Why design?

A Guide to Studying Design in Ireland

A life of variety and creativity

Design is a broad church, with many varying disciplines. Choosing a design career is a journey that makes each day different from the last. Each new brief challenges your imagination and has a unique solution. As a designer, you will take pleasure in working with people who understand the need for good, effective design.

Design offers flexible choices

You can be a member of a studio, part of an in-house team or choose to establish yourself as an independent freelancer. When you are a trained creative professional, you will be able to decide what is right for you.

Designers have the power to shape the world we live in, and design has an important role in our economy and culture. From furniture and hotel interiors to a fashion range or corporate branding, design touches everything.

How do I get started?

There are many different possibilities for students who wish to study design in Ireland. Whether you're interested in architecture, graphics, gaming, craft, fashion, interiors or UX/UI, you can choose from different courses. Most are applied for through the CAO system (ask your teacher or careers officer for details). Other courses can be applied for direct to the colleges. 

Contact colleges to ask about their selection process. Portfolios and interviews can form part of course admission procedures.

Exploring a college's website can also be a valuable way to find information on design courses. The IDI have created a review of some of the most popular courses in the country.

Sometimes it’s difficult to know what exactly a course will entail. Try to visit any college which interests you and attend open days, award shows, and studios. You can apply to college admissions departments for prospectuses and information packs.

Design courses offer many different and exciting creative career possibilities. However, all courses involve hard work and dedication to prepare for the best possible future in design. Good luck.

Useful Resouces

A Guide to Third Level Education in Ireland – Everything you need to know about studying in Ireland
CAO – Apply for third level education programmes in Ireland
UCAS – Apply for third level programmes in Northern Ireland
Qualifax – Ireland’s National Learners’ Database – Search all courses in Ireland, including courses for adults and mature students, includes part time, online and professional both in Ireland and Northern Ireland
Postgraduate – For students who already have an undergraduate degree
Skillnet - Find a continual professional development or upskilling course in your industry