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How to launch your career in dance and music with a postgrad degree



The world’s greatest dancing, singing and instrumental talent can go unnoticed if they can’t find an opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills.

But taking the next step in the field of Performing Arts goes beyond pure talent – something the staff at the University of Limerick’s Irish World Academy of Music and Dance know very well. Multi-disciplinary mastery, performance experience, and a network of industry connections are just three of the essentials needed to successfully launch a career in the Performing Arts.

And indeed, a postgrad in Dance and Music can bring with it high employability and competitive starting salaries to soundly put to bed the notion of the ‘struggling artist.’

Enter stage left

A big advantage for UL postgrads is the access they have to the expert professional networks within the programmes. These networks are resources to help you find career openings, often at organisations and in areas you might not have previously considered.

Ultimately, having a foot in the door may be the edge over the competition. Drawing from a faculty of performers and academics from around the world, as well as industry professionals and international guest artists and researchers, graduates of a postgrad in Music and Dance or a related subject at UL are preparesd for many different career paths.

The courses themselves offer opportunities that can’t be found elsewhere. Take the classical string performance programme, for example. It offers students the ability to work closely with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and learn from its principal conductor Jörg Widmann, as well as the potential to interact with fellow musicians in the group.

Students studying Contemporary Dance Performance are offered a similar experience through the programme’s partnership with Dance Limerick and the Light Moves Festival of Screendance.

Each postgraduate degree has its own unique associations that can help performers break into the industry before they even leave UL. For example, the areas of ethnochoreology and ethnomusicology have affiliations with various international organisations, such as the International Council for Traditional Music, whose major conference was recently hosted by UL.

As well as fostering impressive connections, Dance and Music postgrads can also use these resources to find opportunities in the field:

  • GradIreland: Offers career advice and job listings for creative and Performing Arts candidates, including acting roles, choreographers and theatre operations.
  • Music Network: A home to a community of lyrical artists that offers opportunities for funding, recording and gigs.
  • Irish Street Arts Circus and Spectacle Network: Ireland's leading support and advocacy organisation for the development of Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Art Forms in Ireland today.
  • First Music Contact: An informational resource for the independent music community.
  • Dance Ireland: A headquarter for dancers with a trove of opportunities and archive for upcoming events.
  • Creative Careers: Recruitment service for Arts and Humanities candidates.
  • Art Jobs Online: A UK-based job board with a wide range of listings.

Beyond the stage

The Irish World Academy prides itself on its critical academic engagement with performance practice. Graduates are qualified, competent and socially-conscious artists with a rigorous academic grounding.

While careers in the Arts are highly-sought after, a growing number of postgrad students are moving into the global workforce in a multitude of roles – and it’s a demand that’s only growing with multinational companies and organisations seeking performers with multifaceted talents.

Potential occupations directly related to Dance and Music postgraduate degrees include:

  • Arts management and production.
  • Professional performance and teaching.
  • Community arts practice.
  • Doctoral research.
  • Portfolio careers combining skills/careers in entrepreneurial ways.

 Of course, the doors don’t close there. Having any type of postgraduate experience can only serve as valuable experience that can catapult those who are driven to succeed to new heights.

With a postgrad under your belt, you can take additional courses to bolster your knowledge in a specific field to position yourself as a unique candidate.

Indeed, for Dance and Music postgraduates, both the stage and the world around it are theirs for the taking.

Get started today

Begin your journey by reviewing the wide range of available courses at the UL Irish World Academy.

With options ranging from Irish dance studies to music therapy, you’ll quickly find something to fall in love with. If you need more information, contact UL Postgraduate Admissions.

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