QQI Level 5

Full-time (09.30 - 16.30, Mon. - Fri.)

Places: 40

Start Date: 09/09/2019

Finish Date: 29/05/2020

Registration Fee: €300

No Interview Required


This portfolio preparation course is designed to help students successfully access 1st year places on leading art, design and other specialist degree courses in Ireland and abroad. The core subjects covered on this course include Drawing, Painting, Print, Combined Materials and Sculpture. Teaching methodologies include group seminars, tutorials, cultural studies lectures and group discussions.

This full-time QQI Level 5 course covers portfolios for Fine Art, Visual Arts Practice, Visual Communication Design, Animation, Fashion, Interior Design, Design for Screen & Stage, as well as Model Making, Design and Digital Effects.


G Suite for Education is a powerful communication and collaboration solution, which offers best-in-class productivity tools built for teaching and learning. Each student receives a free, unlimited cloud storage, G Suite account to support their learning throughout their time at GSA.

Award Details

Title: Art

Code: 5M1985

Level: 5

Type: Major

5N1302 Painting

5N1862 Drawing

5N1918 Sculpture

5N0764 Combined Materials

5N1373 Printmaking

5N0761 Collage Techniques

5N0690 Communications

5N1356 Work Experience


From this course, students are eligible to apply to 1st year Level 7 and Level 8 degree programmes. Below are a list of the most popular progression routes used by our students.

Course Details

Over the years, students from this one-year full-time course have been accepted in large numbers on to some of the most exciting and prestigious courses in Europe. Some of these courses are Model Making, Fashion Design, Fine Art, Theatre Set Design and Visual Communications. Our students have gone on to attend some of the best colleges in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and Germany.

Since 2012, 100% of our students have successfully gained entry into the National College of Art & Design (NCAD) and the Institute of Art, Design & Technology in Dun Laoghaire (IADT). In 2015, twenty-seven portfolios were submitted to IADT where twenty-two of those scored 600/600 at assessment.

Our portfolio preparation course delivers a cross-disciplinary structure, exposing students to all aspects of the visual arts. In practice this means that the staff can build the course around the individual needs of each student. Every student is provided with a studio space and given the opportunity to use a wide range of media. The development of the student’s work relies on set projects, group critiques and one-to-one tutorials.

Drawing and visual research are key elements of any portfolio. From experience we can determine that the large majority of portfolios submitted to third level colleges rely on a students ability to describe visually, through drawing, observations from life. Also fundamental to any portfolio is the ability to develop an idea. Both of these aspects, along with a broad range of other subjects are delivered by tutors who are both encouraging and supportive, helping to create a positive and productive atmosphere where students can realise their creative potential.

Entry Requirements

Applications to our Portfolio Preparation course can be made by applicants who are aged 17 or over and who have completed the Leaving Certificate and/or a QQI Level 4 programme. Mature applicants (i.e. applicants over the age of 23) do not need to have completed a Leaving Certificate. Applicants must possess a keen interest in the arts and be willing to commit to a full-time programme. There is no portfolio or interview required to gain entry onto this course.