MA Classical String Performance

Master of Arts in Classical String Performance in association with Irish World Academy of Music and Dance  and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

This 2-year MA in Classical String Performance at the University of Limerick is a unique two-year full-time programme offering advanced tuition in violin, viola, cello and double bass with a specific focus on Chamber Music. Students receive weekly 90 minute individual lessons, regular technique classes, weekly chamber music classes and orchestral excerpts and sight reading sessions.


What makes the the programme unique is its close interaction with the Irish Chamber Orchestra (ICO).  The ICO is renowned all over the world for its approach to chamber music-making and this lies at the heart of this MA programme. There is a strong focus on the importance of practical experience, professionalism and the joy of music making.  The programme is led by members of the ICO and features opportunities to perform with the orchestra, as well as playing in chamber ensembles alongside members of the ICO.

In addition, there are regular masterclasses and workshops by internationally acclaimed visiting directors, soloists, and guests of the ICO, as well as a chance to join and interact with the global gathering of musicians, dancers, and scholars operating at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.


There is a strong focus on developing all round musicianship, through regular Dalcroze, improvisation, rhythm and aural training workshops. There are workshops on performance technique, overcoming performance anxiety, developing efficient practicing skills and much more. We also offer pedagogy classes because we believe learning how to be a good teacher is important in developing your own reflective practice.  With a view to developing a rounded musician, students are offered electives each semester. Options include:

  • Traditional Irish Music/Dance
  • Gamelan ensemble
  • Vocal /Instrumental improvisation
  • Aerial Dance
  • Somatic movement, eg. pilates/yoga
  • Contemporary dance
  • Song writing
  • Jazz
  • Teaching experience as part of the ICO Sistema project


MACSP students also gain automatic acceptance onto the Irish Chamber Orchestra Academy Project – an exciting collaboration project involving international students from around the world and members of the ICO. Click here for more information.


A string quartet bursary has recently been unveiled for a quartet wanting to give their ensemble the strongest conceivable start to professional life. The quartet will have access to coaching from the top chamber musicians in the country as well as ICO directors and guests including Gábor Tákacs-Nagy, Tabea Zimmerman and Jörg Widmann. In addition the ensemble would receive individual lessons, performance practice forums along with opportunities to perform.


For classical players with an interest in traditional Irish music, the course offers unrivalled opportunities – the Irish World Academy Of Music and Dance is the centre of traditional music studies in Ireland. Electives are tailored to allow musicians on the MA in Classical String Performance to develop their performance practice alongside some of trad’s greatest virtuosi.

To apply, please send:

  • a current CV
  • a cover letter telling us a little about yourself and why you are interested in this MA programme
  • a recent video recording, for example, a first movement of Mozart or other classical concerto (Mobile and tablet recordings are acceptable as long as the audio and visuals are clear and of a good quality.)
Closing date: 1st April 2019
For more information –
Programme of Study
Semester 1

MU5401 Technique, Repertoire and Style 1

MU5411 Ensemble 1

MD8011 Creative Process 1

Semester 2

MU5402 Technique, Repertoire and Style 2

MU5412 Ensemble 2

MD8012 Creative Process 2

Semester 3

MU5403 Technique, Repertoire and Style 3

MU5053 Ensemble 3

MD5501 Irish World Academy of Music and Dance Autumn Elective

Semester 4

MD5522 Final Presentation


Entrance Requirements:

A primary degree with first or second class honours


an approved equivalent qualification


an equivalent capability based on prior professional experience

A performance audition and interview will be required in all cases. Closing date for applications will be 1st December 2018. Late applications may be considered if spaces are available.

Audio-visual audition material may be submitted by oversees candidates at the course director’s discretion.



Postgraduate Admissions Office
Graduate School
Foundation Building
University of Limerick

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


Click here for UL Academic Calendar


Click here for UL International  Office 


Click here for Postgraduate Fees


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



Closing date for applications is April 1st 2019 (LATE APPLICATIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED SUBJECT TO SPACE)


“This course is gently guiding me in the direction of becoming not only a true musician, but a true artist. The opportunities to play with the Irish chamber orchestra, coaching from the top professionals and providing us with a broader artistic knowledge has helped me develop as a player and person and has given me the confidence to grow.”

Jane Hackett

“I’ve really enjoyed my time on the course and I’m looking forward to what’s coming next. Working with the Irish Chamber Orchestra so closely has been inspiring and an amazing opportunity I will never forget.”
Renee Neeson

“We each receive a lot of individual attention. We are then able to concentrate on whatever areas we feel are most in need of improvement.”

Andrew Sheeran

“When I did the MA Classical String Performance, I was involved in many collaborative projects including live performances with dancers, filming and recording sessions and it was an amazing experience. The facilities and atmosphere at the Academy make it easy to embody your ideas in a creative practice. Currently I am doing a PhD at the Royal Holloway, University of London and studying at the inspiring Irish World Academy was a brilliant platform for my doctoral research.”

Elena Alekseeva, Student 2012- 2014

PhD Candidate, Royal Holloway, University of London

Lecturer in Digital Music Production, School of Arts & Media, Southampton SOLENT University



Enquiries in relation to the course can be made to:

Diane Daly

Course Director,

Room No: IW1.15,

Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,

University of Limerick,

Limerick, Ireland.

Tel: +353-61-202565/Mob +353-86-8830085