- Information for applicants (BA and BMus degrees)
- Music Entrance Test
- Music in First Year
- General information for undergraduates
- 2nd-year programmes (BA and BMus)
- 3rd-year programmes (BA and BMus)
- 4th-year programme (BMus)
- Higher Diploma in Arts (Music)
- International Visiting Students
Frequently Asked Questions
General information for undergraduates
Q What are the main dates of the academic year?
The Department of Music provides a one-page summary of the key dates for the current academic year, including dates of the teaching periods, practical examinations and the deadlines for the submission of coursework: see www.music.ucc.ie/dept/docs/academic_year.pdf.
The following is a general explanation:
Each “session” (an academic year) begins in the final week of September (or the beginning of October) and ends in June, with vacations for Christmas (two weeks) and Easter (four weeks).
The teaching of modules is distributed between two 12-week “teaching periods”, somewhat analogous to semesters: (1) late September to late December; (2) early January to late March. Most Music modules are scheduled to be completed in one teaching period. Some traverse the two teaching periods. Most Music modules are assessed by coursework submissions, practicals and other kinds of tests that are completed within the relevant teaching period.
Formal written examinations (in the few cases of Music modules that require them) are held at the beginning of May. The Autumn Supplemental Examinations (mostly for candidates who have not passed in the Summer) are held in late August and early September.
Q What and where is “ConnA”?
“ConnA” is short for Lecture Room A in UCC’s Connolly Building. Various Music classes are held there, particularly those where a large room is required.
The Connelly Building is on Lancaster Quay opposite Jury’s Hotel. Lancaster Quay is a short stretch of a long road that runs west from the city centre first as Washington Street before becoming Western Road as it passes the main campus of the university.
To find ConnA from the main campus:
Leave the campus by the gates on Western Road (at the bottom of O’Donovan’s Road) and walk towards the city centre, passing an Esso garage on your right. A little further on, on the left-hand side of the road, there are railings set into the pavement by the curb (they were originally put there to stop children running out of school and into the road). They mark the entrance to the Connolly Building, which used to be a school. Go into the courtyard, turn left through an archway and then, on the left in the far corner, is the door to Lecture Room A.
If you are coming from the Mardyke or Sheare Street, you enter the courtyard of the Connelly Building through a gate besides the Granary Theatre. Having passed through the archway on your right, you’ll find the door to Lecture Room A on the left.
Q What are “modules”?
Modules are the components that make up your degree programme. Each module has a credit-weighting, and the norm at UCC is for a student to take modules in each year to a total value of 60 credits. Thus, a BA degree, for instance, is awarded after the student has gained 180 credits (normally 60 per year). Naturally, the credits are gained only if the required modules are passed.
In many cases, a module is simply a specific course, as defined by its title, content, lecturer(s), etc. In other cases a module is designed instead as a container for an option, sometimes for two or more options: thus the course-content of that module will vary from student to student. Many Music modules are of the latter type, because the Department of Music at UCC delivers a notably optionalized curriculum giving students a wide range of studies from which to select (particularly after first year).
A student selects modules by registering for them—a formal process administered by the Registrar’s department. The options that may be taken within various Music modules are selected through the Department of Music.
All the modules of the whole university are defined in UCC’s Book of Modules, available online at http://www.ucc.ie/ucc/academic/modules/. Note, however, that such information quickly becomes out-of-date: descriptions of modules taught last year do not necessarily apply to the coming year.
Q How does the Arts Faculty’s timetable work?
The Arts Faculty follows a timetable that accommodates official (or “statutory”) hours for each arts subject, including Music. These Arts timetables, for years 1, 2 and 3, may be consulted at http://www.ucc.ie/faculties/arts/Timetable_Information.html
The Department of Music schedules its classes in those official hours as far as that is possible. But for certain courses (particularly options and performance tutorials) other hours are used. Other subjects in Arts operate their timetables in a similar fashion. It is inevitable, therefore, that timetable clashes will sometimes affect you. For instance, a Music option might clash with a History lecture in one of the official hours for History. Or vice versa: a History option might clash with a Music lecture in one of the official hours for Music.
If you are taking subjects in addition to Music, there is a golden rule to follow: always abide by the official hours in the Arts Faculty Timetable. If you have a Music course in an official hour for Music then we require you to attend it, giving it priority over any course in a non-Music subject. By the same token, you should give priority to your non-Music subject if a Music class clashes with one of that other subject’s courses put on for you in one of its official hours.
Q Are there rules or procedures that the Department of Music asks its students to follow?
Yes. Naturally, all Music students are expected to abide by the rules and regulations put in place by the university or the Faculty of Arts. There are, in addition, various departmental policies that Music students are asked to observe. The following is a summary:
Attendance: You are responsible for attending all your classes in all your selected modules. Note that this includes classes in the options you select, for once you have been approved for an option it is no longer optional! Good attendance is an obvious, bottom-line requirement for all our courses: students who absent themselves cannot learn or progress, and staff cannot teach students who turn up only intermittently. Attendance records are kept by the staff responsible for your courses; such records are consulted when reasons for a student’s poor results are sought. If you miss a class for a serious reason (e.g., illness), then please inform the tutor for that course as soon as possible. The permission of the Head of Department is required for an extended period of absence.
Examinations and coursework: Naturally, it is the responsibility of students to attend all practicals, tests and other examinations arranged for them and to abide by the deadlines set for the submission of coursework. The dates set for examinations and deadlines are published well in advance: see http://www.music.ucc.ie/dept/docs/academic_year.pdf. For explanation of the various coursework submission dates and the Department’s policy regarding on-time and late submissions, see http://www.music.ucc.ie/dept/docs/assessed_coursework.pdf.
Procedures to follow when difficulties arise: The Department of Music publishes a Code of Practice for Student Welfare: you may read it online here. This document gives you advice on many matters, including:
- which members of staff to consult if you seek advice;
- what to do in cases of serious illness or prolonged absence for another reason;
- the circumstances in which a student needs to supply medical certificates;
- matters concerning examinations (mitigation, appeals, repeating exams, etc.).
Q Am I expected to use computers?
Yes! The Department of Music at UCC regards computer use as an essential part of your life at university and beyond: IT skills, to at least a basic level, are skills that these days you cannot afford to lack.
As you can tell from webpages such as this, the department now uses the Internet as its principal means of information provision and delivery. Our students are therefore expected to use e-mail and the web-based services we provide. (Many are password-protected, so you will not be able to access them until after you have started your degree programme.) This policy is motivated, in part, by the need to provide both staff and students with a handy means of staying in touch and accessing information both within the university and outside it. This is particularly important for the Department of Music because the Music Building lies outside UCC’s main campus.
You are also expected to use computers to word-process your essays and other written coursework submissions. Music-notation software is also available to you, as well as options in specialized areas of music technology.
The ongoing policy of the Department of Music is to provide computers for student use in the Music Building, funding permitting. There are also computers available for students to use in the main campus.
You are not required to own your own computer, though if you do and can access the Internet from your place of residence, then you will find it useful.
Q Does UCC provide financial support for instrumental or vocal lessons?
Yes—if you are registered for the BMus degree (CK 103) or the BA Arts-Music degree (CK 104). Students taking those degree programmes have an element in their course fees allocated for individual instrumental or vocal tuition, and this applies to each year of your degree. In the academic year 2003-04 the maximum amount that can be claimed is 440 Euro. You will have to pay your teacher first and then reclaim the cost of the tuition from the university. The departmental office will help you to submit such claims but you will need to produce proof of payment (in the form of receipts) before any refund can be processed.
Q I need advice…but whom should I consult?
The Department’s executive assistant who runs the departmental office, Carmel Daly, is available to help you with many matters and is often the best person to contact first. She will be able to direct you to the member of staff who is best placed to help you. You may contact Carmel by phoning the office (see enquiries) or by leaving a message.
You are welcome to call to see any member of the academic staff, or the technician, during normal office hours when they are in the Music Building and not otherwise engaged; it is often easiest to make an appointment first, but by no means essential. All our staff use email, so that is a convenient method of contact: see the links on the staff page.
If you wish to discuss a matter concerning a particular course, then naturally your lecturer or tutor for that course is the person to approach in the first instance. Each module also has a “module coordinator”, responsible for organizing and managing the module: you can find out the identity of the coordinator for a particular module by consulting the Department’s information database.
John Hough, the Department’s technician, is available to provide help on using our computers, software and audio-visual equipment.
Q How are instrumental or vocal lessons arranged?
Arranging for such individual tuition is a matter for the student: except in a few cases, the university does not employ instrumental or vocal teachers.
Finding a suitable teacher can be difficult, and you may seek advice from the department if you need help. Some private teachers in the Cork area advertise on department notice boards.
Many of our students take lessons at the Cork School of Music (part of CIT). Others decide to go to the Cork School of Music in subsequent years after going through their selection process. To apply for tuition at the Cork School of Music, you need to obtain and submit an application form as soon as possible. Either go along in person to the School’s office in Moore’s Hotel or ask for a form to be sent to you: phone (021) 4270076 or fax (021) 4276595.
Q May I see the official definitions of Music modules?
Yes. They are published annually in UCC’s “Book of Modules”. An online version is available: http://www.ucc.ie/ucc/academic/modules/descriptions/page050.html
Q Where may I find details of the marking scheme for each module?
In the official definitions of modules. There, for any module, you will find entries for “Assessment” (where the total marks and the breakdown of marks between various components are specified) and “Pass Standard and any Special Requirements for passing the module”.
To find the definitions of modules, see above