Research Degrees / PhD

NCAD offers Research Masters and PhD Programmes in Design, /education, Fine Art and Visual Culture.

Doctoral Research Programmes - AD567



Fine Art

Visual Culture

 All students follow a Structured Programme which supports their study and research in one of the pathways listed above.
Research Masters

The Structured PhD at NCAD

The PhD Journey in NCAD

Educational Standard

  1. An approved bachelor degree at a minimum level of 2nd Class Honours.

  2. The College will consider applications from holders of diplomas in art or design (minimum level 2nd Class Honours or equivalent) in a field of study related to the proposed subject matter for a master's degree.

  3. Applications on the basis of proven relevant work experience will be considered.

Those applying on the basis of 2 or 3 above may be required to pass a qualifying examination appropriate to each case, before being admitted to master's degree studies. Attendance at selected undergraduate lecture courses at NCAD, together with related written work, may be required.

All Research Programmes/PhDs must be applied for using our ONLINE APPLICATION SYSTEM. Below is a checklist applicants will need before they begin their Research Programme/PhD Application. Please take note of the programme you are applying for and have the appropriate documents ready.

*PLEASE NOTE* All Uploaded Documents must be clearly labelled in the following manner: LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_DOCUMENT  


Graduates of NCAD do not need to submit item 4 below. Please use the ONLINE APPLICATION SYSTEM by the closing dates given below.

List of Documents

  1. A recent CV
  2. Two references: Reference 1: Completed reference form from the head of the school/department in the college from which the applicant is graduating or has graduated. Reference 2: Completed reference form from the applicant's course tutor or present employer.
  3. Certified transcripts of courses followed.
  4. Certified copies of degree/ certificates and/or other appropriate third level qualifications bearing the official stamp of the institution.
  5. Research proposal. Please refer to the College guidelines on the format of the proposal. Download: Proposal Format Guidelines for PhD Applications.
  6. Application fee of €55. This non-refundable fee is payable per applicant per academic year, regardless of how many programmes are being applied for. If you apply for one programme or three programmes, the application fee remains at €55. Current NCAD Continuing Graduates do not have to pay the application fee.

Theory based applicants only: Two examples of recent written work: for example an essay, a published article, or other relevant text etc.

Studio based applicants only: If you are proposing to do a studio (i.e. practice-based) PhD you must include documentation of your previous or current work. PDF or a document with a link to a website or on-line portfolio or a link to a folder on Google Drive. Weblinks to Youtube or Vimeo should be submitted for viewing video clips. Clear titles, sizes, dates, media, dimensions and contextualisation of the imagery must accompany your submission on an Image Description Sheet.

* Please note that the submission of the online application form alone is not a complete application. Please refer to this page for the items which must accompany it. Emailed applications cannot be accepted. 

Interdisciplinary Research Projects

The College especially welcomes interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners, and we are committed to tailoring research supervision to the needs of the individual practitioner or researcher. If you have a specific interdisciplinary project that you would like to propose for study at NCAD, please contact the Head of Academic Affairs & Research at

Application Closing Dates

Please note that while there are no specific closing dates for PhD applications there are two registration dates (January and September). You are advised to submit your application in plenty of  time to ensure it is processed well ahead of up coming registration dates.


Research Proposal Guidelines For Application to the NCAD PhD Register