final acceptance is subject to approval by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC.

All applicants will be required to submit evidence of performance experience and skills (recordings, videos, etc.) and may also be required to attend an interview and audition with members of the programme team.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Assessment Info

The majority of assessment is based on music performance. Assessment is also based on written materials and presentations.

Subjects taught

The MA in Performance (Music) is an intensive postgraduate course focused on the performance of music.

Students take 90 credits as follows:

Part I

MU6003 Performance Studies (15 credits)

MU6025 Research Skills for Musicians (15 credits)

MU6026 Performance Workshop (15 credits)

Performance Studies: In this module students explore the performance of music in social and cultural contexts. Students will consider a wide range of concepts and issues related to music performance, including: the multiple ways in which music performance is presented and consumed; the relationship between performers and their audiences; the concept of music performance as ritual; and the role of performance in the shaping of individual and collective identities.

Performance Workshop: This module is co-taught by a team of specialists and covers a cross-cultural range of music genres. A range of teaching and learning methodologies are employed, including practical engagement with music making, through which students learn about diverse music practices, repertories and performance contexts.

Research Skills for Musicians: In this module students learn a range of research skills relevant to the study of music performance, including: how to listen critically, practice effectively, use the library, find online sources, complete an ethics form, use Sibelius, and present ideas publicly.

Students also choose one of the following modules:

and 15 credits from the following:

and 15 credits from the following:

MU6004 Performance Practice (15 credits)

MU6039 Praxis 1(10 credits)

MU6040 Praxis 2 (10 credits)

MU6035 The Body in Creative Arts Practice (10 credits)

MU6041 Agora (5 credits)

MU6031 Sound Studies and Musicology (5 credits)

MU6034 Multidisciplinary Debates in Ethnomusicology and Musicology (5 credits)

Part II

MU6027 Performance Project (30 credits)

Performance Project: After two semesters of coursework, students completing the MA prepare and submit a Performance Project which includes a major recital/performance. As part of this module each student participates in a series of masterclasses presented by leading professional musicians who specialise in the student's area of music performance. Students opting for a Postgraduate Diploma do not complete the Performance Project.

Part-Time Option

Students registering part-time will complete 45 credits of taught modules in Year 1 and 15 credits of taught modules and the Performance Project (30 credits) in Year 2.

Postgraduate Diploma in Performance (Music)
Candidates who pass Part I but who fail, or fail to submit, the performance project, may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance (Music).


1 year Full-time, 2 years Part-Time

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

The programme may be taken fulltime (over one year) or part-time (over two years). The workload is typical of a one-year taught MA programme with contact hours distributed across workshops, masterclasses, seminars, instrumental/vocal tuition, ensemble classes, and Performance Project supervision. Students also spend much addditional time engaged in rehearsals, practise, research, devising their Performance Project and, in some cases, music composition.

The part-time programme runs for 24 months from the date of first registration for the programme, taking 45 credits of taught modules in Year 1 and 15 credits of taught modules and the Performance Project (30 credits) in Year 2.

Enrolment dates

Start Date 9 September 2019

Post Course Info

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

Perform chosen repertory to a professional level

Demonstrate skills in instrumental/vocal technique, arranging and performance practice

Contextualize their performance practice

Apply systematic practice through performance to generate new creative understandings.

Document their practice for research purposes

Communicate and collaborate with other performers in ensemble settings

Communicate and collaborate across music genres

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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