How to Apply
Undergraduate Studies
Graduate Studies


The Painting Department embraces the diversity of contemporary painting practice and possibility. Painting in all its forms is supported in the context of evolving and expanding art practices. This course investigates painting’s unique tradition and history, while encouraging new interpretations, innovation and experimentation. Every culture needs its artists, and every artist seeks to change the culture. Be part of that change.

What will I study?

The discipline of painting is the point of departure towards establishing an individual art practice based on your interests and aptitudes. The initial focus is on skills and techniques of painting and related media, gradually extending to explore content, meaning and context.

Year 1

First semester explores interdisciplinary Art and Design research, observation and analysis. In the second semester, all Fine Art students get a working taste of subjects with six weeks of workshops in two pathways selected from: Ceramics and Glass, Media, Painting, Print, Sculpture and Textile Art & Artefact. The balance is spent in the Paint Department, making work with student peers similarly interested in exploring different kinds of approaches, materials and processes, and developing skills in the language of contemporary Fine Art.

Year 2

As your work gradually becomes more self-directed, its conceptual and technical aspects extend. Our staff of practicing artists are on hand to support and guide.

Year 3: Studio+ & International

An optional opportunity to gain experience in a range of social and cultural contexts in the world beyond NCAD. Build your skills as an artist while working with an organisation with links to the School of Fine Art. Studio+ can also include a period of study abroad through the Erasmus programme with internationally recognised art faculties partnered with NCAD.
Students who choose Studio+ will complete a 4 year BA Fine Art or a 4 year BA Fine Art (International).

Final Year

Equipped with practical skills, conceptual understanding, and with the support of a personal tutor, you prepare for your degree assessment and presentation. Seminars, group critiques, gallery visits, workshops, demonstrations, lectures and visiting artists contribute to learning.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment in both studio practice and in Critical Cultures is continuous: at the end of each completed module and each semester (half-year). Formal assessment results are issued at the end of each academic year. Modes of assessment include practical and written assignments, oral and visual presentations, portfolios and exhibitions.

Critical Cultures

Become a critically engaged, reflective and effective practitioner through studying the connections between history, theory and practice in modern and contemporary contexts.
Find out more on the Find more

Opportunities after graduation

Graduates have had successful careers as exhibiting artists nationally and internationally; including representing Ireland at the Venice Biennale, and in the Saatchi/Channel 4 ‘New Sensations’ exhibitions. Others find opportunities in the wider cultural field as gallery administrators, community arts facilitators, educationalists and cultural commentators.
The creativity encouraged by Fine Art training is highly valued and adapts to a variety of entrepreneurial activities. Graduates also go on to postgraduate study at NCAD and other institutions nationally and internationally. NCAD pathways include MFA in Fine Art, MFA Digital Art, MFA Art in the Contemporary World, Professional Master of Education and PhD in Fine Art.


BA Fine Art Painting
NFQ Level 8

3 or 4 Years


Course code/s:
AD204 Fine Art
AD101 First Year Art & Design (Common Entry)

Entry Requirements:
Leaving Cert: 6 subjects, 2xH5 and 4xO6/H7
Subjects must include Irish, English and one of the following: A 3rd Language or Art or Design Communication Graphics (DCG)

QQI/FETAC: Level 5 or Level 6:
5 Distinctions, Full Award

A Level/GCSE: 2x A Levels at C+ and 4x GCSE Ordinary or AS level
Subjects to include English and Art or a second language

Portfolio Requirement:
Portfolio submission by Friday 10th February 2023 in line with NCAD Portfolio Submission Guidelines. For further details please go to:

Degree awarded:
BA Fine Art/BA Fine Art (with Critical Cultures)
BA Fine Art (International)

Find out more on the Critical Cultures Pathway
Find out more about Studio+