Course Overview

The Higher Diploma in Fine Art is a joint Burren College of Art/University of Galway programme based at the Burren College of Art.  It is equivalent to the American Post Baccalaureate programme and is known informally as the 'Post Bac'. Students of the Post Bac register as students of both Burren College of Art and University of Galway. The programme operates in association with the Royal College of Art, London, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, both of which provide visiging faculty to the programme.

The aim of the programme is to assist graduate students to identify their artistic identity and interests and to prepare them for the next step in their artistic careers.

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

Scholarship information available at

Applications and Selections

Apply online Applications should be made directly to Burren College of Art (BCA). All eligible applicants are interviewed either in person or by phone.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Assessment and 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.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally have a primary degree (at NFQ Level 7 or 8). A major in fine art is not required for this programme. All eligible applicants are interviewed either in person or by phone.

Additional Requirements

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

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


1 year (2 semesters) full-time

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Apply by 1 February 2024: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all places have been filled.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting



Course code

Not applicable. Apply at

Course Outline

Studio practice and critique is at the core of the programme, taking the form of negotiated projects for independent study that also involve portfolio preparation and career planning. Studio courses provide teaching in a choice of disciplines where you work alongside undergraduate students. Historical and Critical Studies examines key concepts in modern and contemporary art to assist you in contextualising your emerging art practice.

The Burren: Culture and Environment introduces you to a wide range of environmental and cultural studies in the west of Ireland, ranging from natural history and geology to archaeology to modern history. You will also visit galleries and museums in Dublin, with optional trips to London and Berlin offered.

Please visit: for full programme description. 

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates have found employment in professions associated with the practice of art.

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

Programme fees are available from the Burren College of Art.

Find out More

Lisa Newman
Director of Admissions
T: +353 65 707 7200


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