Professional Certificate in Art and Ecology

13 Jun 2023
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Level 9 Award NFQ



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13th June 2023

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Running again in 2024

This course is running again in 2024 (21 June – 11 July 2024)

2024 Dates

What is this course about?


Are you interested in the intersections of contemporary art with ecology? Do you want to develop your creative making and critical thinking skills in a meaningful and tangible way? If so, the Professional Certificate in Art and Ecology at NCAD may be just what you’re looking for.


This module introduces learners to fundamental principles, working methods, skills, and theories relating to the intersections of contemporary art with ecology. A special emphasis is placed on ‘learning through doing’ in a series of workshops and situated environmental learning. The programme works directly with an urban embedded novel ecology of the NCAD FIELD site, which acts as an outdoor classroom, a site for nature connection, commoning, and a testing site for multi-species futures.


By connecting to the site and its seasonal activity, learners can explore and enact nature/culture connections, expanding their research, creative making, and critical thinking skills in meaningful and liveable ways. The course also explores the social, political, economic, and historical issues that frame the ecology of the surroundings. Practitioners will expand, develop, and question their practices using the NCAD FIELD as a testing site and shared learning space.


If you’re interested in pursuing a career in contemporary art with a focus on ecology or are simply passionate about exploring the intersections of these fields, this programme is a great place to start. Enroll now to gain a deep understanding of the relationship between art and ecology and develop the skills necessary to create meaningful and impactful works in this exciting field.

What will I do on this course?


NCAD FIELD and the broader Liberties area will be the main location. 


In addition to more formal modes of presentation (lecture formats, walks, gatherings, immersive fieldwork) which will offer a broad contextual understanding, learners will work with researchers and ecologists from NovelEco of Trinity College to conduct a biodiversity survey of the NCAD FIELD site. 


This will contribute to the collective work to appraise the FIELD as a Novel Ecology in place of being zoned as brownfield or derelict space. As well as creating a database for the FIELD to further research and understanding, this survey is framed as a training in observation, care and attention to a site. This combination of theory and practice lays a foundation for follow on modules (see below). 


On successful completion of this module learners will be able to:


  1. DEFINE: Demonstrate an outline knowledge and understanding of select core principles, processes and concepts associated with the Art and Critical Ecology.
  2. CHARACTERISE: Demonstrate a working knowledge of the differing characteristics and practices associated with their contemporary creative Ecological Practices.
  3. DISTINGUISH: Demonstrate the ability to undertake analysis, evaluation and synthesis of associated debates surrounding and centered in the programme pathway.


Course work is plotted onto seasonal and environmental time. It will be initiated the week of the Summer Solstice (from June 19th) and will run over 4 weeks until mid July. This will entail 3 immersive days on site in NCAD followed by another half day total over the 4 weeks.

Wednesday 21st June  (half day)
CFA Solstice introductions in the Field
Monday 26th June  10-4pm
Monday 3rd  July 10-4pm
Monday 10th July 10-4pm.

Future Careers


Looking to the future, learners who complete the module will be well equipped for a range of exciting careers at the intersection of art and ecology. By focusing on embedded and situated learning in the Liberties, this module provides learners with the opportunity to intersect with local businesses, community groups, and civic communities.


Through these interactions, learners will have the chance to collaborate with specialists from a range of fields, including artistic, civic, activist, and scientific disciplines. For example, the NovelEco research project from Trinity is one such established exchange, offering learners a unique opportunity to engage with cutting-edge research and expertise.


The Professional Certificate module can be followed on by successive modules in Creative Collaborations, Creative Practices and a Creative Capstone upon completion of which a Diploma is awarded. This diploma lays the foundation for further study at Masters and Phd level.


With the growing importance of sustainability and environmentalism in today’s world, the demand for professionals with skills and expertise in art and ecology is only set to grow. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career in the arts, environmental activism, or community engagement, the Art and Ecology module provides the perfect foundation for a fulfilling and impactful career at the intersection of these fields.

Entry requirements


As part of your application, you will be asked to upload the following supporting documentation:


  1. A Statement of Interest – up to 500 words framing your reasons for applying to the programme. Please indicate a subject/discipline area that you believe can best advance your practice.
  2. A recent CV
  3. Certified transcripts of previous programmes followed
  4. Certified copies of degree / certificates and/or other appropriate third level qualifications bearing the official stamp of the institution.
  5. English Language Proficiency certificate 
    • This is only required if English is not your first language. 
    • You can see the full list of the English Language Qualifications NCAD recognises at this link

Fees and how to apply


There is a fee of €600 for this programme. It is free to apply.


Apply via NCAD HERE


CFA Scholarship:
A CFA scholarship encourages the participation of learners from sections of society that are significantly under-represented in higher education by offering one free place on all of our CFA short courses.
Find out if you are eligible to apply HERE 
Fill in the CFA@NCAD scholarship application form HERE


Programme Contact

Seoidin O’Sullivan:
Mark Clare:

Admissions Contact



CFA Scholarship

A CFA scholarship encourages the participation of learners from sections of society that are significantly under-represented in higher education by offering one free place on all of our CFA short courses.

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CFA Bursaries

Through our CFA programmes, we offer a range of bursaries to help you gain the in-demand skills you need to develop your career.

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