CEAD Diploma

This part-time undergraduate course offers an opportunity for mature students interested in establishing a personal direction in their art and design practice to attend a flexible programme leading to a Diploma.

CEAD Part Time
Diploma in Art and Design

Applications open: Closed for 2018 intake
Application deadline: Closed for 2018 intake
Portfolio: Required
Course duration: 1 year
Course fee 2018 - 19: €1,995

Download the course document

Download the portfolio brief

About the CEAD Diploma

The part-time Diploma in Art and Design commences in mid-September and concludes in May. Typically students attend for a minimum 6 hours per week (normally two evenings, 6 to 9pm). The course also includes; weekend sessions and daytime blocks at Easter and in May.

Typically students will complete a Certificate course with CEAD (such as; DVI, P+DI or VAP), are eligible to apply to the part-time Diploma programme. Students who successfully achieve the learning outcomes in the Diploma are eligible to transfer and apply to Y2 full-time undergraduate studies or continue on a part-time route within CEAD (subject to approval of new programme awards coming on stream in 2018).  The part-time Diploma is an award within the NFQ. Students applying to the Diploma course need to submit a portfolio and an application form available from cead@staff.ncad.ie.

The Diploma in Art and Design will provide an intensive learning experience for students who are committed to expanding their visual vocabulary, through experimentation and analysis of visual material. Through a series of; practical projects, workshops and seminars, students will explore and manipulate a range of materials and acquire technical skills applicable to studio practice. Students are encouraged to work as part of a group, and develop their ability to manage and direct their learning outside of tutor contact time. During the course students will be encouraged to work across disciplines, though in the latter part of the course, they will establish a direction in relation to the development of an art/design practice, focusing on a discipline specific pathway. A lecture and seminar programme in visual culture and complementary studies is integrated with the studio programme to provide a theoretical and contextual framework for students.

The Diploma course involves studio practice and history of art & design/contextual studies. Students will spend 80% of their course contact time involved in studio based work and 20% of course time is allocated to visual culture, and contextual studies.

The Diploma involves: studio based learning, lectures, seminars, and self directed learning amounting to a annual total learning effort . The course will be delivered in the evenings (two evenings a week), at the week-end and during the Easter in blocked weekly sessions.

This course aims to:

  • Foster students capacity to develop concepts, ideas and research processes in art and design,
  • Provide students with technical skills applicable to studio practice,
  • Encourage students to generate and develop ideas across fine art and design subject areas,
  • Encourage students to develop a professional practice,
  • Introduce students to visual culture and themes in art and design history,



Course objectives:

  • The purpose of the course is to foster individual creativity, encourage experimentation and inventiveness, through studio based projects, workshop practice and an integrated approach to history of art and design.
  • Students will be encouraged to develop analytical skills and to reflect on the processes they are engaged in when generating ideas, and problem solving. Resolution of ideas and progressing practical work will be supported through tutor guidance. Students will be encouraged to work within deadlines as part of establishing good practice in art and design.
  • Investigation and inquiry is central to the course; students will be encouraged to explore the boundaries between disciplines and to consider an inter-disciplinary approach to studio work.

Course modules

  • Visual Research Methods,
  • Drawing and Visual Investigation,
  • Workshops 2d/3d, Electives (Discipline Experience),
  • Contextual Development,
  • Discipline Development
  • Visual Culture 1 & 2


Assessment will be continuous and summative. Students will present/display project work for studio tutors and peers for review/assessment at the end of each module and receive feedback on their progress. Over the duration of the diploma students are required to complete a minimum of two written assignments for visual culture.

Application Process

Students applying to this course should be 23 years or over, submit a portfolio, inlcuding a portfolio project, an application form and fullfill NUI criteria for accessing a third level college.(ie Fetac Level 5 or Leaving Certificate equivalent) Please note the majority of student complete a CEAD Certificate prior to accessing the diploma course.

Entry Requirements

Students should be 23+ at time of entry Leaving Certificate or Fetac equivalent is required, also a CEAD Certificate (VAP or DVI or PDI) college admissions procedures apply to Diploma applicants, students should consult NCAD prospectus for details. Applicants are required to demonstrate a commitment to the development of an art and design practice and be willing to engage in a learning programme involving investigation and experimentation.

Who is this course for?

Typically a student applying to this course will be able to show an interest in and commitment to developing a professional practice in art and design. Previous experience of art and design is required, either through attending accredited courses in continuing education at NCAD or similar further education courses. Students participating in this course will be encouraged to challenge traditional views of art and design and engage in a process of experimentation with the view to developing a direction for their practice. The course is intensive and while delivered in a flexible manner it will involve a considerable time commitment.

Course Duration

The Diploma in Art and Design commences in late september. Students will attend on a part-time basis for approximately 30 weeks, in addition, students will attend blocked week-long sessions at intervals at Easter and for one week in May. Normally students will attend for a minimum 6 hours per week, typically this could be tuesday and thursday evening. The course includes; evening attendance, weekend sessions and daytime blocks at Easter.

Course staff:

Felicity Clear, BA, MA,
Beth O' Halloran, BA, MA
Elaine Leader, BA,
Fiona Loughnane, BA, MA,
Vivian Hansbury Dip. Fine Art, MA Fine Art
Emma Mahony
Jenny Brady

More information:

Email: cead@staff.ncad.ie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CEADatNCAD/
Tel: + 353 1 636 4214

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