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BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance Dublin City University




COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

Course info


The BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance is a four-year, full time Honours degree which trains learners for a life as a professional performing musician. The programme covers a wide range of musical techniques including performance, instrumental technique, improvisation, composition, computer music, aural training, arranging and pedagogical studies, giving the participants the skills necessary to operate in a wide area of contemporary music, not just jazz. All of the subjects in the course are geared towards training young musicians to the highest international standards and to be fully equipped to work in the world of contemporary music both here and abroad.

Why do this course?

  • Acquire the skills to become a high level performing musician
  • Play and perform extensively as part of the programme
  • Learn how to compose and arrange for a wide range of ensembles
  • Make international connections including, with the renowned Berklee College of Music
  • Prepare yourself for life as a professional musician
  • Work closely with some of Ireland’s most highly regarded performers

About the course

The course offers intensive jazz and contemporary music education within a focused, supportive learning environment. It is designed to provide a balance of “traditional” jazz techniques alongside contemporary approaches to improvisation, so that students can experience the full breadth of the contemporary music world and develop into creative, versatile and employable musicians.

The degree focuses on giving students the practical skills they must acquire in order to function well in the professional milieu of contemporary jazz, and other musical settings. Due to its very broad nature, jazz is an ideal training for contemporary musicians and students experience the practical benefits of the various techniques undertaken throughout the programme.

A diverse and rigorous programme of study is organized throughout all four years of the programme. The course is concerned with five principal areas of study:

  • Ensemble Studies
  • Instrumental Studies
  • Arranging and Composition Studies
  • Aural and Theoretical Studies
  • Contextual Studies

Ensemble Studies

The aim of these modules is to give students the skills to perform in ensembles at a high professional level in the world of contemporary music. Through working in ensembles, participants will be made aware of the techniques and traditions of jazz and related musics, such as funk, Afro-Cuban, Brazilan music.

Instrumental Studies

The aim of these modules is to provide learners with the instrumental and technical skills necessary in order to perform at a professional level in the contemporary music world. Learners will work on practice methods, identify goals, and acquire essential vocabulary through the study of the master soloists, and stylistic interpretation.

Arranging and Composition Studies

The aim of these modules is to introduce learners to the skills necessary for modern arranging, and to allow them to be conversant with the history, ethos and techniques of jazz and contemporary composition.

Aural and Theoretical Studies

These modules will give learners a thorough grounding in contemporary harmony and theory, and give them the means to understand the theoretical and harmonic underpinning of contemporary jazz practice.

Contextual Studies

These modules will help learners understand the history of the development of music, of many genres, and their place in contemporary society.


In these areas

  • Arranger
  • Composer
  • Music Producer
  • Music Educator
  • Professional Performing Musician
  • Session Musician

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance.

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees

€15,000.00 (13,29,996) per year

Student Contribution: €3,043 / Annum

*Price shown is for indicative purpose, please check with institution


Sep-21, Jan-22


Dublin City University

Glasnevin Campus,



Republic of Ireland

Entry requirement for international students

You can directly enter Year 1 if you have studied in one of the following:

  • GCSE A levels - you must have 4 A levels or 3 A levels + 1 AS level in different subjects from the same year or preceding year only;
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma;
  • Or have an equivalent qualification.

In the case of all applications, evidence MUST be provided of competence in the English language. The list below indicates the minimum standards in the English language, which should be met for entry to undergraduate programmes in DCU.

  • Irish Leaving Certificate English: Ordinary Level Grade D3
  • GCE A-Level English Language: Grade D
  • IELTS: Composite score of 6.5 or above, with no less than 6.0 in any one component
  • TOEFL: 237 (computer-based), 580 (paper-based test)
  • TOEFL iBT: Total Score of 92
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CAP): Overall score of 180 with a minimum of 169 in all components.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Overall score of 180 with a minimum of 169 in all components.
  • English Test for Academic and Professional Purposes (ETAPP): C1
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic): 63 (with a minimum of 59 in all components)

* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.

Contact Dublin City University

To get more information about studying at this University