• Code: KB
  • Certification: QQI Level 5 Award in Art, Craft & Design (5M1984)
  • Duration: One Year


This is a unique art course as it caters for those who are interested in art, craft and design. The college has extensively equipped specialist art and craft practice rooms: a ceramics workshop where a wide range of 3D ceramic skills and techniques can be explored and developed; a print studio which allows students to engage with a wide range of printing techniques; and an art studio where 2D work such as drawing, painting and design skills are practiced. By the end of the year students will have a collection of work compiled through a series of projects crossing over art, craft and design. Each student participates in the annual graduate exhibition. On completion of this course students can continue further in BIFE to the Higher National Diploma in Art Practice, or apply to other third level institutions.

Programme of Study
  • Drawing
  • Ceramics
  • Combined Materials
  • Painting
  • Appreciation of Art, Craft & Design
  • Design Skills
  • Communications
  • Work Experience
  • Printmaking

Components subject to change

Entry Requirements

​One of the following: 

  • Leaving Certificate (minimum of five 06/H7’s or combination of five 06/ H7’s) or its equivalent. Extenuating circumstances may be considered
  • Leaving Certificate Applied Award 
  • Full QQI Level 4
  • Mature Applicants - experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications

Places are offered following successful interview. Applicants must bring a portfolio/ collection of work to the interview.

Career Opportunities
  • Fine Art
  • Ceramic Design
  • Art Education
  • Arts Administration
  • Art Practice
Higher Education Progression*

Examples of potential courses include: 


  • Fine Art Practice (BTEC Higher National Certificate/Diploma) Art Portfolio Preparation (KA)  


  • Graphic Design (DL826)
  • Art (DL827)
  • Photography and Visual Media (DL833)
  • Design for Film (DL845)

MTU Munster Technological University (Cork Campus):

  • Contemporary Applied Art (Ceramics, Glass and Textiles) (MT820)
  • Visual Communications (MT823)

MTU Munster Technological University (Crawford College Campus):

  • Fine Art (MT821) 

MTU Munster Technological University (Tralee Campus):

  • Animation, Visual Effects and Motion Design (MT711)
  • Animation, Visual Effects and Motion Design (MT811)


  • Textile and Surface Design and Jewelleryand Objects (AD103)

TU Dublin (Grangegorman Campus):

  • Fine Art (TU974)
  • Interior Design (TU975)
  • Design - Visual Communication (TU973)

*Places are not guaranteed in these Institutes and are subject to students meeting certain criteria. Please consult the individual college websites for more information on application. Information available also at www.cao.ie

Course Co-Ordinator

Karen Ryan

Where are they now?

Meet BIFE students who have graduated from this course...

nora garvie"I studied Art, Craft and Design in BIFE almost 30 years ago so when the need to rekindle my art skills came up, the first place I thought of was BIFE.   

Initially, I worried that I would not fit in as a mature student, but that worry soon disappeared because the group of students I studied with were fantastic. The mix of ages, different life experiences and skills helped to create a stimulating environment for ideas and creativity to flow between students and students and teachers.   

I was also apprehensive that I would not be able to keep up with the workload or even be able to do it, but I need not have worried. The standard of teaching is excellent, and QQI Level 5 in Art, Craft and Design is structured in a way that makes it easier for all students to succeed and progress on to art college, become an independent artist or continue learning here at BIFE.  

I loved the course so much that I decided to stay on and enroll in the BTEC Level 6 Fine art course because I was able to produce work that I did not know was in me and behind each of my successes was a teacher with great patience and skill.   

My goal on completion is to set up an art studio and eventually do an MA in art. But in the meantime, I will continue to absorb as much as I can and fully experience my time here. " - Nora Garvie

jim oneill"As I entered my sixties, with my kids grown up, I figured the time had come to fulfill a long-held ambition to take the time to really learn something about art instead of just dabbling as I had done for years. Having been a self-employed sole trader for three decades, I was nervous about returning to school and enrolled in the KB Art, Craft and Design course at BIFE to dip my toe back into education after almost forty years away.  

I cannot speak highly enough of the academic staff. With huge dedication, professionalism, and sensitivity, our tutors took a broadly diverse class, ranging in age from their late teens to their early seventies, through the various disciplines of the course – drawing, painting, printing, ceramics. Their gentle but insistent prodding and challenging meant that I learned to think about art in completely new ways. The knowledge I gained helped me in my own art practice and gave me the confidence to try new things instead of repeatedly sticking to the familiar. We tore, we glued, we spattered paint, we watched red hot pots burst into flames in sawdust – we had fun. 

My social experience at BIFE has been extremely rewarding and I have forged lasting friendships. There is a saying that a rising tide lifts all boats and one of the real joys for me was to see how each of my classmates developed into artists in their own right. Some have already moved on to study art at third level. Result! 

Now graduated from KB Art, Craft and Design, you will still see me in the corridors of BIFE. I have enrolled in the KC/KD Fine Art course, so the process of inquiry, creativity and fun goes on. Eventually I may consider applying to one of the art colleges, but for the moment I am enjoying the everyday challenges of student life at BIFE. I would recommend the KB Art, Craft and Design to anyone without reservation." -  Jim O’Neill 

amanda kelly"I chose to return to education as I had decided to try and make a career for myself in creating Art. so I applied for the Art, Craft & Design course in BIFE, which I located online. I was delighted to have met the criteria and therefore was accepted to enrol. I am a mature student and have been out of the education system for quite a while, so I was a bit apprehensive at first, but it didn’t take very long to get myself back into the routine. I found the course challenging but also extremely rewarding. The course covered many aspects of art creation, and I was delighted to pick up new techniques and learn different genres of art that I had never considered attempting before. Karen and her art team gave me a lot of encouragement and showed a lot of skillset and patience while teaching the various subjects. I completed the course and achieved the QQI Level 5 award. I enjoyed my time so much, and the extent of what I learned was so impressive that I decided to return to BIFE, and I am now in the middle of the first of a two-year course in Fine Art Practice. " - Amanda Kelly 

"I found this course having looked for a way to progress not having completed my Leaving Cert. It was the best decision I could have made, I learned so much from this course and had great experiences that really built my skills and helped my confidence as a person and an artist.Eabha Cleary

This course was great for me as I got the chance to try out art practices that I never had before such as print, ceramics and painting. Painting and  print  are my favourite things to do now, so I am thankful I got to learn with great tutors.

I am now in the Portfolio Preparation course in the college and will hopefully be progressing to a third level college next year." - Eabha Cleary 

"This course offered so much more than I expected. One of my ceramic pieces was selected for exhibition by Ceramics Ireland. I am currently participating on the Fine Art course at BIFE. I would highly recommend this course." - Magda Biedka

"I spent a wonderful year in Bife doing level 5 Art Craft and Design. Art is something I always wanted to pursue but never had the confidence to go into full time. As a more mature student with a little bit of time, it gave me the chance to go back to college and do something I have always wanted. It was also lovely to have a diverse range of ages; the mixture of young and mature students was mutually beneficial. They brought an energy to the class that we needed and I hope we brought support and were a calming influence on them. As a group, we got on really well and had such a laugh together supporting

and encouraging each other in our endeavours. The tutors were excellent, encouraging, very approachable and showed us different ways of looking at art and helping us push ourselves to see beyond the obvious and discover new ways of working with materials and concepts. The course content was varied and sometimes challenging but it was those challenging times that brought out our best work. This course helps prepares you for University, or just allows you to learn from highly qualified tutors and improve the skills you already have. I have since gone on to do Fine Art at BIFE and am loving it." - Molly Rocket

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