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 - Please see www.qqi.ie for further information
Delivery Modes
Full-Time
Minimum Points
#311
Duration:
4 yr
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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, 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.

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 

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

Life on Campus

We have three academic campuses close to Dublin City centre - they are located in Glasnevin and Drumcondra, and can be reached by public transport (Dublin Bus).

Each campus has libraries, study spaces, restaurants, and on-campus residencies. Sports facilities are located on two of the academic campuses. We also have a dedicated sports campus in the form of St Claire’s. 

Exceptional facilities

DCU students have access to exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our three academic campuses. 

These include modern learning theatres, research centres, new media and TV studio, radio/podcast studios, classrooms, computer suites and advanced labs in the areas of languages, engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology, as well as a sports performance centre and training hospital ward. In 2021, we opened our first virtual reality ‘Leadership Lab’, which is located in our Business School.

Construction on our FutureTech building on the Glasnevin campus will get underway in 2022. Once completed, this facility will advance DCU’s international reputation for excellence in science and health, computing and engineering disciplines. It will have the capacity to accommodate an additional 3,000 STEM students on the university’s Glasnevin campus.

Campus life

DCU student facilities boast a fully equipped sports complex with a 25-metre pool, three libraries and The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre.

Our purpose built, state-of-the-art new student centre known as 'The U' serves the needs of a rapidly growing student body of 18,500. It is home to the Student Leadership and Lifeskills Centre, performing arts and cultural spaces for students and the wider community, and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub.

DCU Students' Union and the Office of Student Life are also based in the U.  The centre is a space for students where they can meet, with lots of charging points and isolation booths. Clubs and Socs avail of meeting rooms here and it's also home to DCUfm. NuBar, Londis and the Venue are also located here.

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.

Student Supports

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.

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 remote performance audition and interview. Interviews will take place on March 26th 2022 (CAO applicants), and July 4th 2022 (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 

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 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. 

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 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.

FET Level 5

For details of QQI requirements and relevant codes please click here. Simply enter the DC code for the programme you are interested in or if you are not sure of the code enter DC in the Select by Institution option, then click on Go. 

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

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

Full time

Student Contribution
€3,043 per annum
EU Status Fee
€6,679 per annum
Non EU Fee
€15,000 per annum

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

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

Make an Application

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