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Music education

B. Mus. Ed.; 10 places

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What is Music Education?

The Bachelor in Music Education provides for the academic, artistic and professional requirements of those wishing to become music teachers at secondary school level (including Northern Ireland). Not all graduates choose to teach however. Some, on graduation, study performance, some conducting, and some composition and quite a few pursue postgraduate courses in the media and in the music business.

The degree is taught in partnership with the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and, on alternate years, with the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Students registering for the course in September 2017 will study at Trinity and at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. Students beginning the course in 2018 will study at Trinity and at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

This four-year programme offers opportunities for the development of a high standard of instrumental/vocal performance as well as a competence in related music skills i.e. conducting, keyboard skills and ensemble performance in choral, orchestral and chamber music groups. The course also provides for a solid grounding in composition, orchestration, analysis and the history of music. Students are also introduced to the curricular, pedagogic and presentation skills required for professional registration as post-primary teachers.

The majority of subjects are based on the traditions and practices of classical (or art) music, from the medieval period to the present day. However, there are regular lectures in other musical traditions, including Irish traditional music, jazz, contemporary and popular music. Students currently on the course come from either a classical or a traditional Irish music background. The School of Education at Trinity has forged strong links with the Irish traditional music culture and with renowned musicians of this genre.

Is the Bachelor in Music Education the course for you?

If you love sharing music, already have a competent standard of music performance, and wish to combine these qualities with a teaching career, then this course is ideally suited to you. Whether your interests are primarily academic or practical, your experience of this vast and rich discipline will be greatly advanced. As an academic study, music fosters independence of thought, creativity, critical and analytical skills. This course offers opportunities to perform music, to share your music with others in your teaching and to conduct a number of different ensembles.

Music Education @ Trinity

Trinity is the only university in Ireland which offers the opportunity to study both music and education, concurrently, to honours degree level (level 8) leading to a professional qualification in post-primary teaching which is accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland. One of the strengths of the Music Education course in Trinity is the commitment to individual and small group teaching. The facilities in the Associated Colleges include recital rooms, practice rooms with pianos, music studios, excellent listening equipment, and a substantial lending collection of CDs and videos. The staff at DIT has a wide range of experience in vocal and instrumental music, composition, music

Graduate skills and career opportunities

Music Education is a professional degree accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland. Graduates have an excellent employment record. Most graduates choose post-primary teaching, many garnering reputations as inspirational music teachers; others choose instrumental teaching both privately and in conservatoires. Graduates also go on to work in areas such as instrumental and vocal performance, in academia, in agencies associated with the arts, and in fields such as music therapy and music technology. Many students take postgraduate courses majoring in areas such as in music education, musicology, performance, and composition as well as in copyright law and publishing. Recent graduates are working in primary, post-primary and third-level teaching posts in Ireland, in countries throughout Europe, and in the USA, China and Singapore as well as with international companies such as Google.

Your degree and what you’ll study

A basic feature of the course is personal development in music, supporting the ability to awaken the interest and enthusiasm of pupils. Students are encouraged to engage in ensemble work at a level appropriate to their ability. Opportunities to perform are provided, offering realistic individual goals for all, including the exceptionally gifted. Structured school placement in all aspects of classroom practice both at primary and post-primary levels is provided, as well as instrumental/vocal practice.

In addition to individual instrumental/vocal tuition, there are approximately fifteen hours of lectures per week, comprising music and education.


  • Instrumental/Vocal Performance – individual tuition
  • Ensemble
  • Aural Perception and Keyboard Skills
  • Composition
  • History of Music
  • Irish Music
  • Practical Musicianship
  • Conducting
  • Music Technology
  • Sociology of Music and Music Education
  • Music Education and School Placement
  • Applied Psychology in Education
  • Educational Philosophy and Theory
  • Sociologies of Education
  • Assessment and Examinations in Post-Primary Education
  • Educational Issues
  • Research Methods in Music Education


A combination of continuous assessment, practical and written examinations and teaching practice makes up the assessment. Modules are examined by a combination of continuous assessment including essays, portfolios, individual and group presentations, and the formal end-of-year examination.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for students to spend part of the second year studying abroad. Our partner institutions are the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and the Kodaly Institute in Hungary. We are negotiating a partnership with the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Our exchange programmes are highly successful and are an extremely popular option for Music Education students each year. Participating students find that the Erasmus experience is hugely enjoyable, academically and culturally rewarding and a valuable asset to prospective employers. The course is enriched by the International students from these two Colleges who choose to study with us at TCD.


Twitter: @SchoolofEdTCD


Anyone considering studying Music Education is welcome to visit the School of Education, to speak to members of staff, and to speak to current students. To make an appointment, contact the Music Education co-ordinator at +353 1 896 1145.

What our graduates say

Lynsey Callaghan (PhD candidate)

“I loved the B.Mus.Ed. and I was proud to be on the course. I didn’t fully understand how amazing the course is until now. It is so comprehensive and afforded me so many diverse experiences. I believe it is an all-encompassing music degree which produces musician-teachers, with both identities developed in tandem, something that I am only now beginning to fully appreciate. How amazingly lucky we all were to have been a
part of this course.”

Luke Duffy

“I’ve been writing and composing a lot lately. I released an EP with a fellow composition masters student last year. You can download it for free here:”

Captain Thomas Kelly

After graduating from B.Mus.Ed., and spending two years playing trombone in the Defence Forces, I was accepted onto the MMus in Composition course in the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. I completed this one year masters in the summer of 2015. Since then I have returned to Ireland and taken up the position of Administrative/Instructional Officer with the Defence Forces School of Music. This position holds the rank of Captain, and my tasks include administrative duties as well as conducting the Army No.1 Band when required. I am absolutely delighted with this position and it is the ideal job for me. Getting to conduct a professional ensemble on a regular basis is a dream come true.


Séimí Campbell Senior Freshman

“Szia from Kecskemét! We’re all absolutely loving it here in the Kodály Institute. The course, students and teachers are all fantastic. We are doing a lot of modules; conducting, choir building, solfege (5 hours a week!!), pedagogy methods, Kokas pedagogy (hilarious!), Szo System (relaxation for piano players), instrumental lessons, voice lessons and so much more. It’s such a nice place too - we go to the hot baths in Kecskemét, trips to Budapest and folk dancing on a Wednesday night!! I’m really glad I came now as it’s such a great opportunity.”

What our current students say

Cara Bannigan Senior Sophister

“This is a one-of-a-kind degree where students have both the university and the conservatory experience. Music is my passion so I love the huge emphasis on performance. Over the four years you will be taught by some of the best teachers and coaches in the country.”

Course Options


B. Mus. Ed.

Number of Places


CAO code (Central Applications Office code) is



See also:

TR002: Music

Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here

GARDA VETTINGStudents will be required to undergo Garda vetting. See for further details.

Restricted entry

This is a restricted entry course. Applications must be submitted by 1 February 2017.

Applicants will be required to attend an entrance examination, provisionally scheduled for 1 April 2017.

Specimen examination papers are available for download from the Music Department website:

On the basis of the examination results, successful applicants will be called to attend for interview during April/May. Final selections are made at this point. Music performance will feature as one element of the interview.


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO.

Mature Student – Supplementary Application Form

Read the information about how to apply as a mature student then select the link below to complete the TCD Supplementary Application Form for mature students.

Music Education, 4 years full-time Closing Date: 01/02/2017

Non-EU Applicants

  • Music Education, 4 years full-time Closing Date: 01/FEB/2017
  • Advanced Entry Applications

    Read the information about how to apply for Advanced Entry, then select the link below to apply.

    CAO code (Central Applications Office code) is



    See also:

    TR002: Music