Art - Fine Art - Studio Art

This two-year full-time programme is designed to educate artists to a level appropriate to professional practice or progression to doctoral studies. Progression to PhD can be an option. The MFA is operated as an integrated and progressive learning experience. The modules Studio Research, Historical & Critical Studies and Professional Studies deal with the three main aspects of artistic practice but are operated together as elements of the one holistic experience.

The MFA is a joint Burren College of Art/University of Galway programme based at the Burren College of Art. Students register as full students of University of Galway. The programme operates in association with the Royal College of Art, London and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which provide visiting faculty to the programme.

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

Students produce a final exhibition and also demonstrate capabilities for critical enquiry through fine art, with the ability to evaluate their work through an informed grasp of the social, cultural and theoretical concerns shaping the discourse on contemporary fine art research and practice.

Historical and Critical Studies modules engage students in intensive critical discourse on contemporary art. Professional Studies modules facilitate the development of the personal, conceptual, technical and organisational skills necessary for professional practice as an artist. They are delivered through seminars, symposia and educational visits to Dublin, London and Berlin.

Subjects taught

Modules listed by semester:
Year 1, Semester 1: Introduction to Graduate Art Research
Studio Research 1, Introduction to Art Research Methods. 20 ECTS
Professional Skills 1, Documentation as Artistic Production. 5 ECTS
Historical and Critical Studies 1, Bridging Theory and Practice. 5 ECTS

Year 1, Semester 2: Experimentation and Exploration
Studio Research 2, Refinement & Coherence of Enquiry and Practice. 20 ECTS
Professional Skills 2, Student Selected Project. 5 ECTS
Historical and Critical Studies 2, Formalising Discourse. 5 ECTS

Year 2, Semester 1: The Development of a Body of Work
Studio Research 3, Working Towards an Exhibition. 20 ECTS
Professional Skills 3, Organising and Publicising an Exhibition. 5 ECTS
Historical and Critical Studies 3, The Dissertation. 5 ECTS

Year 2, Semester 2: The Resolution of a Body of Work
Studio Research 4, The MFA Exhibition. 20 ECTS
Professional Skills 4, Exhibition Installation. 5 ECTS
Historical and Critical Studies 4, The Artist's Statement. 5 ECTS

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements
Applicants should normally have a Bachelor’s degree with first or upper Second Class Honours in Fine Art, or a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Fine Art with a GPA of 3.50 or above, or evidence of equivalent achievement. In the case of an outstanding portfolio, a Bachelor’s degree with a lower Second Class Honours/2.2/GPA 3.0 may be accepted. All eligible applicants are interviewed either in person or by phone.

Application dates

Closing Date
1 February 2024. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis up to this deadline. Late applications may be considered if all places are not filled.

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


MA, 1 year (3 semesters), full-time;
MFA, 2 years (4 semesters), full-time


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

Enrolment dates

Next start date September 2024

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
Graduate artists find work as professional artists and in related fields, such art curating, gallery administration and art education. The knowledge, skills and understanding developed in this programme are transferable to a wide variety of applications, depending on the individual graduate.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    MA, MFA

  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider