Courses at DCU
School of Theology, Philosophy and Music

Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance

Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance
CAO Code:
DC014
Course Type:
Undergraduate
NFQ Level:
8
Delivery Modes
Full-Time
Minimum Points
#419
Duration:
4
+353 (0) 1

The BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance is a four-year, full time Honours degree which trains learners for a life as a professional performing musician. The programme covers a wide range of musical techniques including performance, instrumental technique, improvisation, composition, computer music, aural training, arranging and pedagogical studies, giving the participants the skills necessary to operate in a wide area of contemporary music, not just jazz.

All of the subjects in the course are geared towards training young musicians to the highest international standards and to be fully equipped to work in the world of contemporary music both here and abroad.

A key feature of this programme is an opportunity for students to transfer into Berklee College of Music in Boston (https://www.dcu.ie/berklee), one of the most prestigious music schools in the world in the field of contemporary music. Programme modules include Instrumental and Vocal Tuition, Aural Training, Ensemble Performance, Composition and Arranging, Jazz History, and Music Business.

Application to the programme is through the CAO and as this course is no longer restricted, applicants can apply up until 1st May. Applicants will also be able to avail of the change of mind process up to 1st July for Entry 2020.

If you have any questions or require information about the BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance [DC014], please contact Ronan Guilfoyle: ronan.guilfoyle@dcu.ie 

The course offers intensive jazz and contemporary music education within a focused, supportive learning environment. It is designed to provide a balance of “traditional” jazz techniques alongside contemporary approaches to improvisation, so that students can experience the full breadth of the contemporary music world and develop into creative, versatile and employable musicians.

The degree focuses on giving students the practical skills they must acquire in order to function well in the professional milieu of contemporary jazz, and other musical settings. Due to its very broad nature, jazz is an ideal training for contemporary musicians and students experience the practical benefits of the various techniques undertaken throughout the programme.

A diverse and rigorous programme of study is organized throughout all four years of the programme. The course is concerned with five principal areas of study: 

  • Ensemble Studies
  • Instrumental Studies
  • Arranging and Composition Studies
  • Aural and Theoretical Studies
  • Contextual Studies

Ensemble Studies

The aim of these modules is to give students the skills to perform in ensembles at a high professional level in the world of contemporary music. Through working in ensembles, participants will be made aware of the techniques and traditions of jazz and related musics, such as funk, Afro-Cuban, Brazilan music.

Instrumental Studies

The aim of these modules is to provide learners with the instrumental and technical skills necessary in order to perform at a professional level in the contemporary music world. Learners will work on practice methods, identify goals, and acquire essential vocabulary through the study of the master soloists, and stylistic interpretation.

Arranging and Composition Studies

The aim of these modules is to introduce learners to the skills necessary for modern arranging, and to allow them to be conversant with the history, ethos and techniques of jazz and contemporary composition. Learners will become familiar with vital professional skills to enable them work as composers and arrangers in the field of modern music. Learners will also be introduced to the use of music technology as an arranging and composing aid.

Aural and Theoretical Studies

These modules will give learners a thorough grounding in contemporary harmony and theory, and give them the means to understand the theoretical and harmonic underpinning of contemporary jazz practice. In addition, the course will give learners the techniques to hear and identify all the common melodic, rhythmic and harmonic patterns used in jazz and other, related musics.

Contextual Studies

These modules will help learners understand the history of the development of music, of many genres, and their place in contemporary society. They will also give learners an insight into the methodology and philosophy of teaching. In addition they  will aim to develop musicological and critical thinking skills which will enable learners to have a sense of music in their own lives and how music is reflected in society.

Acquire the skills to become a high level performing musician
Play and perform extensively as part of the programme
Learn how to compose and arrange for a wide range of ensembles
Make international connections including, with the renowned Berklee College of Music
Prepare yourself for life as a professional musician
Work closely with some of Ireland’s most highly regarded performers
View the current course structure

We have a unique and vibrant culture on our modern campus close to Dublin city centre. We provide state-of-the-art study facilities for all our courses and everything else you need for a healthy, fun and active student life.

Exceptional Facilities

DCU students enjoy exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our 3 academic campuses. These include purpose built music teaching and practice rooms, modern learning theatres, research centres, television and sound studios, classrooms, computer suites and advanced laboratories in the areas of languages, engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology, as well as a sports performance centre and a virtual hospital ward.

A Vibrant, Dynamic Social Environment

Student facilities include a superb sports complex with a 25 metre pool, two libraries and The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre. In 2016 we announced plans to invest over €230m in developing new, world-class facilities across our three academic campuses. Already building has begun on an exciting, new €14m Student Centre that will be home to the more than one hundred and twenty student clubs and societies. This commitment to student facilities means that our world-class learning experiences are complemented by a vibrant, dynamic social environment.

The BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance video:

The BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance gives you access to a wide field of activities as a professional musician, and a wide portfolio of skills which you can apply to many areas. The programme will give you skills in the areas of composition, (writing music for yourself and others), arranging, (taking the music of others and arranging it for performance), producing, (overseeing studio recordings), music teacher, (the programme is aligned with Teaching Council registration requirements), session musician, (performing the music of others in studio recordings and live performance), and of course as a professional performing musician in which you will have the skills to play in many different performance environments.

Career Areas
  • Arranger
  • Composer
  • Music Producer
  • Music Teacher
  • Professional Performing Musician
  • Session Musician

Requirements

General Entry Requirements

Applicants for the BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance [DC014] programme will be required to participate in a performance audition. Auditions will take place on March 20th and 27th 2021 (CAO applicants), and July 5th 2021 (late applicants and Non-EU students only). At present we are planning for live, in-person auditions.  However, should the situation regarding covid-19 require it, we will have contingency plans in place for online auditions. Should that be necessary, applicants will be notified of the arrangements in advance.  

If you have any questions or require information about the BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance [DC014], please contact Ronan Guilfoyle: ronan.guilfoyle@dcu.ie

Leaving Cert

There are no additional entry requirements for this programme apart from the general entry requirements for admission to the university.  Applicants will be required to participate in a performance audition. Applicants who have made their application with the CAO by 1st February will be contacted in late February to complete an online form. Applicants who make an application after 1st February will be contacted in early July to complete the online form.

# Each candidate who sits an Entrance Test is awarded up to a maximum of 200 points that are added to their CAO points for the purpose of determining eligibility. 
To be eligible to compete for a place on this programme, each candidate must achieve the minimum threshold of 120 points in the Entrance Test and must also meet the minimum DCU Entry Requirements. 

GCE A Level

There are no additional entry requirements for this programme apart from the general entry requirements for admission to the university.  Applicants will be required to participate in a performance audition. Applicants who have made their application with the CAO by 1st February will be contacted in late February to complete an online form. Applicants who make an application after 1st February will be contacted in early July to complete the online form.

# Each candidate who sits an Entrance Test is awarded up to a maximum of 200 points that are added to their CAO points for the purpose of determining eligibility. 
To be eligible to compete for a place on this programme, each candidate must achieve the minimum threshold of 120 points in the Entrance Test and must also meet the minimum DCU Entry Requirements.

 

FET Level 5

No Entry Path

Qualification
BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance
EU Transfer Applications

Applications are welcomed from students who have successfully completed one or two years of a similar course at Level 8 (National Framework of Qualifications, Ireland), or equivalent, in a recognised third level institute and who wish to transfer into second or third year of the programme, as appropriate.   

International Applications

International candidates are expected to have 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. For further information on international applications click here

Fees

Next Steps

Mature Applicants

All mature applicants apply through the CAO by 1st February.  For further information and for special application procedures click here

Applicants presenting EU school Leaving Examinations

Apply through the Central Applications Office (www.cao.ie) by 1st May.   

Applicants presenting examinations from outside the EU

Applications must be submitted directly to DCU by 1st July.  All Non-EU candidates are advised to apply early as possible, as places are limited.

EU Transfer Applicants

Apply directly to DCU by 1st July.

Make an Application

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving Examination Results:  Apply through the Central Applications Office (cao.ie) by 1st May.

Applicants presenting examinations from outside the EU should apply directly to DCU by 1st July.  

Candidates required to appy directly to DCU can dowloand, print and complete a direct application form, available here