BA Irish Dance

The BA Irish 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.

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 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.


Ciara Sexton

Pamela Cotter

Kelsey Schuhle

Kristyn Fontanella

Aoife O'Brien

Programme of Study

Year 1

Semester 1

Performance 1A (MD4101)

Irish World Academy Practicum C1 (MD4091)

Critical Encounters with Irish Music and Dance (MU4001)

Critical Encounters with World Music and Dance (MU4011)


Semester 2

Performance 2A (MD4102)

Irish World Academy Practicum C2 (MD4111)

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

Critical Encounters with Popular Music and Dance (MU4002)


Year 2

Semester 3

Performance 3A (MD4103)

Irish World Academy Practicum C3 (MD4092)

Irish Music and Dance Studies 1 (MD4081)

Performing Arts Technology (MD4113)


Semester 4

Performance 4A (MD4124)

Irish World Academy Practicum C4 (MD4112)

Experiential Anatomy and Movement Analysis (MD4134)

Contextualising and Vocational Studies - Music and Dance Education / Community Music and Dance (MD4034)


Year 3

Semester 5

Co-op Placement

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

Performance 5A (MD4106)

Irish World Academy Practicum C5 (MD4116)

Arts and Health (MU4106)

Research Skills: Ethnomusicology/Ethnochoreology/Arts Practice (MU4013)


Year 4

Semester 7

Performance 6A (MD4137)

Irish World Academy Practicum C6 (MD4147)

Irish World Academy Final Year Project 2 (MD4157)

Professional Skills for the Performing Arts (MU4007)


Semester 8

Performance 7A (MD4118)

Irish World Academy Practicum C7 (MD4128)

Irish World Academy Final Year Project 2 (MD4138)

Dance Pedagogy (MD4148)




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 Irish Dance need to apply for LM132.

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 : 

Web sites:


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


The audition for the BA Irish Dance LM132 at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick will be conducted either online or in person. CAO applicants will be contacted by the admissions office to choose an online audition or in person audition date (both are equally valid). Face-to-face auditions will take place at the Irish World Academy on the weekend of the 13th and 14th April 2024.

– Face-to-face: Applicants attend the audition at the Irish World Academy building to perform three dances and interview.


– Online: Applicants submit a video recording of their performance of three dances and attend a remote interview.

Up to 200 audition points may be awarded to LM132 applicants for 2024 admission.

After your audition, the Admissions Department of the University will contact you to let you know the outcome.

We require our traditional dancers to perform either:

Competitive style: 3 pieces, one hard-shoe, one soft-shoe and one of your own choice in any style


Sean-nós: 3 pieces – one reel time percussive piece, one percussive piece in another rhythm, one of your own choice in any style




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


Enquiries in relation to the course can be made to:

Dr Breandán de Gallaí
Course Director,  BA Irish Dance

Room No: IW1.22
Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,
University of Limerick,
Phone: + 353-61-202470