CEAD Autumn Non-Credit Courses

Applications for 2023 new entrants will open mid summer

The Centre for Continuing Education at NCAD offers a range of non-credit courses in art and design for adults and school leavers (16+) who want to explore their creative potential, learn new skills or develop an on-going practice.

Autumn non-credit courses are at different levels; there are introductory courses suitable for beginners or for those considering returning to or progressing within higher education. If you want learn something new you can choose beginners courses and if you have established an arts practice and want to continue to expand and explore your options you can choose advanced courses.

Portfolio Preparation courses are suitable for students considering applying to third level undergraduate art and design courses and wish to complete a portfolio in preparation.

Where students are interested in applying to the accredited part-time autumn options or want to progress within art and design they can consider taking one or more autumn non-credit course as a way of developing skills and knowledge in a subject area.

Please read the following information on bookings, note to returning students, fees and Terms & Conditions carefully before applying for your autumn non-credit course.


We can process your application only on receipt of full payment of course fee.  Places on the courses are allocated on a first come first served basis. We normally hope to accommodate all applicants. When a course reaches class capacity a waitlist will be opened.

For course information and to make your booking, see below.

Once you have completed your booking, you can go to MyNCAD to confirm your booking details. You will need your username and password, from your online application. If you need further information please contact us at cead@staff.ncad.ie 

Note to returning students

If you are or have been registered on an accredited course at NCAD you will have an account at MyNCAD tied to your accredited course. Please use this account to apply for your autumn 2023 non-credit course.


Applications will be processed only on receipt of full payment of course fee.

Terms & Conditions

Please read our FAQ's and Terms & Conditions carefully before applying for a CEAD course. Learn more about progression in art and design through CEAD.

Autumn 2023 Programme coming soon and bookings open in July

Autumn 2022 programme below for reference

Course Code
Course Name
Class Capacity
Fee €
Bookings online Open July

Portfolio Preparation 

15 17


(Starting 23rd September)

5 to 9pm




Stained Glass Introductory

8 22


(Starting 20th September)

6.30 to 9pm


Stained Glass Intermediate

8 22


(Starting 21st September)

6.30 to 9pm


Embroidered Textile Design Introductory

12 11


(Starting 20th September)

6.30 to 9pm


Painting: Landscape and Cityscape Introductory

16 22


(Starting 21st September)

6.30 to 9pm


Drawing and Painting the Figure Intermediate

16 22


(Starting 22nd September)

6.30 to 9pm


Painting Processes Intermediate

16 16


(Starting 19th September)

6.30 to 9pm


Constructing Sculpture through Bronze Casting


15 22


(Starting 21st September)

6.30 to 9pm


Letterpress Printing Intermediate

TBC Semester 2

10 10


(Start date in Spring TBC)

6.30 to 9pm




Introductory & Intermediate


12 11


(Starting 20th September)

6.30 to 9pm



VC 507

Type and Image

Introductory & Intermediate

14 15


(Starting 12th October)

6.30 to 9pm




*Please note that all students are required to have access to a computer and WiFi*



Portfolio Preparation

Tutor: Michael Lyons
Day: Friday, 5 to 9pm 
Duration: 17 weeks
Course Fee: €425 
15 Students


This intensive 17 week course is designed to
aid school leavers and mature students interested
in developing a portfolio for entry to third level art
and design education. Students will be encouraged to
develop their ideas through research and working on
personal projects. Subjects covered include drawing
from observation, ideas development, collage, colour
work, basic printing and developing a personal project.
This is a preparatory course, students should not
assume that attending this course will give them
an advantage over others who wish to access the
NCAD full-time programme.


D/P 102  
Painting; Landscape and Cityscape INTRODUCTORY

Tutor: Kenneth Donfield
Day: Wednesday 6.30pm to 9pm 
Duration: 22 weeks
Course Fee €375
16 Students

This course is suitable for beginners who are interested
in working with watercolours, acrylics or oils and wish
to develop skills in drawing and painting landscape
and cityscape.

The tutor will provide instruction in drawing and painting
techniques including traditional and contemporary

Students are encouraged to develop their ideas however
they can also work from drawings or photographs of
landscapes, townscape or cityscape.

The course commences with drawing exercises and
students will be encouraged to develop their drawing
skills using a range of materials including charcoal, pastel,
in order to enhance your understanding of tonal
values. The tutor will demonstrate different painting
techniques and facilitate students understanding of
each technique and the properties of different media
being used. Demonstrations will be supported with
presentations of key established artists from Irish and
European traditions of landscape painting.

D/P 105  
Drawing and Painting the Figure INTERMEDIATE

Tutor: Kenneth Donfield
Day: Thursday, 6.30pm to 9pm
Duration: 22 weeks
Course Fee €375
16 Students

Students for this course should have already acquired
a basic knowledge and skill of drawing. This course will
allow for sustained perceptual concentration, with
freedom to experiment and revise. The course begins
with a series of studies, using a variety of poses,
Exploring tone, light, space, composition and pictorial
structure. Students are encouraged to work in a
broad and diverse manner. Slide show presentations
of figurative artists from past to present will feature as part of the course. Also tutor led group discussions and critiques to support progression and development of work.

 All media from pencil, charcoal, pastel, oil paint and mixed media
may be explored. Technical support and instruction
will be given on materials, their values, properties and
how to apply these to a surface. Through observation and
understanding of the many contemporary approaches
to working from the human figure, students will enhance
their ability and knowledge of working in the life studio.

A timetable and materials list will be available following registration.

* Please note that NCAD is responsible for the booking of life models, however, NCAD has no responsibility where models fail to show up for classes.


D/P 107  
Painting Processes INTERMEDIATE

Tutor: Paul MacCormaic
Day: Monday 6.30pm to 9pm 
Duration: 16 weeks
Course Fee €375
16 Students

This course is suitable for students who wish to become more accomplished and confident at painting to progress to an accredited course or enhanced studio practice. This is an intermediate level course, participants should have acquired basic skills and techniques in drawing and painting. 

The aim of the course is to:

  • Encourage students to use paint as a vehicle in which to express ideas and develop concepts.
  • Emphasise the importance of the sketchbook or notebook as an essential tool for storing and developing ideas, conducting research and keeping a reflective visual diary. 
  • Support the learner to discover how the skills that are covered in the course support each student’s individual approach.
  • Direct students towards the study of artists in a historical and contemporary context that are appropriate to project work.

Painting Processes begins with an announcement of the themes of the project that will run for the sixteen weeks. Students will be given instruction in the use of sketchbooks and mind maps as a starting point. The course is process-driven where ideas are explored through a series of exercises. The initial classes of the course include a revision of the basic methods in painting. As the course progresses, more complicated techniques and processes are added. Acrylic paint, and to a lesser extent, oil paint, is used. Watercolour materials and techniques are not covered. 

From the outset emphasis is placed on the keeping of a research notebook. Students are encouraged to use their notebook as testing ground for techniques, thoughts, ideas and observational drawing. The research notebook is a basis for the formation of the student’s own visual language.  Students, using a wide range of sources and ideas, will give an outline of initial work developed in their sketchbook and indicate how they intend to translate preliminary work into a resolved painting and will receive feedback. As the weeks progress, the prescribed exercises will be completed, and students will devote more time to their project, working up finished paintings.

Students will engage in exercises, that the tutor will demonstrate, and be encouraged to follow up and investigate the new process’s suitability to the project. The techniques covered are glazing, alla prima, under and overpainting, washes, drybrush, scumbling, impasto and sgraffito. Topics such as aerial perspective, night scenes, abstraction and skin tones for portraiture are covered. Teaching methods include small group and one-to-one tutorials, and towards the end of the course, student presentations and group critiques.

Students may be taken to exhibitions if suitable ones are on show.

Learning outcomes

On completion students will be able to: 

  • Research and develop a self-directed project through a series of targeted exercises.
  • Maintain a notebook that contains ideas, research, development and reflection.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary painting practice and analyse these sources to assist in developing their ideas. 
  • Present a range of sketches and resolved paintings.



Tutor:  Barbara Dunne
Day: Tuesday, 6.30 to 9pm
Duration: 11 weeks
Course Fee €445
12 Students

This eleven week course is suited to individuals with a basic knowledge of printmaking and wish to advance their technical skills and knowledge of etching and drypoint techniques. This course includes demonstrations in etching processes preparing plates and will culminate in the production of resolved imagery. The course will provide an
opportunity for students to further develop their
skills and abilities in making prints. Through a series
of exercises in a range of techniques and processes,
students will be encouraged to advance their own
work and interests. Subjects covered include etching and 
drypoint. Through individual tuition,
demonstration of techniques and discussion of ideas,
students will be encouraged to advance their creative
potential and develop their visual awareness.



Constructing Sculpture through Bronze Casting

Tutor: Vivian Hansbury
Day: Wednesday, 6.30 to 9pm
Duration: 22 weeks
Course fee: €470 plus additional fee of approx €165 per
person for casting bronze work using professional casting facility
15 Students

This twenty-two week course is suitable for students with
art and object making experience or knowledge of
design. It will provide students with an introduction
to technical skills in bronze casting and in sculptural
construction. At the end of the course students will
have an understanding of the bronze casting process and
be able to construct from start to finish a bronze
sculptural form.The course will provide an introduction
to bronze casting and students will work in a foundry
 or studio to produce original work. Subjects covered
include bronze casting techniques, wax work, silicone,
investment, mould making using clay, metal finishing
and patination. The course will concentrate on technique
and work practice and students will learn the process
through direct involvement in their own work.



C/D 503  

Tutor: Patricia Plunkett
Day: Tuesday, 6.30pm to 9pm weekly, 
Duration: 22 weeks
Course Fee €525
8 Students

This course provides tuition in the basic techniques
of stained glass ie glass-cutting, foil work and lead
work, also 3-D work, planters and lamp shades etc.
Students will be encouraged to undertake their own
individual projects, developing design concepts and
making an individual stained-glass work. A limited
selection of materials can be purchased on the

C/D 505  

Tutor: Patricia Plunkett
Day: Wednesday, 6.30pm to 9pm weekly, 
Duration: 22 weeks
Course Fee €490
8 Students

This course is for those who already have experience
in Stained Glass craft work. It aims to increase students
understanding of an approach to designing and
undertaking material pieces of work. There will be an
emphasis on design concepts and the development of more
advanced techniques using the equipment of the Glass
Department. Each student will be encouraged to
undertake his or her own individual projects throughout
the course.  Course outcomes:
• Increase students awareness of their ability in
design through set projects
• Build individual students confidence in how to
approach a design and develop a design concept
through project based work
• Increase students research techniques



V/C 507  

Tutor: Alastair Keady
Day: Wednesday, 6.30 to 9pm
Duration: 15 weeks
Course Fee €430
14 Students

This course is suited to those who wish to upskill or reskill. The course evening offers an introduction to the key components of graphic design. Students will require access to a computer and to adobe software. Teaching methods include demonstration, presentation, lecture, small group discussions and feedback on progress.

Course Content
• Visual communications and the creative process
• What is graphic design? Typography – theory and
• Type, image, visual literacy, organisation and
• Developing problem solving strategies
• Developing an understanding of print materials.
An examination of paper and the form, function
and tactile nature of printed material

The course includes a series of graphic design foundation lectures with
associated practical homework exercises with outcomes
critiqued in the following week.
1. What is Graphic Design?
2. Point, Line, Plane
3. Rhythm and Balance
4. Scale and Texture
5. Colour and Tone
6. Visual Hierarchy
7. Typographic Anatomy and Expression
8. Typesetting for Display and Body Copy
9. Macro and Micro Typography
10. Strategies and Techniques for Image-Making
11. Creative Strategies; Visual Rhetoric, Wit,
Metaphor, Syntax, Semantics
12. Creative Strategies; Mapping Concepts, Happy
13. Design in Context; Know your Audience
and Medium
14. Production Processes; Reprographics and Print
15. Grids, Templates and Stylesheets

From class 9, an ongoing parallel practical exercise,
producing a suite of designed elements, will run up
until the final class. Progress and refinement of this
exercise will be continually assessed.



V/C 509  
Letterpress Printing INTERMEDIATE

Applications opening soon
Tutor: Mary Plunkett
Day: Tuesday: 6.30 to 9pm
Duration: 10 weeks
Course Fee €320
10 Students

This ten week course is suited to students who have completed an introductory course or have experience with setting metal and wooden type.  Individuals with a background in graphic design, typography, print or literature may find this course particularly interesting.  The course provides an opportunity to access the Distillers Press and their collection of over 500 cases of wood and metal type.  Participants will build on basic techniques of hand setting, and with guidance, undertake, research and work toward a large project or set of small projects.  This limited edition will take the form of prints, posters, booklets or cards and could involve typography or illustration or a combination of both.  As well as typography based projects, participants can make use of other relief methods such as printing from lino cut and digitally designed plates as well as printing with multiple colours and hand inking.

The course provides an overview of the processes and materials involved in letterpress printing and offer students a change to develop a larger project over time.  Students can research their own paper stock or suitable sheets may be purchased from Distillers Press at the course progresses. 



D 603  
Embroidered Textile Design INTRODUCTORY

Tutor: Rose Mary Cullen,
Day: Tuesday, 6.30pm to 9pm weekly
Duration: 11 weeks
Course Fee €280
12 Students

During this short evening course, students follow a
programme which aims to encourage the exploration
of embroidered textiles in a contemporary way. An
overview of historical and contemporary practice in
embroidery will provide the framework for students
to experiment and explore stitch. Classes will focus
on experimenting with a range of hand and machine
stitch techniques, ways of manipulating fabric and the
use of alternative materials as surfaces on which to stitch.
Students will be encouraged to develop their own project
with the assistance of the tutor using the techniques
developed during the course. A materials list will be
distributed before commencement of the course.


More information:

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Tel: + 353 1 636 4214

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