BA Performing Arts
Irish Traditional Dance

The BA Performing Arts (Irish Traditional Dance) is a four-year, full-time undergraduate programme designed to develop your dance skills and knowledge of your practice, as well as to include other forms of musical and artistic expression. As a student you will spend extensive studio time developing technique and repertoire in the world-class dance studios at the Academy.  You will also be able to develop your scholarly knowledge and enquiry around your own discipline and genre. Importantly, you will be introduced to other performance practices and scholarly traditions in order to gain new insights into the worlds of dance and the performing arts, enhancing your creative potential. You will also study a number of vocationally focused modules aimed at allowing you to translate your artistic and scholarly creativity into a fulfilling career.

The first year of the course is the common entry programme shared with all the pathways (Irish Music, Irish Dance, Contemporary Dance, Voice and World Music).  However you focus from the start of this first year is on your own performance practice.  In first year, you will focus and develop your own Irish dance practice and be introduced to critical academic engagement with classical, popular, traditional, contemporary, world music and dance through a performative lens.

From second year onwards, you will focus on Irish Traditional Dance. Students will undertake additional specialist modules in Irish music and dance studies, dance studies, experiential anatomy and movement analysis, as well as dance pedagogy.

Students will work in the development of their technique and repertoire in a context that concentrates on the students as the site and main agent for creativity.  These classes are led by the renowned faculty and tutors at the Irish World Academy with contributions from many visiting tutors from a number of different dance practices.  Students will have many classes relating to their well-being as dancers such as yoga, pilates, movement awareness and sessions with the world class physiotherapy facilities and staff at the University of Limerick.

As a student, you will be based at the world-class facilities of the Irish World Academy building, equipped to the highest standards with cutting edge performance and rehearsal spaces and technological infrastructure. Tuition is provided by a faculty of excellent performers and academics, as well as industry professionals and international guest artists and researchers.

The programme prepares you for many different career paths including professional performance; further study; work in cultural institutions; media related posts; archival work; performance production; portfolio careers combining the preceding and others in entrepreneurial ways.

Programme of Study

Year 1

Semester 1

Performance 1A

Irish World Academy Practicum C1

MU4001 Critical Encounters with Music and Dance (Irish Music and Dance)

Critical Encounters with Music and Dance (World Music and Dance)


Semester 2

Performance 2A

Irish World Academy Practicum C2

MU4012 Critical Encounters with Music and Dance (Western Art Music and Dance)

Critical Encounters with Popular Music and Dance


Year 2

Semester 3

Performance 3A

Irish World Academy Practicum C3

Irish Music and Dance Studies 1

Performing Arts Technology


Semester 4

Performance 4A

Irish World Academy Practicum C4

Experiential Anatomy and Movement Analysis

Contextulalising and Vocational Studies


Year 3

Semester 5

Co-op Placement

Semester 6 (Semester 6, Year 3 has an option for international Exchange)

Performance 5A

Irish World Academy Practicum C5

Arts and Health

Research Skills: Ethnomusicology/Ethnochoreology/Arts Practice


Year 4

Semester 7

Performance 6A

Irish World Academy Practicum C6

FYP Preparatory

Professional Skills


Semester 8

Performance 7A

Irish World Academy Practicum C7


Dance Pedagogy




All Irish and EU applications (including mature applications) are processed by the CAO (  Applications from outside the European Union are processed by the international office of the University (

All enquiries in relation to admission of students should be addressed to:

Admissions Office

University of Limerick



tel : +353-61-202700

fax : +353-61-334859

email : 

Web site:

Enquiries in relation to the course can be made to:

Dr. Niall Keegan

Director of Undergraduate Studies,

Room No: IW1.17,

Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,

University of Limerick,

Limerick, Ireland.

Tel: +353-61-202465





Click here for a list of scholarships available to prospective Irish World Academy of Music and Dance students.



Open Day 13th January 2018

The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance invites those interested in the following programmes to join us for our Open Day on January 13th!

BA Performing Arts (Irish Traditional Music)

BA Performing Arts (Irish Traditional Dance)

BA Performing Arts (Voice)

BA Performing Arts (Contemporary Dance)

BA Performing Arts (World Music)

Meet faculty, learn about our programmes, take part in dance and music workshops, and receive advice on applying and auditioning.

Tutors on the day will include Siobhan Peoples (Irish Traditional Music), Derek Hickey (Irish Traditional Music), Dr Niall Keegan (Irish Traditional Music), Blackie O’Connell (Irish Traditional Music), Anne Burke (Irish Traditional Dance), Michael Ryan (Irish Traditional Dance), Hannah Fahey (Voice), Jean McGlynn (Voice), Dr Jenny Roche (Contemporary Dance),  Dr Grant McClay (Contemporary Dance), Professor Mel Mercier (World Music) and John Nutkepor (World Music).


10.30am – Ballet class -IW2.25

12.15pm – Introduction to the BA Performing Arts – Tower Theatre

1.10pm – Lunchtime concert featuring staff and students at the Irish World Academy – Theatre One

2-3.30pm – Workshop One (across Academy)

4-5.30pm – Workshop Two (across Academy)

To book your place, please send an email to


Enquiries in relation to the course can be made to:

Dr. Niall Keegan

Director of Undergraduate Studies,

Room No: IW1.17,

Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,

University of Limerick,

Limerick, Ireland.

Tel: +353-61-202465