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CR 121

Key Info

  • Course CodeCR 121
  • Field of StudyMusic
  • Type of CourseHonours Degree
  • Type of QualificationBachelor of Music (Honours)
  • Type of Study Full time
  • Application Closing DateCIT CSM recommends that Special Category Applicants apply by 1st February, however, applications will be accepted up to 1st May.
  • Duration4 Years (8 Semesters)
  • Level8
  • LocationCIT Cork School of Music
  • CAO 1st RoundEntry 2019: 633

CSM website >>


This four-year programme leads to the award of an Honours BMus Degree. The course offered by the CSM differs fundamentally from those available elsewhere in the country in a number of ways. In particular, Performance Studies are an integrated feature throughout the course and students receive credit for them proportional to their level of ability and specialisation.


One of the attractions of this Honours Degree course is the nature of Years 1 and 2, which are best described respectively as “Foundation” and “Transition”. The carefully coordinated elements of the Year 1 course seeks to ensure that every student is subsequently able to fulfil their potential, whatever specialisations are chosen. During Year 2, the continuation of core studies is balanced by the introduction of elements that ensure students can make an informed decision about which subjects they would like to concentrate on during the third and fourth years.


Whilst these might prove to be Performance Studies, or Music in the Community, or Pedagogic (Music Teaching) Studies, or Music and Technology, or Music Therapy, it is equally possible to specialise in Applied Musicianship Skills and/or Music History. Students specialising in conducting and/or orchestration reap the benefits of multiple sessions with the CSM’s most senior performing groups, including the Fleischmann Choir, Symphony Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble.


Potential professional performers can study with people who have played in and/or conducted professional orchestras, choirs and bands, are (or have been) members of professional chamber ensembles, and perform regularly as soloists. Aspiring teachers take courses in Pedagogic Studies that reflect the very best practices to be found in a School that has been at the forefront of music education for over 130 years. In addition, there is also coherent and meaningful provision for students whose interests and strengths lie in the fields of Applied Musicianship Studies (including Analysis, Conducting, Composition and Counterpoint) and/or Historical Studies. Staff of the CSM have blazed the trail for both Community Music and Music Therapy studies in Ireland, and the Music and Technology


Studies are enhanced by the unique availability of state-of-the- art digital equipment in the CSM and linkages with the BA (Honours) in Creative Digital Media offered by CIT in its Bishopstown Campus.


Further Studies

Suitably qualified graduates may apply either to undertake research (leading to the award of an MA and/or PhD), or to follow a Taught Master’s course in either


Question Time

Do I need to have Leaving Certificate Music?
No, Leaving Certificate Music is not an admission requirement. This is a restricted access course, you need to pass the CSM’s Entrance Test and then you will be placed on a ranked list based on your combined marks from the CSM Entrance Test and your Leaving Certificate points.


Do I need to be able to read music?
Yes, you need to be able to read music notation to a reasonable standard.


Can I apply if I have never completed a grade exam?
It is not necessary to have actually completed grade examinations. The audition result is based on what the examination panel hear on the day.


Is there a late application facility?
CIT CSM recommends that Special Category Applicants apply by 1st February, however, applications will be accepted up to 1st May.


Are there any other special requirements?
Yes, there are Early Application Procedures. This is a Restricted Access Course and all applicants must sit the CSM’s Honours BMus Degree Course Entrance Test. The provisional date for the Entrance Test is Saturday 25th April, 2020.


Are past test papers available?
Yes. All CAO applicants receive a sample Honours BMus Degree Course Entrance Test. However, you can also download here, or request one by post from the CIT Cork School of Music’s Administrator, Union Quay, Cork, to check that you can meet the requirements of the practical, aural, and written elements.


Can I defer the results of my Entrance Exam from one year to the next?
No, candidates are not allowed to defer the results of the Entrance Exam.


Graduate Profile

Colm O'Regan
Musical Director


Colm is a Musical Director working primarily in theatre. While undertaking the BMus degree at the CSM he studied piano with Gabriela Mayer and conducting with Alan Cutts. He also studied abroad during his third year through the Erasmus programme inTrieste, Italy, where he studied with Teresa Trevisan.


After graduation he continued to train as a conductor and subsequently moved to the UK to work in musical theatre. An avid arranger and orchestrator, his scores have been performed in New York, London and across the world on tour. Having worked on many projects across the UK and in the USA, Colm took over as Musical Director for one of the longest running productions in the world, “Starlight Express” in Bochum, Germany. He is currently on a world tour with “Wicked” the musical as Assistant Musical Director.

For admission to a programme, standard applicants must

  • score the necessary CAO points and
  • meet the minimum entry requirements


Minimum Entry Requirements

Leaving Certificate Examination
Leaving Certificate examination in 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 Mathematics requirement. Grade F2 or higher in Foundation Level Mathematics is recognised as one of the subjects for entry.


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.


Entrance Test
This is a Restricted Access Course and all applicants must sit the CIT CSM BMus Honours Degree Course Entrance Test (provisionally scheduled to be held on Saturday, 25th April 2020).


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


The Entrance Test involves an interview, performance, and a written paper dealing with rudiments, compositional techniques (harmony), aural and general musical knowledge


Samples of the Entrance Test written paper are available in the below links, or upon request from The Administrator, CIT Cork School of Music, Union Quay, Cork. Specific requirements for instrumentalists and singers are outlined in the Sample Entrance Test. Please note Jazz and Pop singers should apply for CR129 BA (Honours) in Popular Music.


Each candidate who sits an Entrance Test is awarded up to a maximum of 600 points that are added to the Leaving Certificate points for the purpose of determining entry. Each standard candidate must achieve the minimum threshold of 276 points in the Entrance Test and must also meet the minimum Leaving Certificate entry requirement in order to be eligible for admission.


Sample Paper:

Please CLICK HERE to download sample paper and audio files are available to listen or download below.


There are many employment opportunities for music graduates apart from the obvious ones of performing and teaching. This course also enables students to develop the skills necessary for a career as a music/arts administrator, music librarian, conductor of amateur bands/choirs/ orchestras/musical shows, music animator, music publicist/ promoter, and music editor.


However, taking an Honours Degree in music does not mean that a graduate is restricted to a music driven career for the rest of their life. In addition, a growing number of employers outside the specific music business favour music graduates because of the combination of intellectual training, digital skills, interpersonal sensitivity and greatly enhanced general response rates represented by a musical training.

CIT has developed a website which gives full details of all modules for all courses. The website also has information on recommended textbooks, average weekly workload, assessments, and exams.


For detailed module information, please click here

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