Third-Level Programmes

Photograph: Thomas Jay, 2019

Our programme for third-level students and academics encourages cross-collaboration with other institutions and inspires new ways of considering the national collection.

The National Gallery of Ireland's library, archive, and art collections are rich resources for supporting research, study, and development. While our public programme for adults caters for a broad audience, we also offer specific programming strands and activities for students and academics from arts disciplines and wider areas of inquiry.

We welcome one-off projects and events as well as long term partnerships. We have worked with institutions such as UCD, TCD, IADT, NCAD, and DCU, on courses such as BA Fine Art, MA Art History, BA Psychology, BA Film and Theatre Studies, BA in Education and M.Sc. Clinical Medicine. We provide academic resources online and facilitate research through working with the Gallery's Library and Archives, Curatorial, and Conservation Departments.

For all queries contact Jennie Taylor [email protected]

Tailored Sessions

We are now offering in-depth tailored sessions looking at selected works from the Gallery's collection within particular frameworks. These sessions are for third-level students who wish to expand understanding of related course modules, engage in critical thinking, and explore key themes and discourses.

Please see here for more details and to make a booking. 

Detail of a handwritten postcard from G.B. Shaw to Thomas Bodkin
Photo of George Bernard Shaw leaning on a gate

Past projects

My Fair Lady: Radical Publishing and the Shaw Collection

  • Art + Writing Module
  • Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD
  • January – April 2021

This is our second collaboration with the National College of Art & Design's MA course Art in the Contemporary World (ACW). In this project, ACW students carry out weekly sessions led by Nathan O’Donnell, NCAD, looking at the Gallery's George Bernard Shaw archives and works in the collection that have been acquired through the Shaw Fund.

George Bernard Shaw famously left one-third of his posthumous royalties to the National Gallery of Ireland, where he had spent a lot of time as a child, citing it as the provider of the 'only real education I ever got as a boy in Eire'. These royalties included the proceeds of his 1913 stage play Pygmalion, which was used as the basis for a stage musical, written in 1956 and adapted for the screen in 1964, under the title My Fair Lady. It went on to be one of the highest grossing movies of its time, leading to a vast expansion in the Gallery's purchasing power that has lasted up to present day. Shaw's work came out of copyright in 2020.

In this module students will be responding to the Gallery's exhibition Shaw and the Gallery: A Priceless EducationAs part of the module, they will be interacting with Gallery staff members, participating in discursive sessions, and creating a collaborative publication that engages with both the Shaw collection and the Shaw archive. The students will explore a wide range of archival practices and examples of responsive/reactive artmaking. They will look at theories and frameworks relating to radical and experimental publishing, copyright, appropriation and document practices. They will also explore how such publishing methods might be used to disseminate – make public, make common – the resources of the museum: the collection, the archive.

Working collaboratively and collectively, using techniques like collage and appropriation, playing with and querying issues of copyright and authorship, they will take Shaw's relationship to the Gallery as the basis for a wide-ranging exploration of the infrastructure of the museum, the archive, and the collection. In the final weeks of the project, the student will devise, create and produce a publication addressing selected subjects and frameworks covered in this module.

For queries contact Jennie Taylor [email protected]


  • Art + Writing Module
  • Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD
  • October – December 2019

Our first collaboration with NCAD's MA course Art in the Contemporary World celebrated the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus, and the Gallery's exhibition Bauhaus 100: The Print Portfolios. Writer, editor and researcher Nathan O'Donnell worked with the Gallery's Education Team to support NCAD students in conducting in-depth research, using literary and discursive responses, to consider the Bauhaus through a contemporary lens. The project concluded with an open day and launch of the prospectus of a fictional school called Naschaus. The fictional school, created by ACW students, followed principles of what was considered to be urgent issues to be addressed in the contemporary moment. The school was made up of the Department of Compassion, Department of Criticality and the Department of Creativity.

Art Installation IADT Installation shot from Light + Image: Responses to the National Collection, IADT Student Exhibition, Millennium Wing Studio, 2015

Light + Image: Responses to the National Collection

  • Exhibition and project
  • Institute of Art, Design & Technology
  • 27 February – 8 March 2015

Curated by Sinéad Kathy Rice, in partnership with staff and 1st-year students of Visual Arts Practice, Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT).

Using the national collection as a primary resource, the project was in two parts. The first involved tours of the collection, illustrated talks and drawing on-site at the Gallery. The second took place in the IADT studios to produce new imagery in response to the studied masterpieces. Working in groups the students focused on deconstructing light, space, colour and shape. The new work was not a replication or an illustration of the original paintings, but an analysis of the role of light/colour in relation to the space of the image. The outcome of the project is a combination of research work in notebooks, three-dimensional modelling, staging of space and light, and documentation through photography and/or video work.

The project evolved over a three-year period, and this exhibition reflected that process. Featuring responses to works by Johannes Vermeer, Claude Lorrain, Jules Adolphe Aimé Louis Breton, Fra Angelico, William John Leech and Diego Velázquez, Light + Image demonstrated the importance of the Gallery as a resource, while creating tangible links between the old masters and contemporary practice.