N.C.A.D. Diploma in Art & Design

Visual Culture




I aim to continue adding notes to this section in relation to some of the topics that we covered in our Visual Culture lectures.  Unfortunately the lecturers/tutors did not distribute any lecture notes for this module and so I relied on hand written notes that I taken during lectures (both other class members and I requested more notes for this module, however, we were advised that we should just listen throughout the lectures and try to remember any areas that interested us).  By the end of the year I found it quite difficult to make sense of a lot of my scribbled notes and so I suggested to the tutors that they could perhaps also include a handout sheet that would highlight book/s related to each of the topics covered so as to make it easier for us to research the areas of interest to us.  Disappointingly, I received quite an angry reply from one of the tutors in relation to this (and no reply from the other tutor).  The tutor asked what sort of expectations I had of the lecturers as they didn't have time for this!  I really think that feedback should be encouraged and that it would have been helpful to have a guideline on what to study seeing as there were no notes to quote.  I was generally interested in learning more on the majority of the subjects and I thought that this would be useful going forth for other classes in the future and so I was quite taken aback by this reply.

Topics Covered

1 What is Modernism?

2 What is Contemporary Art?


3 What is Art History?

4 What is Visual Culture? 

5 The Social Meanings of Space

6  Visit - Dublin Contemporary - Optional

7 What is Design History?


8 Realism, Modernism and Modernity in 19th Century Art

9 Industrialisation and the rise of Modernist Design

10 The Retreat from Modernity in 19th Century Art

11 Women, society and Art in the 19th Century


12 Landscape in Art: Nature vs. Culture

13 Land Art

14 Green Design


15 The Photograph as Document

16 The Photograph as Art

17 Art


18 Issues of Identity in Contemporary Art

19 Local National and Global Identities in Contemporary Art

20 Fashion and Identity

21 Concepts of Beauty, Judgement and Taste

22 Visit to a Gallery/ Exhibition


23  The Neutrality of the Museum Display

24 The Display of Modern Art

25 Display, Spectacle and Consumer Society







We had two assignments to complete during the Diploma year.  In my first assignment I received a second class honours, however, it was noted that the area that I needed to improve on was in my critique skills.  For my second assignment I received a first class honours.  Both of my assignments are available to read through the below links:


Assignment One:  

Christopher Wool exhibition: read my review here

Assignment Two:

Paul Seawright exhibition: read my review here