The BA Contemporary 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 artistic expression. As a student you will spend extensive studio time developing technique and work 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 dance and 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.

During the first year of the course you will focus and develop your own dance practice and be introduced to the critical academic engagement with classical, popular, traditional, contemporary, world dance and music through a performative lens.

From the second year of the programme you will focus on Contemporary Dance and students will undertake specialist modules in dance studies, experiential anatomy and movement analysis as well as dance pedagogy.

You will learn a range of Contemporary Dance Techniques, Choreography, Ballet and movement awareness techniques such as Yoga, Pilates and Feldenkrais. The course will also give you the opportunity to engage with other practices including Aerial Dance, Hip hop and Irish traditional dance. You will gain the contextual understanding and the critical, analytical and reflective skills which will inform your artistic practice.

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.


Dr Grant McLay (Course Director)

Justine Cooper (Contemporary Dance)

Roxy Regine Theobal (Contemporary Dance)

Rachel Sheil (Hip Hop)

Patricia Crosbie (Ballet)

Kate Hilder (Feldenkrais)

Monica Munoz Marin (Contemporary Dance)

Sophia Bailey (Ballet)

Sara Granda (Aerial Dance)

Aoife O’Brien (Pilates/Yoga)


Programe of Study

Year 1

Semester 1

MD4101 - Performance 1A

MD4091 - Practicum C1

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

MU4011 - Critical Encounters with Music and Dance (World Music and Dance)


Semester 2

MD4102 - Performance 2A

MD4111 - Practicum C2

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

MU4002 - Critical Encounters with Popular Music and Dance


Year 2

Semester 3

MD4103 - Performance 3A

MD4092 - Irish World Academy Practicum C3

MD4123 - Dance Studies 1

MD4113 - Performing Arts Technology


Semester 4

MD4124 - Performance 4A

MD4112 - Irish World Academy Practicum C4

MD4134 - Experiential Anatomy and Movement Analysis

MD4034 - Contextualising and Vocational Studies 3


Year 3

Semester 5

Co-op Placement

Semester 6
(Students have an option for International Exchange)

MD4106 - Performance 5A

MD4116 - Irish World Academy Practicum C5

MU4106 – Arts and Health

MU4013 - Research Skills: Ethnomusicology/Ethnochoreology/Arts Practice


Year 4

Semester 7

MD4137 – Performance 6A

MD4147 - Irish World Academy Practicum C6

MD4157 - Irish World Academy Final Year Project 1 (FYP)

MU4007 - Professional Skills for the Performing Art


Semester 8

MD4118 – Performance 7A

MD4128 - Irish World Academy Practicum C7

MD4138 - Irish World Academy Final Year Project 2 (FYP)

MD4148 - 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 (

Students applying for first year of the programme and intending to graduate with the BA Contemporary Dance need to apply for LM133.

Students can apply with Leaving Certificate and QQI qualifications.  For details of QQI requirements please see the QQI Booklet.  Students can also gain access to the second year of BA through our own Certificate in Music and Dance.

All enquiries in relation to admission of students should be addressed to the course director (details below) or:

Admissions Office

University of Limerick


Tel : +353-61-202700

Email : 

Websites: and


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


BA Contemporary Dance (LM133) Audition Process for Entry in Academic Year 2023/2024

All applicants who apply through the CAO will be called for audition that will be conducted by either submitting online or a face-to-face process. Once the online application form is completed, applicants will be contacted by the Course Director and invited to submit audition material or schedule a face-to-face audition (held on the 13th – 14th April). After your audition, the Admissions Department of the University will contact you before the end of April to let you know the outcome.

Applying through the Online process: There are two elements you need to complete.

  1. Submit a solo performance video. A maximum of three-minute dance solo in any movement style/genre. E.g. ballet, hip-hop, contemporary. (no later than 12th April)
  2. An online interview. (Between 15th- 17th of April, the Course Director will contact you and arrange a time/day).

Face-to-Face process: This is being held over two separate days, Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April 2024. The Irish World Academy will contact you with a time and other details about your selected audition day. This audition option may be attractive to you if you would like to visit the Academy and the University to see our world-class facilities and meet teachers and the Course Director. The audition process is as follows:

  1. Perform a solo: A maximum of three-minute dance solo in any movement style/genre. E.g. ballet, hip-hop, contemporary.
  2.  Interview

Both audition pathways have the opportunity to earn up to 200 audition points that are awarded to applicants towards their admission, taking into account the follow elements:

  • Dance technique level.
  • Ability to execute the choreography performed in solo.
  • Performance quality (Focus and intention to detail of movement).
  • Musicality
  • Interview


International Exchange

For information on the International Exchange options available in the third year of study please see this link.


Enquiries in relation to the course can be made to:

Dr Grant McLay

Course Director, BA Performing Arts (Contemporary Dance)

Room No: IW2.19,

Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,

University of Limerick,

Limerick, Ireland.

Tel: +353-61-234967