Music - Ritual Chant & Song

Key programme benefits to future students
This course aims to provide a specialist, vocal training in ritual repertoires, particularly Western plainchant and Irish traditional religious song, contextualised by the study of liturgical history and ritual theory.

Aims to develop a research foundation for the interdisciplinary study of music, performance, theology and anthropology of ritual.

Vocal development is facilitated through one-to-one, weekly vocal classes, as well as master-classes with internationally renowned performers.

Key Fact: Students take field trips to sites such as Lough Gur and Glenstal abbey to enrich their experience and academic knowledge of Ritual Chant and Song.

Subjects taught

Autumn Modules
• Ritual Chant and Song Practicum 1
• Materials, Methods and Context for Western Chant 1
• Introduction to Fieldwork techniques
• Introduction to Ritual Studies

Optional Modules (choose two)
Independent Study 1 | Introduction to Somatics 1 | Colloquium 1 | Beginners’ Ecclesiastical Latin for the Study of Plainchant | Academic Literacies for International Postgraduate Students 1 | Professional Development for the Performing Arts | Media Technologies for Performing Arts and Arts Research

Spring Modules
• Ritual Chant and Song Practicum 2
• Materials, Methods and Context for Western Chant 2
• Advanced Ritual Studies

Optional Modules (choose two)
Independent Study 2 | Introduction to Somatics 2 | Colloquium 2 | Academic Literacies for International Postgraduate Students 2 | Critical Contexts for Arts Management and Cultural Policy | Interdisciplinary Practice

Summer Modules
• Final Presentation

Entry requirements

A primary degree in a suitable discipline with first or second class honours or an approved professional qualification (Primary Degree: Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland).
An interview will be required in all cases, as well as an audition where necessary. Candidates may be required to submit additional audio visual and/or written material.

What to include with your application
Qualification transcripts and certificates
A copy of your birth certificate (long document)
A sample of writing (c. 2000-3000 words)
Videos of you singing 2 songs – one chant if possible, or if not then a capella. These can be video files, or a link to youtube videos. These can be sent directly to Dr Eleanor Giraud if there are any issues with uploading them with the application.
If your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language this will suffice
If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided:
• English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts
• English language competency certificate

Note: Due to Covid-19 restrictions, any interviews or auditions (as required by the Course Director) during the application process will now take place virtually.

Application dates

Preparing your Application:
1. Research your programme: Each postgraduate programme at University of Limerick is unique. Explore your course content, duration, fees, and entry requirements on

2. Check Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the course you are interested in. This usually includes your undergraduate degree award, subject specialities, English language proficiency (for non-native speakers), and any specific requirements for the course.

3. Prepare Documents: Gather all the necessary documents. This typically includes your academic transcripts, CV, personal statement, and references. If English is not your first language, you’ll also need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency.

4. Online Application: Once you are ready to apply, visit your postgraduate programme page on and use the Apply Now button to access UL’s online application system. You will need to create an account if you are a new user.

5. Complete the Application: Fill in the application form with all the required details. This will include personal information and academic history.

6. Upload Documents: Upload all the necessary documents that you prepared earlier. Make sure they are clear and legible.

7. Submit Application: Review your application thoroughly to ensure all information is correct and then submit your application. The application fee for your postgraduate application is €50. This includes an option to choose a second choice.

8. Track Your Application: After submission, you can track the status of your application through the online application system.

9. Interview: Depending on the programme, you may be invited for an interview. This could be in person or online.

10. Acceptance: If your application is successful, you will receive an offer email from the university. You will need to accept this offer to secure your place.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and places offered to successful candidates. This means that it’s a good idea to apply as early as possible to increase your chances of securing a place.

Please note that these steps are a general guide and the exact process may vary depending on the specific programme and your individual circumstances. Always check the University of Limerick website or contact the postgraduate admissions department for the most accurate and up-to-date information.


1 year full-time, on-campus.

Enrolment dates


Post Course Info

Graduate careers
Singers, musicians and musical directors, education (at primary, post-primary, secondary and tertiary levels), technology, arts management, etc. A good number of graduates of this MA have also gone on to further doctoral study.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Daytime,Full time

  • Apply to

    Course provider