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National College of Art & Design NCAD

100 Thomas Street, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

The National College of Art & Design NCAD occupies a unique position in art and design education in Ireland. It offers the largest range of art and design degree courses in the state at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The National College of Art & Design has 1,000 full time students and a further six hundred students who are taking evening courses. Those who know the College, and those who have attended the Open Day, the annual exhibitions and fashion show, will be aware of the very high standards that are achieved.

The College has four Schools; Design, Education, Fine Art and Visual Culture.

A tutorial system operates throughout the College and many of the courses are project based. Students’ progress is monitored at the end of projects, and by examination at the end of each year.

From its beginnings, the National College of Art & Design has been as equally concerned with fine art as with design. The School of Fine Art teaching combines the traditional disciplines such as drawing and painting with an open experimental approach which allows individuals to realise their ideas in a wide range of media. Through contact with teachers who are practising artists, students become familiar with the activities and the ideas of artists working in today’s society. Students also become familiar with the fundamentally questioning nature of contemporary art and of the variety of responses generated by contemporary artistic practice. It is an intense visual education not only for artists but for others who may build careers in related directions.

The School of Design is the largest in the College and comprises ceramics, glass, metals, fashion design, industrial and product design, textile design and visual communication. In design the emphasis is on solving specific problems set by project. While students are expected to master the relevant technologies, the aesthetic design factor is stressed equally. There are many links with industry and students often work on competitions sponsored by commercial firms. The College aims to promote a broad education in design which can be the basis for a variety of careers either as part of a team in industry or by working individually in a studio or small business.

The School of Education provides for the education of teachers of art, craft and design in second-level schools. There are two modes available: the four-year joint honours degree in Design or Fine Art and Education, and the two-year Professional Master of Education in Art & Design. The School also provide a two-year Professional Master  in Socially Engaged Art (part time mode). The Centre for Continuing Education in Art and Design is part of the School of Education and offers a range of part-time courses including certificate courses.

The College welcomes all applicants who are committed to art and design and who also have the necessary talent and academic standards. We can assure you that a degree course at The National College of Art & Design will be an enriching and challenging experience. It is a preparation for life in both a professional and a broad educational sense.

Art & Design

This part-time undergraduate course offers an opportunity for mature students interested in establishing a personal direction in their art and design practice to attend a flexible programme leading to an NUI Diploma. Typically students will complete an NUI Certificate course with CEAD (such as; DVI, or VAP), have accumulated 20 credits and then apply to…

Art Portfolio Preparation - Pre Third Level Courses

This intensive seventeen-week course is designed to aid school leavers and mature students interested in developing a port-folio for entry to third level art and design education. Students will be encouraged to develop their ideas through research and working on personal projects. Subjects covered include, drawing from observation, ideas development, collage, colour work, basic printing…

Design - Ceramics Glass & Metals - Jewellery Skills - Introductory

The principal aim of the course will be the student gaining fluency at using basic tools such as a saw-frame, pliers, soldering torch etc., enabling them to approach different aspects of jewellery making with growing confidence, thereby allowing their creative side to have an outlet. Once the basic techniques have been introduced, students will be…

Design - Ceramics Glass & Metals - Stained Glass - Intermediate

This course is for those who already have experience in Stained Glass craft work. It aims to increase students understanding of an approach to designing and undertaking material pieces of work. There will be an emphasis on design and the development of more advanced techniques using the equipment of the Glass Department. Each student will…

Design - Ceramics Glass & Metals - Stained Glass - Introductory

This course provides tuition in the basic techniques of stained glass i.e. glass-cutting, foil work and lead work, also 3-D work, planters and lamp shades etc. Students will be encouraged to undertake their own individual projects, developing design concepts and making an individual stained glass work. A limited selection of materials can be purchased on…

Design - Fashion & Textiles - Embroidered Textile Design - Introductory

During this 11 week course, students follow a programme which aims to encourage the exploration of embroidered textiles in a contemporary way. An overview of historical and contemporary practice in embroidery will provide the framework for students to experiment and explore stitch. Classes will focus on experimenting with a range of hand and machine stitch…

Design - Visual Communications - Letterpress Printing - Introductory

This course will cover the basic techniques of letterpress printing: type setting with metal and wood type, locking up for print, registration, lino cut, multiple colour relief printing and producing short editions using a proofing press. The eleven week programme, offers a fantastic opportunity to gain access to Distillers Press, the only working letterpress facility…

Design - Visual Communications - Type & Image - Introductory & Intermediate

Visual communications and the creative process What is graphic design? Typography theory and function Type, image, visual literacy, organisation and composition Developing problem solving strategies Developing an understanding of print materials. An examination of paper and the form, function and tactile nature of printed material Series of graphic design foundation lectures, with associated practical homework…

Drawing & Visual Investigation DVI

This part-time course in drawing and visual investigation provides students with knowledge, skills and understanding of contemporary approaches to drawing and visual research. The course aims to foster the intellectual and practical creativity of the individual. Drawing and Visual Investigation is concerned with conceptual approaches to drawing as well as developing students direct observation practical…

Fine Art & Design - Bronze-Casting as a Sculptural Process

This course would be of interest to students who want to extend their knowledge of bronze-casting techniques and sculptural processes. Through demonstration, and project work students can develop ideas from initial stages, through design processes, to final construction phase. The course involves tutor led demonstration, workshop presentations and visiting lecturers. Students may consider taking complementary…

Fine Art & Design - Ceramics

This course is structured around a series of demonstrations and project work covering the full spectrum of 3D design methods. Advanced methods for building, joining and manipulating clay, surface treatment including texture and colours as well as glazing and firing processes are covered. The first term will have an emphasis on furthering technical and material…

Fine Art & Design - Drawing Print Mixed Media

This course is designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge to develop their practice in print and drawing within a contemporary context. The course contains two parts: Drawing-Mixed Media and Printmaking. The two subject areas are complementary and to complete them successfully students will have to undertake self-directed learning outside of class time.…

Fine Art & Design - Drawing Techniques & Developing Ideas

This course, AC02 gives students fundamental drawing skills for Art and Design. Students are taught a wide range of drawing techniques and how to develop ideas in sketchbooks, leading to an understanding of the creative process. In an encouraging environment, students learn how to approach and develop project work, to stimulate and organise ideas, to…

Fine Art & Design - Embroidered Textile Design

This 22 week course offers students an opportunity to develop technical and design skills and to expand their knowledge of contemporary embroidery. Practice based tutorials and demonstrations will consider embroidery techniques, their application and exploration. Throughout the course tutors will, through individual tutorials and structured presentations, provide an overview of embroidery from a historical and…

Fine Art & Design - Extending Your Visual Language

This course is suited to students who have several years drawing and painting experience and wish to develop their work beyond the structure of the class. The course will be project based and will require an additional input of three hours per week outside of class time. There will be a strong emphasis on research…

Fine Art & Design - Jewellery Design

The course will include visual research projects and demonstrations in various techniques and processes, building to a more comprehensive familiarity with materials and the subject. The course involves students in a series of practical studio based projects, which aims to extend their knowledge of techniques and develop their understanding of jewellery design. Through tutorial and…

Fine Art & Design - Materials Techniques & Language of Painting

This course will be of interest to students who are committed to establishing a studio practice, while fostering a personal approach to art making. The twenty-two week course concentrates on expanding technical skills and knowledge of painting processes, while developing a professional approach to studio practice. Students will undertake two projects in each term and…

Fine Art & Design - Painting & Visual Research Methods

This course is project based, focusing on research and experimentation processes within contemporary painting and drawing practice. Students will work through two projects in the first term and another two in the second term. These projects will concentrate on the exploration and honing of technical processes, and the development of conceptual and critical skills. For…

Fine Art & Design - Printed Textile Design

The course is suited to individuals who have completed an introductory textile-printing course with CEAD or a similar third level or further education body. This module provides students with an understanding of design concepts, printing processes and technical skills. Through project work students undertake visual research, and understand how to translate ideas from drawings, photography…

Fine Art & Design - Sculpture & Drawing - Combining Techniques

The course is structured around a series of demonstrations and project work. The tutors will integrate the subject areas of drawing, and sculptural processes throughout. In Term 1, includes tutor lead demonstrations on plaster mixing, wax, body casting and clay mould, as well as visual research and ideas development with an assignment and group critique…

Fine Art & Design - Visual Culture

This twenty-one week course is available part-time to students who already have a general knowledge of the history of art and design, and have an interest in expanding their understanding of twentieth century art, design and visual culture. The course involves analysis of visual images, library research and group based discussion. This module is mandatory…

Fine Art - Drawing & Painting - Drawing & Colour Studies - Introduction

This course will provide an introduction to drawing and working from observation. Through a series of projects students will be given instruction in composition, proportion, tone and texture. Colour mixing and colour theory will form an integral part of the course programme. Over the 22 weeks students will be introduced to a wide range of…

Fine Art - Drawing & Painting - Drawing From Life - Introductory

This 11 week beginners life drawing course is designed to develop students observational drawing skills. Exercises will cover the main areas of; looking, hand/ eye coordination, pacing a drawing, and handling media. This beginners drawing course is an excellent foundation for those who wish to progress to further studies in art and design. Over the…

Fine Art - Drawing & Painting - Painting Landscape & Cityscape - Introductory

This course is suitable for beginners who are interested in working with watercolours, acrylics or oils and wish to develop skills in drawing and painting landscape and cityscape. The tutor will provide instruction in drawing and painting techniques including traditional and contemporary approaches. Students are encouraged to develop their ideas however they can also work…

Fine Art - Drawing & Painting - Painting Processes - Intermediate

This is and intermediate non-accredited course. Students will be exposed to painting in a contemporary art setting. This course is not suited to beginners students should have completed an introductory drawing/painting course with CEAD or another college of further education. Students with little painting experience but who have taken graphic design and drawing courses and…

Fine Art - Drawing & Painting - Techniques of Watercolour - Intermediate

This course is designed for students who have knowledge of working with watercolours and who wish to explore the discipline and techniques in greater depth. Students will be encouraged to use the medium to its full potential and perhaps move away from the traditional watercolour teachings by incorporating them with other mediums, for example gouache,…

Fine Art - Drawing & Painting the Figure - Intermediate

Students for this course should have at least a rudimentary knowledge of drawing. This course will allow for sustained perceptual concentration,with freedom to experiment and revise.The course begins with a series of studies,using a variety of poses, Exploring tone, light, space, composition and pictorial structure.Students shall be encouraged to work in a broad and diverse…

Fine Art - Media - Photography - Intermediate

During the 11 week course students are encouraged to explore 3 projects. This gives students of varying interests the chance to pursue photography in areas that are most relevant to them and to develop the skills that they feel necessary to achieve these goals. In tandem with this project/workshop approach students are introduced to the…

Fine Art - Printmaking - Etching & Carborundum - Intermediate

This course is suitable for students who already have experience in etching techniques and knowledge of the processes involved. The course will provide an opportunity for students to further develop their skills and abilities in making prints. Through a series of exercises in a range of techniques and processes, students will be encouraged to advance…

Fine Art - Sculpture - Constructing Sculpture through Bronze Casting - Introductory

This 22 week course is suitable for students with art and object making experience or knowledge of design. It will provide students with an introduction to technical skills in bronze casting and in sculptural construction. At the end of the course students will have an understanding of the bronze casting process and be able to…

Photography & Digital Imaging

The course will include instruction in: advanced and alternative dark room skills, printing processes, camera use, studio photography, digital photography and image manipulation. This knowledge, coupled with discussion and analysis, will help students locate current practice within the historic tradition of photography. Through a seminar programme students will be encouraged to engage critically with the…

Visual Art Practice

The Certificate in Visual Arts Practice is one of a number of accredited courses available to mature students seeking flexible quality learning opportunities at NCAD. The course contains multiple modules offering choice to students, who can construct a sequential programme of learning from a multidisciplinary modular framework. Students are required to complete four modules altogether,…

Visual Language & Prjoect Development

AC04 is a course that consists of guided experimentation with a variety of materials and concepts. Students produce a wide range of work when participating on this course and the collective body of work can include; drawing, installation, bricolage, painting, installation, found objects, video, photography (on mobile phones in a lo-fi manner) and print. Students…

Art & Design Education - Post Primary Teaching

The Professional Masters in Education (PME) is a two year masters programme which leads to a professional qualification to teach Art and Design at second level. The award is professionaly accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland. The masters programme will enable you as an art or design graduate, to apply your practice in a…

Art in the Contemporary World

Art in the Contemporary World is a taught masters programme that examines contemporary art practices and their contexts. The course offers an opportunity for focused engagement with the varied challenges of todays most ambitious art. It bridges the relationship between theory and practice by creating exciting study options for artists, curators and writers. We welcome…

Design - MFA

The MFA Design operates across a range of design disciplines and methodological approaches and contexts. The programme addresses a range of individual Design disciplines – Product, Communication, Body & Environment alongside Applied Design Materiality. It combines core taught elements in research and critical studies, with advanced studio practice. The aim of the MFA is to…

Design - PhD through Practice in Design - Research

The PhD through practice entails a practitioner producing a body of work within a critically reflective frame of enquiry with the intention of extending and innovating an area of design practice. Research in the School of Design is driven by three priorities: User-First Design, Design Sustainability, and Contemporary Practices in Art and Design. A vital…

Design History & Material Culture

This MA in Design History & Material Culture (DHMC) is about objects: things you might sit on, drink from or wear; things you might cherish, throw away or never notice; things for special occasions and things you use every day; things made by machine, things made by hand and things never made; spaces you might…

Education - PhD through Education - Research

The School of Education has a broad research remit in art, design and visual education including all levels of educational provision and is especially interested in encouraging innovative research approaches. While the PhD through Education is normally by written thesis, the School considers applications which employ alternative media. Contacting the College in advance of submitting…

Fine Art - MFA

The MFA programme is based around the idea of visual arts practices as inquiries into how we understand and interpret the world. Students are encouraged to reflect on their individual research pathway, to communicate their ideas effectively and to situate their work in relation to the spectrum of contemporary art discourse and practice. On this…

Fine Art - Research

Pursuing a PhD through fine art practice requires the production of a major body of work within a critically reflective frame of enquiry. PhD researchers are expected to extend and develop a particular area of art practice through practical work, exhibition and discursive production. Fine Art learning conditions support the integration of art production and…

Interaction Design

The MA Interaction Design is a one year full time taught masters delivered in NCAD in conjunction with UCD. The course teaches fundamental approaches, methods and tools related to the design of digital products, environments, systems and services with a focus on users, experience and context of use. The MA is studio-based with students engaging…

Medical Device Design

The MSc in Medical Device Design is based in a dedicated Medical Device Design Studio on the NCAD campus. The programme consists of a combination of taught modules and studio-based project work. Basic Medical Science is taught one afternoon a week at TCD while Biomechanics; Biomaterials, Bioinstrumentation; Human Factors and History of Medicine are taught…

Socially Engaged Art - Further Adult & Community Education

The MA Socially Engaged Art (SEA) focuses on the dynamic relationship between socially engaged arts practice and pedagogy. Embedded in this programme is a further education teaching qualification, accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland, and necessary for those considering a career as a teacher or facilitator of learning within an increasingly diverse further education…

Visual Culture - Research

The School creates a community that fosters lively exchange, scholarly discussion and critical debate. The mix of disciplines in the School enables ambitious enquiries into all aspects of art and design, representation, cultural production, cultural consumption, material culture, visual and spatial culture and cultural politics. Themes are explored through a variety of methodologies and with…

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