UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Music

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Arts - Music

  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    3 years, or 4 years if following the BMus or BA Arts-Music (International) pathways

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BA (Hons)

  • Fees

    Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,130 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • CAO Points

    2021: 339

  • CAO Points Range

    2021: 339-625

Course Outline

Our Arts-Music degree allows you to combine the study of two subjects – Music and an Arts subject of your choice from the many Arts options on offer in UCC. Studying music at UCC allows you to explore both the theory and practice of music. Not only will you come away with a comprehensive understanding of the role that music plays in society you will have the opportunity to create music, through solo and ensemble performances. This, combined with your second subject choice, will give you the creative edge that makes you stand out from the crowd.

The BA (Arts-Music) programme now offers three pathways after Year 1:

  • BA Arts-Music (3 years)
  • BA Arts-Music (International) (4 years) – includes study abroad
  • BMus (4 years)

In Year 1, regardless of which pathway you ultimately choose, you will take courses providing key foundational skills in Music and two further Arts subjects offered through the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences (CACSSS).

As part of your degree, you will gain experience and understanding of music in contemporary society. You will experience classical, popular, jazz, film, Irish traditional and world music. We integrate practical study alongside academic and theoretical courses and you will have a considerable choice of music-related options, allowing you to build up a distinctive profile as a composer, songwriter, performer, producer, educator or worker within the cultural and music industries.


The BA Arts-Music programme combines two kinds of learning: that of practice and theory. Firstly, students create music through solo and ensemble performance, improvisation, composition, aural training, applied work in education or in the computer music studio. Secondly, students investigate music in historical and contemporary cultures worldwide.

Much of the degree is selected by you from a wide set of options. In Year 1 you take the core modules, listed below, comprising 30 credits. You also choose 30 credits from the BA Arts CK101 programme.

Year 1 Core Modules:

  • MU1020 Western Music, Culture and Media (5 credits)
  • MU1021 ITM Studies and Introduction to World Music (5 credits)
  • MU1022 Gamelan & Ensemble (5 credits)
  • MU1023 Solo Performance & Ensemble Studies (5 credits)
  • MU1024 Composition & Music Technology (5 credits)
  • MU1025 Music Theory & Aural Skills (5 credits)

Plus 30 credits from two other First Arts subjects from Groups 1, 2, 3, 5, 6(a).

  • See Arts CK101 for a list of subject choices.

Year 2 Modules

In Year 2 Arts-Music, students take Music as a Single Subject (50 credits) or as a Major Subject (40 credits) or a Joint Subject (30 credits).  Students may also apply to transfer to the BMus to take 60 credits of Music.



A choice of theoretical options from a broad range of subjects – from film music to the music of Java, from the history of jazz to music education, from Opera to fieldwork. You can choose from more than 30 solo and ensemble performance-based options in numerous genres from around the world; plus 10, 20 or 30 credits from another Arts subject continued from Year 1.

Course Practicalities

  • Lecture hours are typically two hours per module per week.
  • You also attend tutorials, seminars, practical’s, rehearsals, and performances.
  • You will have the opportunity to take part in performances in UCC and outside.
  • Students normally spend time in the Department to practice their instrument or voice, and there are widespread opportunities for extra-curricular music-making.
  • Theoretical courses typically require up to four hours a week of reading, researching, or other investigative work.
  • All students receive a grant toward instrumental or vocal tuition. (If you wish to take lessons on a further instrument, you will need personal funds for that.)

Why Choose This Course

We combine practice-based teaching, learning, and research with critical and scholarly skills...

Prof. Jools Gilson, Professor of Creative Practice, UCC

Head of School of Music and Theatre

Watch our School of Music video
Undertaking a double degree in History & Music was a way for me to keep my options open…

Nyala Grunwald

Graduate, BA Arts - Music & History

Keeping my options open
  • This is the most musically diverse BA or BMus on offer in Ireland. The course is designed to reflect the true diversity and vitality of the contemporary musical world.
  • If you are looking for a degree that is in tune with international trends and needs in music and rich in transferable skills, then the BA/BMus/BA Arts-Music International is a very suitable choice.
  • The Department is large enough to be exciting and surprising but still small enough to offer a friendly and supportive environment for all students, one where you’ll quickly feel at home.
  • The new Arts work-placement module offers students a unique opportunity to take an optional work-placement module in second year. This module offers preparatory training, a work-placement organised by the UCC Careers Office and post-placement follow up.
  • The BA Arts-Music (International) programme offers you the extra opportunity to study Music in an approved foreign university. 

Placement or Study Abroad Information

  • The Arts work-placement module (PX3001) offers students a unique opportunity to take an optional work-placement module in Year 2. This module offers preparatory training, a work placement organised by the UCC Careers Office and post-placement follow-up.
  • BA Arts-Music International allows students to study Music and/or an Arts subject with an approved university in Asia, Canada, Europe, South America, and the US.
  • We have numerous incoming overseas students each year, so you’re sure to gain the benefits of being in an international study environment whether or not you study overseas.

Skills and Careers Information

Our Arts-Music graduates have a great record for finding employment. Employers recognise Music degrees as being particularly rich in transferable skills, and varied in breadth of learning, a facet reinforced by inclusion of a second subject area taken to graduate level. The result is a graduate who is both versatile and very broadly competent. Our BMus graduates are highly trained and self-reliant specialists, with the strength of an additional year’s maturation and expertise and are in demand professionally.

BA Arts-Music graduates work in a variety of settings including areas such as:

  • performing musicians
  • music teachers
  • the music business
  • arts and cultural heritage management
  • film/tv/radio 

This BA degree also qualifies you to explore exciting postgraduate options, at home and abroad. Some UCC options include:

Please see the CACSSS postgraduate study page for more information on a vast array of postgraduate programmes including PhD options for CACSSS graduates.

Masters that Matter

At UCC we also promote Masters that Matter to encourage students to think outside the box and apply themselves to some of society’s greatest challenges. Find out more about these programmes on the Masters that Matter page.


Leaving Certificate entry requirements: 

At least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H5 in two subjects and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish. Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:



Other Language




Additional requirements: Applicants are also required to pass a music entrance exam and will be called for this automatically once the application is made through the CAO. The entrance exams are usually held in April of the incoming year.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students Requirements

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

Fees and Costs

Course fees include a tuition fee, student contribution fee and capitation fee. The state will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student Contribution and Capitation Fees are payable by the student. In 2021/22 the Student Contribution Fee is €3,000 and the Capitation Fee is €130. Please see the Fees Office page for more information.

Available Scholarships

At UCC we support our student community by offering scholarships and prizes to prospective and current students. Please see the CACSSS Scholarships & Prizes page for more information.

Non-EU Fees

The Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

How Do I Apply

EU Applicants: Application to Year 1 of the degree programme is made directly through the Central Applications Office (CAO). Applicants should apply online at www.cao.ie. The normal closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of entry.

Mature students:  Approximately six places are available on this course for mature students. Applicants should apply directly through the CAO, include a statement of interest, and must also apply separately to sit the Mature Student Admissions Pathway (MSAP) test. Mature applicants must also sit the music entrance exam.

International students: Please visit the International Office page.

FETAC/QQI requirements: Please visit the FETAC/QQI Requirements page for more information.

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can apply online.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact