Ritual Chant & Song

The MA in Ritual Chant and Song is a one-year, full-time programme in ritual vocal repertoires, contextualised by a programme of study in ritual theory and liturgical history. The programme specialises in vocal repertoires including Western plainchant and Irish traditional religious song, as well as a variety of world ritual vocal repertoires. Vocal development is facilitated through one-to-one, weekly vocal classes, as well as master-classes with internationally renowned performers. The programme is offered in association with the Benedictine community at Glenstal Abbey.

• 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.

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

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
•English language qualification if English is not your first language
•Certified English translations of your transcripts/certificates where the originals are in a language other than English.
•A copy of your birth certificate (long document)

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or meet one of the criteria below (no longer than two years prior to application):

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:
•Matriculation examinations from European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved
•Irish Leaving Certificate English –Ordinary Level Grade D or above
•TOEFL – 580 (paper based) or 90 (internet based)
•IELTS – Minimum score of 6.5 with no less than 6 in any one component.
•English Test for English and Academic Purposes (ETAPP) – Grade C1
•GCE 'O' level English Language/GCSE English Language – Grade C or above
•Cambridge Assessment English - Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C / Certificate in Advanced English Grade B
•GCE Examination Boards – Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations – Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate – School Certificate Pass 1-6 / University of London Entrance and School Examinations Council – School Certificate Pass 1-6

Results in examinations other than those listed above may also be accepted as meeting our English language requirements. Contact the International Education Division for advice.


1 year full time. MARCSOTFAD

Careers or further progression

The prime focus of the course is the development of performers so many past students have gone on to develop careers as traditional musicians. However, students have gone on to use skills acquired through this MA in a number of other fields including education (at primary, post-primary, secondary and tertiary levels), technology, arts management, etc.

Further enquiries

For academic queries on this programme contact:
Course Director: Dr Eleanor Giraud
The Irish World Academy of Music & Dance
Fax : 353-61- 234743
Email :

Subjects taught

Semester 1
MU5361 Ritual Chant and Song Practicum 1
MD6151 Materials, Methods and Context for Western Chant 1
MD6021 Introduction to Fieldwork techniques
MD6041 Introduction to Ritual Studies
MD6061 Introduction to Somatics 1

Options: students can choose one option from the list below

• MD6051 Independent Study 1
• MD6102 Colloquium 1

Semester 2
MU5362 Ritual Chant and Song Practicum 2
MD6142 Materials, Methods and Context for Western Chant 2
MD6132 Advanced Ritual Studies
MD6092 Introduction to Somatics 2

Options: students can choose one option from the list below
• MD6052 Independent Study 2
• MD6111 Colloquium 2

Semester 3 Final Presentation.

Application date

Application Deadlines

Taught Programmes
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basies but specific programmes have individual closing dates which can be found on our on-line prospectus

Research Programmes
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis for research programmes. The applications for Research programmes are review each month by the Postgraduate Research Committee.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: 09/Sep/2019

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