Design History & Material Culture

What to Expect
The MA in Design History and Material Culture is a pioneering course that examines the history of design and material culture from the eighteenth century through to the present day, providing a unique forum for the study of objects, architecture and interiors. The programme is taught through seminars and guided research, equipping students with the skills to research, analyse and write about the material world in its various historic and contemporary contexts. Students conduct supervised research and write a dissertation, which they submit at the end of the programme. We welcome graduates from a range of backgrounds, including; art/design practice, architecture, art history, history, sociology, anthropology, literature.

Opportunities to Engage
MA DHMC students benefit from partnerships and joint initiatives with a wide range of museums, cultural institutions and historic proper-ties. Collaborative projects and modules have been organised in conjunction with the National Museum of Ireland, The Little Museum of Dublin, the National Library of Ireland, NUI Maynooth Department of Anthropology and others. Students who wish to gain relevant work experience have been assisted by the DHMC course team in organising internships at appropriate institutions.

Entry requirements

Education Standard
All applicants are expected to present an approved Bachelor degree at minimum level of 2nd class honours (2.2)

Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements may be considered on the basis of prior work or learning experience (RPEL). Candidates may be required to pass a qualifying examination set by the relevant department before being accepted to a Masters degree programme. Attendance at selected undergraduate lecture courses at NCAD, together with related written work may be prescribed.

You may apply for the programme if you are currently completing your Undergraduate Degree. NCAD will review the rest of your application If necessary, we can make you a Conditional Offer. When your degree is completed and you send us final transcripts we will upgrade this to a Full Offer.

Essential Supporting Documents
- A Statement of Interest - 300-500 words framing your reasons for applying to the programme

- A recent CV

- Certified transcripts of previous programmes followed

- Certified copies of degree/ certificates and/or other appropriate third level qualifications bearing the official stamp of the institution.

- Reference 1 (Academic - Head of School/Department preferred)

*Some referees prefer to submit the reference directly to the college. If this is the case, please instruct your referee to email a standard reference to Please make sure all references contain the letterhead and the institution contact email address for the referee

- Reference 2 (Tutor or Current/Recent Employer)

- A sample of written work - essay, published article or other relevant text.

Document Description
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English Language Requirements
All programmes in NCAD are taught through English. International Applicants are asked to provide proof of their English Language Proficiency.

Full details of acceptable tests and the standard required can be found at the following link:

Application dates

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90 ECTS credits / Taught masters


The programme is part-time running over two years. Students are expected to attend classes one day per week.

Enrolment dates

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After Your Degree
The programme consistently receives excellent feedback from both external examiners and students. Students on the programme have received internationally recognised awards for their work and many have gone on to pursue doctoral research at NCAD and elsewhere. Graduates have published their work in peer reviewed journals and many are working within education (second and third level), art / design practice, galleries, museums, historic houses, film, theatre, publishing and government bodies responsible for arts/craft promotion.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider