Postgraduate Studies

Postgraduate Studies

We offer a range of postgraduate degrees from taught programmes (the HDip in Arts (Music) and MA degrees in Performance, Ethnomusicology, and Music and Cultural History) to research programmes (the MRes degree and PhD/MPhil degrees by research, including composition).  

Selecting a programme

At masters level, there are two main types of degree: (1) a predefined, taught programme; (2) a degree by original research (composition is considered a type of research). One type is not necessarily better than another. Taught programmes are ideal for fostering specialization in a particular field, and can be an excellent preparation for proceeding to further advanced work. If you are already strongly motivated towards a particular field of enquiry you may prefer to embark on a research degree, for this will give you maximum scope for pursuing your own ideas, showing initiative and working independently under supervision.

All doctoral level degrees in this department are by research (including composition).

Determining a topic

You may already have a clear idea of the type of degree that you wish to take and of the aspects of music on which you want to focus. But it is our experience that prospective candidates are sometimes uncertain about these things. If that describes you, talk to us! In providing consultation, we will direct you to members of our staff who can best advise you on particular fields of music and musicology. This is especially important if you are interested in research, since we do not expect all applicants to be well-versed in today’s musicological trends, or to be familiar with under-researched topics. We can help you to define a suitable research project and the scholarly disciplines its execution will involve. The process of developing your proposal with a prospective supervisor prior to application also provides an opportunity to test drive an important working relationship.

Facilities for music postgraduates

The Department’s postgraduate study room provides study spaces, computers, free printing, a microfilm reader-printer, and a stereo system. Postgraduates also have access to the Department’s computer music studio, mastering studio, performance and teaching spaces equipped with multimedia and surround sound, and our unique instrument collections (including the only gamelan in Ireland). On campus, the research library extension supplies study spaces and houses the special collections (of special interest are the Arnold Bax Collection of Memorabilia, and the Sean Ó Riada Collection | Bailiúchán Sheáin Uí Riada). 

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