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

    2020: 302

  • CAO Points Range

    2020: 302-601

Course Outline

The BA (Arts-Music) now offers three pathways after first year. You can study for the BA Arts-Music (3yrs), BMus (4 yrs) or the BA Arts-Music International (4yrs). Regardless of which pathway you wish to pursue, in First Year 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.

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. 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 (Hons) Arts-Music combines two kinds of learning. First, students create music through solo and ensemble performance, improvisation, composition, aural training, applied work in education or in the computer music studio. Second, you investigate music in historical and contemporary cultures worldwide. Much of the degree is selected by you from a very wide set of choices.

Year 1 Modules:

Core (all 5 credits)

  • MU1020 Western Music, Culture and Media
  • MU1021 ITM Studies and Introduction to World Music
  • MU1022 Gamelan and Solo Recital
  • MU1023 Ensemble
  • MU1024 Composition and Music Technology
  • MU1025 Music Theory and Aural Skills

plus two other First Arts subjects from Groups 1, 2, 3, 5, 6(a) (see CK101)

Year 2 Modules:

In Second Arts-Music, students take Music as a Single Subject (50 credits) or 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.


Music in Culture and Society;  Performance Studies


A choice of theoretical options from an amazingly broad range of subjects – from film music to the music of Java, from the history of jazz to music education, from Opera to fieldwork; a choice 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 First Year.

Year 3 Modules:


Music credits in performance, composition folio, dissertation, project etc., a choice of seminar course or final performance,  a choice of lecture course


As for second year: students choose courses that complement or follow on from second year electives, allowing broader experience and/or deeper specialisms; plus 10, 20 or 30 credits from another Arts subject continued from First Year.

Year 4* Modules (BMus):


Senior Research Forum;  Major in performance, composing, dissertation, project etc.


As for third year: students choose courses that complement or follow on from second and third year electives, allowing broader experience and/or deeper specialisms, an ideal preparation for postgraduate study.

See the College Calendar for more detailed information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for a more detailed description of Programme Modules.


Course Practicalities

  • Lecture hours are typically two per module per week.
  • You also attend tutorials, seminars, practicals, 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, Head of UCC School of Music and Theatre

Find Out More
The arts music degree is a nice balance between the two [Music and Arts] where you can do more credits of music up as far as majoring in it.

Mike Ryan

Graduate, BA Arts - Music

  • 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) offers you the extra opportunity to study Music in an approved foreign university. 

Placement or Study Abroad Information

  • 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. You can get more information on the work-placement module  (hyperlink to http://www.ucc.ie/en/media/academic/cacsss/websitedesign/WorkPlacementLeaflet2.pdf )link on this page.
  • 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

BA (Hons) 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. BMus graduates are highly trained and self-reliant specialists, with the strength of an additional year’s maturation and expertise. They are in much 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



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 will be held on the following dates:  April 4th, 17th and 18th 2020

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 should visit the International Education website.

FETAC Requirements.

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 will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee will be €130.


Please see Fees Office 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.

Non-EU Applicants.

Mature Application:  Application is made through the CAO (www.cao.ie) and the closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of proposed entry.  Applicants must also apply for the Mature Student Admissions Pathway (MSAP) exam. Mature applicants must also sit the music entrance exam. Find out about the mature entry requirements here

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