Research Degrees / PhD

NCAD offers the following Research Masters and PhD Programmes:

Research Masters
Doctoral Research Programmes - AD567

All students follow a Structured Programme which supports their study and research in one of the pathways listed above.

The Structured PhD at NCAD

The PhD Journey in NCAD

Educational Standard

  1. An approved bachelor degree at a minimum level of 2nd Class Honours.

  2. The College will consider applications from holders of diplomas in art or design (minimum level 2nd Class Honours or equivalent) in a field of study related to the proposed subject matter for a master's degree.

  3. Applications on the basis of proven relevant work experience will be considered.

Those applying on the basis of 2 or 3 above may be required to pass a qualifying examination appropriate to each case, before being admitted to master's degree studies. Attendance at selected undergraduate lecture courses at NCAD, together with related written work, may be required.


Graduates of NCAD do not need to submit item 5 below. Please send your application material to The Head of Academic Affairs to arrive at the National College of Art and Design by  the closing dates given below.

  1. Completed Application Form

  2. A recent CV

  3. Two references: Reference 1: Completed reference form from the head of the school/department in the college from which the applicant is graduating or has graduated. Reference 2: Completed reference form from the applicant's course tutor or present employer.

  4. Certified transcripts of courses followed.

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

  6. Five copies of research proposal. Please refer to the College guidelines on the format of the proposal. Download: Proposal Format Guidelines for PhD Applications.

  7. Theory based applicants only: Five copies of two examples of recent written work: for example an essay, a published article, or other relevant text etc.

  8. Studio based applicants only: If you are proposing to do a studio (i.e. practice-based) PhD you must include documentation of your previous or current work, The preferred form of submission is in digital form on memory device, CD or DVD, (please include details on file format), slides/VHS can also be viewed. Clear titles, sizes, dates and contextualisation of the imagery must accompany your submission. Please ensure your name is clearly marked on this material.

* Please note that the submission of an application form alone is not a complete application. Please refer to this page for the items which must accompany it. Emailed applications cannot be accepted.

Interdisciplinary Research Projects

The College especially welcomes interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners, and we are committed to tailoring research supervision to the needs of the individual practitioner or researcher. If you have a specific interdisciplinary project that you would like to propose for study at NCAD, please contact the Head of Academic Affairs & Research at

Application Closing Dates

Please note that while there are no specific closing dates for PhD applications there are two registration dates (January and September). You are advised to submit your application in plenty of  time to ensure it is processed well ahead of up coming registration dates.

Postgraduate Application Form

Research Proposal Guidelines For Application to the NCAD PhD Register