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:
- Please see www.qqi.ie for further information
Delivery Modes
Full-Time
Minimum Points
#393
Duration:
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. See more under Entry Requirements.

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.


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.

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 a remote performance audition and interview. Interviews will take place on March 25th 2023 (CAO applicants), and July 5th 2023 (late applicants and Non-EU students only). Applicants will be sent full instructions along with a form with a submission box for their audition materials to be securely uploaded to.

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 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.

Please visit our QQI FET webpage for details on course requirements, places and cut-off points.

Applications are made via the CAO Advanced Entry route which will open on the 1st Feb to the 1st May 2022.  

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.

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

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
€15,500 per annum

How To Apply

How To Apply Icon

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

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.

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 1st Feb to the 1st May 2022.  

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. Applications are made via the CAO Advanced Entry route which will open on the 1st December to the 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!

At DCU, our students can expect a unique campus experience. We are known for our excellent teaching and learning facilities, our active clubs and societies, and our great social and sporting facilities. All this makes DCU an exciting place to be. 

DCU has three academic campuses; Glasnevin, St. Patrick’s and All Hallows (both in Drumcondra), all close to Dublin City centre. 

They can be reached by public transport, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann, with our Drumcondra campuses a ten minute walk from Drumcondra Train Station. Glasnevin is a 20 minute walk from St Patrick’s and All Hallows. They are also linked by Dublin Bus.

Each campus has a library (O’Reilly, Cregan and Woodlock Hall), study spaces, restaurants, and on-campus residencies. There are sports facilities on Glasnevin and St. Patrick’s, and there is a dedicated sports campus, St Claire’s, located near Glasnevin on the Ballymun Road.

DCU’s 19,000 students have access to exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our three academic campuses. 

These include modern learning theatres, research centres, a new media and TV studio, radio/podcast studios, computer suites and advanced labs in the areas of Languages, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry and Biotechnology, as well as a Sports Performance centre and a training hospital ward. In 2021, we opened our first virtual reality ‘Leadership Lab’, which is located in our Business School.

We continue to improve and update our facilities. For example, construction of a new world-class STEM facility is underway on the Glasnevin campus. With capacity for an extra 3,000 STEM students, this facility will advance DCU’s international reputation for excellence in science and health, computing and engineering disciplines.

Studying in DCU isn’t just about course work. The university is rich in student life and activities.

There are more than 140 clubs and societies for students in DCU, with ‘Clubs & Socs’ days taking place on both the Glasnevin and Drumcondra campuses at the start of the academic year. They span everything from rugby to rock climbing, anime to jazz.

For many students, sport is an important part of the DCU experience. DCU’s Sports Complex boasts a 25 metre swimming pool, fitness centre gym, all-weather pitches and squash courts, as well as soccer, GAA and rugby pitches. DCU Dóchas Éireann, the university’s GAA club, is the largest third level Gaelic Games club in the country. Meanwhile, DCU Athletics has been Ireland’s highest achieving university club for many years. And DCU has dozens of other clubs to get involved in, from Archery to Weightlifting. 

The Glasnevin campus is home to our purpose built, state-of-the-art student centre, The U, which serves the needs of a rapidly growing student body. Here, you will find the Student Leadership and Lifeskills Centre, performing arts and cultural spaces for students and the wider community, and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub. Also located on our Glasnevin campus is The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre.

On our St Patrick’s campus, we have the Java Student Hub, a vibrant, warm and welcoming space where students can meet for coffee, play music, use the projector to watch events, or just relax. The walls of the Java Hub were designed based on the cultural history of St Patrick’s Campus, including the special references to the notable sporting history and history of the arts.

We have a number of academic, professional and social supports for students.

Student Advice Centre - Offers a wide range of supports and services to students and advice 

The Writing Centre - drop-in writing workshops for students through the academic year 

Maths Learning Centre - provides maths support for students of all ability levels with maths modules 

Student Learning - facilitate the transition from passive to active learning for students at DCU, by teaching study skills, nurturing critical thinking and building student confidence. 

Careers work with students to help them on their professional journey into graduate employment.

Our student support team offers a comprehensive support programme, helping students make that all important transition into university life and focusing on building confidence and skills which are key to success at third level.

DCU Campus Glasnevin

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.

Is DCU all one campus?

 DCU is a multi campus university - the Glasnevin, St Patrick's and All Hallows campuses. The St Patrick's campus is where the Education courses are taught and some of the subjects from the BA Joint Honours degree. There is a 20-25 minute walk between the campuses but there are buses and bikes available to go between them also.

Click here to see maps of all of our campuses

 

If I'm studying on the St Patrick's campus, can I use the library and sports centre on the Glasnevin campus?

Yes, all facilities such as sports and accommodation are open for all DCU students to avail of. 

 

Are there libraries in DCU and if they have wifi and work stations?

We have a brand new state of the art four floor library on our St. Patrick's Campus which complements the existing library on the Glasnevin campus. There is free wifi, work stations as well as desktop computers. 

 

Does DCU provide accommodation?

DCU does have on-campus accommodation for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and you can find out more and apply via the Accommodation Office webpage.