Current Postgraduate Research

The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance houses many research postgraduates reading for PhDs. They bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience which feeds into the expertise of the Academy as a whole. 

Current Research

Masters of Arts by Research

  • Tadhg Ó MeachairYoung Composers in Irish Traditional Music, 2004-2014.  Supervisor: Dr. Aileen Dillane.


  • Avril McLoughlinBridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice: teaching music theory to Irish traditional musicians. Supervisors Dr. Sandra Joyce & Dr. Niall Keegan.
  • Ciara Thompson – Mo Stór é Mo Leanabh: Functions and Meanings of Traditional Lullaby singing within 21st Century Ireland. Supervisor Dr. Sandra Joyce. 
  • Ian Bascombe – A ‘New Organology’: The Tin Whistle’s Journey Into Ireland and its Vernacular Music.  Supervisor Dr. Aileen Dillane.
  • Fiona Byrne – Investigating Evaluation of Audience Experience in the Visual Art Spaces in Ireland. Supervisor: Dr. Niamh NicGhabhann.
  • Pamela Cotter – An Examination of Festivity and the Traditional Arts in Contemporary Practice. Supervisors: Dr. Niamh NicGhabhann & Dr. Niall Keegan. 
  • Carolyn Dike – Safeguarding the Social Life of Irish Traditional Singing. Supervisor: Dr. Colin Quigley.
  • Jennifer De Brún – An Ethnographic Investigation of Cecchetti Classical Ballet Training in Ireland. Supervisor: Dr Catherine Foley; Professor Anya Peterson Royce (Indiana University, Bloomington) 
  • Paul Dooley – Harp Tuning Practice in Medieval Ireland and Wales.  Supervisors: Prof. Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Paul Whittaker, CAWMS & Dr. Peter Tiernan, MSSI.
  • Irene Horgan – A History of Irish Step Dancing in the Naugatuck Valley, Connecticut, U.S Supervisor: Dr Catherine Foley
  • Svend Kjeldsen – Mancunian Irish: Musical Hybridization and Cultural Intimacy Supervisors: Dr. Colin Quigley & Dr. Aileen Dillane
  • Brendan Knowlton  –  Enabling Social Relationships Through Online Cultural Heritage Archives (on leave until September 2015) Supervisors: Dr. Colin Quigley & Dr. Niall Keegan.
  • Mary McLaughlin – Singing Between Worlds: The Portrayal of the Otherworld in the Traditional Songs of Donegal. Supervisor: Dr. Sandra Joyce.
  • Fiana Ní Chonaill – How do Small and Medium Traditional Irish Music Festivals Act as a Catalyst for Tourism in Rural Areas?  Supervisors: Dr. Sandra Joyce & Professor Jim Deegan (Kemmy Business School)
  • Róisín Ní Ghallóglaigh – Erotic Expression in Irish Traditional Song.  (on leave until January 2016) Supervisor: Dr. Sandra Joyce.
  • Jason Noone – The Applications of Mainstream Music Technologies to Facilitate Access to Creative Musical Experiences for People with Disabilities: a Participatory Action Research project. Supervisors: Dr. Sandra Joyce & Dr. Jane Edwards.
  • Rebeca Mateos Morante – Talking Body, Dancing Body: A Psychoanalytical Study of the Dancer in the Mirror. Supervisors: Dr. Catherine Foley; Professor José Miguel Marinas (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).  
  • Elizabeth Painter – Dancing Identity: Embodied Style and Aesthetics in Cuban Casino and Everyday life Supervisors: Dr Catherine Foley; Professor Anya Peterson Royce (Indiana University, Bloomington) 
  • Jack Talty – The Ivory Tower and The Commons?: Problematising Irish Traditional Music in Irish Higher Education. Supervisor: Dr. Aileen Dillane.
  • Colin Francis Slade – Military Drill In The United States And The Effects Of Synchronized Performance Supervisor: Dr. Mats Melin

PhD Arts Practice 

  • Iarla O Lionaird – Aphelion: A Performative Investigation at the Far Borders of Irish Music Supervisor: Dr Aileen Dillane
  • Patrick Sutton – The Moment of Freedom: Exploring performance as an act of transcendence Supervisors: Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin; Dr. Helen Phelan
  • David Bennis The Art of Transcription: An investigation, through performance, into the transcription of music for the classical guitar Supervisors: Dr. Ferenc Szucs; Dr. Helen Phelan
  • Russell Brown – The Body of Style in Ireland: 1600-1850 Supervisor: Dr. Catherine Foley
  • Diane DalyAn arts practice investigation of Dalcroze Eurhythmics and its impact on professional performance from the perspective of a classical violinist  Supervisor: Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin
  • Mattu Noone  – Reclaiming the Mongrel: Irish Traditional and North Indian Classical musical connections; a practice-based exploration of hybridisation Supervisor Dr. Colin Quigley
  • O’dyke Nzewi  African Indigenous Performance Epsitemology: Its relevance in modern creative practices Supervisor: Dr Colin Quigley
  • Shannon Burns – Transmitting Music Theory: a performative investigation Supervisor: Dr. Helen Phelan
  • Alec Brown –  Strung Out: Forging a New Path for the Cello in Irish Traditional Music Supervisors:  Dr Sandra Joyce; Dr Niall Keegan
  • Michael Courtney – Bridging Horizons: Cultural Understandings Through Dance Supervisor: Dr Catherine Foley
  • Cliodhna Donnellan – The Phenomenology of Performance Anxiety within Traditional Irish Music Formal Performance Settings.  Supervisor: Dr. Sandra Joyce
  • Hannah Fahey – Expanding Vocabularies: A Performative Exploration of the Singing Voice.  Supervisor: Dr. Helen Phelan.
  • Kevin O’Carroll – Phrased Notation – exploring a new solution to an old problem. Supervisor: Dr. Helen Phelan
  • Frances Gary – Lived Experiences in Community Arts in Ireland.  Supervisor: Dr. Helen Phelan
  • Shane Holohan – The Facilitation and Documentation of Embodied Creativity in High-Performance Circus Artists.  Supervisor: Dr. Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain.
  • Kathleen Turner – Playing Our Way; Exploring the Role of Community Music in a Process of Social Regeneration. Supervisor: Dr. Helen Phelan.
  • Bart Keily – Research and Development of this Human Drum Machine.  Supervisor: Dr.Niall Keegan
  • Maria Kerin – Framing the ephemeral: To create and develop production models and performance contexts through my recursive curatorial process that would support and sustain my body based arts practice and that of other artists whose practice is strongly informed by Somatic principles. Supervisor: Dr. Mary Nunan
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