N.C.A.D. Certificate in Drawing & Visual Investigation

Details of this course can be found on the N.C.A.D. website




This part time Certificate is one of the routes that mature students may take in order to qualify for entry into the part time Diploma in Art and Design.  It is also an enjoyable standalone course for anyone interested in broadening their knowledge and skills in the visual arts.  You will learn how to analyze and develop your ideas to form a body of work that demonstrates consistency in your themes and identity as an artist.

As this course is aimed at conceptual approaches, and features a vast amount of contemporary art, it can be difficult for someone with little experience in these areas to allow this frame of abstract thinking to set in.  For me, I experienced quite a large learning curve throughout this course as (except for art classes in school) I had previously only ever attended a 10 week course of still life classes.  I therefore had to work intensely on my craft in taking subjects and themes and seeking different approaches and ways to use these subjects and themes in a conceptual manner throughout my work.  There is a certain amount of fear that you may need to shed in order to freely share your ideas in front of the class.  It is important to conquer this fear because no matter how silly or simplistic these ideas may originally appear to be, when researched and studied as an ongoing project theme they can often prove to be extremely important factors to your body of work.  It can take time to open up and share ideas, especially when you have little or no experience of these approaches to contemporary art, but it is a great feeling once you reach a point of confidence where you are comfortable in sharing your ideas with the class.  This can thus assist you in gaining more social confidence in yourself and in public speaking.  I had little knowledge of contemporary art before attending this course and during the year I realized the importance of studying other great artists (especially those of whom may influence you and draw inspiration from similar themes to you).  It is important to examine how these artists investigate subject matters and build upon themes in their work. 

I believe that I would have benefited quite a lot from attending one of the N.C.A.D. Audit Credit courses preceding this Certificate course as it would have allowed me to build upon a stronger foundation in contemporary art.  The majority of other students in the Certificate course had previously taken courses (such as the Audit Credit classes) before the Certificate course and so I felt at a bit of a disadvantage and thus playing catch up with much of the class, however, I still enjoyed throwing myself into my work and knowing that with each piece I was growing and evolving a step closer to discovering my identity as an artist.



The structure of the Certificate is broken up as follows (click on each of the below to learn more):


1) Approaches / Exercises & Techniques / Tools & Materials

a) Approaches

b) Exercises & Techniques

c) Tools & Materials


2) Project 1


3) Project 2


4) Project 3


5) Visual Culture – Lectures / Essays