School of Theology, Philosophy and Music

MA in Choral Studies

Image of a choice singing, a women with curly hair focussed and singling.
Course Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
Delivery Modes
2 Years
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+353 (0) 1
700 7015
This programme won't have an intake in 2024 but will have an intake in 2025.


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.

Programme Content and Structure

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. 

View the current course structure

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.

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

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.



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.

International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language.


Due to the specialist nature of this programme, additional criteria may be used to assess suitability to undertake this programme. For further information, please contact the Programme Chair using the contact details above


MA in Choral Studies


Full time

EU Status Fee
Non EU Fee.

Part time

EU Status Fee Part-time
€4,200 Per Annum
Non EU Fee Part time
€8,100 Per Annum

Next Steps

To apply for this programme:


All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application:

  • Provide Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation if applicable.
  • If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements. Please see link

Application Deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until the following dates:
Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2025
Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2025

Application Queries

For EU applicant queries, please visit or email

For non EU applicant queries, please visit or email

Commencement of Programme

Please note, this programme commences next in September 2025. There is no
2024 intake.