MA Research

The Irish World Academy is a major international centre for PhD and Masters research across a broad range of academic disciplines, focusing on music and dance, but not exclusively so.  Research students work with supervisors across the Academy – at times, supervisory input from across the University and wider afield is sought.  There are currently over 60 research students at the Academy. The Academy provides a comprehensive support infrastructure for research students, including;

  • A desk in a dedicated research area
  • Access to Tower and Logos seminars and other research focused events and classes
  • Funding opportunities
  • Teaching opportunities
  • Performance opportunities
  • Financial support for conferences

These are provided in addition to the many supports and opportunities for professional development offered by the University of Limerick through the Graduate School and other offices. In addition to carrying out research, students enrolled on an MA by Research take part in generic/transferrable skills training, including, for example, research methodologies and statistics, interview skills and career planning, bibliographical management, academic writing and research networking.

Programme of Study

MA by Research:

  • A Master’s degree by thesis involves in-depth research on a topic leading to a thesis of 60,000 words over the course of one to two years.

MA by Research/PhD:

  • Students may start an MA research thesis, but then apply to transfer to a PhD after their first year if research is expanding; or students may register for a PhD thesis directly.

Applications for research degrees are usually developed with a potential supervisor who is a member of academic faculty. If an applicant has a research proposal but is unsure who would be best positioned to supervise their research they should email the Research Coordinator, Dr Jenny Roche (  The Academy Director will distribute this to all faculty and ask faculty to respond if they are interested in developing the proposal.

When an applicant and potential supervisor have prepared a full application they submit to the Academy Research Panel (RAP).  The applicant will make a short presentation regarding their research to RAP, which meets at the end of every month.  This presentation can be done remotely through video-conferencing if necessary.  The full application will be comprised of the application form and all associated materials (transcripts, references etc.) and a text containing the following sections:

1) Aims

2) Objectives

3) Research Methodology

4) Project Description

Further details on the general University of Limerick application process are available here.

Entry Requirements

  1. Applicants will normally be expected to hold an Honours degree (minimum 2.1) or equivalent in a discipline appropriate to their area of proposed research.
  2. Entry points may differ for applicants with postgraduate qualifications. Please contact the Research Coordinator for further information (

How to apply:



Dr Jenny Roche,

Research Coordinator

IW1.21, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,
University of Limerick,
Limerick, Ireland

Tel: +353 (0)61 203464


For further details, information and brochures about the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance:

Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,
University of Limerick,
Phone: + 353 61 202590

For queries to the University of Limerick Postgraduate Admissions Office:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Graduate School
Foundation Building
University of Limerick

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