About the College

Burren College of Art Time, Space & Inspiration

About the College

Burren College of Art is a small, independent art school situated on the Wild Atlantic Way on the northwest coast of County Clare in Ireland.  It is located in the Burren, a region famous for its natural beauty and unique ecosystem.  We are an internationally recognized Irish non-profit college specializing in undergraduate, postgraduate and alternative approaches to fine art education. Our Master of Fine Art programme is accredited by the National University of Ireland, Galway.  Our undergraduate programme is designed for students in North America who wish to study abroad in Ireland for one to two semesters, and we currently partner with over 40 colleges and universities in the US and Canada.   Our workshops and residency programmes welcome practitioners from all over the world, and our Creative Difference and Leadership programmes are designed to educate non-artists in the principles and procedures of creative processes

Providing Time, Space and Inspiration for artists in the Burren landscape was the founding principle of the Burren College of Art.  Our aim is to create a learning and living environment that is conducive to artistic and personal growth.  We see ourselves as both remote and connected in that our location is rural, but we are networked and associated with major art and learning institutions around the globe.  Our artistic community travels, exhibits and presents research internationally.

Since the establishment of the College in 1994, hundreds of students and residents have come to us for the opportunity to focus intensively on their practice, to develop their minds and creative skills, to engage with our community in discourse on art in society; and to find their own artistic voice.

We provide space for reflection and introspection but we also aim to direct the contemporary artist's unique insight towards problems and solutions in the wider world.  The Burren, a microcosm of society, provides a rich context from which to connect with global issues.

To date, the core of the Burren College of Art experience has been the education of visual artists.  Our complimentary programmes explore the relationship of art to ecology, law, archaeology, business, leadership and other subjects.  Our current vision unites these disciplines and aims to connect creativity to all academic disciplines through our Centre for Creative Leadership.

The small scale of the College lends itself to direct and experiential learning rooted in place and community.  Our connections to international interdisciplinary institutions, combined with a core of creative expertise integrated in the dynamic environment and culture of the Burren, position us ideally to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world.

The Mission and Values of Burren College of Art

To be a hothouse for artists, led by artists – reflective and challenging; remote and connected; at the confluence of cultures.

  • Respect for the individual;
  • Commitment to excellence;
  • Support for students and colleagues;
  • Community spirit


About the Burren Ecotourism Network (B.E.N.)

B.E.N. is a network of tourism businesses with the objective of establishing the Burren as a premier internationally-recognised sustainable tourism region ensuring the future economic and social growth and sustainable development of its communities, environment and heritage. It seeks to support continued training, mentoring and accreditation in sustainable tourism for its members and for businesses interested in joining the Network. Read more.

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark

In 2011 the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher gained Global Geopark status, already spectacular neighbours, their coming together formed a destination of natural wonders. Making up over 530 square kilometres the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark offers diversity that is second to none. Read more.




Shannon Development LogoThe Burren College of Art MFA studios were developed with financial assistance from the European Regional Development Fund under the NPD 2000-2006 Tourism Product Development Scheme, administered by Shannon Development.