Course Overview

The two-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) provides an immersive education in the development of professional practice as an ecologically oriented artist while the one-year MA provides a masters-level education in art appropriate for a diverse range of applications.

Students on both programmes produce a final exhibition of both personal and collaborative work, which will demonstrate the skills necessary to survive and thrive as practising artists. Students will also demonstrate capabilities for critical enquiry through fine art, with the ability to evaluate their work through an informed grasp of the social, cultural and theoretical concerns shaping the discourse on contemporary art and ecological issues.

MFA students will also propose and implement an achievable, interdisciplinary collaborative project that engages with ecological/environmental concerns in the Burren or on a global scale.

Studio research provides for the development of artistic practice alongside students in the MFA/MA Studio Art. These modules provide for studio-based investigation and experimentation leading to the production of a substantial body of work. Theory and Art and Ecology engages with historical and contemporary discourses informing arts practice and ecological issues. In the first year an Introduction to Ecosystem Science provides an understanding of the operation of ecosystems through lectures and first-hand experience of the Burren. This is extended in Ecology and Sustainability in the Burren, which examines the stewardship of the area as a microcosm of environmental and ecological issues. Professional Studies modules are taken with the MFA/MA Studio Art students and focus on the development of professional skills necessary to survive and thrive as an artist.

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Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

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/2.2 hons/GPA 3.0 may be accepted. All eligible applicants are interviewed either in person or by phone.

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Applicants who do not meet the minimum programme entry criteria are encouraged to contact Burren College of Art to discuss eligibility under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. Such applicants may be interviewed to ascertain their suitability for the programme. Recognition of Prior Learning for module exemptions is not available on this programme due to external professional accreditation requirements. 


1 year, 3 semesters, full-time (MA); 2 years, 4 semesters, full-time (MFA); 1 year, 2 semesters, full-time (Post Baccalaureate)

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Apply by 1 February 2024: applications will continue to be considered on a rolling review.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting



Course code

Not applicable. Apply online via the Burren College of Art:

Course Outline

Studio Research provides for the development of artistic practice alongside students of the MFA/MA in Studio Art. These modules provide for studio-based experimentation and innovation, leading to the production of a substantial body of work.

Studio Methodologies are a series of taught studio courses examining the methodology of Art & Ecology with reference to historical examples.

Theory and Art & Ecology consists of seminars contextualising the theoretical framework of Art & Ecology.

In addition, Environmental Studies draws on expertise from within the College of Science at University of Galway in engaging with scientific approaches to ecology, with the first module led by an environmental scientist.

Lectures and field trips provide first-hand experience of the Burren as a microcosm of environmental and ecological issues, while a distance-learning module examines the social and political context of global environmental issues.

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Optional EN601: Writing Workshop: Poetry - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional EN529: Dissertation - 30 Credits - Semester 1
Optional IS105: Young Ireland to the Free State: Writing in English, 1849-1922 - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional FR6101: Language, Gender and Power - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional EN527: Literature Of North America - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional IS106: Decline & Revival: Language, Literature & Society 1800-1939 - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional FM6101: Ireland on Screen - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Required EN6116: Writing and Research - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional DT6123: Playwright's Workshop I - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional GR6100: Language & Intercultural Communication - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional EN6143: Media for Social Change - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN6139: Diversity and Activism in YA Fiction - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional FM6119: Film, Politics, and Colonialism - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN547: Literature And Colonialism - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional DT6137: Irish Theatre and Performance Histories - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN570: Book History - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional DT6135: Playwright's Workshop II: Dramaturgical Approaches to Craft - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN6113: Writing Workshop: Poetry 2 - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN573: Travel Literature - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN6138: Digital Scholarly Editing: Theory and Practice - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EN6126: Interrogating Literary History - 10 Credits - Semester 2

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduate artists find work in related fields, such as art curating, gallery administration and art education. The knowledge, skills and understanding developed in this programme are transferable to a wide variety of applications, depending on the individual graduate.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

For all fee information contact Burren College of Art.

Find out More

Lisa Newman
Director of Admissions,
Burren College of Art,
Newtown Castle,
Co. Clare.
T: +353 65 7077 200


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