PhD Entry Requirements

Applications now open for all postgraduate programmes in Design, Fine Art, Visual Culture and Education at NCAD.

NCAD operates a rolling closing date for PhD applications. Applications will be reviewed on receipt, and offers will be sent also on a rolling basis. Applications will continue to be accepted until a programme is full. Applications will remain open only if a programme has open places remaining, so please plan to submit your application as soon as possible.

Please contact the Admissions Office for further information


Educational Standard

A candidate seeking admission to a course of study and research leading to a PhD must fulfil one of the following criteria: 

a) A minimum of an upper second class degree or equivalent in a relevant honours Bachelor’s degree.  The College will consider applications from holders of diplomas in art or design (minimum level upper second  Class Honours or equivalent).

b) A relevant master’s degree; or 

c) The candidate has demonstrated other evidence of academic standing and/or relevant professional experience 

Those applying on the basis of a) or c) above may be required to pass a qualifying examination appropriate to each case, before being admitted to doctoral degree studies. Participation in selected courses at NCAD, together with related written work, may be required.

All PhDs must be applied for using our ONLINE APPLICATION SYSTEM. Below is a checklist applicants will need before they begin their 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.

PhD Studentships

PhD studentships will be allocated to applicants undertaking research that supports the major research themes of the College. 

  • Design Learning
  • Visual Culture   - contemporary art and design criticism and/or the mediation and display of Irish material culture 
  • Art & Public
  • Art Design & Health
  • Education – Art and Design Critical Pedagogies

Please contact the NCAD Admissions Office for further information on PhD studentships

List of Documents

- A recent CV

- 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.

- Certified transcripts of courses followed.

- Certified copies of degree/ certificates and/or other appropriate third level qualifications bearing the official stamp of the institution.

- Research proposal. Please refer to the College guidelines on the format of the proposal. Download: Proposal Format Guidelines for PhD Applications.

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.

The Structured PhD at NCAD

The PhD Journey in NCAD

Research Proposal Guidelines For Application to the NCAD PhD Register

Proposal Format guidelines for PhD applications



More information:
Fiona Cleary
Assistant Student Recruitment and Admissions Officer / +353 1 636 4218