In a nutshell

Art has been defined in many ways. One definition states that art is, “culturally significant meaning, skillfully encoded in a affecting sensuous medium”. Sounds all right, but what does it mean?

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about contemporary art is that there’s no map, no agreed way of doing things. Each artist finds his or her own way. Here in Sligo we do our best to provide students with the skills and resources to make this an exciting journey. From half way through Third Year the students focus on their own studio practice. Students’ theoretical knowledge is developed within modules on Material & Visual Culture and Visual Literacy.

By this close collaboration, you will be exposed to unique and innovative activities to complement your study.

What's involved?

Entry Requirements

We are interested in people who want to pursue a career in art-making and related fields. The students on our course are all ages, and come from a wide variety of backgrounds. What unites them is that they are creative and imaginative people who can respond to the world around them in visual terms. We recruit candidates through the CAO system (min. 140 points) employing an interview to which you a maximum of ten (10) pieces of finished work should be brought, along with studies and notebooks that demonstrate the development of these.

March 13th-16th
March 20th-22nd
May 11th/12th
Sept 5th

For more details contact Elizabeth Caffrey

A solid foundation in fine art

In the first year you will concentrate on learning practical and conceptual skills. All students on the course have access to a regular visiting artist programme and regular study trips including one international trip every year. Each year is divided into two 15-week semesters.

Modules include Printmaking, Painting, Ceramics, Visual Literacy, and Digital and Lens based Media (DLBM). Thematic headings enable the co-development of technical skills and conceptual focus. A module in ‘Visual and Material Culture’ provides grounding in the history and theory of visual art and design.

A full schedule of closely directed learning modules lays a solid foundation for the following stages, as they gradually open up to more experimentation and student led research

Building out your core skills base

A more tightly focused range of modules in the second year allows concentration on the areas most applicable to your developing work and ideas. As well as Painting, Drawing, Sculptural studies & Art History you choose from a series of ‘Electives’ that include Printmaking, Ceramics, & Digital Lens Based Media.

Projects emphasizing the co-development of practical and conceptual skills provide a set of careful structures helping to guide you towards more individual areas of learning. One to one tutorials are introduced, where you will be supported by teaching staff who are all practicing artists. The visiting artists programme will introduce you to a range of diverse professional practices.

Getting ready for the workplace

The first semester completes a more advanced programme of the second year modules. In the second semester a ‘Work in Context’ module is introduced enabling you to have ‘real world’ experience of a professional art context. Lectures, gallery visits and writing tutorials support the completion of written assignments at the midway point and end of year in History of Art.

A Drawing module runs throughout the year. An over arching module, ‘Studio Practice’ sees an increasing focus on studio work as a subject incorporating some or all of the previous subject areas (and potentially others). Supported by group crits and one to one tutorials, you build towards a coherent body of work for exhibition and examination at the end of the year.

Note – At the end of third year students successfully completing the level 7 programme can choose to continue with an ‘add-on’ year and aim for the higher level 8 degree. Students successfully completing this stage and already enrolled on our level 8 programme continue into the final year.

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