Bachelor in Music Composition Admission Criteria

Admissions to the Bachelor in Music Composition Degree at The Royal Irish Academy of Music will be administered through direct application to the RIAM. The closing date for applications is December 1st.

Qualifications or equivalent
To qualify for admission to the RIAM applicants must:
Attain the standard of general education prescribed for matriculation (see next page)
Where applicable, satisfy specific requirements for the courses to which admission is sought
Applicants for the course are required to have 85% or higher in the Grade VIII RIAM Local Centre examination, or Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, or Guildhall school of Music London, or Trinity College London, or from comparable institutions in other countries* or
Successfully completed the RIAM’s Access Course
Where there is competition for places, obtain a sufficiently high standard of entrance examination results to ensure inclusion among the number to whom offers are made

Where a student has not attained the required audition requirements, he/she may apply with a recommendation from his/her teacher.

Other school leaving qualifications
Applicants who are presenting a second level qualification other than Leaving Certificate or Advanced GCE (‘A’ level) should consult the Trinity College Dublin website as a guide for matriculation and requirements acceptable to the RIAM

In exceptional circumstances where the candidate shows a high level of musical ability but does not meet the matriculation requirements, such candidates may be accepted subject to the approval of the Senior Lecturer, TCD.

Mature applicants
An exemption from Leaving Certificate or equivalent academic requirements may be made in the case of mature students who have reached the age of 23 before commencing the course. Mature EU/EEA (including Swiss, Norwegian and Icelandic) candidates for full-time study should apply to the Royal Irish Academy of Music by 1st December in the year of entry.

Competence in the English language – all classes/lectures/seminars are conducted through English. Students whose first language is not English and who have not been educated through the medium of English must present one of the following qualifications in the English language:

Examination Minimum  Level Required
Irish Leaving Certificate Grade D3 or better in Ordinary level English
GCSE Grade C or better in English Language
European Baccalaureate: English: 6 in 1st Language, or in 1st or 2nd Foreign language
French Baccalaureate Students presenting the OIB or International Option of the French Baccalaureate may satisfy the English language requirement by achieving a minimum of 12 (where the coefficient is greater than 5) in English Language and Literature. In cases where the coefficient is less than 5, a minimum result of 14 will be required.
International Baccalaureate English A1, A2 or B: 5 at Higher Level (4 at either Level if presenting IB through English
US High School Grade C in English taken in final year
TOEFL * Internet based 90 (with a written score of 21)
University of Cambridge *: 180+ on Cambridge English scale with no less than 175 in each skill and use of English i.e.
First Certificate, Grade A (CEFR Level C1)   Certificate of Advanced English- Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)
Certificate of Proficiency in English –  Grade C  or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)
IELTS * (Academic Version ) 6.5 (no individual band below 6)
Pearson Test of English (Academic) * PTE Academic: a minimum of 63 (with no section score below 59)

Examination results for tests * above are only valid for 2 years.
Students who do not meet the minimum English language requirement can apply for the International Foundation Programme  before progressing on to selected courses

All prospective applicants must submit online by 1st December the following documents:

  • Completed online application form
  • Pay the relevant non-refundable application fee
  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae should include details of your composition experience to date, e.g. composition summer schools, performances, teachers etc. as well as the applicant’s examinations record and any other information they would consider helpful to their application
  • Proof of competence in English in the case of students for whom English is not the first language
  • Written recommendations from two musicians, who may be the applicant’s teachers, confirming the suitability of the applicant for the course
  • A portfolio of a selection of their own original compositions to be examined
  • A personal statement may be included.  Applicants may choose to indicate why they wish to undertake this programme, what they hope to achieve and why they specifically wish to study at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.