Sculpture and Expanded Practice

Are you ambitious? Are you culturally aware? Do you want to explore new forms of visual expression? Do you want to be active and engaged with life and not just a spectator? Do you want to place yourself in the artworld as well as in the real world?

Sculpture provides you with a framework to engage contemporary art practices.  To understand how you choose materials and processes of all kinds, evolving towards a professional standard. Sculpture is idea led, meaning that you learn to make choices and decisions, and this requires self motivation and determination and a willingness to experiment and test ideas and actions and to connect experiences.

Our lives are complex negotiations with places, spaces and people and sculpture sits in this junction.  This programme is about learning how we make work matter, figuring out who it matters to, beyond ourselves and considering where we put it to test how it matters both within the gallery and beyond it.  Students will be supported to create contemporary exhibitions, make proposals, apply for postgraduate study, make and develop opportunity as a way of meeting the world.

Year 1

See First Year

Year 2 & Final Year

Through years 2 and 3 students should continue to gain confidence and fluency in a broad range of 3D skills. In these years you will be asked to identify a strong personal direction for your sculptural practice through directed learning and independent self-directed study. You will have your own generous studio space and large workshops to access daily. Modules, projects, formal lectures and informal seminars will expose you to distinctive approaches, theories and techniques specific to contemporary sculpture and also expanded practices like installation, socially engaged practice and lens based media. There is a distinct emphasis on research skills which will help you navigate through questions like: How do I test this material? Who is my art for? How do I make work for the public domain?

Year 3: Studio + & International

Studio+ is an optional year between the second and final year of your degree. Open to all Fine Art students, it offers the opportunity to gain experience in a range of social and cultural contexts in the world beyond NCAD. This experience will be gained through work with different organisations with links to the School of Fine Art and will help you to build your skills as an artist. Studio+ can also include a period of study abroad through the Erasmus programme with internationally recognised art faculties partnered with NCAD.

How will I be Assessed?

Assessment is usually at the half year and full year semester points and will focus on your creative processes, your tests and trials and the artwork produced. Assessment is centred around your art activities, what you have discovered by doing these activities, how you critically reflect and link to this. There are also requirements to participate in ongoing course dialogues and to communicate and evolve views and perspectives.

Download NCAD Prospectus

An art education offers a rich way of engaging with life. Many of our graduates go on to become practicing artists in the field in Ireland and Internationally. We have a record of our graduates becoming significant individual artists and players in the cultural field, in established galleries and other sites, and in becoming part of artist/creative teams. We have many vivid examples of students self-starting and creating residencies, studios, pop up exhibitions and all forms of cultural entrepreneurship. Our graduates are enabled to find imaginative, creative ways forward in the rapidly changing landscapes of our time. 

A number of graduates also go on to postgraduate study, within the School and outside of Ireland. Following on from a Masters programme, the College offers a practice-based PhD programme supported by the Graduate School for Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM).

Please see the Study at NCAD section for full application details.

Duration 3/4 Years 
Places 28

CAO Course Codes

AD104 Fine Art adn Appliied Art 

AD101 First Year Art & Design (Common Entry)

Entry Requirements

Leaving Cert: 6 Subjects (2 X H5 and 4 X O6/H7)

Subjects must include English, Irish and one of the following: a third language or Art or Design & Communication Graphics (DCG)

FETAC: 5 Distinctions Full Award

NCAD Minimum Entry Requirements

Portfolio Requirement NCAD Portfolio Submission
Degree Awarded

BA Fine Art / BA Fine Art  & Visual Culture / BA Fine Art (International)

Level 8 

All Undergraduate applications for Year 1 entry and Advanced entry through the CAO.

Academic Sculpture and Expanded Practice Department staff
Brian Hand (Head of Department)
Tom O Dea
Michelle Browne
Garreth Kennedy
Chloie Brennan
Fiona Whelan

For further information please contact:

Head of School
Prof. Philip Napier

School Secretary
Hazel Crowley

Claire O'Hagan