Bachelor in Music Education

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.

Music Education Students playing musical instruments

About the Course

The degree is an integrated course of study designed to equip students with a high standard of performance in their principal instrument (including voice) and a competence in related musical skills e.g. conducting, keyboard skills, performance in choral, orchestral and chamber music groups. The course also provides for a solid grounding in harmony, counterpoint, composition, orchestration, analysis, history of music and Irish traditional music. These subjects are taught in either TU Dublin Conservatoire or the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM), depending on the year of entry. The educational components include: philosophy of education; educational issues; sociology of education; research methodology; history of education; educational psychology; curriculum assessment; practice of music education and school placement. These subjects are taught by the staff of the School of Education, TCD.

Study Music Education in Trinity College Dublin

Dr Marita Kerin, Assistant Professor at TCD, speaks about this popular programme and answers 5 FAQs about the course

How to apply

Applications from E.U. applicants should be made to the Central Applications Office (CAO).  See the C.A.O. handbook for details of application dates and procedures. 

Applications from non-EU applicants can find further information on the Trinity International website.  Closing date 1st February of year of proposed entry.

Bachelor of Music is a restricted entry course , therefore, applications must be submitted to the CAO by 1st February 2023.

Please note modifications to the application process:

  • Step 1: Applicants for the Bachelor in Music Education (2023/24) will be invited to take a music entrance test in March 2023
  • Step 2: Successful applicants will then be asked to attend a short interview (designed to assess applicant interest in, and suitability for, teaching), and audition (perform 2 pieces/songs) in April 2023. At this point, applicants will also undertake a short aural/sight-reading test.
  • Step 3: Following the interview/audition successful applicants will receive a provisional offer of a place on the Bachelor in Music Education course 2023/24.
  • Step 4: Final firm offers will be issued, subject to Leaving Cert results.

Course Structure 

This  programme is designed to give  you a world-class  education in Music Education.

Year 1: Junior Fresh Student

  • Music Performance (solo and ensemble)
  • Aural Skills
  • Compositional Techniques
  • Music History (Western Art Music, Irish Music, Ethnomusicology)
  • Practice of Music Education
  • Music Technology for the Classroom
  • Fundamental Music Pedagogy (conducting, keyboard skills, classroom instrumental skills)
  • School Placement

Year 2: Senior Fresh Student

  • Music Performance (solo and ensemble)
  • Aural Skills
  • Compositional Techniques
  • Music History (Western Art Music, Irish Music, Popular Music)
  • Practice of Music Education 
  • Critical and Sociological 
  • Perspectives in Music Education
  • Irish Educational History and Policy
  • School Placement

Year 3: Junior Sophister

  • Music Performance (solo and ensemble)
  • Aural Skills
  • Advanced Composition Techniques
  • Contemporary Music Studies
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Sociology of Education
  • Practice of Music Education
  • School Placement

Study Abroad

The School of Education has strong links abroad, including active participation in the Erasmus exchange programme with universities in Scotland and Hungary. This allows students the option of spending one semester studying abroad. 

In addition, the school has an excellent record of students going on to study at postgraduate level, in Ireland and abroad, and of graduates who have obtained employment in Europe and in North America.

Year 4: Senior Sophister

  • Capstone Project (recital + dissertation / composition)
  • Advanced Musicianship (aural skills, analysis, conducting)
  • Inclusive Education
  • Digital Learning
  • Psychology of Education
  • Introduction to Assessments and Examination in Post-Primary School Education 
  • School Placement 

Lynsey Callaghan PhD

B.Mus.Ed. Graduate

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.

Séimí Campbell

B.Mus.Ed. Graduate 2018

The Bachelor in Music Education is such a wonderful programme, filled with the finest tuition both academically and musically with endless opportunities to perform, teach and collaborate, and with access to a wide world of possibilities after graduation. The holistic, practical, and highly personal training has certainly added to my craft as a theatre director and I continue to use so many of the tools acquired during the degree on each new theatre production. Who knew that directing and teaching were so similar; lesson plans are now becoming theatre and film scripts and my classroom is now a world stage. I am very proud and grateful to have had both conservatoire training and the university experience - a unique opportunity that Trinity College and the RIAM/ TU Conservatoire has to offer. Thank you B.Mus.Ed.

Nicole Pierce

B.Mus.Ed. Graduate

I graduated from the B.Mus.Ed. course in 2013 with a 2.1 honours degree. In 2015, my path took a different turn, and I was accepted into the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland as a graduate student of Medicine. Whilst Medicine is certainly a very different discipline to Music Education, my training as a post-primary school teacher prepared me for life as a student doctor in ways I did not expect. Our teaching practice placements enabled me to develop excellent communication skills, which I use daily when presenting medical cases to my colleagues and professors. In our Aural Perception module, we learned to study music through active listening; a lifelong skill which is now invaluable to me as a physician caring for patients. For my chosen instrument, I studied Voice with the wonderful Colette McGahon-Tosh at TU Dublin Conservatoire. In preparation for my final year recital, she taught me not only to sing, and to perform, but also to enjoy preparing for a performance - so that when the day comes, you can give it your all. This attitude inspired me so much then, and continues to inspire me as I prepare for my final medical exams next year. The B.Mus.Ed. programme is a fantastic professional degree, and I will forever be grateful for the four years of college (and craic!) I enjoyed at Trinity College.

Captain Thomas Kelly

Defence Forces School of Music

After graduating from B.Mus.Ed., and spending two years playing trombone in the Defence Forces, I was accepted onto the B.Mus.Ed. 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.