The Higher Diploma in Arts (Music) is for graduates in subjects other than music who want to study music intensively at a level equivalent to that of a primary honours degree in music. In this way, the Higher Diploma acts as an important conversion course between subject areas and enables graduates in non-music subjects to make themselves eligible for consideration subsequently for graduate courses in music at master's and doctoral levels.
The course is an extremely flexible one that may be tailored to suit your interests and your aspirations for specialisation in music. It is ideal for those who have acquired skills in music in previous years and now wish to build on that experience and advance it to professional levels with the potential for a career in music or further postgraduate study.
Registration with the Teaching Council: For applicants who are taking the Higher Diploma with a view to Teaching Council subject registration, the Higher Diploma in Arts Music is recognised by the Teaching Council for the purposes of a teaching subject at post primary level.
This is a 60 credit course that may be taken full time over nine months (September to May) or part time over two academic years (September to May in each year). The modules are selected from the modules designed for UCC's BMus and BA (Arts-Music) honours degree courses: 30 credits from level/year 2, and 30 credits from final year. HDip in Arts students share classes with our Music undergraduates, with identical course-requirements for the particular modules chosen. This makes for an ideal environment for study and personal growth: your experience is greatly enriched by the dynamic of working alongside other music students and collaborating with them in seminars, for instance, and in creative work (performance and/or composition).
Students accepted for the course are offered a range of options that are selected in consultation with the course coordinator and other staff. You are encouraged to select options that build on your existing interests in music but also help you to explore the subject further and develop a specialism, whether in an area of scholarship and/or in music performance and/or composition.
A special feature of our course is that each student takes two modules that are important ingredients of the final year of an honours degree course: a seminar class and a major study option under the supervision of a member of the Department's staff. This option, the most substantial requirement of the course, can take a number of forms: a dissertation, a portfolio of compositions, a recital given in public, a music-technology project, etc. This advanced work is ideal as the bridge to postgraduate study in music.
Registration with the Teaching Council: In general, if you wish to qualify as a teacher, you are advised to refer to the school curriculum and match the modules to that broad field. Modules are chosen in consultation with the programme coordinator in September. For students who will wish to register the subject with the Teaching Council, the 20 credits of first year modules will be in addition to their Higher Diploma in Arts programme registration. There will be no additional fee for students who register for the additional 20 credits with the Higher Diploma in Arts. Students who have already completed 20 credits of first year modules in the subject as part of their primary degree will be exempt from the additional requirement to meet the Teacher Council requirements.
Why Choose This Course
This course is ideal, and unique in Ireland, for graduates in non-music subjects who want to qualify in music to degree level and beyond. Success in this course may be said to be the equivalent of acquiring a degree in music. Passing the course at a high level — with at least second class honours — makes you eligible to apply for master's degrees at UCC and at other universities that hold a similar view about equivalence.
Our experience is that many of our students have valued music in their lives from a young age (as music-lovers, as performers) and retained a deep interest in music while preferring, on leaving school, to take a degree in another subject. After graduation, in seeking to return to the study of music, you are often highly motivated and will in time be excellent postgraduate students in music programmes, if that is your ambition.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Graduates must complete the Professional Master of Education teacher training programme to qualify as a secondary school teacher, please see http://www.ucc.ie/en/pec01