Please follow the links provided here for further information for prospective studentsWhy Study Music? Course Entry Auditions/Entrance Tests Links to Music Colleges/ Departments International Students
A full list of Auditions and Entrance test dates are available. Please follow the link provided.Learn More
Please follow the links provided here for further information for current studentsStudent News Music College and Department News Funding Opportunities Music Study Tips
Please follow the link below for further information for international students wishing to study music in IrelandLearn More
Course Entry: Your overall educational level may not on its own be sufficient for entry to many music programmes. Since music involves aural skills, performance and other components that are particular to music studies, many music colleges and university departments require you to take an entrance test and/or attend an audition or interview. These differ from place to place, depending on the particular design of the music degree course. You are required to pass this test (where there is one) in addition to gaining the necessary other educational points or grades. If you apply to more than one institution it will improve your chances of getting a place. But you should choose carefully, as you could find yourself taking an excessive number of entrance tests in the busy period leading up to Leaving Certificate or A-Level examinations.
October to March: Open Day events at various music colleges/institutions
November – January: Apply through CAO (Note restricted CAO deadlines for Music
Programmes may apply) March/April/May: Entrance Tests/Auditions/Interviews
May-June: CAO preference change of mind option
June: State Examinations
August: National results and distribution of CAO Round 1 offers
September: CAO Round 2 offers
September: Course registration
Auditions/Entrance Tests: A full list of requirements for each music college/department can be accessed here. Depending on the institution(s) to which you apply, you may be expected to demonstrate some or all of the following:
Listening skills; music reading and overall musicianship; performance; ability to talk/write about music and/or your reasons for choosing to study music
If an audition is required you should play pieces that you can play well, and you would be advised to practice performing your pieces in advance of the audition itself (in front of teachers, family, friends etc.). Some institutions ask you to attend an interview, and here you need to demonstrate your motivation for studying music, as much as you need to communicate musical knowledge. If you are taking final school music examinations you would be expected to know more music than just the set works on the syllabus. When attending an interview, you should take the opportunity, if offered, to ask questions of your own [Remember that under CAO regulations the interviewer may not refer to your order of course preference]. Many institutions require you to undertake entrance tests designed to assess your musicianship (or ‘music theory’) skills. You should check out the websites of the music colleges/departments involved well in advance of making your application to see what their particular requirements are and to see if they provide any information that would help you prepare, including sample tests.
School leavers and others thinking of taking up third level music studies need to examine these options carefully and consider which degree programmes might best suit their musical interests and align with their academic and career aspirations. All of the universities/colleges and conservatories provide information on the various courses offered via their own websites which can be accessed here. Furthermore, each institution organises an annual Open Day where prospective students can meet current students and staff. Prospective students are advised to plan their applications well in advance of the CAO application process as many music colleges and music departments require students to attend auditions and entrance tests many months in advance of the centralised application process.
Currently, music can be studied to degree level in higher education institutions in the following locations: Belfast and Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland; and Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Limerick, Maynooth and Waterford in the Republic of Ireland.