This photo shows are girl playing an electric guitar
DC014

Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance

Course Details

CAO Code:
DC014
Course Type:
Undergraduate
NFQ Level:
8 - Please see www.qqi.ie for further information
Delivery Modes
Full-Time
Minimum Points
#305
Duration:
4 yr
Phone:
+353 (0) 1
7005781

Are you passionate about music? Do you love singing, playing an instrument or both? This degree will help you become a fully trained, high-level performing musician.

Overview

Overview Icon

The BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance at DCU is a four-year, full time Honours degree which trains you for a life as a professional performing musician. To take to the stage as a performer demands intensive training as well as talent. Our degree course can help you on your way to a career as a professional musician. You will also understand the context of the international music scene today, how the music business works and how you can make your mark in it. 

Learn different musical techniques
The programme covers a wide range of musical techniques including performance, instrumental technique, improvisation, composition, computer music, aural training, arranging and teaching methods, all aimed at giving you the skills necessary to operate in a wide area of contemporary music, not just jazz. 

Berklee College of Music
A key feature of this programme is an opportunity for you to transfer into Berklee College of Music in Boston, one of the most prestigious music schools in the world in the field of contemporary music. 

Work with top Irish music performers
On this degree you’ll work closely with some of Ireland’s most highly regarded performers and gain the practical skills you need in order to function well in the professional world of contemporary jazz, and other musical settings.

Audition
In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to DCU, you must do an audition to gain entry to this course. For some FAQ's please take a look HERE.

For more information please also look at Entry Requirements below.

DCU People

Emily O'Rourke
Emily O’Rourke
Alumni

I chose this particular degree as I wanted my college education to expand my knowledge of music theory and help me develop my skills as a guitarist.


Read more about Emily O’Rourke
Profile picture of Cormac O'Brien
Cormac O’Brien
Staff

Hi I’m Cormac O'Brien and I’m Chair of the BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music at DCU. By way of background, I’ve been playing double bass on the Dublin and greater Irish scene for many years now.


Read more about Cormac O’Brien

Careers & Further Options

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Careers

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, arranging, producing, session musician and of course as a professional performing musician in which you will have the skills to play in many different performance environments. The course is also in line with Teaching Council registration requirements if you decide to pursue a career teaching music. Our course meets the criteria for the Level 8 Bachelors degree (with Irish Trad module) only.

Professional Performing Musician
Composer
Arranger
Music Teacher
Music Producer
Session Musician

DCU graduates are highly sought after by employers. Our Graduates work in environments ranging from large multinationals to SMEs, family businesses and start-ups across every sector.

DCU Careers Service has a number of learning and development initiatives in place for our students, giving them the skills they need for a successful career path.

Go to our Careers site to find out more about career planning, our mentorship programme, skills development and online resources for students when working on CVs and making applications.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements Icon

Applicants for the BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance [DC014] programme will
be required to participate in an in-person performance audition and interview. Interviews will take place on Saturday 6th April 2024 (CAO applicants) and in July 2024 (late applicants and Non-EU students only). Applicants will be sent full details of the audition and interview process, along with a form to complete to indicate their intention to participate.
 

If you have any questions or require information about the BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance [DC014], please contact Cormac O'Brien: cormac.obrien@dcu.ie 

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 early March 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. 

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 early March 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 participates in a performance audition 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 performance audition and must also meet the minimum DCU Entry Requirements.

Please visit our Admissions webpage for details on course requirements or how to apply to DCU.

Please visit our QQI FET webpage for details on DCU courses, open days, campus tours or school visits.

To apply to DCU, please visit www.cao.ie.

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 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. Click here for further information on international applications.

Course Structure

Course Structure Icon

A diverse and rigorous course of study is organised throughout all four years of the course. The course has five principal areas of study: 

  1. Ensemble Studies
  2. Instrumental Studies
  3. Arranging and Composition Studies
  4. Aural and Theoretical Studies
  5. Contextual Studies

Ensemble Studies
These modules aim to give you the skills to perform in ensembles at a high professional level in the world of contemporary music. Through working in ensembles, you will become familiar with the techniques and traditions of jazz and related genres, such as funk, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music.

Instrumental Studies
These modules aim to provide you with the instrumental and technical skills necessary for performing at a professional level in the contemporary music world. You will work on practice methods, identify goals, and acquire essential vocabulary through studying master soloists and stylistic interpretation.

Arranging and Composition Studies
These modules introduce the skills necessary for modern arranging, and teach the history, ethos and techniques of jazz and contemporary composition. You will learn vital professional skills to enable you to work in the field of modern music as a composer or arranger. You will also be introduced to the use of music technology as an aid to arranging and composing.

Aural and Theoretical Studies
These modules will give you a thorough grounding in contemporary harmony and theory, and the means to understand the theoretical and harmonic underpinning of contemporary jazz practice. In addition, you will learn techniques to hear and identify all the common melodic, rhythmic and harmonic patterns used in jazz and other related types of music.

Contextual Studies
These modules will help you understand the history of the development of music of many genres, and its place in contemporary society. They will also give you an insight into the methodology and philosophy of teaching. In addition, they will aim to develop musicological and critical thinking skills which will give you a sense of music in your own life and make you aware how music is reflected in society.

What Will I Study?
While content of the course may change over time, these modules are indicative of what you will be studying in each year. 

  • Jazz Aural Training 1 and 2
  • Jazz and Contemporary Harmony 1 and 2
  • Improv Ensemble 1
  • Instrumental/Vocal Labs 1
  • Instrumental/Vocal Skills 1
  • Keyboard Skills
  • Project Ensemble
  • Rhythm Studies 1
  • Jazz Composition 1
  • History of Western Music
  • Music Technology 1
  • Arranging 1 and 2
  • Approved Style Ensemble 1
  • Jazz Aural Training 3 and 4
  • Jazz and Contemporary Harmony 3 and 4
  • Improv Ensemble 2
  • Instrumental/Vocal Labs 2
  • Instrumental/Vocal Skills 2
  • Rhythm Studies 2
  • Transcription 1
  • Music Technology 2
  • Music of the African Diaspora
  • Arranging 3
  • Approved Style Ensemble 2
  • Jazz Composition 2
  • Ensemble Performance 1
  • Instrumental/Vocal Labs 3
  • Instrumental/Vocal Skills 3
  • Rhythm Studies 3
  • Transcription 2
  • Critical Listening
  • Jazz History
  • Performance Ear Training
  • Harmonic Ear Training and Sight Singing
  • Approved Style Ensemble 3
  • Jazz Composition 3
  • Ensemble Performance 2
  • Irish Composers’ Workshop
  • Instrumental/Vocal Labs 4
  • Instrumental/Vocal Skills 4
  • Rhythm Studies 4
  • Written Analysis Project
  • Music Business 

Options include:

  • Advanced Harmony
  • Jazz History, Ethos and Philosophy
  • Jazz Performance Studies
  • Irish Traditional Music

 


For more information on the course structure click here

Fees and Funding

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Fees

Student Contribution
€3,043 per annum
EU Status Fee
€6,679 per annum
Non EU Fee
€16,000 per annum

How To Apply

How To Apply Icon

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

To apply for this programme:
Candidates should apply directly here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application.

Please 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 http://www.dcu.ie/registry/english.shtml

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis up to 1st July. All Non-EU candidates are advised to apply early, as places are limited.

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

Applications are made via the CAO Advanced Entry route which will open on the 6th November to 1st July. 

Life On Campus

Life on Campus

Be part of DCU’s music scene
If you are aiming high as a performer and are keen to take part in the lively music scene at DCU, you will enjoy taking on the challenge of this degree course. Playing and performing is an extensive part of this course and you’ll have a great opportunity to enjoy the social side of music. There are many fantastic clubs and societies to choose from at DCU but as a student on this degree, you might want to check out the DCU Music Ensemble, Gospel Choir, Trad Soc, the DJ Society, and weekly jam sessions with the Jazz Society naturally!

DCU Campus Glasnevin

DCU Glasnevin Campus

FAQs

FAQ Icon

I am really passionate about music - What can your Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance (DC014) degree do for me?
Our BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance is a four-year, full time Honours degree which trains you 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. We aim to train 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, one of the most prestigious music schools in the world in the field of contemporary music.

Remember – there is an audition to qualify for this degree, so start practicing!

What are the entry requirements for the BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance ?
In addition to general entry requirements for admission to DCU, applicants on this course will also take part in a performance/audition before registration. The auditions usually happen at the end March/early April and they also include a short interview. For late applicants and change of mind applicants, a second round of auditions usually takes place in early July. Exact dates to be confirmed.

What is required for the audition and interview process?
2 pieces should be prepared that best showcase your abilities. These do not need to be jazz or involve improvisation, though experience in these areas does help.

Do I need to play with a band or backing track?
You can play in whatever format best suits you. This can be a band with up to 2 other musicians or with a backing track or completely solo.

How long do the pieces need to be?
There is no set length but your pieces should be of sufficient length to give the auditioners a good sample of your ability. Anywhere upwards of 2 minutes, depending on the complexity and format of the audition piece.

Do you need to have received formal training or have done Leaving Cert music?
Prior formal training is not a requirement but it does help. We recognise the potential and ability of self taught musicians and the level of experience some applicants have acquired in their own studies.