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Music (JH)

B.A. ; 4 years full-time ; 18 places ; CAO points: 420-577 (2019)

Get In Touch

Telephone Number

+353 1 896 1120


Course Fees

Click here for a full list of undergraduate fees.

What is Music?

Music is a discipline that stretches back to the ancient world. One of the seven original liberal arts, music maintains a place in the University as a subject of broad and passionate interest to composers, musicologists, performers, technologists, and theorists.

Music: The course for you?

Studying music will allow you to engage with a range of traditions to acquire a profound understanding of how music works in theory and in creative practice. If you are interested in understanding music and its place in society, developing music technology skills, writing music, or improving your skills as an informed performer, this course could be for you. A music degree will prepare you for a wide range of careers in the creative arts, journalism, music production, arts management, research, and teaching.

Music at Trinity

Trinity’s Music Department is Ireland’s oldest and most internationally renowned venue for the study of music. With a distinguished team of academics and practitioners, the department attracts Irish and international students of the highest calibre. Alumni include Derek Bell, harpist in the Chieftains; Niall Doyle, Head of Music at the Arts Council; Deborah Kelleher, Director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music; and Donnacha Dennehy, Associate Professor of Music at Princeton University.

We offer a balanced musical education that provides specialisation in three key areas: composition, music technology, and musicology (the historical and analytical study of music). A particular strength is the department’s commitment to small group teaching, with some subjects taught in groups of ten students or fewer.

The facilities in the Music Department include a recital room, practice rooms, computer workstations, a recording studio, listening equipment, and a substantial lending collection of CDs and videos.

In 2013, the Royal Irish Academy of Music became an Associate College, a move designed to facilitate the development of an internationally renowned centre of excellence in performing arts. 2016 marked the appointment of Assistant Professor Nicholas Brown, and a renewed commitment to social engagement and educational outreach.


The pathways available are Single Honors, Major with Minor and Joint Honors. Click here for further information.

Graduate skills and career opportunities

The employment record for Trinity’s graduates in Music is excellent. Recent alumni have established successful careers as composers, music producers (for television, radio, or recording companies), performers, conductors, administrators, teachers, and academics in institutions worldwide. Several recent graduates have been commissioned by organisations such as RTÉ. Trinity Music students have an outstanding record of obtaining scholarships for further study abroad as well as from the Arts Council of Ireland. Some have used the analytical and intellectual skills that a Music degree offers to build successful careers in medicine, law, financial investment, and public relations.

Your degree and what you’ll study

The Single Honors and Joint Honors options provide a thorough grounding in the basic skills of musicianship and academic study. Students receive extensive training in aural and keyboard skills, learn the history and theory of art music from the medieval period to the present day, and choose modules in jazz, rock, popular, vernacular, and world music. Taught performance modules (e.g. conducting) allow students to contextualise their practical skills. In the specialisations (composition, music technology, and musicology), students are closely supervised in their chosen area. Students may continue to take modules outside of their specialisation. All students complete a final year Capstone research project based on their specialism.

Many musical activities take place on campus. In addition to performance opportunities, students can gain experience in arts administration, music production, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Many students come from non-classical backgrounds.

First and second years

First year

Aural Training, History of Music, Introduction to Harmony, Introduction to Music Analysis, Keyboard Skills, Rudiments and Counterpoint, Style and Presentation, Music Technology, Instrumentation.

Second year

Continuation of subjects from first year, and the beginning of the exploration of up to two specialisms – Composition, Musicology, or Music Technology. Single Honors students will also select a Trinity Elective.

Third and fourth years

Concentrated study in chosen specialisations, with possible electives from other specialisations. Students can present a recital.

Recent options have included: Advanced Aural, Analogue Synthesis, Bob Dylan, Byrd and the Politics of Polyphony, Counterpoint and Fugue, Experimental Theatre and Contemporary Opera, Figured Bass, Film Music, Handel and the English Oratorio, Heavy Metal, Japanese Music, Java Programming, Nineteenth-Century German Lied, Rock Music History, and the Hollywood Musical.

In their specialisations, composers develop a variety of techniques; music technologists engage in theory and studio practice; and musicologists address history, culture, and theoretical subjects. Capstone projects take the form of, respectively, a portfolio of compositions, a major technology project, or a dissertation.

Study abroad

Music students can apply to study abroad in European universities with the Erasmus programme (e.g. Royal Holloway University of London) and non-EU universities (University of Toronto, Peking University) via University-wide exchanges. The Department of Music is in the process of forming a partnership with a leading university in Malaysia.

Music students who study abroad find the experience hugely enjoyable, academically and culturally rewarding, and of value to prospective employers. Further information on study abroad can be found at:


Prospective students are encouraged to email with queries about the academic content of courses offered in Music.


What our graduates say

Eileen Hogan

“I am very glad that I chose Trinity for music studies. Since day one I have found the faculty inspiring, supportive, and willing to help. The course has allowed for many incredible opportunities that have aided my personal and musical development, including directing the music department’s chamber choir, The Campanile Consort, and attending seminars in Oxford University. Most recently, I have been granted a scholarship from Indiana University which will allow me to continue my studies with an M.A. in Musicology in the US.”

Course Details



CAO Points Required

420-577 (2019)

Number of Places


Minimum entry points required are 420-577 (2019)
More information on minimum entry points

Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here

Special entry requirements

Though desirable, formal musical training is not a prerequisite for entry, but candidates should have a good ear and the ability to read and notate music to a rudimentary level.

The most important musical qualification is a good ear.

On the basis of the entrance-examination results, applicants may be called to attend an interview at the end of April/beginning of May, before final selections are made. You are not required to perform at interview.

This is a restricted entry course. Applications must be submitted by 1 February 2020

Applicants will be required to attend an entrance examination, scheduled for March/April 2020. 

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

*Applicants are assessed on a music test and interview and on their Leaving Certificate examination results.

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of undergraduate fees.

Get In Touch

Telephone Number

+353 1 896 1120