Scrúdú Ceol Tíre

The Scrúdú Ceol Tíre (SCT) programme is a graded series of exams designed to take you as a musician from basic proficiency in tune-playing through to a mastery of the tradition. Along the way you’ll develop your knowledge of music theory, improve your listening skills and research the history of tunes, styles and musicians.

The exam is offered annually between March and June in locations throughout Ireland, the United States and most recently Japan. Applicants are assigned a time slot with an experienced examiner who listens to performances and also speaks informally with the student about the theory and history of traditional music. Most SCT applicants are entered by their music teachers, who have the best sense of which level to enter. Passing the exam entitles the student to a certificate of proficiency and the right to progress to the next level of evaluation.

The SCT programme includes 12 levels of competence:

Elementary 1 - 3

Grades 1 - 5

Grades 6 - 8 (*minimum age requirement of 14 years on Jan 1st of exam year for Grade 6 entry)

Advanced Performance Certificate (*entrants must have received minimum overall Honours mark plus Distinction mark in Performance section in SCT Grade 8 in order to enter)

At the early Elementary levels, candidates play just two tunes and complete some basic music theory exercises. At the more advanced grade levels, students are expected to play selections from a broad range of musical types, including appropriate ornamentation and other embellishments. Candidates for Grades 6 - 8 also submit written submissions on a topic from the SCT syllabus.

Completion of the SCT programme serves as a stepping stone towards the TTCT Teaching Diploma Course.


Oisín Mac Diarmada, Director

Jim McAllister, Administrator

Majella Bartley, Comhaltas Facilitator for Educational Structures

For more information, please visit



The prescribed tunes list for 2024 can be found via the following link:

Prescribed SCT Tunes List 2024