Art - 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 shaped by the student.

Support for doctoral students
The PhD programme at NCAD involves significant interdisciplinary and discipline specific input in the early stages of the research project, and active engagement with a community of researchers within and beyond NCAD.

The NCAD's training, supervision and support processes for PhD candidates include:

Access to international PhD networks and exchange programmes

Supervised access to internal and, where appropriate, external experts in the relevant field

Opportunities to take taught postgraduate modules which serve your research needs

Support to participate in national PhD conferences in art and design

Public symposia and conferences in PhD research areas

Cross-institutional collaboration involving multidisciplinary research teams

Training in appropriate research methods.

The final submission for a doctoral award in Fine Art will normally entail a combined submission of:

A body of practical work

A written text of 20,000 to 40,000 words.

Applicants for a PhD through Practice in Fine Art are encouraged to identify members of college staff they would wish to work with as supervisor(s) to offer guidance in developing their research proposal. Details of staff research profiles can be found here (scroll down to 'Fine Art')

Entry requirements

Educational Standard

A candidate seeking admission to a course of study and research leading to a PhD must fulfil one of the following criteria:

a) A minimum of an upper second class degree or equivalent in a relevant honours Bachelor's degree. The College will consider applications from holders of diplomas in art or design (minimum level upper second Class Honours or equivalent).

b) A relevant master's degree; or

c) The candidate has demonstrated other evidence of academic standing and/or relevant professional experience

Those applying on the basis of a) or c) above may be required to pass a qualifying examination appropriate to each case, before being admitted to doctoral degree studies. Participation in selected courses at NCAD, together with related written work, may be required.

Application dates

The application process
NCAD operates an online application process which carries a fee of 55 Euro. NCAD graduates or those applying to more than one area should contact the Assistant Student Recruitment and Admissions Officer prior to completing an online application.

Prior to applying using the online system, applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposed research with the appropriate School.

An offer of a place to undertake research follows an interview.

NCAD operates a rolling closing date for applications to undertake a research degree (PhD and MLitt). Students can commence studies at the start of the autumn, spring or summer trimester. PhD Scholarships (see below) are typically awarded to allow an autumn start.


Students can be registered full time or part time.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time

  • Apply to

    Course provider