Art - Fine Art

The Higher Diploma in Fine Art is a joint Burren College of Art/University of Galway programme based at the Burren College of Art. It is equivalent to the American Post Baccalaureate programme and is known informally as the 'Post Bac'. Students of the Post Bac register as students of both Burren College of Art and University of Galway. The programme operates in association with the Royal College of Art, London, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, both of which provide visiging faculty to the programme.

The aim of the programme is to assist graduate students to identify their artistic identity and interests and to prepare them for the next step in their artistic careers.

Post Bac students have their own dedicated studio space at the Burren College of Art and the availability of all BCA faculty as appropriate.

Studio practice and critique is at the core of the programme, taking the form of negotiated projects for independent study that also involve portfolio preparation and career planning. Studio courses provide teaching in a choice of disciplines where you work alongside undergraduate students. Historical and Critical Studies examines key concepts in modern and contemporary art to assist you in contextualising your emerging art practice.

The Burren: Culture and Environment introduces you to a wide range of environmental and cultural studies in the west of Ireland, ranging from natural history and geology to archaeology to modern history. You will also visit galleries and museums in Dublin, with optional trips to London and Berlin offered.

Please visit: for full programme description.

Subjects taught

Year 1, Semester 1
Studio Practice and Critique 1 :(Independent Study) 20 ECTS
Studio Practice and Critique 2 : (Taught), 5 ECTS
Historical and Critical Studies 1 : Introduction, 5 ECTS

Year 1, Semester 2
Studio Practice and Critique 3 :(Independent Study) 20 ECTS
Studio Practice and Critique 4 :(Taught) 5 ECTS
Studio Practice and Critique 5 :(Taught) 5 ECTS – optional
The Burren : Culture and Environment, 5 ECTS – optional

Entry requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements
Applicants should normally have a primary degree (at NFQ Level 7 or 8). A major in fine art is not required for this programme. All eligible applicants are interviewed either in person or by phone.

Application dates

Closing Date
Apply by 1 February 2024: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all places have been filled.

Apply online via Application weblink above
Applications should be made directly to Burren College of Art (BCA). All eligible applicants are interviewed either in person or by phone.


1 year (2 semesters), full-time.


Irish and EU tuition: €9,500.
International tuition €18,500.

Enrolment dates

Next start date September 2024
Apply to Burren College, Co Clare

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
Graduates have found employment in professions associated with the practice of art.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider