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Sculpture & Expanded Practice

The Sculpture & Expanded Practice Department has an established reputation for producing exciting, innovative and successful artists. There are a wide variety of materials, processes and contexts to engage with while studying Sculpture at NCAD. We offer a creative studio and work-shop environment for making and exploring contemporary art, and value experimentation and the development of unique creative voices.

What will I study?

You will learn through doing, reflecting and responding as you create objects and forms across traditional materials like wood, metal, plaster and combined materials, as well as other less traditional or ‘immaterial’ forms such as video, sound, performance and participatory art. You will be challenged to embrace or reject new ideas and methods of transforming the solid and the social. Students are supported to create ambitious and challenging projects, engage with spaces beyond the gallery, and learn the professional skills of an artist.

Year 1

The programme encourages visual curiosity and open-ended inquiry through a wide variety of sensory experiences with 3D forms. The first semester focuses on 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 Sculpture & Expanded Practice 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

Students continue to gain confidence and fluency in a broad range of 3D skills. With your own generous studio space to work from, you will be asked to identify a strong personal direction for your sculptural practice through directed learning and independent self-directed study.

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

Modules, projects, formal lectures and informal seminars expose you to distinctive approaches, theories and techniques specific to contemporary sculpture and also expanded practices like installation, socially engaged practice and lens-based media. The emphasis on research skills will help you navigate such questions as: How do I test this material? Who is my art for? How do I make work for the public domain?

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 out more

Opportunities after graduation

An art education offers a rich way of engaging with life, and graduates find imaginative, creative ways forward in the rapidly changing landscapes of our time. Graduates have gone on to become practicing artists in Ireland and internationally, becoming significant artists and players in the cultural field, in established galleries and other sites, and in becoming part of artist/creative teams. Graduates have achieved significant self-starting success in many forms of cultural entrepreneurship, creating residencies, studios, and pop-up exhibitions. Postgraduate opportunities exist at NCAD with MFA and PhD pathways, as well as nationally and internationally.

Sculpture & Expanded Practice

BA Fine Art Sculpture & Expanded Practice
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+