UCC Postgraduate courses

Music - Performance (Music)

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Music - Performance (Music)

  • Code

    CKD18 Full-time; CKD19 Part-time

  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

    Full-time, Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees 2020

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2020


  • Entry Requirements

    Candidates who have an Honours Bachelor Degree with an award of 2H2 or higher, and who demonstrate an appropriate level of accomplishment in the performance of music, will be conisdered for entry to the MA in Performance (Music). See Requirements for full details.

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    Not on offer 2020/2021

  • Start Date

    Not on offer 2020/2021

Course Outline

The MA in Performance (Music) is an exciting programme that provides inclusive access to a thorough grounding in music performance skills across a uniquely diverse range of music genres and styles, including popular music, Irish traditional music, world musics, jazz, new and experimental music and western classical music. Students develop their instrumental/vocal skills in their chosen genre(s) through participation in a series of master classes delivered by external professional musicians chosen to match students’ instrumental/vocal specialisms. In addition to this unique opportunity to develop individual, genre-specific performance skills, students’ have the opportunity to explore an inclusive range of music genres and develop their understanding of cross-cultural performance practices in music through a series of workshops led by accomplished expert performers. Students also have an opportunity to develop their creativity in the context of collaborative music making through participation in a exceptionally wide range of music ensembles, including gamelan, Irish traditional music, popular music, early music, and many other ensembles. In addition, students have the opportunity to develop their music composition skills, transferrable research skills and their ability to integrate academic and practical work.

The MA in Performance (Music) is an intensive postgraduate course focused on the performance of music.

Students take 90 credits as follows:

Part I

  • MU6003 Performance Studies (15 credits)
  • MU6025 Research Skills for Musicians (15 credits)
  • MU6026 Performance Workshop (15 credits)

Performance Studies: In this module students explore the performance of music in social and cultural contexts. Students will consider a wide range of concepts and issues related to music performance, including: the multiple ways in which music performance is presented and consumed; the relationship between performers and their audiences; the concept of music performance as ritual; and the role of performance in the shaping of individual and collective identities.

Performance Workshop: This module is co-taught by a team of specialists and covers a cross-cultural range of music genres. A range of teaching and learning methodologies are employed, including practical engagement with music making, through which students learn about diverse music practices, repertories and performance contexts.

Research Skills for Musicians: In this module, students learn a range of research skills relevant to the study of music performance, including: how to listen critically, practice effectively, use the library, find online sources, complete an ethics form, use Sibelius, and present ideas publicly.

Students also choose one of the following modules:

and 15 credits from the following:

and 15 credits from the following:

  • MU6004 Performance Practice (15 credits)
  • MU6039 Praxis 1(10 credits)
  • MU6040 Praxis 2 (10 credits)
  • MU6035 The Body in Creative Arts Practice (10 credits)
  • MU6041 Agora (5 credits)
  • MU6031 Sound Studies and Musicology (5 credits)
  • MU6034 Multidisciplinary Debates in Ethnomusicology and Musicology (5 credits)

Part II

  • MU6027 Performance Project (30 credits)

Performance Project: After two semesters of coursework, students completing the MA prepare and submit a Performance Project which includes a major recital/performance. As part of this module each student participates in a series of masterclasses presented by leading professional musicians who specialise in the student’s area of music performance. Students opting for a Postgraduate Diploma do not complete the Performance Project.

Part-Time Option

Students registering part-time will complete 45 credits of taught modules in Year 1 and 15 credits of taught modules and the Performance Project (30 credits) in Year 2.

Postgraduate Diploma in Performance (Music)
Candidates who pass Part I but who fail, or fail to submit, the performance project, may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance (Music).

Additional Teaching Mode Information

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

The programme may be taken fulltime (over one year) or part-time (over two years). The workload is typical of a one-year taught MA programme with contact hours distributed across workshops, masterclasses, seminars, instrumental/vocal tuition, ensemble classes, and Performance Project supervision. Students also spend much addditional time engaged in rehearsals, practise, research, devising their Performance Project and, in some cases, music composition.

The part-time programme runs for 24 months from the date of first registration for the programme, taking 45 credits of taught modules in Year 1 and 15 credits of taught modules and the Performance Project (30 credits) in Year 2.


The majority of assessment is based on music performance. Assessment is also based on written materials and presentations.

Who teaches this course

Why Choose This Course

The MA in Performance (Music) offers a unique opportunity for students to explore the performance of a diverse, cross-cultural range of music genres while gaining expert individual tuition in a specialised area of performance through participation in masterclasses with leading professional musicians. The MA in Performance (Music) is suitable for accomplished musicians in all genres.

Skills and Careers Information

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • Perform chosen repertory to a professional level
  • Demonstrate skills in instrumental/vocal technique, arranging and performance practice
  • Contextualize their performance practice
  • Apply systematic practice through performance to generate new creative understandings.
  • Document their practice for research purposes
  • Communicate and collaborate with other performers in ensemble settings
  • Communicate and collaborate across music genres


Candidates who have an Honours Bachelor Degree with an award of Second Class Honours, Grade II or higher, and who demonstrate an appropriate level of accomplishment in the performance of music, will be conisdered for entry to the MA in Performance (Music).

Candidates without an Honours Degree, who possess equivalent professional skills and experience (eg. a professional musician or other artist of high standing), and who demonstrate evidence of academic ability may also be considered for entry to the MA in Performance (Music). Final acceptance is subject to approval by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC.

All applicants will be required to submit evidence of performance experience and skills (recordings, videos, etc.) and may also be required to attend an interview and audition with members of the programme team.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/non-EU applicants

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

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €6000.

The Non-EU fee for this course is €13,000.

Full-time/Part-time fee:

If your course is offered full time and part time, normally the fee for the part-time course is half the full-time fee per year, please check the fact file for confirmation.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

Non-EU Fees

The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 


For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional/supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these additional/supplementary questions are available to view here: CKD18AdditionalDocuments (9kB)

The closing date for non-EU applications is Not on offer 2020/2021

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact