Master of (Fine Art in Studio Art)

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies

What our postgrads say

What our postgrads say
What our postgraduate students say

Course overview

This two-year full-time programme is designed to educate artists to a level appropriate to professional practice or progression to doctoral studies. Progression to PhD can be an option. The MFA is operated as an integrated and progressive learning experience. The modules Studio Research, Historical & Critical Studies and Professional Studies deal with the three main aspects of artistic practice but are operated together as elements of the one holistic experience.

The MFA is a joint Burren College of Art/National University of Ireland, Galway programme based at the Burren College of Art. Students register as full students of NUI Galway. The programme operates in association with the Royal College of Art, London and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which provide visiting faculty to the programme. 

MFA students have their own dedicated studio space at Burren College of Art and the availability of all BCA faculty as appropriate.

Key facts

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have a Bachelor’s degree with first or upper Second Class Honours in Fine Art; or a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Fine Art with a GPA of 3.50 or above; or evidence of equivalent achievement. In the case of an outstanding portfolio, a Bachelor’s degree with a lower Second Class Honours/2.2/GPA 3.0 may be accepted.

Additional requirements

All eligible applicants are interviewed either in person or by phone.

Duration: 2 years, full-time

Next start date: September 2016

ECTS weighting: 120

Average intake: 10

Closing date: 1 February 2016. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis up to this deadline. Late applications may be considered if all places are not filled.

Mode of study: Taught

Course outline

Modules listed by semester:

Year 1, Semester 1: Introduction to Graduate Art Research 

  • Studio Research 1, Introduction to Art Research Methods. 20 ECTS 
  • Professional Skills 1, Documentation as Artistic Production. 5 ECTS 
  • Historical and Critical Studies 1, Bridging Theory and Practice. 5 ECTS

 Year 1, Semester 2: Experimentation and Exploration 

  • Studio Research 2, Refinement & Coherence of Enquiry and Practice. 20 ECTS 
  • Professional Skills 2, Student Selected Project. 5 ECTS 
  • Historical and Critical Studies 2, Formalising Discourse. 5 ECTS

 Year 2, Semester 1: The Development of a Body of Work

  • Studio Research 3, Working Towards an Exhibition. 20 ECTS 
  • Professional Skills 3, Organising and Publicising an Exhibition. 5 ECTS 
  • Historical and Critical Studies 3, The Dissertation. 5 ECTS

 Year 2, Semester 2: The Resolution of a Body of Work

  • Studio Research 4, The MFA Exhibition. 20 ECTS 
  • Professional Skills 4, Exhibition Installation. 5 ECTS 
  • Historical and Critical Studies 4, The Artist's Statement. 5 ECTS

Studio practice and critique is at the core of the MFA and MA programmes, comprising studio-based individual mentoring and rigorous group critiques. Studio research modules provide for studio-based experimentation and innovation, leading to the production of a substantial body of work. Historical and Critical Studies modules engage students in intensive critical discourse on contemporary art. Professional Studies modules facilitate the development of the personal, conceptual, technical and organisational skills necessary for professional practice as an artist. They are delivered through seminars, symposia and educational visits to Dublin, London and Berlin.

Applications and selections

Apply online

Applications should be made directly to Burren College of Art (BCA).

Who teaches this course?

Requirements and assessment

Final examination is by project work in each of the modules, by exhibition at the end of the programme and by essay where applicable. Results are determined on a pass/fail (credit/no credit) basis.

Find out more

Lisa Newman
T: +353 65 707 7200 | E:

PAC code

Not applicable

Fees for this course

Programme fees are available from the Burren Collegeof Art.

Graduate profile

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