The BA Irish Music (LM131) is a four-year, full-time undergraduate degree in music designed to develop your performance skills and knowledge of your practice, as well as to include other forms of musical and artistic expression. 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 music and dance, 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 the first year of the course you will focus and develop your own music practices and be introduced to critical academic engagement with classical, popular, traditional, contemporary,  world music and dance through a performative lens.

From second year onwards students will undertake additional specialist modules in Irish music and dance studies and ethnomusicology as well as focusing on vocational issues in technology, business and education.  Students will also have the opportunity to engage the other genres and areas of expertise represented throughout the Academy including the work engaged in the other BA programmes in world music, voice, contemporary dance and Irish music.  Students will also have the opportunity to engage areas represented in the postgraduate programmes of the Academy such as composition, music therapy and community music

You will have access to one-on-one, weekly contact with some of the finest traditional musicians in Ireland today in order to develop the student’s performance repertoire and style to its full potential.  Students will work in ensemble contexts as well as develop skills in music theory and keyboard, essential for any music graduate.

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.


Derek Hickey

Tommy Fitzharris

Jim Higgins

Niall Keegan

Eileen Minogue

Rebecca McCarthy Kent

Conal O'Kane

Alan Colfer

Majella Bartley

Siobhan Peoples

Michael Blackie O'Connell

Fiana Ní Chonaill

John Carty

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)

Critical Encounters with Western Art Music and Dance (MU4012)

Critical Encounters with Popular Music and Dance (MU4002)


Year 2

Semester 3

Performance 3A (MD4103)

Irish World Academy Practicum C2 (MD4092)

Irish Music and Dance Studies 1 (MD4081)

Performing Arts Technology (MD4113)


Semester 4

Performance 4A (MD4104)

Irish World Academy Practicum C4 (MD4112)

Critical Encounters with Global Pop (MD4114)

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 (MD4105)

Irish World Academy Practicum C4 (MD4116)

Arts and Health (MU4106)

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


Year 4

Semester 7

Performance 6A (MD4106)

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 (MD4107)

Irish World Academy Practicum C7 (MD4128)

Irish World Academy Final Year Project 2 (MD4138)

Special Topics in Ethnomusicology (MU4008)




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 Traditional Music  need to apply for LM131.  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 : 




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


All applicants who apply through the CAO will be called for audition at the beginning of March.  Face to face, in-person, auditions will be held at the weekend of 13th and 14th April.  Applicants will be asked to prepare three sets of tunes / pieces (at least one set needs to be a set of reels) or, if they are traditional singers, three songs.  Applicants are welcome to bring accompanists but this is not usual or required.  This will be followed by a short interview.

Applicants will have the option of auditioning online.  Applicants who wish to avail of this option will be requested to submit three videos of performances, as described above, and then a short zoom call will be arranged for an interview. The quality of the videos is not an issue, as long as applicants can be heard clearly (a recording made with a good smart phone and a steady hand will do).

What are sought in the audition process are good competencies in traditional music performance – essentially a good, consistent engagement with rhythm and established engagement with aspects of style (ornamentation, phrasing, variation etc.) – as well as an inquisitive mind!

Up to 200 audition points may be awarded to BA Irish Music (LM131) applicants for 2023 admission.  Applicants can apply directly to the course director for feedback after notification of the audition results.



International Exchange

For information on the international exchange options available (but not compulsory) in the third year of study please see this link.


Enquiries in relation to the course can be made to:

Dr. Róisín Ní Ghallóglaigh

Course Director,

Room No: IW1.16,

Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,

University of Limerick,

Limerick, Ireland.

Tel: +353-61-202465