Music Therapy Research

As faculty of the MA Music Therapy Programme at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance we have a wide range of research interests that relate to music therapy practice, arts and health and medical humanities, with a special interest in interdisciplinary inquiry. We welcome applications from researchers who wish to undertake a research degree leading to a PhD award and are also interested in hearing from national and international researchers interested in research collaborations in the above areas.

Our research activity aims to:

  • Provide a national centre for music therapy research which contributes to improved standards of care within the Irish and international health sector
  • Promote the importance of the arts in society and for all populations
  • Explore the health and well-being potential of engagement in arts activity
  • Provide a national forum to promote and share research and knowledge about the intersection between music, health and well-being
  • Produce high-quality research that investigates the role of arts in the promotion of well-being


 Dr Hilary Moss is Senior Lecturer in Music Therapy at the World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland and until recently the Director of the National Centre for Arts and Health, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin. She completed her PhD in 2014 on aesthetic deprivation and the role of the arts for older people in hospital at Trinity College Dublin School of Medicine under the supervision of Prof Desmond O’Neill.  She is a musician and Music Therapist and has an MBA in Health Service Management. Her research interests include music therapy in mental health and older age, arts therapies, arts and health, medical/health humanities.

Her research is always inter-disciplinary, having formed research partnerships and published with colleagues from medicine, nursing, clinical therapies, arts and architecture. She has particular interest and experience in mixed methodology and qualitative research. For more information on her work see: and

Email: Tel: +353 61 213122

Dr Tríona McCaffrey is Lecturer in Music Therapy at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. As a qualified music therapist, she has practiced in the areas of mental health recovery, community mental health and psychiatry of old age. Having gained considerable experience as a member of a multi-disciplinary recovery team at Mayo Mental Health Services, she is passionate about supporting service user involvement in the planning and delivery of mental health provision. Her PhD is focused on the topic of service user evaluation of music therapy in mental health. This qualitative study involved the use of interpretative phenomenological analysis and arts-based methods in highlighting service user’s experience of attending music therapy sessions. In addition to holding a BA (Music and Irish), MA and PhD (Music Therapy), Tríona also has a Diploma in Psychology from the Open University.  She has presented her research internationally and has published in journals such as The Arts in Psychotherapy, the Journal of Music Therapy, and Music and Medicine. Her current inter-disciplinary research focusses on the role of arts-based research in highlighting multiple stakeholder views in healthcare. For further information see:

Email: Tel: +353 61 234358


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