Fine Art & Digital Art

The aim of this programme is to produce advanced art that actively engages with contemporary society and the public sphere.

What to Expect
The MFA programme is based around the idea of visual arts practices as inquiries into how we understand and interpret the world. It is a two-year full time programme for artists and Fine Art graduates who wish to develop an individual research inquiry, to communicate their ideas effectively and to situate their work in relation to the spectrum of contemporary art discourse and practice. On this programme we are interested, as visual artists, in discussing, making and framing those things that encourage you to look or listen again – the things that alter how you see the world. Students are encouraged to find new ways of making, modelling and connecting their projects to the professional field of the visual arts and to wider audiences and situations.

The MFA programme offers pathways in specialist areas of contemporary art such as painting, fine print, media, sculpture and expanded practices whilst also supporting practices that emerge between areas like performance, the body, moving image, text, the archive and other transdisciplinary spaces. The spine of this programme is centred upon an experiential art practice engagement with structured components that explore research methods and contemporary practices. The advanced study required at masters level is informed by contemporary practice based co-ordinates delivered by leading practitioners in the field, including artists, curators, writers and other relevant professionals. The core components of the course are the studios and technical facilities, project spaces, written elements and critical seminars where students present work and reflect on their approach to materials and the theoretical and historical frameworks informing their practices.

The School also offers:
MFA Digital Art, for students who wish to explore contemporary art practice in the digital world and gather the skills needed to harness the creative possibilities provided by new technologies.

MFA Art in the Contemporary World
(with the School of Visual Culture): Students who successfully complete taught elements of the MA Art in the Contemporary World can proceed on the basis of a suitable portfolio to a second year of studio based study towards an MFA degree.

Opportunities to Engage
These programmes have their foundations in a consistent commitment to the 'publication' of practice through exhibition. These moments of public exhibition are visible in interim opportunities to test work within and outside the academy, and in the public exhibition of the student's major research project at the end of their studies. MFA exhibitions have been developed in many different locations and venues, and are a significant feature of the Dublin and Irish cultural landscape.

The programme is developed around a pathways model that affords specialism in relation to known and expanded conceptions of contemporary painting, print, sculpture, and the digital world. You choose engagement with a range of discursive seminars and lectures across areas of socially engaged practices, digital world perspectives, theoretical coordinates and interdisciplinary components - some drawing upon our close relationship with University College Dublin.

Entry requirements

The programme is open to graduates with an honours degree award of 2.2 or higher, or an equivalent academic or professional qualification in a related discipline. The College also takes into consideration prior learning and experience.

English language: Students who have not been educated through English must show proof of achieving IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 in the writing section on the academic version) or an equivalent score in another recognised English language assessment.


120 ECTS credits / Taught masters


2 years.

Enrolment dates

To find out more about the entry requirements, application process and tuition fees visit -

Post Course Info

After Your Degree
An MFA qualification is generally accepted as a prerequisite for further professional development in art and related fields. The alumni of the MFA at NCAD have gone on to pursue a variety of careers as artists, curators, academics, doctoral researchers and entrepreneurial arts professionals in expanded fields.

Ireland has a vibrant visual arts sector that embraces contemporary art museums, formal gallery spaces, private galleries, artist initiated/artist run spaces. Dublin is home to a smart, dynamic, curious, friendly and youthful population that contributes to its reputation as an active, engaging and outward-looking European city. Irish culture has an international profile across the arts in literature, music, film, theatre, visual art and architecture that combines rich traditions with youthful risk taking innovation.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time

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