PhD Programmes

NCAD offers PhD Programmes in Design, Education, Fine Art and Visual Culture.

Doctoral study at NCAD (AD567) can be undertaken ‘by thesis’ or ‘by practice’ in the following areas (please click on headings for more details).



Fine Art

Visual Culture

Students can commence studies at the start of the autumn, spring or summer trimester. PhD Scholarships (see below) are typically awarded to allow an autumn start. It is possible to be registered on a  full time or part time basis. 

The Application Process

As a first step in the application process  you are invited to email the Admissions Office  stating your area of interest with a brief outline of your proposed research.  We recommend that you follow the format outlined in this guidance document - please click here.  

This will be forwarded to a member of academic team in one of our four schools. They will get in touch after receiving your outline. 

Once you have informally discussed your proposed research with the relevant School and it has been established that your proposed area of research and NCAD may be a good fit you will be invited to make a formal application.   An offer of a place to undertake research follows this application and an interview.

PhD Funding

Detail of the fees can be found here.

Each year NCAD offers a fixed number of PhD Scholarships to meet the cost of fees (not living costs). Details here.

NCAD students have a successful track record of funding from external bodies including the Irish Research Council – details here.



You will be sent a link to the application system.  The following documents will be required. 

i. A CV

ii. A Research Proposal - details here

iii. Two references

iv. Copies of degree certificates and other appropriate third level qualifications

v. English Language Proficiency Certificate (where English is not the applicant’s first language)

Please note that you can save and return to an incomplete application at any time.

Queries and support