January 8, 2016

Graduate studies: PhD, MFA, and Post-Bac programs

Burren College of Art
Jeffrey Michael Austin, Digging a Hole, 2015. Installation.

Burren College of Art is an internationally recognised, not-for-profit independent college located in the unique environment of the Burren—an ancient, enigmatic and paradoxical limestone landscape on Ireland’s Atlantic edge. BCA enables students to develop an ideas-led artistic practice that is flexible, adaptable and interdisciplinary. Our unique location and student centred model provides students with; time, to build an immersive practice free from distraction; space to test ideas, research and experiment; and inspiration to take risks to develop a vital and sustainable arts practice.

Graduate studies at BCA are centred on the idea of art as a process of enquiry. Research takes place in an interdisciplinary studio-based environment supported by theoretical discourse and professional studies. Students choose their own field of enquiry with which to develop a cohesive body of work.  Learning and teaching is carried out through studio visits, faculty and peer critiques, individual mentoring with visiting artists, seminars and critical discussion on historical and contemporary issues in art. BCA’s Graduate programs are accredited by the National University of Ireland, Galway and operated in association with the Royal College of Art, London and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

We are now accepting applications for the following programs, with entry in September 2016:

PhD in Studio Art
The aim of this four-year full-time (six year part-time) research programme is the generation of a contribution to knowledge and understanding in contemporary art by means of enquiry conducted through studio research and, where relevant, other research methods.

MFA Studio Art
The MFA provides an immersive education in the development of professional practice as an artist.  As an MFA graduate you will produce a final exhibition, the quality of which will demonstrate that you have developed the knowledge and skills necessary to survive and thrive as a practicing artist.  You will also demonstrate capabilities for critical enquiry through fine art, with the ability to evaluate your work through an informed grasp of the social, cultural and theoretical concerns shaping discourse on contemporary fine art research and practice.

MFA Art & Ecology
The Art & Ecology graduate programme at BCA provides an immersive education in ecologically-oriented arts practice.  In addition to studio practice, lectures and fieldtrips provide first-hand experience of the Burren as a microcosm of environmental and ecological issues while a final, distance-learning module examines the social and political context of global environmental issues.

This one-year course assists you to find your voice as an artist and prepares you for application to an MFA programme.  The Post-Bac is also applicable for students who have a degree in a subject other than fine art and who wish to transfer onto a fine art educational track by progressing to an MFA programme. As a student who is in the process of finding your artistic identity, the Post-Bac facilitates the development of your voice and studio practice through independent study.

Burren College of Art is offering three graduate scholarships for programmes beginning September 2016, valued at 4,400–5,000 EUR each.  Applications will close on February 1 and decisions, which will be based on merit and evidence of financial need, will be announced in April.

Further details on all graduate programmes, application information and scholarships is available at or contact Lisa Newman at [email protected] with any questions.

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