Professional Certificate in Sustainable Exhibition Making AD479PC

This short course provides cultural producers with tools to implement change at a different scale of exhibition-making activity.

Applications now open

Duration- 5 days over 4 weekend starting from 25 November 2023 to 16 December
Credits- 5
NFQ Level- 9
Contact hours- Blended online and in person, Saturday usually between 10am-1pm.
Timetable -

Online: Saturday 25th November 10am-12 pm. Introduction with Seoidin O’Sullivan and Tom O’Dea. Meeting and readings

Online:  Saturday 2nd December 10am-1pm, Session with Seoidin O’Sullivan and Alice Bonnott (Villa Villa) 

In person: Friday 8th December. Symposium with, Matt Packer (EVA International), Anne Kelly (The NCAD Gallery), Mary Cremin (Void, IMMA), Lucia Pietroiusti (CFA Fellow, Head of Ecologies at Serpentine, London) 

In person: Saturday 9th December. Irish Toolkit workshop with Eilish Murphy (Guerilla Press Project)

Online/in person:  Saturday 16th December 10am-1pm. Themed Presentations towards a toolkit

This short course provides cultural producers with tools to implement change at a different scale of exhibition-making activity.

The course will include practical training, critical reflection and actionable steps with input from organisations and guests who are the leading figures in the field.  

Students will undertake carbon literacy training, discuss digital sustainability and what strategic power artists have politically. They will map out ecological selfhood and workshop building an Irish Art World Toolkit. 

Speakers will include: 

- Arts Council (Climate Action Policy Document + recent work with Julie's bicycle)
- Environmental sustainability consultants from Villa Villa 
- Curators and heads of ecologies at leading IR, NI and UK galleries 
- Leading artists already working in this area.

What to expect?

The module will combine workshops, lectures and seminar discussions. Current and live concerns will be the focus of these classes with participants engaged in establishing frameworks for good practice:

  • Climate Action in Irish Culture Sector - a roundtable 
  • Carbon Literacy / Certification – what actions are required to minimise the environmental impact of different working practices, activities in the art and gallery sector and how the ‘carbon footprint’ of these actions might be measured;
  • Artist Materials and Studio Practice – environmental impact of different materials used in artistic practices; 
  • Digital Culture and Sustainability – environmental impact of digital tools.

Student Experience

The word ‘sustainable’ encompasses all three UN environmental pillars-environmental, social and economic. Through direct learning of best practice from leading organisations and players this course will share skills, tools, critical thinking and experiential learning on how to create and implement solutions across the cultural and contemporary art sector.

Educational Standard

All applicants are expected to present an approved Bachelor degree at minimum level of 2nd class honours (2.2)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)  – Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements for admission may be considered on the basis of a recognition of previous  learning  whether based on prior relevant experience or other relevant credited or non credited or learning (RPL). In such cases each applicant will be considered on a case-by-case basis based on a review of the applicant’s CV and other supporting documentation.

Please contact for further information.

Qualifying Examination – In certain cases the academic team may choose to set a qualifying assignment in order to assess an applicant’s suitability for admission.

You may apply for the programme if you are currently completing your Undergraduate Degree. NCAD will review the rest of your application If necessary, we can make you a Conditional Offer. When your degree is completed and you send us final transcripts we will upgrade this to a Full Offer.

Essential Supporting Documentation 

  • A Statement of Interest - 500 words framing your reasons for applying to the programme. Please indicate a subject/discipline area that you believe can best advance your practice.   
  • A recent CV
  • Certified transcripts of previous programmes followed
  • Certified copies of degree/ certificates and/or other appropriate third level qualifications bearing the official stamp of the institution.

Document Description

When uploading documents please make sure you clearly label them using the Description Box like in the example below 

English Language Requirements 

All programmes in NCAD are taught through English. International Applicants are asked to provide proof of their English Language Proficiency.

Full details of acceptable tests and the standard required can be found at the following link English Language Requirement.

Applications are now closed


For information on tuition fees please follow this link

There is a fee of €600 for this programme. It is free to apply. 

Scholarship Opportunity

A CFA scholarship encourages the participation of learners from sections of society that are significantly under-represented in higher education by offering one free place on all of our CFA short courses.

Find out if you are eligible to apply

Fill in the CFA@NCAD scholarship application form


Step 1: Click on Apply Now link below  | Step 2: Fill in your details

Step 3: Upload your Supporting Documents

You can also submit your application even before you upload the necessary documents

You can not add new documents after you have submitted

Additional documents can be sent to and we will upload them on your behalf

Step 4: Submit your application to NCAD

Applications close 20 November 2023

The programme is aimed at artists, curators, and cultural workers wanting to affect and implement climate solutions within their practices, studios, and exhibition infrastructures. Cultural producers have a key role to play in leading the necessary transformations on climate action. This course may suit: Curators, cultural workers, cultural producers, art administrators, established and emergent artists, activists, designers, makers, cultural producers, policy makers, biodiversity and sustainability officers, educators, lifelong learning. 


Career opportunities

The programme is designed to meet the needs of the creative sector within and beyond Ireland. 

As such the constituent awards explicitly address key requirements identified in extensive discussions and research undertaken with industry partners and representative bodies. 

On successful completion of this module students will have an astute understanding of how artists and curators are working to address and create sustainable solutions within their creative practices.

Progression opportunities 

This modules is also offered as an elective option to students enrolled in the CFA MA programmes: MA/MFA in Art and Social Action, PT MA in Service Design, PT MA in Design for Circular Economy.

Opportunities to engage

The Professional Certificate in The Sustainable Exhibition Making programme is delivered under the umbrella of the Creative Futures Academy. CFA Programmes are developed in partnership with a number of leading industry and sectoral partners including the Arts Council, Design & Craft Council of Ireland and the Institute of Designers in Ireland.

The students will work with the leading figures of practice and Irish policy makers.

Programme Contact

Seoidín O’Sullivan 
Tom O’Dea
Alice Bonnot  
Matt Packer 
Anne Kelly
Mary Cremin 
Eilish Murphy  

Special contribution from the CFA Fellow Lucia Pietroiusti, Curator working at the intersections of art, ecology, and system. She is Curator of General Ecology at the Serpentine Galleries, London as well as the curator of “Sun & Sea (Marina).”

Programme Cooridinator 

Seoidin O’Sullivan

Admissions Contact

01 636 4200