MA Composition and Creative Music Practice

The MA Composition and Creative Music Practice is a one-year, full-time postgraduate programme for composers, sound artists, improvisers and performers from all music traditions who wish to develop their own individual artistic practice and explore cross-genre, cross-arts and cross-cultural creativity.

Students create acoustic and/or electronic music through an inclusive range of composition, improvisation and performance practices. Embracing diverse, local and global music traditions and practices, the programme welcomes students from all music traditions (folk, traditional, popular, world, classical) and sound art practices, working with and/or without music notation.

The MA Composition and Creative Music Practice is ideal for creative musicians who wish to work within a particular tradition and/or at the intersections of Irish traditional music, classical music, ‘new’ and experimental music, sound art, popular music and world musics.

Prof. Dan Trueman (Princeton University) describes the MA Composition and Creative Music Practice as ‘an exciting and inclusive new program, one whose unique placement within the broader Academy should invite students to explore a range of connections across genres and cultures that is difficult, even impossible, otherwise’. The MA Composition and Creative Music Practice will ‘be a draw to classically trained composers who are interested in venturing into music outside of the typical “composer” canon, and also to musicians from traditional and other non-classical (and non-Irish) traditions with ambitions to dig into more compositional approaches and techniques; I know of no other program with quite that combination.’

*subject to approval from academic council



MODULE: Workshop in Creative Music Practice

MODULE: Peer Forum 1

MODULE: Composing Traditions Seminar

MODULE: Creative Pathways 1

MODULE: Professional Development for the Performing Arts


MODULE: Inter-Arts Music Making

MODULE: Peer Forum 2

MODULE: Creative Pathways 2

MODULE: Critical Contexts of Arts Management and Cultural Policy


MODULE: Final Project




Professor Mel Mercier: 


Entrance Requirements:

A primary degree with first or second class honours


an approved equivalent qualification


an equivalent capability based on prior professional experience.



Postgraduate Admissions Office
Graduate School
Foundation Building
University of Limerick

Tel: +353 61 234377
Fax: +353 61 233287


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Click here for Postgraduate Fees


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


Ceremonial Music Composition Competition

Closing date for submissions: Friday 26 April 2019


The University of Limerick is pleased to announce an international composition competition to find new and original ceremonial music to be performed live at the University’s Conferring Ceremonies. The University invites submission of original music compositions of a celebratory and ceremonial nature that draw cultural and/or spiritual inspiration from its geographical location on the banks of the River Shannon. Composers of all nationalities are invited to submit newly composed musical works for trumpet and theatre pipe organ in four parts. The winning composition will be selected by an international jury and its composer will be awarded a prize of €5,000.

Competition Criteria
• The competition is open to composers of all nationalities. Only one composition will be accepted from each composer.
• Compositions must be newly composed and scored for Trumpet (B flat or E flat/D) and Theatre Pipe Organ (Compton Theatre Organ: 3 manuals, 12 ranks, 2.5 octave pedal board)
• The composition must be in four sections, as follows: – Processional 1* – Entrance of Graduands For organ only
Duration: between and 3 and 6 minutes Form: AB (A: 1.5 minutes, B: 1.5 minutes) with options of ABA and ABAB
– Processional 2 – Entrance of Academic Staff For organ and trumpet
Duration: 2.5 minutes
– Processional 3 – Entrance of President For organ and trumpet
Duration: 1.5 minutes
– Recessional – Exit of President, Academic staff and Graduates
*Same music as Processional 1, scored for organ and trumpet
Duration: between and 3 and 6 minutes
Form: AB (A: 1.5 minutes, B: 1.5 minutes) with options of ABA and ABAB
• Applicants must also submit an arrangement of the composition (all four sections) for theatre pipe organ only.
• Compositions received will be judged by an international jury, whose decisions shall be final.
• The composer of the winning composition will be awarded a prize of €5,000.
• While the copyright of each composition received remains with its composer, the University reserves the right to present performances of the winning composition at all conferring ceremonies, and where the University deems it appropriate, at other UL ceremonial events.

Submission Guidelines
• Only submissions made by post to the following address, received on or before Friday 26 April 2019, will be accepted: UL Ceremonial Music Composition Competition Irish World Academy of Music and Dance University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
• Compositions must be submitted in the form of a printed full score, accompanied by a set of printed parts. The organ arrangement must also be submitted in the form of a printed score.
• Applicants must also submit an audio recording of the composition (synthesised or performed) and PDF versions of the scores and parts on a memory stick.
• All composition materials must be submitted anonymously and without any abbreviations, initials or other recognisable marks. Composition materials submitted should be marked with a logo or pseudonym.
• The submission must include a sealed envelope bearing the logo or pseudonym on the outside and containing inside the title of the composition, the composer’s name, postal address, telephone number and e-mail address.
• The sealed envelope must also include a short biography of the composer (no more than 150 words) and a short artist’s statement written by the composer about the composition (no more than 150 words).
• The sealed envelope must also include a statement signed at the bottom by the composer, in which he/she declares:
– that he/she is the sole author of the composition submitted;
– that the composition being entered is unpublished, has never been performed and has not received prizes or awards in any other competitions;
– that he/she understands and accepts the submission criteria and guidelines in their entirety;
– that he/she accepts the judgment of the competition jury.
• Submitted materials will not be returned to applicants.
• Enquiries: Professor Mel Mercier

Download: ULCeremonialMusicCompositionCompetition