Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here Disciplines > Music > Undergraduate > BA in Music

Bachelor in Arts (B.A.) in Music (Joint Honors)

This is a restricted entry course. Applications must be submitted by 1 February 2019. Applicants will be required to attend an entrance examination, scheduled for March/April 2019. Specimen examination papers are available for download on this webpage.

Apply for B.A. in Music (Joint Honors)

Music can be studied as a Single Honors degree or a Joint Honors subject with one of the following options:

  • TR330 Film Studies
  • TR564 Middle Eastern, Jewish and Islamic Civilisations
  • TR598 Mathematics
  • TR635 Drama Studies
  • TR636 Modern Languages
  • TR637 Philosophy
  • TR638 Religion

For more information on Joint Honors including combination options, check the Trinity website -

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 @ 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.

Our curriculum integrates practical musicianship with rigorous scholarship. 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). The course includes a wide range of options, allowing students to focus on their chosen areas of interest. 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.

Since the Music Department became part of the School of Creative Arts (formally School of Drama, Film and Music) in 2006 it has developed interdisciplinary connections, which includes shared modules. Music is closely affiliated with the University-wide research theme of Creative Arts Practice. The department hosts the university's Music Composition Centre. 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.

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 (Fresher) 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 selected a Trinity Elective.

Third and Fourth (Sophister) 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.


Applications should be made through: The Irish Central Applications Office (C.A.O.) by January of the year of proposed entry. Entry is by an entrance test (usually at the end of March), a formal interview (usually in late April/early May) and academic competition (the points system).

Entrance tests are held annually in April. All candidates will be notified of the time and place in early March.

For sample entrance test papers from 2017, click on the following links:
Aural Entrance Test paper 2017
General Knowledge Entrance Test paper 2017
Rudiments Entrance Test paper 2017

For sample entrance test papers from 2016, click on the following links:
Aural Entrance Test paper 2016 with the answer paper
General Knowledge Entrance Test paper 2016
Rudiments Entrance Test paper 2016

Overseas students who wish to come to Trinity College for one year or more should contact: Academic Registry.