Contemporary Visual Culture / Cultúr Físiúil Comhaimseartha

September 2020, Semester 1 & February 2021, Semester 2: Classes take place in Grangegorman, Central Quad

2019 CAO Points - 310

Minimum Number of





Minimum Grade in





Applications from QQI Level 5 are welcome. Further details at

Mature applicants (23+) are welcome. Further details at

This programme offers the benefits of an arts degree taught in an art and design school. You’ll learn about the theory and practice of visual culture across the fields of art, design, film, photography, curating, and digital and print media.

The programme brings past and present together to show how visual culture functions in today’s world. Taught in tandem with studio-based courses, it provides an industry-focused grounding in theories of contemporary visual culture, art and design history and a range of related subjects including aesthetics, gender studies and exhibitions.

The teaching applies theory to practice that features project-based learning, work placements, and visits by leading industry practitioners.

With a blend of individual and group learning, written assignments and presentation work, you’ll apply your research to the contemporary industries of visual culture: from art galleries, design companies and museums to publishing and media outlets.

You learn about: key trends and debates in recent cultural history, the recent histories of art and design, the main theories underpinning contemporary visual culture, research practices, critical methods of analysis.

You’ll undertake research on visual culture relevant to contemporary society and collaborate on team projects to organise and curate publications and events on visual culture.

Our placement module (Real-World Engagement) lasts 12 weeks in Semester 2. You go out one day a week. Our recent placement partners include the IFI, Little Museum of Dublin, 100Archive, Red Dog Design Consultants, IMMA, and Visual Artists Ireland.

Study Abroad Opportunities
Our Erasmus partner is the BA Culture, Criticism and Curation at University of the Arts, London (Central St Martins).

On graduation, you may proceed to postgraduate studies leading to the award of MSc, MPhil or PhD at research institutes and universities worldwide.

Graduates will be able to work in visual culture industries, in sectors promoting and mediating visual culture. These roles include:

  • Researchers
  • Audience Advocates
  • Exhibition Planners
  • Project Archivists
  • Cultural Policy Advisors
  • Research Developers
  • Cultural Journalists (critics, writers and broadcasters for publications and popular media on visual culture)
  • Search & Research
  • Whose History?
  • Introduction to Philosophy & Aesthetics
  • Technologies of Today: Web Design
  • After Nationhood
  • Vision & Spectacle
  • What is Study?
  • Resistance: Cultures of Protest
  • Fractured Worlds
  • Collaborative Learning: Work Placement Module
  • Body Culture: The Visualized Self Today
  • Ethics, Polemics Archive Studies
  • What is the Topic?
  • Talking Points: Public Seminars
  • Thesis Preparation
  • Written Thesis Project
  • Art & Society
  • Exhibiting Memory: Cultures of Monuments & Museums
  • Ireland, Film & Documentary
  • Narrative in Visual Culture
  • Play & Games
  • Post Modern Aesthetics: Deconstructing Derrida
  • Psychology of Space, City Mapping
  • Typography, Culture & Society
  • Virtual Environments

Advanced Entry Applications

 Applications are accepted to 2nd and subsequent years of these programmes. Candidates will be invited for interview in June.  

A thoroughly enjoyable course, covering multiple areas of design, history, and contemporary/digital culture. Throughout the course I was really able to improve my writing style and my ability to analyse from a critical perspective.
This course is great for anyone who knows that they want to work in the creative field but is not sure exactly what they want to do. It allows you to explore art, design, media and film among other things and gives you the tools to direct your own learning towards the area you're most interested in.
TU Code



Level 8


Bachelor of Arts (Hons)


3 years

Number of Places



City Centre: Grangegorman


EU Fees

Non-EU Fees

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Programme Chair - Maryann Bolger