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Music Performance

The Doctorate Handbook outlines in detail a range of information from entry requirements and procedures to examinations and academic components. This programme is unique to Ireland and has already produced graduates at the highest international level. See 'Course Web Page' link below to the Doctorate Handbook.

Entry requirements

Qualifications or equivalent
Applicants will normally hold a Master's Degree or equivalent and have a track record of professional achievement.

Applications are also invited from performers who have attained a very high standard professionally but would not have had the opportunity to undertake postgraduate studies at an earlier stage in their career.

Candidates will also normally be expected to have demonstrated considerable maturity and developed significant expertise in a number of the following areas:

• musical excellence
• continuing professional development
• extensive performance development
• comfort within intellectual discourse

It should be noted that this list is not exhaustive. Rather, it is intended to indicate that in addition to a record of academic achievement, candidates will be expected also to have a track record of considerable accomplishment and demonstrated maturity in a number of musical areas

Exceptionally, if the quality and extent of independent research or professional experience already demonstrated by an applicant clearly indicates capability of successful doctoral level study, the formal Masters qualification may be waived. The appropriate criteria of Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning [APEL] will be applied in these circumstances.

Competence in the English language
All classes/lectures/seminars are conducted through English. Students whose first language is not English and who have not been educated through the medium of English must present one of the following qualifications in the English language:

Examination Minimum Level Required
IELTS Grade 6.5
TOEFL 230 – computer-based
570 – paper-based
88 – internet-based
Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English Grade C
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English Grade C
Pearson Test of English PTE Academic: a minimum of 63 (with no section score below 59)

Further enquiries

Royal Irish Academy of Music
36-38 Westland Row, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 1 6764412
Fax +353 1 6622798

Application date

Admissions to the Doctor in Music Performance Degree at The Royal Irish Academy of Music will be administered through direct application to the RIAM. Applications are accepted up to December 1st each year. However, late applications may be considered in exceptional cases.


All applicants must upload the following documents online:

•A completed application form

•An unedited CD or DVD recording of not less than 30 minutes

•The relevant non-refundable application fee

•A detailed Curriculum Vitae and examples of written work, whether essays, articles or programme notes, of not less than 1,000 and not more than 3,000 words

•A full and comprehensive repertoire list of all pieces studied and performed

•A proposal for a 1-hour stylistically balanced programme for audition purpose

•A proposal of no more than 1,000 words including the title and a detailed description of the proposed research project

•Transcripts of Master's degree, or equivalent, if appropriate – or proof of professional performance standard achieved

•Proof of competence in English where necessary for those applicants whose education is not through the medium of English

•Two references that relate to the suitability of the Doctorate Programme at least one reference from a musician in the same specialty area as the applicant

•A personal statement may be included. Applicants may choose to indicate why they wish to undertake Doctorate studies, what they hope to achieve and why they specifically wish to study at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

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