Postgraduate Courses in Art & Design

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Information About Postgraduate Courses in Art & Design?


The study of Art & Design as a postgraduate offers a number of career options, not simply as an active artist, but also in related fields such as teaching, research and art appreciation.

Postgraduate Courses in Art & Design Trends

Art & Design falls under the overall category of creative arts & design. In 2015-2016 in Ireland, a little over 200 students enrolled in postgraduate courses related to creative arts & design, including art & design. This made creative arts & design the 11th most popular subject for postgraduate students in Ireland in 2015-2016.

Research Subjects for Postgraduate Courses in Art & Design

The actual research subject and eventually thesis you prepare during your postgrad course in art & design will depend on which are available within your specific curriculum. However, typical research subjects could be:

  • Advanced textiles
  • Art research – ongoing research into fine art, as well as its relation to culture and society.
  • Sustainable consumption – study into the sustainability of products and services across a broad spectrum from building construction to clothing.
  • Global cultures of textile and dress – research into localised textile production and clothing design.
  • Lace heritage – study into the history of lace since the mid-18 th century.
  • Digital craft and embodied knowledge – research into emerging technologies and their usage and effect upon art and design.
  • Advanced design and manufacturing engineering centre – the study of design from a commercial viewpoint and how better design can improve manufacturing and engineering.

Specialisations in Postgraduate Courses in Art & Design

Many people who decide to study art & design towards a postgrad qualification, do so by taking a course specialised in a single aspect of art & design. Typical specialisations that would have specific courses are:

  • Decorative arts
  • Design history and visual culture
  • Fashion and textile design
  • Fashion marketing and management
  • Fine art
  • Graphic design
  • Narrative and interactive arts
  • Photography

Studying Postgraduate Courses in Art & Design for Professional Reasons

Art & design is a postgraduate qualification which opens up a very wide range of potential career paths. Depending upon the specialisation that has been studied, careers could range from a professional artist to an industrial design consultant.

Job Roles Which Completing Postgraduate Courses in Art & Design Will Potentially Open Up

Studying towards a postgraduate diploma will open up a wide range of career options in related industries. Career prospects will differ depending on whether the student focuses more on the artistic aspect than the design aspect and vice versa. Career options include:

  • Heritage and museums sector – working in art galleries, museums and other institutions which care for and display art.
  • Arts education – working as a teacher or lecturer teach art & design related subjects to students.
  • Arts and cultural policy – working for government bodies, or other advisory councils to determine art policy.
  • Research and development – of either art or design related subjects such as sustainability of design or new design techniques.

In Conclusion

Studying for a postgraduate qualification offers a binary option to students. Whether they focus more on art or more on design, then the career prospects are significantly different. Of the two, a focus on design has far more commercial viability. However, a focus on art is likely only chosen by students who fully intend to work in a purely art-related field. Overall, a postgraduate qualification is a solid, well-rounded option, with some solid career prospects.

Mac Wheeler

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