Higher Education (HE) in Ireland (also known as ‘Third Level’ following on from First Level in national primary schools and secondary level schools) is delivered through a number of organisations and enjoys a good name in terms of quality in an international educational performance context.

Design & Crafts Council Ireland Higher Education Provision

The Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) carries out some higher education linked work with education institutions, craft-related companies, enterprises and others through a few support programmes.

Skills Training Programmes
DCCI offers two very successful specialised courses, accredited by NUI Maynooth, which are attractive to those looking to gain high-level craft skills - Ceramics Skills & Design Course and also the Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course. See links for further information.

Future Makers Awards & Supports
DCCI offers good support via the ‘Future Maker Awards and Supports’ programme, which provides support for the next generation of makers to learn, experience, investigate, develop, create and shape the future of Irish craft. Future Makers Awards and Supports are designed to support students and recent graduates of full-time craft based studies or training to pursue a career in the craft industry. See www.futuremakers.ie for further information.

For further information contact the Education team at the Design & Crafts Council Ireland via email at education@dccoi.ie.

Desgin, Craft & Arts Curriculum Courses

There are many courses available in the arts, crafts and design subjects. A number of these are full-time programmes usually of two/three years duration or more leading to Higher Education Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees as well as Post Graduate courses up to PhD level. In addition many of the art and design colleges, institutes of technology and universities also offer some part-time 'Continuing Education' programmes in related arts, crafts and design subject areas.

To review the extensive range of courses available see this helpful Qualifax link.

Arts, Crafts and Design provision in Colleges

Some of the most well established H.E. programmes in the arts, crafts and design curriculum subject areas are delivered by internationally renowned colleges such as Crawford College of Art & Design, GMIT Letterfrack, Limerick School of Art & Design, Institute of Art & Design Technology, National College of Art & Design, School of Art Design & Printing at DIT, as well as many other excellent arts crafts related heritage and history departments in the Institutes of Technology & University sector.

Each of these institutions offer a variety of different types of programmes specialising in different craft areas. There is an exciting range to choose from and learning in this area can be most engaging with a mixture of hands-on practical work as well as with under-pinning theory in many subject areas.

Anyone considering a career in this field would be well advised to look at individual websites at what programmes are available on an updated basis as well as attending open-days which allow learners to see resources, meet students and talk to staff.

Some of the key arts, crafts and design institutions:

Crawford College of Art & Design www.cit.ie

GMIT Letterfrack www.gmit.ie

Limerick School of Art & Design www.lit.ie/artanddes

Institute of Art & Design Technology, www.iadt.ie

National College of Art & Design www.ncad.ie

School of Art Design & Printing at DIT www.dit.ie/artdesignprinting


Higher Education Awards


Higher education awards in Ireland are conferred by more than 38 Higher Education Institutions including Trinity College Dublin, National University of Ireland (Cork, Dublin, Galway and Maynooth), Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology, Institute of Public Administration, Waterford Institute of Technology, National College of Ireland, University of Limerick and Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. These are the degree-awarding authorities approved by the Government of Ireland and can grant awards at all academic levels. In addition the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) approve higher education awards, as previously quality assured via Higher Education and Training Awards Counci (HETAC).

On Ireland’s National Framework of Qualifications, generally awards at levels 6 - 10 are considered as higher education awards.

NFQ Levels Qualification Types www.qqi.ie
6 Advanced Certificate
  Higher Certificate
7 Ordinary Bachelor's degree
8 Honours Bachelor's Degree
  Higher diploma
9 Master's degree
  Postgraduate diploma
10 Doctorate degree
  Higher doctorate


Higher Education Course Information

There is much information about Higher Education in Ireland available online. Qualifax is Ireland’s National Learners’ Database. It is probably the most convenient "one stop shop" available online for learners. It provides comprehensive information on further and higher education and training courses. Qualifax has developed services to assist learners make informed choices about education, training and career paths. www.qualifax.ie


Funding of Higher Education

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the statutory planning body for higher education and research in Ireland. The HEA is the statutory funding authority for the universities, institutes of technology and a number of other designated institutions and is the advisory body to the Minister for Education and Skills in relation to the higher education sector.

The HEA advises the Minister for Education and Skills on the objectives to be set for the higher education system and performance indicators to be applied. It is the HEA’s responsibility to ensure that national objectives are aligned with institutional objectives, that performance is measured against these and funding allocations made accordingly.

Anyone considering joining a higher education course and who wants to have an overview should look at the following websites, where there is related background HE information available.  www.hea.ie   | www.education.ie


Grants for Students

Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) - is the single Awarding Authority for all new student grant applications within Ireland. The online application system provides prospective students with a way to apply for a grant. For anyone thinking of embarking on either a Further Education or Higher Education Course they should investigate whether they are eligible, and, if so, submit an application. There are many rules and stipulations, it is best to get good advice from those working in schools, colleges and or via student referral services. www.susi.ie