MA in Socially Engaged Art + Further Education

PLEASE NOTE: THIS PROGRAMME IS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW. THERE WILL BE NO INTAKE FOR 2019/20. If you are an; artist, designer, educator, a community activist, a youth worker or have an interest in teaching in the area of formal or informal education, this programme could be for you. A two year Taught Masters in Socially Engaged Art + Further Education, focuses on the dynamic relationship between socially engaged arts practice and pedagogy. The MA SEA+FE is recognised as a teaching qualification for the Further Education sector, students who successfully complete the course can register with the teaching council.


DonegalDerry fieldtrip, Marie Barrett on City walls. Photo: Fiona Whelan. DonegalDerry fieldtrip. Photo: Janet Williams


Programme Overview:

The MA Socially Engaged Art+Further Education is a two year, Level 9, taught masters degree focusing on the dynamic relationship between socially engaged arts practice and pedagogy. This programme provides students with an opportunity to explore two fields of practice; socially engaged art and teaching and learning within further education. Successful students acquire a further education teaching qualification, necessary for those considering a career as a teacher or facilitator of learning within the diverse further education sector. As a site for experimental learning and critical debate, the course attracts students from a range of disciplines who want to immerse themselves in a trans-disciplinary enquiry.

Socially engaged art practice is an artistic practice that requires a meaningful interaction with communities of place and/or interest and with broader social or political intentions at its core. It includes collaborative, community based, process based, public and dialogic practices that rely on social intercourse and exchange. Further Education continues to change and evolve, with ETB's, Youthreach and informal community settings offering opportunities for working with a range of age groups in formal and informal educational settings.  If you are interested in working with diverse students across various settings, and look to develop a professional identity as an educator, teacher or facilitator of learning in FE, then this course offers prospective students an opportunity to explore this role in depth.   

This full-time MA course is provided through taught classes in NCAD, typically taking place two evenings per week. Students are required to undertake a teaching practicum of 100 hours within a formal education setting as well as a practicum in an informal educational setting with some additional day-time blocks for workshops, field trips and seminars. In Semesters 2 and 3, students also engage in practice placements. Semester 4 centres on student-led research through a major project.

Programme Team:

The MA SEA+FE has a strong staff team combining established practitioners from the field of socially engaged arts and education. The course is directed by Professor Dervil Jordan, jointly coordinated by artist Fiona Whelan (MA, G Dip) and Nuala Hunt Head of Continuing Education (MA,MSc, G.Dip. UTL). Core teaching staff include: artists Chris Maguire, Marie Barrett, adult educator Anne Gallagher and community worker John Bissett. Visitors since 2013 include Deirdre O’ Mahony, Vukasin Nedeljkovic, Fiona Woods, Connell Vaughan, Katherine Atkinson, Sean Millar, Brendan Fay, Dylan Tighe, Catherine Joyce, Ailbhe Murphy, Vagabond Reviews, Seoidin O’ Sullivan, Glenn Loughran, Fergal Hardiman, Louise Lowe, Núria Güell and Stephanie Springgay.

The programme offers two rich rewards to graduates:

1 A fulfilling academic experience in socially - engaged practice, incorporating practical applications and theoretical reflections; and

2 Professional teaching qualification in the Further Education sector, accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland.

Course Fees

The MA in Socially Engaged Art + Further Adult Community Education offers a range of engagements off campus. NCAD has established working relationships with a range of arts, community and education organisations nationally offering students the opportunity to immerse themselves in rich sites of learning. Another feature of the course is a field trip where students are exposed to a range of cultural and arts practices operating in a specific context.

FE teaching practice placements can be undertaken in ETB's, in Youthreach and other QQI-Fetac approved settings.  NCAD has developed links with a range of FE providers and can assist in placement.  Students are encouraged to link to the FE practitioners network and attend seminars and forums relevant to professional practice. Modules include; Adult and Community Education, Pedagogy and Practice, Spaces for Learning, Socially Engaged Art Practice, Curriculum Studies, teaching and learning and work based practicums.

The MA SEA+FE is committed to staying connected to the national and international field of Socially Engaged Art and regularly engages with other organisations to further enhance the course programme. For example, we have hosted a Dublin screening of the Creative Time Summit for three years, partnering with Create, Fire Station Artists’ Studios and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. In 2015, we co developed the TransActions publication with The Stockyard Institute in Chicago (Issue 1 2015, Issue 2 2017).



Rialto fieldtrip. Photo: Clodagh Kelly. Situating Practice Seminar Nov. 2012. Photo: Fiona Whelan

The MA SEA +FACE is based on the NCAD Campus in Dublin, where lectures and seminars are located and workshop facilities are provided. A feature of the MA SEA+FE  is the group collective experience, approaches to teaching include problem based learning, student led presentations and peer learning, all feature within the programme.

Alumni/Recent Graduates

The MA SEA+FACE course launched in 2013, recruitment takes place every second year. However it succceeds the GDip Community Arts Education course which has produced over 120 graduates over ten years. Many of these graduates are practicing artists with a wide range of public, socially engaged, community based and educational practices with many others moving on to work in arts administration, arts management and within the community and voluntary sector.

MA SEA+FE graduates are eligible to progress to PhD, or professional development opportunities.

Socially Engaged Arts Practice - Ailbhe Murphy and students.  Photo: Fiona Whelan


The programme is open to graduates with an honours degree award of 2.2 or higher, or an equivalent academic or professional qualification in a related discipline. The College also takes into consideration prior learning and experience.
English language: Students who have not been educated through English must show proof of achieving IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 in the writing section on the academic version) or an equivalent score in another accepted test.

How to apply

Please fill in the NCAD postgraduate application form and return to the NCAD Admissions Office. You will find full details on entry requirements and the application procedure at the link below.

View Entry Requirements and Application Procedure

We look forward to hearing from anyone with queries about the course.


Please contact Helen Fagan, Secretary, School of Education

Phone: 353 - 1- 636 4301


Programme Contacts

Nuala Hunt -

Fiona Whelan -