Post Baccalaureate in Art & Ecology


Program Description

The Aim of the Post Baccalaureate in Art & Ecology

The Higher Diploma in Art & Ecology is the equivalent to the Post Baccalaureate in North America, and is known informally as the ‘Post Bac’. This one-year course is designed for students who wish to develop their artistic practice through engaging with ecology, earth systems and environmental change. Through fine art practice, students investigate how social and earth ecologies coexist within the unique context of the Burren. Students are assisted in finding their voices as ecologically oriented artists and are prepared for application to, and potential enrolment in, an MA/MFA programme. The Post Bac in Art & Ecology is also applicable for students who have a degree in a subject other than fine art and who wish to transfer onto a fine art educational track by progressing to an MA/MFA programme.

Through independent studio practice, seminars and group critiques, students develop their artistic identity and explore the interconnectivity between artistic practice, ecological thinking and the changing global climate. Students work with BCA’s core faculty on individually negotiated independent study. Additionally, students take core modules introducing ecosystem science and ecology and sustainability in the Burren. BCA partnering organisations Burren Beo and Burren Geopark teach across these modules. Post Bac Art & Ecology students produce a final exhibition, the quality of which should demonstrate their understanding of an ecologically oriented art practice.


Programme Description

Studio Practice and Critique is at the core of the programme, taking the form of negotiated projects for independent study that also involve portfolio preparation and career planning. Taught studio courses provide teaching in a choice of disciplines from the undergraduate curriculum where students work alongside undergraduate students.

Theory Art and Ecology examines key concepts in land-based and ecologically oriented art to contextualise the art historical field and the student’s emerging studio practice.

Introduction to Ecosystem Science provides an engagement with ecosystems through lectures and first-hand experience of the Burren.

In Ecology and Sustainability in the Burren, the stewardship of the Burren is explored as a microcosm of global ecological and environmental concerns.

You will also visit galleries and museums in Dublin with optional visits to London and Berlin.

Course Structure

Year 1, Semester 1

  • Studio Practice and Critique 1 (Independent Study) 20 ECTS
  • Theory and Art & Ecology (Taught) 5 ECTS
  • Introduction to Ecosystem Science (Taught) 5 ECTS

Year 1, Semester 2

  • Studio Practice and Critique 3 (Independent Study) 20 ECTS
  • Ecology & Sustainability in the Burren (Taught) 5 ECTS
  • Studio Practice and Critique 4 (Taught) 5 ECTS – optional
  • Studio Practice and Critique 5 (Taught) 5 ECTS – optional

Total for Post Baccalaureate Art & Ecology: 60 ECTS

English-Language Module

The Post Baccalaureate Programme at Burren College of Art offers students an optional English Language Module for speakers of English as a second language. The aim of this module is to provide students with the essential English language skills for academic work at the Master’s level. Students will gain the language competence in academic English to write up projects and a final thesis to the required standard.

This 100 hour English Language Module is also a preparation for the IELTS academic test. Students who want to proceed to a Masters Degree in the English speaking world generally require an IELTS score of 6.5 or 7.00. The entry requirement for the NUIG recognized Masters programme at Burren College of Art is an IELTS score is 6.5 or a TOEFL IBT score of 92 (or equivalent). As the Post Baccalaureate Programme of the Burren College of Art requires an English language entry level score of 5.5 in IELTS or 68 in TOEFL IBT (or equivalent) the English Language module will enable students to attain the higher score to allow them to enter the Master's programme.

The Module will be provided by Clare Language Centre; an ACELS recognized English Language School on the Burren College of Art Campus. The cost for the additional module is €1500.


The application deadline is 1st February annually, although late applications may be accepted if all places have not been filled. All eligible applicants are interviewed either in person or by telephone. Applicants should have a Bachelors Degree with first or upper second class honours in Fine Art, or a GPA of 3.50 or above; or evidence of equivalent achievement. In the case of an outstanding portfolio, a Bachelors Degree with a lower second class/2.2 honours/GPA of 3.0 may be accepted. A major in Fine Art is not a requirement.

Overseas Applicants

Overseas applicants from outside the EU must comply with Irish immigration rules regarding passport, visa, financial viability and evidence of student status (e.g. letter of acceptance from the College).

English Language Requirements for non-native speakers of English: Applicants in this category should have competence in English, which is the language of tuition. They will be required to supply an IELTS unless their primary degree has been taken through English, certification of which must be supplied.

Cost & Fees

Tuition Fees:

  • EU Fee: €9,500
  • International Fee: €18,500
  • Programme Fee: €495
  • Activity Fee: €390
  • Optional Faculty-led trip to London: €690
  • Optional Faculty-led trip to Berlin: €690
  • Graduation Fee: €75

For more information, please visit our website at:

Contact: Lisa Newman at

Last updated Sep 2019

About the School

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

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