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Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

MA in Choral Studies

MA in Choral Studies

  • PAC CodeDC664
  • Course Type Postgraduate
  • Delivery Modes Part-Time
  • Duration 2 Years

DCU’s MA in Choral Studies is the first programme of its kind in Ireland. It offers an unrivalled opportunity to engage with the interpretation of choral repertoire from historical and contemporary contexts, and to create and perform new music under expert guidance.

In this programme, you will explore:

  1. Choral conducting and choir leadership
  2. Composing for choirs
  3. Historical approaches to choral music
  4. Cultural policy and the arts sector

Programme Aims and Objectives

Through this programme, students will acquire an advanced level of knowledge, understanding, and skills in the areas of historically informed choral interpretation, composition for choirs, leadership in choral performance and vocal technique, stylistic ensemble singing, editing, analytical score preparation, and the arts sector in Ireland. 

The programme will equip students with the academic, critical, musical, and research expertise to underpin their activities in conducting, composing, and ensemble singing, and will facilitate a deep understanding of the relationship between cultural policy, public bodies, and enterprise in the arts.

Graduate View

Sing Ireland is delighted to welcome this new opportunity for Irish choral practitioners to develop their professional knowledge and proficiency. The vibrant choral sector in Ireland will undoubtedly benefit from the further education, support and development of its choral conductors and composers. 

Dermot O'Callaghan, CEO of Sing Ireland


The programme is offered part-time over two years. Lectures take place in Drumcondra on Monday evenings and on one Saturday per semester. 

Students must successfully complete six core taught modules:

  • Conducting, Interpretation and Style 
  • Choral Music: Historical and Analytical Approaches
  • Composition for Voices 
  • Creative Approaches to Text
  • Choral Contexts: National Infrastructure for the Arts
  • Choral Leadership

In addition, students complete a research module, which includes a series of seminars on research methodologies and a minor thesis on choral studies or a portfolio of compositions/arrangements. 


DCU is a vibrant hub of choral and compositional activity. DCU music staff include internationally recognised and award-winning experts in the field of choral studies. The MA in Choral Studies is based in DCU’s School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music, where students will find a dynamic, supportive, research-led learning environment with a strong commitment to social and cultural engagement, and creative approaches to teaching that promote independent, scholarly, critical thinking.

Why Do This Programme?

The MA in Choral Studies combines the study of choral conducting and composition within one programme. Students will gain valuable experience in the use of conducting gesture as a representation of musical style and expression, and in the creation of new music for choral ensembles, informed by historical practice, scholarly literature, and the latest developments in compositional techniques. 

Students will acquire a deep understanding of stylistic and contextual influences on performance and composition, and will receive regular feedback in choir leadership, ensemble singing, and creative work.


Potential Careers

Graduates may progress or enhance their careers in areas such as:

  • Choral conducting
  • Composition
  • Ensemble singing
  • Music teaching (subject to relevant qualifications)
  • Choral arts administration
  • Music criticism 
  • Broadcasting
  • Recording and production
  • Editing and choral publishing

Graduates may also pursue doctoral research in choral studies or related areas.


General Entry Requirements

  • Recognised honours primary degree (Level 8) in Music, or in which Music is a subject, with a minimum of Second Class Honours.
  • Recognised honours primary degree (Level 8) in another discipline, with supporting evidence of competence in Music, such as Grade 8/Diploma in instrumental/vocal studies, Grade 5 theory (ABRSM), and vocal/choral experience appropriate to commencing a Level 9 programme.
  • Practitioners in the fields of conducting and composition who do not meet these prerequisites will be invited to submit a curriculum vitae and details of competence in music (as above), and may be asked to participate in an interview.
  • In the case of International applicants, having educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language, they must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language, with a minimum score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Make an Application

To apply for this programme

  • All applicants should apply through
  • Search for course code DC664 (part-time).
  • Provide Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation if applicable.
  • Please include your CV and details of relevant experience.
  • If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.  Please see link
  • Please note if you are a non EU student and require a study visa, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.


EU Applicants

  • Please apply through PAC  Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 9th August 2019. Applications to this Programme will be accepted on a rolling basis until all places have been filled. 
  • Queries on completed applications for EU Applicants should be forwarded to

Non-EU Applicants

  • Please apply through PAC  Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 12th July 2019.Applications to this Programme will be accepted on a rolling basis until all places have been filled. 
  • Applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of gaining entry into Ireland are advised to apply as early as possible.  If you need a study visa and are a Non EU student, you are not eligible to apply for part time programmes as study visas are only granted for full time programmes.

  • Queries on completed applications  for Non EU Applicants please contact