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Undergraduate Studies
Graduate Studies


“With 15 learning pathways across undergraduate, post graduate and doctoral study, whether you are just beginning your journey in art and design or continuing your studies, the research-led creative education NCAD offers will ensure your practice is at the cutting-edge of contemporary culture, industry and social enterprise.”

Dr. Siún Hanrahan
Head of Academic Affairs & Research

Undergraduate Pathways
At NCAD we believe that finding the right pathway is an important part of the transition into third level art and design learning. The first year of the undergraduate programme at NCAD is about discovering the studio pathway that is right for your individual goals and abilities and it offers opportunities to further explore and expand that pathway as you go through your time at NCAD. If you already know what area of art and design you wish to study we want to support you in that choice and you can select that area at point of entry. If you wish to remain open and explore the range of possibilities offered in NCAD you can choose the Common Entry route and make your choice during the First Year. The first semester is an interdisciplinary period of exploration and discovery that all First Year art and design students engage in. All students will have the opportunity to confirm their pathway at the start of the second semester, before moving to a period of working in your chosen discipline during the second semester. The important thing is that you are on the right pathway for you and we will support you in making and confirming your choice.

Studio Pathways
One of the strengths of NCAD is that it offers a broad range of studio pathways to choose from that reflects the spectrum of contemporary art and design practice. The spectrum runs from traditional techniques and crafts to digital art and digital design and everything in-between. With such a broad range of pathways the College can offer, through its curriculum, opportunities for cross-disciplinary activity and peer learning where students can benefit and learn from all they have in common as well as all the ways they differ.

Studio+ & International Pathways
Studio+ is new and unique to NCAD. Studio+ is an option open to all Fine Art, Design and Visual culture students to take an extended four year degree that gives you the opportunity between your second and final year to engage with the world beyond NCAD by gaining practical work experience in the form of internships and industry placements on live commercial, social or community projects. Studio+ can also include a work placement abroad or a study abroad period through the Erasmus programme with internationally recognised art and design faculties partnered with NCAD. Students who choose Studio+ will complete a 4 year BA in Design, Fine Art or Visual Culture or a 4 year BA (International).

Critical Cultures
Being able to research, analyse, talk and write about art and design, and being able to place your own practice in the context of the wider culture are key skills and form a vital part of the education at NCAD. This part of the curriculum is called Critical Cultures and embraces not only the output of celebrated artists and designers but also forms of anonymous design and popular culture. Every student at NCAD studies Critical Cultures as part of their degree. For those who wish to extend their knowledge and skills further, it is possible to select additional modules making Critical Cultures a minor subject as part of your degree. This leads to a degree in your chosen area of art or design along with Critical Cultures.

Visual Culture
Visual Culture is an emerging discipline which combines aspects of Art and Design History and Cultural Studies. At NCAD it can be taken as a focused programme of lecture and seminar based study and leads to a full BA Hons degree Visual Culture. Students can graduate after three years with a BA Hons degree or can extend their studies for a year by taking on additional International study or work placements through Visual Culture+ programme.

Education Pathway
By selecting an Education pathway you can qualify to teach art and design at second level schools along with qualifying in your chosen area of art or design. Students on an Education Pathway choose the area of art or design they wish to specialise in at the end of the first semester in First Year. This pathway takes four years and leads to a Joint honours degree in Education and either Art or Design.

Part Time Pathways
It may be that full time education is not possible for you at this time in your life. NCAD through its CEAD programme (Continuing Education in Art & Design) has a range of part time courses in art & design which can be taken over the course of a number of years and lead to a level 7 certificate or level 8 higher diploma. Many students who take the part time option go on to enter year 2 of the full time degree programme.

Graduate Pathways
NCAD offers a range of masters and PhD degree programmes catering both for students who wish to further specialise in the area of their undergraduate degree as well as practitioners and professionals who wish to extend their knowledge and skills into a new or related area. There are many exciting projects that link NCAD to the very latest in research and professional practice in the fields of Design, Fine Art, Education and Visual Culture.