MA Art in the Contemporary World @NCAD

Art in the Contemporary World is an intensive masters programme focusing on contemporary art practices and their critical, theoretical, historical and social contexts. The course is highly distinctive in the manner that it bridges the relationship between theory and practice by creating exciting study opportunities for both practitioners and theorists of art.  The course is engaged with international debates and practices, but also strongly connected to appropriate networks in Ireland, with courses and events being run in collaboration with Ireland’s major cultural institutions.

We welcome graduates from a variety of backgrounds, including: fine art; art history; philosophy; literature; film studies; architecture; communications; or design. The course is particularly attractive to overseas students because of the extent to which its content connects with programmes at major cultural institutions. Art in the Contemporary World regularly collaborates institutions in Ireland such as: Irish Museum of Modern Art; Irish Film Institute; Dublin City Gallery; Kerlin Gallery (Ireland’s leading commercial gallery). We also engage in collaborative events with international projects such as The Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and the Former West programme of conventions and symposia in mainland Europe. Seminars have also been held in collaboration with the Berlin Biennale and Royal College of Art (London).   

The MA Art in the Contemporary World creates a valuable forum for debate on contemporary art theory and practice, regularly hosting public events involving course participants. Bringing key international speakers to NCAD is an essential part of this process.  During recent academic years the course has staged numerous events that have made this possible.  These have included: the Curating in the Contemporary World seminar series that featured presentations by high profile figures from major international institutions and the Art Publishing in the Contemporary World seminar which introduced students to prominent figures from academia and art publishing.    In recent years guests have included: Massimiliano Gioni, director Venice Biennale (2013); Katrina Brown, director of the Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Art; Kathrin Rhomberg, curator of the 2010 Berlin Biennale; Frieze magazine senior editor Dan Fox; film-maker Kenneth Anger; writer Rebecca Solnit; eminent American art critic Irving Sandler; curator Elena Filipovic; art writer Maria Fusco and artists Lynda Benglis, Liam Gillick, Phil Collins, Susan Philipsz, Duncan Campbell and Walid Raad.   

The external assessor on the course is also a noted scholar and critic who brings an important international dimension to the development of the course: she is Dr. Vivian Rehberg, Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam and Frieze Magazine contributing editor.    The rich and diverse range of module options on offer within the MA Art in the Contemporary World is another feature that will be of undoubted interest to students from the United States. These study options may open up exciting areas of study that potential applicants may not have had a chance to address thus far in their academic careers.    

Seminar options include:

  • Art and Writing;
  • Theoretical Paradigms;
  • The Politics of Participation
  • ; Contemporary Art and Literature;
  • Critical Curating;
  • Cinematic Visions;
  • Art and the Everyday;
  • Art/Aesthetics/Environment;
  • Urban Interventions (with the School of Architecture, University College Dublin);
  • Global Modernities (with the Dept. of Art History and Cultural Policy, University College Dublin).   

Alumni: Graduates from the MA Art in the Contemporary World have gone on to receive international awards and residencies, to take up respected curatorial positions and to publish writings in prominent academic journals and art magazines. MA ACW graduates have taken up positions, for example, at: David Zwirner Gallery, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Serpentine Gallery, London; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Glucksman Gallery Cork; Rua Red, Dublin; Visual Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow; Belfast Exposed; Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin; Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin.

Tuition Costs: €16520

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