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Programme Overview

Bachelor of Music (Honours)


NFQ Level


4 years (8 semesters)

CAO Code


Application Deadline
1 February 2023 (CAO)
31 May 2023 (non-EU)


Entrance Test
25 March 2023

Course Fees (EU)
€3,007 + tuition fees (if applicable)


Course Fees (non-EU)





Applications should be made to:


Admission Requirements

For admission to the programme, standard applicants must:

  • meet the minimum entry requirements;
  • sit the Entrance Test; and 
  • complete Garda Vetting.


Minimum Entry Requirements

Leaving Certificate in at least six subjects (i.e. H5 in two subjects, and O6/H7 in four other subjects); one of the subjects must be English or Irish. There is no specific requirement for Maths (a grade F2 or higher in foundation level Maths is recognised as one of the subjects for entry).


Leaving Certificate Music is not required for entry but can prove beneficial.


In addition to the Leaving Certificate, academic qualification can also be considered from:

  • UK A-Levels and similar European / international examinations (see CAO advisory document for further information);
  • those holding relevant FETAC Level 5 & 6 qualifications;
  • mature candidates with relevant subject experience.


Non-EU minimum entry requirements are available through the MTU International Office.


If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of English language proficiency.


Entrance Test

This is a Restricted Access Course and all applicants must sit an Entrance Test, scheduled for Saturday 25 March 2023. The assessment will consist of a performance audition and a written paper (a short interview will follow the performance audition, where candidates will also have a chance to ask questions about the course).

Each candidate who sits an Entrance Test is awarded up to a maximum of 600 points and must achieve the minimum threshold of 276 points to be considered eligible. 

Places on the course are allocated according to the rank achieved as a result of this assessment procedure; i.e. Leaving Certificate exam points are not used to rank candidates. 

Candidates are not allowed to defer the results of the Entrance Test.


Performance Audition (50%)

If you are auditioning on more than one instrument, you will need to present the full requirements for each instrument (each instrument may be assessed by a different panel). Please note that it is not possible to combine different instruments in a single audition.

  • Classical music instrumentalists should present two contrasting pieces from a recognised syllabus, followed by major and minor scales in two key centres of own choice.
  • Classical singers should present three to four songs in classical style; one may be a folk song.
  • Percussionists should present three contrasting pieces to include tuned percussion.
  • Irish traditional music candidates should present four contrasting pieces, to include at least one slow air and one reel.
  • Sean nós singers should present three contrasting songs with appropriate ornamentation.
  • Jazz candidates should present three contrasting pieces showing a variety of styles and some improvisation.


If you wish to present one of your own compositions, this should be offered in addition to the requirements outlined above.


A short sight-reading test will be included as part of the audition.


Written Paper (50%)

The written paper consists of rudiments, compositional techniques (harmony), aural skills and general musical knowledge. A sample paper is available here, or upon request from the Administrator, MTU Cork School of Music, Union Quay, Cork.


Garda Vetting

Vetting is conducted by the National Vetting Bureau (formerly known as the Garda Central Vetting Unit). The National Vetting Bureau (NVB) helps to assess the suitability of all applicants on this programme. It is important to note that participation in or completion of this programme may be affected by subsequent disclosure/discovery.


Course Information


Why should I choose to study at MTU Cork School of Music?

  • A full-time four-year course at a state-of-the-art facility
  • Being part of a vibrant, creative community of students involved in performing arts activity
  • Each student has one-to-one expert instrumental tuition on-site throughout their studies as well as masterclasses with international artists
  • Possibility to develop second instrument studies
  • Development of other performance styles
  • Mentoring opportunities with professional ensembles such as National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the Band of the 1st Brigade.
  • Membership of award-winning CSM ensembles
  • Erasmus exchange opportunities
  • Preparation for a career after college
  • Wide range of specialisms – this is a personalised programme
  • Recognised by the Teaching Council
  • Highly acceptable for entry to postgraduate courses internationally


What about MTU and Cork City?

  • Cork City is renowned for its social and cultural life.
  • MTU has a fantastic sports campus and many of its teams are prominent in national competitions.
  • MTU’s societies are thriving and promote a vast array of activities throughout the university. The Trad Society and Musical Society are located in CSM.
  • All students are encouraged to undertake extra-curricular activities and interact with the wide variety of ensembles and learning opportunities available in the School.


What will I be studying during my BMus?
Performance and musicianship skills development are at the core of the BMus programme at MTU Cork School of Music. Students receive weekly one-to-one lessons, perform in large ensembles, bands and orchestras, and receive chamber music instruction also. Tuition in aural skills, conducting and composition are supported by studies in early music performance, history of music, Irish traditional music and music technology. You will also have the opportunity to pursue your own interests through a suite of bespoke Performance Development modules.


Do I have to be able to read music and play an instrument?
We expect that anyone applying for the BMus degree is proficient as either a vocalist or instrumentalist (Irish traditional / classical / jazz) and that you are reasonably fluent with reading music. Leaving Certificate Music is not a requirement but can prove beneficial.


What electives can I specialise in?
Students can choose from a wide variety of elective modules depending on their future career path. Modules include specialised instrumental studies, instrumental and classroom teaching, music technology, composition, music history and research, conducting and orchestration, music facilitation, music therapy, community music and many more. Complete documentation and detailed module content is available here.


Can I go abroad to study during my BMus?
You can choose to spend part of your studies abroad. Partnerships have been formed with many high-profile conservatoires in Europe. More information can be found here.


What career opportunities are available to me?
Many graduates will develop careers as professional performers in various ensemble settings, freelance musicians, ensemble leaders and conductors, instrumental/vocal teachers, musicologists, researchers, journalists, and arts administrators. Many students go on to postgraduate study in performance, education, musicology and composition.


Does the BMus degree at MTU Cork School of Music qualify me to teach music in secondary schools?
The BMus degree satisfies the entry requirements for a Professional Masters in Music Education, which will then qualify you to teach secondary school music recognised by the Teaching Council of Ireland.


Does CSM offer masterclasses/workshops with visiting professional artists?
Students regularly have the opportunity to perform and observe masterclasses with visiting professionals at no additional cost to the student - we see this as integral part of your course of study. Masterclasses are offered in-house in addition to weekly tuition with an instrumental expert staff member.


Further Information

Email or phone +353 (0)21 4807309 / +353 (0)21 4807310.

Semester Timeline


Jan Mon 16

Semester 2 commences

Jun Wed 20

Academic Year finishes

Jun Tue 5


May Mon 28

Advanced Recital Competition final

May Sat 26

Advanced Recital Competition prelims

May Mon 7

Degree Assessments & Examinations

May Fri 4

Semester 2 Lectures end* (confirm BATDS)

Apr Thu 12

Degree Entrance Tests for CAO Applicants

Mar Mon 26

Easter Holidays

Mar Sat 24

Professional Studies 2 (MA in Performance, Conducting and Composition, Year 1)

Mar Fri 23

Degree classes finish for Easter Break

Mar Sat 17

School Closed for St Patricks weekend

Feb Sat 24

Professional Studies 2 (MA in Performance, Conducting and Composition, Year 1)

Feb Mon 12

Reading Week

Jan Sat 27

Professional Studies 2 (MA in Performance, Conducting and Composition, Year 1)

Jan Mon 15


Semester 2 Lectures commence (confirm BATDS)

Jan Mon 8

Degree Performance Assessments

Dec Mon 18

Degree Assessments & Examinations

Dec Fri 15

Semester 1 Lectures end

Nov Sat 25

Professional Studies 1 (MA in Performance, Conducting and Composition, Year 1)

Nov Sat 18

Open Day for CSM Undergraduate Degree Courses

Oct Mon 30

Reading Week

Oct Thu 26

Conferring Ceremony

Oct Sat 21

Professional Studies 1 (MA in Performance, Conducting and Composition, Year 1)

Sep Sat 23

Professional Studies 1 (MA in Performance, Conducting and Composition, Year 1)

Sep Mon 11

Semester 1 classes and lessons commence for all full-time students

Sep Fri 1

Academic Year commences

Aug Thu 31

Registration for 1st year undergraduate and Masters Degrees

Jan Wed 4

BATDS Year 4 recommences

Oct Thu 27

CSM Awards Ceremony for full-time students

Sep Mon 5

Registration for Years 2 - 4 BMus, BATDS, BAPM & Class Meetings

Induction of MA/MSc in Music & Technology

Induction of MA (Performance/Conducting/Composition)


Aug Mon 15

Autumn Examinations

Color Reference





Semester Timeline


Jun Sat 16

Individual lessons Finish

May Mon 28

Grade Examination Week

Musicianship Exam Fortnight

Advanced Recital Competition Final

May Sat 26

Advanced Recital Competition Prelims

May Mon 7

Chamber Music Competition Week

Apr Mon 9

Classes recommence

Mar Mon 26

Easter Holidays

Mar Tue 20

Classes recommence

Mar Sat 17

School Closed for St Patricks weekend

Mar Sun 4

Senior Recital Competition Final

Feb Mon 19

Classes recommence

Feb Mon 12

Mid-term Break2

Feb Sun 11

Junior Recital Competition Final 15:00

Feb Fri 9

Junior Recital Competition Prelims

Jan Fri 19

Term 2 Fees due

Jan Mon 8

All teaching re-commences

Dec Fri 22

Classes & lessons for part-time students finish

Dec Mon 11

Piano Accompaniment Competition Week

Dec Fri 1

Junior Concerto

Nov Mon 6

Classes recommence

Oct Mon 30

Mid-term Break1

Oct Fri 20

CSM Awards Ceremony

Sep Mon 11

Bands, Choirs, Orchestras, Drama group rehearsals commence

Sep Fri 1

Academic Year commences

Mar Tue 14

Application forms available for all part-time courses commencing in September 2016 (accepted from 9am)

Mar Fri 10

Open Day for part-time courses - schedule available from public office during February

Mar Thu 2

Senior Recital Competition Prelims

Feb Tue 14

Senior Concerto

Color Reference