N.C.A.D. Diploma in Art & Design
Details of this course can be found on the N.C.A.D. website.
The typical route for entry into this part time Diploma is for mature students to either complete the one year part time Certificate in Drawing and Visual Investigation, or, the Certificate in Visual Arts Practice with N.C.A.D. The Certificate in Visual Arts Practice is a more flexible route as you can choose from many different modules over a 3 year period; one such module being the Print/Drawing/Mixed media module which I attended. the year prior to entering the Diploma. Applicants for the Diploma in Art & Design will also need to submit a portfolio and application form - details for this submission are available through the N.C.A.D. website.
Upon the completion of the Diploma in Art & Design, students are eligible to apply for year two of an undergraduate full-time degree programme in Fine Art or Design at N.C.A.D. or another college of art and design. Although the Diploma is provided on a part time basis, it is worth noting the intensive studio time, the level of commitment and the ongoing work that is required while attending this course (there’s also some day slots for classes that you will need to attend during the year - a list of these dates will be provided to you before the course commences). While studying for this Diploma, I also had a full time job where I was frequently expected to work long hours and I was also studying for a Certificate in International Financial Services....which basically meant I hardly slept all year!! Each and every one of the modules (see below for the list of modules) requires a project to be submitted at the end of the module and so there is ongoing project work for the entire course year.
The great thing with this Diploma course is that it covers a very broad range of areas, skills and materials and it therefore helps you to test your skills in different areas in order to find your strongest field. I felt that I was growing and evolving a step closer to discovering my identity as an artist while attending previous courses with N.C.A.D. but that it was finally during this Diploma year when I found my niche and the type of work that I enjoy the most as an artist. The structure of the course is quite well planned as you attend modules in specific subjects for the first half of the year and then, when you have established your areas of interest, you will have the opportunity to focus on your personal areas of choice while working on your final project towards the end of the year. There is great support and interaction with the other students in the class and this thus provides you with another great medium to learn and develop your skills as you will be observing each others work and learning new techniques/artists/ideas from each other. The course Aims and Objectives are listed on the website.
80% of the course is studio based and 20% is allocated to visual culture and contextual studies. Although I thought that the visual culture lecture syllabus looked very interesting from the topic list that was distributed to us, I was actually very disappointed when we were provided with no lecture notes throughout the year. Many of the other students also mentioned that they were disappointed with the lack of notes provided to us. I thus provided feedback at the end of the year stating that, if notes could not be provided to us, then it may be beneficial to include something like a book list specific to each topic covered within the course so that we could study the topics for ourselves. The email reply that I received back from the Visual Culture tutor was not very nice :-O
Much of what was previously learnt in Techniques and Approaches (from prior courses with N.C.A.D.) is now taken as known by students. The structure of the Diploma is broken up as follows:
3D 1. Arte Povera
2D 3. Photography
OTHER 5. Easter Electives (Choose from either Printmaking, or, Filmmaking)
6. Visual Culture – ongoing lectures and essays throughout the year
FINAL 7. Multidisciplinary - prelim to Final Project