The NCAD has four schools; Design, Education, Fine Art and Visual Culture. NCAD has over 950 full time students and a further 600 students who take award and non-award bearing part-time classes. Those who know the College, and those who have attended the Open Day, the annual exhibitions and fashion show, will be aware of the very high standards that are achieved. A tutorial system operates throughout the College and many of the courses are project based. Students' progress is monitored at the end of projects, and by examination at the end of each year.
From its beginnings the College has been as equally concerned with fine art as with design. The School of Fine Art teaching combines the traditional disciplines such as drawing and painting with an open experimental approach which allows individuals to realise their ideas in a wide range of media. Through contact with teachers who are practising artists, students become familiar with the activities and the ideas of artists working in today's society. Students also become familiar with the fundamentally questioning nature of contemporary art and of the variety of responses generated by contemporary artistic practice. It is an intense visual education not only for artists but for others who may build careers in related directions.
The School of Design is the largest in the College and comprises ceramics, glass, metals, fashion design, industrial design, textile design and visual communication. In design the emphasis is on solving specific problems set by project. While students are expected to master the relevant technologies, the aesthetic design factor is stressed equally. There are many links with industry and students often work on competitions sponsored by commercial firms. The College aims to promote a broad education in design which can be the basis for a variety of careers either as part of a team in industry or by working individually in a studio or small business.
The School of Visual Culture interacts with all the other schools.
In both the fine art and design courses, the element of history and theory of art and design is essential in assisting artists and designers to place themselves within a larger historical, intellectual, social and stylistic context. Within contemporary fine art practice, theory has become increasingly important. The Joint Course BA degree makes special provision for the student who wishes to explore art history and studio practice in art and design to an equal extent. For all students there is a requirement to attend regular lectures and submit written papers culminating in a thesis in the final year. The well stocked College Library is a central resource for all courses.
The School of Education provides for the education of teachers of art, craft and design in second-level schools. There are two modes available: the four-year BA degree in Art and Design Education, and the one-year postgraduate Higher Diploma in Art and Design Education. The School also provide a Higher Diploma in Community Arts Education. The Centre for Continuing Education in Art and Design is part of the School of Education and offers a range of part-time courses including certificate courses.
Artists and designers of international repute are invited to teach or give special lectures in the College. Exchange programmes with colleges and universities in Europe and the United States take place annually. Individual staff members are linked to numerous professional organisations at home and abroad. The College is a member of the European League of the Institute of the Arts.
The College is now a Recognised College of UCD.
The College welcomes all applicants who are committed to art and design and who also have the necessary talent and academic standards. We can assure you that a degree course at this College will be an enriching and challenging experience. It is a preparation for life in both a professional and a broad educational sense.