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Graduate Programmes

The School of Music is one of the leading centres for graduate musical study in Ireland and a QS World Top 100 Performing Arts department. Our graduate programmes give students the opportunity to work with scholars of international standing in the School's core disciplines of historical musicology, ethnomusicology and composition. The MMus (taught Master’s) degree furnishes students with the core intellectual tools for pursuing musical research and composition, while also encouraging independent scholarship. The MLitt (research Master’s) and PhD programmes afford the chance to complete a major research project under the supervision of an expert in the field, or alternatively a composition portfolio.

Graduate students at UCD are part of a friendly and supportive research culture that foregrounds regular interaction between faculty and students. We pride ourselves on the research initiative shown by our graduate students: current students edit 'The Musicology Review', chair (opens in a new window)the Dublin Musicology Collective, and play a substantial role in the organisation of our seminar series. Our annual Graduate Colloquium offers a regular opportunity for students to share work in progress, while our PhD Forum allows a supportive environment in which to discuss broader topics relating to research and professional development. 

Many current and recent PhD students have been successful in applying for (opens in a new window)Government of Ireland Postgraduate Fellowships from the Irish Research Council (IRC) for fully funded study. It is possible to apply for these fellowships either in the year prior to starting the intended PhD programme, or during the PhD itself, to fund the remaining years of study. 

All of UCD’s research programmes are now fully modularized and offered with taught components (such as Transferable Skills modules and Teaching Apprenticeships). In addition to the main supervisor, research students will be supported by a Research Studies Panel. The panel frequently involves faculty members from other disciplines, to enable the best possible guidance for projects with an interdisciplinary element. 

The MLitt degree can be awarded after two years’ study and the submission of a substantial thesis. The PhD is a four-year structured degree programme centred around the submission of a longer dissertation. 

If you have a question on any of our graduate programmes please email our School Manager at (opens in a new window)music@ucd.ie in the first instance. Applicants for the PhD programme should make informal contact with a potential PhD supervisor before submitting a formal application. 

The following is a list of graduate programmes offered at the School of Music:

The Master of Musicology (MMus) - Music and Culture degree gives students an opportunity to work with scholars of international standing in the School’s core disciplines of historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and composition. The MMus degree furnishes students with the core intellectual tools for pursuing musical research, whilst also encouraging independent scholarship.

The programme gives students an opportunity to work with scholars of international standing in the School’s core disciplines of historical musicology, ethnomusicology and composition. The MMus degree furnishes students with the core intellectual tools for pursuing musical research and composition, whilst also encouraging independent scholarship.

Further information on this programme and how to apply can be found here

The MLitt is a two-year research programme, leading to the writing of a thesis of 40,000 to 50,000 words which will treat its subject in a systematic and independent way.

MLitt students may transfer to the PhD programme after completing one year of research, subject to the recommendation of the supervisor and the approval of the Head of School.

Further information on this programme and application process can be found (opens in a new window)here

The PhD programme gives researchers the chance to complete a major research project under the supervision of an expert in the field.

The School of Music is home to internationally-renowned scholars working in the areas of classical Western Music, African-American music, sacred music of India, the music of medieval Ireland and Europe, film music and performance practice. The range of diversity of interest present in the school reflects the range of dissertation topics which are currently under supervision. 

  • Re-Staging Bharatanatyam in the Diaspora and Online
  • A Reflection of Reality: The Portrayal of Classical Musickers in Contemporary Cultural Artefacts
  • Per constituciones Dublinensis: chant and liturgy in medieval Dublin from 1250-1550 - the manuscript sources re-visited
  • Music and Race in France, 1700-1750

Further information on this programme and application process can be found here

UCD School of Music

Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8178 | E: music@ucd.ie