Skip to main content

About the Course

What degree programmes does UCC offer?

The programme in which Music is studied substantially (either as the principal subject or as one of two principal subjects) is CK104 (BA Arts-Music, three years). Applicants are required to take the Music Entrance Test

Music may also be taken with Drama and Theatre Studies under CK112. Special arrangements regarding the Entrance Test apply in this case: see Music Entrance Test

What’s the difference between the BA and the BMus?

At UCC the main differences are of duration and scope:

  • The BA is a three-year programme; the BMus is a four-year one.
  • The BA is a degree in two Arts subjects (not necessarily equally weighted); the BMus is a degree in Music only (except for two additional minor subjects in first year).
  • BA students take fewer Music modules in years 2 and 3 than BMus students take, and BMus students have a fourth year in which to take further Music modules. Thus the BMus gives the maximum scope for availing of the many course-options offered by the School.

There is no difference in content or standards between individual Music modules taken by BA students and those taken by BMus students: BA and BMus students share classes together and are examined identically.


Is it possible to obtain both the BA and the BMus degrees?

Yes—provided certain conditions are met. (1) The student enters the BA Arts-Music programme (CK104). (2) In years 2 and 3, the student takes Music as the major subject either for Single Honours or for Major Honours. (3) Provided that s/he passes the BA with an Honours result, the student is then eligible to apply to enter the fourth year of the BMus programme.

Apart from the extra experience in Music that may be gained by studying for a fourth year, there is not necessarily any advantage in obtaining both degrees over four years: since both are primary degrees, neither qualifies as a postgraduate qualification. Many students prefer instead to aim for a high Honours result in their BA so that they may apply for a masters degree or another postgraduate programme.


What do the terms “Single Hons”, “Major Hons” and “Joint Hons” mean?

Having passed first year, an Arts student following a BA programme chooses which path to follow in years 2 and 3. There are three possible paths, depending on how the student wishes to divide up 60 credits per year:

  • Single Hons:one subject (the “major” subject) is taken for 50 credits, while a second subject (the “minor” subject) is taken for 10 credits.
  • Major Hons:one subject is taken for 40 credits, while a second subject is taken for 20 credits.
  • Joint Hons:two equally-weighted subjects are taken, for 30 credits each.

What are the course fees and costs?

 Please visit for more information on fees, including information on fees for Non-EU students. 


How many places are available on the BA and BMus programmes?

UCC’s College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences sets quotas on the number of students who may be accepted for its degree programmes in any one year. Currently, the quota for Music is around 50 places for the BA Arts-Music and BMus programmes through a shared CK104 entry point to which the Music Entrance Test applies.

What Arts subjects may be taken with Music for the BA in years 2 and 3?

These are listed elsewhere. Go to and click on “Overview”


This depends very much on the modules taken and also Arts subjects taken with Music, so it is unique to each individual student.

What kind of examinations can I expect on this course? How often?

This can depend on the modules taken, however in general terms examinations might take the form of practical performance exams, academic essays, composition work, presentations, projects, class tests, and a range of other assignments depending on the subject area. Depending on the module, assessments might require submission at the end of the first semester or the end of the second semester, and in addition, the submission of more frequent smaller assignments is often required as part of continuous assessment throughout the semester.

What required equipment do I need for the course? 

Students must provide their own musical instruments, particularly their primary instruments. Access to upright and grand pianos is provided in the Music Building, and we have a number of instruments, some of which can be rented at a very reasonable rate, and others which remain in the building and can be used free of charge (please enquire at for specific information). We also provide storage facilities in the Music Department for large instruments. Practice facilities, including the Ensemble Room, in the Music Building can be booked in advance by students to allow for daily practice or rehearsal.

What careers can be pursued after completing?

Music graduates of UCC find employment as teachers, performers, composers, arts administrators, artistic directors, and entrepreneurs, and have successfully pursued a wide range of career paths due to the expertise and valuable transferrable skills they develop during their undergraduate degree.

Why Choose CK104?

  • 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, while allowing students to pursue excellence in their chosen field(s).
  • CK104 allows both scope to diversify and to specialise in a number of musical genres including Irish traditional music, classical music, world music, digital music, popular music and jazz.
  • You will be taught by internationally renowned scholars, performers, and composers, and benefit from an engaging and stimulating learning environment.
  • CK104 is a Music degree that gives you options: not only is there an extensive range of specialisms within the Music curriculum in musicology, ethnomusicology, composition and performance, but you also have the option of studying a second Arts subject in tandem with Music as part of your degree.
  • It is a programme in tune with international trends and needs in music, providing you with rich transferable skills that prepare you for a diverse and changing world.
  • 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 university abroad. 

What are the entry requirements?

Applicants to the CK104 (BA Arts-Music including the BMus pathway option) programme must pass UCC’s Music Entrance Test in order to be eligible for a place on those programmes.  Whether an applicant succeeds in obtaining a place then depends on other factors: the points required for entry, the quota of places available, and such other admission requirements for Arts that the university applies.

There are no precise requirements for success at the Music Entrance Test, though naturally the School is looking for candidates with strong interests in studying music who possess skills in using music notation and in performance to a level sufficient for them to cope with the demands of our degree programmes. For full advice on the Test, see: Music Entrance Test

The policy of the Department of Music at UCC is to cater for students from diverse backgrounds and different kinds of experience of music.  Thus, candidates who have not had the opportunity to take Music at the Leaving Certificate or to have taken advanced performance grades are just as welcome to apply as those who have passed such exams. 

Where may I find information on the Music Entrance Test?


Does UCC provide accommodation for first-year students?

Yes. but not necessarily for all students. UCC Campus Accommodation provides student residential accommodation from mid-September to mid-June. It consists of several centres, each one being owned or managed by UCC. All are specially designed with comfortable apartments to suit student life with all modern conveniences to hand.

This accommodation may be booked online: see


I’m applying for CK112 (DTS) with Music. Do I need to take the Music Entrance Test?

At UCC it’s possible to take the BA in Drama and Theatre Studies (DTS) and Music as two equal subjects (known as Joint Hons), and thus specialize in both. In each of the three years of the degree, the student takes 30 credits of Music modules and 30 credits of DTS modules. Applicants for this Joint-Hons pathway apply for CK112 but must take the Music Entrance Test as well as the entrance test for DTS.

If you hope to take DTS and Music jointly you are strongly advised to take the Music Entrance Test in the spring (there is a choice of dates in March-April) so that you will know the result of that test as soon as possible, by late May, rather than remain uncertain over the summer about your eligibility to take Music. To make the arrangements to take the Music Entrance Test, get in touch with us in good time (before 1 March).


Department of Music

Roinn an Cheoil

T23 HF50