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Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

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Music education

B. Mus. Ed.; 4 years full-time; 10 places; 445

What is Music Education?

This degree is designed to provide for the academic, artistic and professional requirements of those wishing to study to become music teachers at secondary school level (including Northern Ireland). The degree is taught in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Dublin Institute of Technology Conservatory of Music and Drama. Students registering for the course in September 2016 will study at Trinity and at the Royal Irish Academy. Students beginning the course in 2017 will study at Trinity and at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama.

This four-year programme will equip you with a high standard of instrumental/vocal performance as well as with an associated 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 harmony, counterpoint, composition, orchestration, analysis and the history of music.

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 primarily 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 this the right course for you?

If you love performing music, already have an accomplished standard of music performance, and wish to combine these qualities with a teaching career, then this course will be 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, and intellectual awareness. You will also have plenty of opportunity to perform music and conduct ensembles.

Why study Music Education at 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 the RIAM have a wide range of experience in vocal and instrumental music, composition, music technology and musicology. The staff at Trinity’s School of Education have a wide range of expertise in all aspects of education including education research, the psychology of education, philosophy of education, sociology of education and music pedagogy.

As a student at Trinity you will have access to the largest research library in Ireland.

What will you study?

A basic feature of the course is personal development in music, supporting the ability to awaken the interest and enthusiasm of pupils. You will be encouraged to engage in ensemble work at a level appropriate to your own ability. Opportunities to perform are provided, offering realistic individual goals for all, including the exceptionally gifted. Supervised school placement in all aspects of classroom teaching both at primary and post-primary levels is provided, in addition to 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
  • Special Repertoire Class for Main Instrument
  • 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
  • History of 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 and the Kodaly Institute, Kecskemét, 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.


This is a professional degree accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland. Graduates have an excellent employment record. Most graduates go on to 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 orchestral and vocal performance, academia, arts administration, library work, music therapy and music technology. Many students take postgraduate courses – either in related areas such as in music education, musicology, performance, or in a range of other areas including 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.

Further information

Visit us: 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.

Graduate Profile

Lynsey Callaghan

I loved the B.Mus.Ed. and 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 experiences. Now being in the ‘real world’ and looking for jobs, I have an invaluable amount of experience. 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 were to have been a part of the course.

Course Options


B. Mus. Ed.


4 years full-time

Points Required


Number of Places


CAO code (Central Applications Office code) is


Minimum entry points required are 445
More information on minimum entry points


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 2016.

Applicants will be required to attend an entrance examination, provisionally scheduled for 2 April 2016.

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/FEB/2016

Non-EU Applicants

  • Music Education, 4 years full-time Closing Date: 01/FEB/2016
  • CAO code (Central Applications Office code) is



    See also:

    TR002: Music