The Master of Arts in Songwriting is a one year, full-time postgraduate programme, which focuses on the artistic practice of songwriting with opportunities to perform and record work. The course is cognisant of the wide variety of approaches to songwriting that one might adopt and will not attempt to be a 'how-to'. Rather, this is a space where students can explore and be exposed to a range of writing techniques, whilst having the dedicated time and resources to develop their own body of work. This will be through a combination of solo work and collaboration with a community of fellow songwriters with guidance from songwriting mentors.

In addition, the course provides a toolkit of core skills that students can draw from in areas such as music theory and arranging, technology and production, promotion, copyright and publishing as well as the central focus of writing, recording and/or performing.


The student will gain:
•Originality - a strong sense of individual voice
•Wide core skill set
•Strong basis for sustainable career as a songwriter / space to explore and spend dedicated time to support existing career as songwriter
•Critical engagement with artistic practice
•Songwriting honed through supportive and reflective critique
•Exposure to wide range of approaches to songwriting

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

A primary degree in a suitable discipline with first or second class honours or an approved equivalent qualification (Primary degree: Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland) Or
an equivalent capability based on prior professional experience in songwriting and/or performance.

A performance audition and interview will be required in all cases. Additional audio, visual or written material may be required.

What to include with your application:
•Cover letter outlining interest in course and experience of songwriting to date
•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 or passport

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 MASOWRTFAD

Further enquiries

For academic queries on this programme contact:
Course Director: Carl Corcoran
Phone: 061 202082
Mobile: 087 9834114
The Irish World Academy of Music & Dance

Subjects taught

Programme Content

Autumn Semester

Core Modules:
•MD6181 Songwriting Style and Context 1
•MD6191 Songwriting Process 1
•MD6031 Media Technologies for Performing Arts & Arts Research
•MD6091 Professional Development for the Performing Arts

Students choose 3 of the following elective modules:
•MD6021 Introduction to Fieldwork Techniques
•MD6041 Introduction to Ritual Studies
•MD6051 Independent Study 1
•MD6061 Introduction to Somatics
•MD6071 Writing and Documentation of Arts Practice
•MD6111 Colloquium 1
•MD6201 Instrumental Skills for Songwriters
•MD6211 Irish World Academy Ensembles
•MD6221 Applied Music Theory for Songwriters

Spring Semester
Core Modules:
•MD6202 Songwriting Style and Context 2
•MD6192 Songwriting Process 2
•MD6062 Critical Contexts for Arts Management & Cultural Policy
•MD6172 Performance and Media Technologies for Songwriters
•MD6182 Promotion and Dissemination for Songwriters

Students choose Min 1 (6 credit) Max 2 (3 credit) of the following elective modules:
•BR5001 Broadening through Awareness, Activism & the Arts (Postgraduate)
•EH6112 Individual Creative Writing project (6 credits)
•MD6052 Independent Study 2
•MD6072 Writing and Documentation of Arts Practice 2
•MD6081 Critical Engagements with Irish Traditional Music
•MD6092 Introduction to Somatics 2
•MD6162 Interdisciplinary Practice

Summer Semester
•MD5522 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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