BA (Hons) in Fine Art

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 505*
  • Course Code SG244
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 4

Course Summary

The course is designed to offer students the widest possible experience in materials and media. Ceramics, Drawing, Digital Media, History/Theory of Art, Painting, Photography & Video, Printmaking, Sculptural Studies, Work In Context, Visual Literacy and Visual Material Culture are taught with an ever increasing focus on the student’s own research and art-making initiatives as the years progress.

Why study Fine Art?

The obvious answer is to help you acquire the skills that will help you to become an artist. Studying Fine Art encourages students to develop individual ways of thinking and of expressing themselves in visual and theoretical terms. It fosters an awareness and responsiveness to the world around you and within you. It recognises the value of individual approaches, and provides an environment for learning and confidence building that can be manifested in numerous personal and professional ways. One of the most important things to remember about Fine Art is that there is no map, no agreed way of doing things. At IT Sligo we provide students with the skills and resources to make this an exciting journey.

Programme Overview

Students are equipped with the practical skills, knowledge and intellectual resources necessary for a rewarding career in the arts. Contemporary and historical art practices are examined through a series of lectures, seminars and written assignments.

As students progress through the course, there is an increasing emphasis on individual research and outcomes. External engagements include a regular visiting artist lecture series and national and international study trips. Students also have the opportunity to make collaborative projects with local and national art institutions.

Year One

Modules include Visual Literacy, Colour Painting, Printmaking, Visual and Material Culture, Digital Lens-based media and Ceramics and Raku Glazing.

Year Two

Students develop their skills in many of the modules introduced in Year One such as Painting and Printmaking as well as undertaking modules in Drawing, Press moulding and Slip Casting and Sculpture Studies. 

Year Three

Students start to elect modules from here and increase their use of individual studio space, learn about the history and theory of art as well as completing the Work-In Context module. This module, though not a placement, offers real-world experience within the arts sector and students often complete this module through Studio residency and curation projects.

Year Four

Studio practice is emphasised. Students also conduct self-directed research in History Theory as well as practice based Critical Writing. 

Click here to view the IT Sligo Fine arts Flickr account and image gallery

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at IT Sligo are available for download below:

Points are a combination of academic results and portfolio/interview. The portfolio/interview carries a weighting of a maximum of 100 additional points to academic results for applicants under 23 years of age.

As this degree has a portfolio/interview it is classed as a restricted course on the CAO. Therefore, anybody interested must have this included as part of their CAO application before February 1st.

For portfolio/interview you are asked to have a maximum of ten pieces of finished work, along with studies and notebooks that demonstrate the development of your ideas. Your artwork should reflect an engagement with some or all of the subject areas on our course. You should provide evidence of an ability to observe, analyse and render a variety of subjects. You should try to demonstrate an ability to explore and devlop an idea, or series of ideas.

Mathematics is not required to study this degree.

Career Opportunities

While many of our graduates go on to become practicing artists including painters, printmakers, ceramicists, film-makers and photographers, others choose to make careers in related areas such as arts administration and arts management, exhibition curation, public art administration and education.

A good number of our graduates are gallery owners and administrators in art centres, local authority arts offices, galleries and museums both nationally and internationally.

Our graduates are also art educators including teachers and lecturers, community based arts practitioners and art therapists, working in schools, colleges, community based groups, hospitals and health boards. Fine art graduates from IT Sligo frequently go on to do postgraduate study in colleges in Ireland, UK and abroad.

Further Study

Graduates of the Level 8 Honours Degree may progress to an MA in Fine Art or a cognate discipline.

Master of Arts in Creative Practice


"It's challenging in a good way. I like how open it is to pursue what you want to do creatively."

Hannah - BA (Hons) in Fine Art graduate, award winner and solo show exhibitionist who is currently studying to be a secondary school art teacher.

"The large studio facilities gave me time, space and freedom to explore multiple mediums. I also appreciated the variety and expanse of books available online and in the Library.”

Stephanie - BA (Hons) in Fine Art graduate

Did you know?

Previous study in Art is not an entry requirement. We are interested in people who want to pursue a career in art-making and related fields. The students on our course are all ages, and come from a wide variety of backgrounds. What unites them is that they are creative and imaginative people who can respond to the world around them in visual terms.

Each student has individual work space and access to specialised printmaking, ceramics, photography and digital media workshops.

All lecturers on our BA in Fine Art are practising artists.

External engagements include a regular visiting artist lecture series and national and international study trips.

Students also have the opportunity to make collaborative projects with local and national art institutions.

Click here to view the IT Sligo Fine arts Flickr account and image gallery

Course Format

Semester 1

Ceramics 1: Introduction to Clay Origins, Processes and Surface Treatments.05
Digital Lens Based Media One Intro Photography Film and Digital05
Painting 1 (Colour, Light and Composition)05
Printmaking 1 (Simple printmaking techniques)05
Visual and Material Culture 1 (Introduction & Historical Survey)05
Visual Literacy05

Semester 2

Ceramics 2: Extruded Form and Raku Glazing05
Digital Lens Based Media Two Intro to Digital Imaging05
Drawing 2 (Foundation in Drawing Mediums)05
Painting 2 (Introduction to Painting on Supports)05
Printmaking 2 (Advanced printmaking techniques)05
Visual and Material Culture 2 (Frameworks of Modernity)05

Semester 3

Ceramics 3: Developing Multiples, Press Moulding and Slip Casting05
Digital Lens Based Media 3 - Photography05
Drawing 3 (Expanding Applications)05
Painting 3 (Process and Concepts)05
Printmaking 3 (Project based printmaking 1)05
Visual and Material Culture 3: (The Contemporary World)05

Semester 4

Ceramics 4: Amalgamations, Thrown Form and Glaze Technology.05
Digital Lens Based Media 4 - Intro to Video Production05
Drawing 4 (Sustaining Practices)05
Painting 4 (Extending the Medium)05
Printmaking 4 (Project based printmaking 2)05
Visual and Material Culture 4 (Art & Social Practice)05

Semester 5

Drawing 5: Identifying Concerns05
History / Theory of Art 1 (Exhibition Catalogue Essay)05
Practice 1: Establishing Direction10
Sculpture Studies: Land Art, Ephemera and the Site Specific.05
Yeats Academy Creative Interdisciplinary Practice I05

Semester 6

Drawing 6: Refining a Practice05
History / Theory of Art 2 (Contextual Research)05
Practice 2 : Developing an Exhibition15
Work in Context (Identifying the Future)05

Semester 7

History / Theory (Undergraduate Thesis)10
Studio Practice 1: Preparing the groundwork10

Semester 8

Professional Practice (Developing Professionalism)05

Semester 9

Critical Writing: (Practice based) 05
Studio Practice 2 : Practice, Context and Display30