PhD in Studio Art - Admissions

Burren College of Art Time, Space & Inspiration

PhD Exhibition 2012
PhD Exhibition 2012
Eileen Hutton

PhD in Studio Art - Admissions


Applicants for the PhD in Studio Art should have a masters degree in fine art (MFA). Applicants with an MFA degree may apply directly for the PhD programme.
Applicants who do not have an MFA may apply for the MFA with the possibility of progression to PhD. To apply for the MFA applicants must hold a Bachelors degree with Honours in Fine Art (First class or 2:1, or a GPA of 3.50 or above).

Enrolled MFA students have two options at the end of Year One:

• Research for three more years leading to the award of the PhD
• Research for one more year leading to the award of the MFA

Applications for the PhD are in two stages:

Stage 1 - Applicants submit:

  • Online Application form
  • An outline of your research proposal, including your proposed methodology and reading list. (See guidelines below.)
  • Portfolio (min 10 jpeg images on CD or video on DVD).  This may be submitted electronically through Dropbox or
  • 2 letters of recommendation sent by your referees.
  • Official transcripts demonstrating evidence of previous degrees.  These must be official copies in envelopes stamped and sealed by your university.
  • Copy of your Birth Certificate or Passport
  • Non-refundable application fee of €50 payable online here.

We request official hard copies of transcripts to be sent to Admissions, Burren College of Art, Newtown Castle, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, Ireland, or sent by the university/college via password protected email.  Portfolio images can be submitted electronically via Dropbox or All other application materials can be emailed to the Director of Admissions, Lisa Newman, at

All eligible applicants are then interviewed.

Stage 2 - Shortlisted applicants submit a revised research proposal for discussion and further revision until it is suitable for registration, at which time the applicant is admitted with effect from either September or January.

Offers of a place are made by NUI Galway on the recommendation of Burren College of Art.  They are subject to the applicant submitting a satisfactory PhD project proposal for registration with the university within the university’s time scale. Should the proposal not be accepted on first submission, registration will be delayed without defrayal of fees.

Guidelines for Submitting a Research Proposal:

PhD Studio Art:  Practice Based Research Proposal

• Please outline a Research Question that frames your field of enquiry. The Research Question should encapsulate your subject area and proposed objectives.
• Summarize the overall aim of your research.
• List the objectives of your research (the specific steps you will take to achieve your aim).


Context & Objectives of your Research Subject (500 words)
• Describe the field of artistic practice in and through which you wish to undertake practice based research.
• Indicate your research subject and expand upon your objectives in undertaking research.

Research Methods (600 words)
• Describe your research process in practical terms, outlining your proposed research methods.
• Provide evidence of a high level of artistic practice and the practical and critical skills required to undertake your project (please refer to the portfolio submitted with your application).
• Provide a year by year overview of how you anticipate your research process to unfold.

Research Outcomes and Contributions to New Knowledge (600 words)
• Indicate how you plan to draw together the results of your practice based research.
• Describe the proposed contribution to new knowledge that you will make through your research. How will your project expand or develop existing knowledge?
• Describe how you plan to disseminate the impact of your findings in the wider arts and research communities.

• Please list literature (books, journals, articles, websites) relevant to your research project and include full bibliographical details.