Course Overview

This course offers a BA in Music and one other subject. It allows students to develop an understanding of the history, theory and practice of music. It is especially well suited to those who wish to teach music after graduation; students also receive training in arts management and other transferrable professional skills. 

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements: Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at O6/H7 level in the Leaving Certificate including Irish, English, another language, and three other subjects recognised for entry purposes.

Dr. Aidan Thomson has been announced as the new Head of Music and Senior Lecturer at NUI Galway.

Dr. Thomson is a musicologist with a particular interest in British and Irish music of the early twentieth century, particularly Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Arnold Bax and the ‘Celtic North’. He is also an experienced violinist (having led the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland while at university), pianist and organist, and, in addition, he has directed the choir of St Bartholomew’s Parish Church in Belfast.

Dr. Thomson co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Vaughan Williams (Cambridge University Press, 2013). In 2016, he wrote and presented ‘Bax, Ireland and 1916’ for RTÉ Lyric FM’s ‘Lyric Feature’ programme, which looked at Bax’s relationship with the leaders of the Easter Rising. As part of the centenary celebrations, he also gave a public lecture in Dublin about Bax’s friendship with Pádraig Pearse.

Dr. Thomson has taught at the University of Oxford, the University of Leeds and, for the last fourteen years, Queen’s University Belfast, principally in music history, theory and analysis, but also in performance. He enjoys teaching undergraduates and postgraduates alike, and is very much looking forward greatly to welcoming students to the new department of music at NUI Galway in September 2018, in particular to the new BA (Music).

Additional Requirements


4 years

Next start date

Sept 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Next start date

Sept 2018

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




PAC code

Course Outline

In First Year, students take Music with two other arts subjects. In Years 2 and 4, they do Music with one other subject. Year 3 is dedicated exclusively to Music. Upon graduation, students receive a degree in Music and one other subject (e.g. French, Mathematics, Psychology, Legal Studies, Information Technology, English, German, etc).  

 Year 1:

  • Music Histories and Repertoires
  • Introducing Traditional Irish Music
  • Vocal and Choral Skills practice-based module (practice-based module)
  • Writing about Music: Performance Analysis 

Year 2:

  • Music Histories and Repertoires
  • Traditional Irish Music 2
  • Composition
  • Keyboard skills
  • Musical Theatre (optional)
  • Arts Administration and management (optional)

Year 3:

This year is dedicated to the development of special skills and/or experiences. Students will:

  • Attend an international university where music is taught OR
  • Engage in a 10,000 word dissertation on a subject within Music Studies OR
  • Carry out an internship OR
  • Complete a supervised practice-based project, culminating in a public recital and/or performance.

Year 4

  • Music Technology
  • Composition project OR dissertation
  • Career development workshops.
  • Music Histories and Repertoires 3

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The programme has been designed to meet the requirement of the Irish Teaching Council, so graduates will be qualified to use music as a teaching subject as part of their study for a postgraduate degree in post-primary education.

 Students will also have opportunities to avail of NUI Galway’s unique offerings in creative arts management and business, ensuring they have real-world skills that will be directly relevant to the creative arts industry in Ireland and internationally.

 As BA graduates, students also have transferrable skills in such areas as giving presentations, teamwork, research, writing, and so on. These skills are highly attractive to employers and open out a range of career options.

 Students can combine the study of music with subjects such as Psychology, Legal Studies, Information Technology or Languages, all of which open up career opportunities in those areas.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

In the third year of the programme, all students go on placement, either travelling to an international university (some scholarships are available) or taking a placement with an Irish arts organisation. The university has partnerships with such organisations as Galway Music Residency and Galway International Arts Festival, and students may take placements of 4-6 weeks in such organisations in the areas of marketing, production, administration, and other subjects relevant to their course.  Students taking a European language will be required to spend a semester in year three studying in France, Germany or Italy. There are also international links with American universities where students can study Music and other performing arts subjects.

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,500 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€3,276 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,300 p.a. 2018/19
EU Fees 2018/19:
- Tuition: may be paid by the Irish Government on your behalf see - free fee initiative.
- Student Contribution: €3,000 - payable by all students but may by paid by SUSI if you apply and are deemed eligible for a means tested SUSI grant.
- Student Levy:  €224 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI.

Find out More

O’Donoghue Centre for Drama Theatre and Performance,

NUI, Galway

+353 91 494426