PHD in Studio Art

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We are now accepting applications for the 2020/2021 entry year with a priority deadline of February 1, 2020.  Any inquiries may be directed to Lisa Newman, Director of Admissions, at


  • 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- Submit a Research Proposal and Application

  • Online Application form (see below)
  • An outline of your research proposal, including your proposed methodology and reading list (See guidelines below).
  • Portfolio (min 10 jpeg images or link to video).  Your portfolio may be submitted electronically through GoogleDocs 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 Birth Certificate.
  • 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 and video links can be submitted electronically via GoogleDocs or All other application materials can be emailed to the Director of Admissions, Lisa Newman at

All eligible applicants are then interviewed.

Research Proposal

For full consideration, research proposals must adhere to the following guidelines. Please note that we are unable to consider proposals that do not adhere to this format.

PhD Studio Art: Practice Based Research Proposal

Content Guidelines for Submitting a Research Proposal

Project Abstract (200 words)

Research Question

Literature Review

PhD Application Form

Submit your application form here.


PLEASE NOTE: Once you’ve submitted your application, you should immediately see an acknowledgement page confirming the submission.  If you do not see this, please contact Lisa Newman at to make sure your application has been received by the College.

Stage 2 - Shortlisted Applicants

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.

Non-discrimination Policy

Burren College of Art does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, or veteran status in any phase of its employment process, in any phase of its admission or scholarship programs, or other aspects of its educational programs or activities.

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