Programme Overview

Bachelor of Music (Honours)


NFQ Level


4 years (8 semesters)

CAO Code


Application Deadline
1 February 2024 (CAO)
31 May 2024 (non-EU)


Entrance Test
9 March 2024

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 9 March 2024. 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.


Free advisory sessions on the written paper, led by a BMus degree lecturer, will be held in-person and online in advance of the audition date. Each session will cover the paper in full and all prospective students are welcome to attend.


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


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Semester Timeline


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