• CERTIFICATION:BTEC Higher National Diploma in Music (BTEC Higher National Certificate after year                                          One Level 6+ equivalence on the QCF (603/2274/3)
  • Duration:One or Two years (option of second year to achieve a Higher National Diploma)


The BTEC in Traditional Irish and Folk Music Performance is an exciting course which will develop your knowledge, understanding, skills and performance techniques as a musician for successful employment in the music industry or progression to further study. Both theoretical and practical musicianship skills are covered, combined with performance opportunities, event management, music technology and recording. There is a special emphasis on music performance, song-writing and musical skills for both traditional and folk genres. In addition, students will get a broad insight into the music business from lecturers who are experienced musicians and industry practitioners. If you want the foundations for launching your career, this is the course for you.

Click here for virtual tour of our Music Department

Programme of Study

HNC - Year One

  • The Music Industry
  • Marketing & Promotion for Musicians
  • Professional Development
  • Applied Music Theory
  • Performance
  • Instrumental Technique
  • Songwriting
  • The Evolution of the Instrument

HND - Year Two

  • Creative Research Project
  • Musical Direction in Practice
  • Advanced Performance Skills
  • Live Arrangement Skills 
  • Advanced Composition Techniques 
  • Creative Portfolio  
  • Developing as an Artist
  • Advanced Composing Using Technology

Components subject to change

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate or its equivalent with a performing ability on a traditional or folk related instrument or singing. Ability to read music notation an advantage. Extenuating circumstances may be considered.
  • Mature applicants – experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications

Places are offered following successful interview and audition. Students should come prepared to play or sing 2 contrasting pieces with or without accompaniment. Video evidence will also be accepted in addition to the above.

Career Opportunities
  • Live Events
  • Promotion
  • Community Arts 
  • Music Business 
  • Music Performance 
  • Cultural Venue Operations
  • Music Therapy
Higher Education Progression*

Examples of potential courses include:  

BIMM Dublin certified by DIT:

  • BA (Hons) in Commercial Modern Music 


  • Creative Music Performance – (3rd Year) 

TU Dublin: 

  • Bachelor of Music (BMus)
  • Bachelor of Music Education (BMusEd)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Creative and Cultural Industries – delivered by the College of Arts & Tourism

RIAM - Royal Irish Academy of Music

  • Bachelor in Music Performance 

Munster Technological University (Cork School of Music Campus):

  • Bachelor of Music (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Popular Music: Electric Guitar
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Popular Music: Keyboards
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Popular Music: Voice

DkIT Dundalk Institute of Technology:

  • BA (Hons) in Applied Music

Maynooth University:

  • Bachelor of Music


Plus numerous colleges in the UK offering degrees in rock, popular music and classical. You could even go to Nottingham Trent University and acquire a degree in Heavy Metal Music Performance.

*Places are not guaranteed in these Institutes and are subject to students meeting certain criteria. Please consult the individual college websites for more information on application. Information available also at www.cao.ie

Course Co-ordinator

Rob Murphy

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