The School of Creative Arts is one of the largest in the Irish higher education sector, providing a wide range of innovative, inter-disciplinary and professional level educational and research programmes in visual communication, digital and online design, typography, imagemaking, moving image, interior design, furniture design, product design, painting, sculpture, printmaking, printing technology, printing management and publishing.
In 2003, the School launched a BSC programme in Product Design in collaboration with the College of Engineering & Built Environment and the College of Business at DIT. More recently, the School has developed an innovative online distance education programme in the visual arts in cooperation with the Sherkin Island Development Society on Sherkin Island off the west coast of Cork. This programme which allowed the school to develop its expertise in remote and online learning and new pedagogical strategies in visual arts education has completed its pilot phase and has been developed into a four-year BA in Visual Art. We deliver the only Design and Visual Merchandising programme for the retail sector in Ireland. Other new programme proposals include a new BA in Visual and Critical Studies in addition to the recently validated BA in Creative and Cultural Industries and BA in Print and Digital Media Technology Management.
The Department of Print & Digital is the National Centre for Excellence in Training and Education for the Print & Packaging Sector. A range of professional development courses have been developed for the Print and Packaging sector Skillnets over the last three years and in 2008 the School launched a new MA in Professional Design Practice in association with Design Ireland Skillnets targeted at senior designers in the Irish Design industry.
The school has also developed an active postgraduate research profile and since 2005 the number of MPhil and PhD students has increased to 12. A suite of taught masters programmes will commence in 2011 offering opportunities in drawing, typography and furniture design initially.
Community links play an important role in the School's activities leading to projects with The National Drug Treatment Centre, the Larkin Centre for the Unemployed, Fighting Words, the Mater and Children's Hospital Development Initiative.