Burren College Of Art

Burren College of Art is an internationally recognised not for profit charitable trust committed to the initial education of artists, and to their continuing professional development.

We offer graduate, undergraduate and artist residency programmes to students and artists from around the world.

The location of this specialist art college in the grounds of a 16th century castle in the stunning Burren landscape on Ireland's remote Atlantic coast makes this education unique in the world.

Founded in 1993 by Michael Greene and Mary Hawkes-Greene, to give student artists the opportunity to develop their creative potential in the unique environment of the Burren, the Burren College of Art has grown rapidly to an institution of international standing.


2005 Conferring of first MFA students at BCA by NUI Galway.

Official opening of new MFA studios and Gallery.

First MFA graduating exhibition in 'The Gallery' at BCA.

Second Burren Annual exhibition curated by Kevin Kavanagh.

2004 10th Annivers... [ Read All ]



Newtown Castle
Co. Clare,
Phone: +353 65 7077200
Fax: +353 65 7077201
Website: http://www.burrencollege.

College Photos (20)

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Our Aims

The College aims to be the greatest little art school in the world, and a forum of international significance for the debate and development of fine art.

We believe that emerging artists should be provided with what established artists most need: focussed time free from distractions; space in exceptional studios with the interaction of international artists; and the inspiration of a unique location.  

Sample Student Art Work (2)

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Location and Getting there

From Abroad:

The most direct route to the College from abroad is via Shannon airport, which is one hour's drive away. Numerous airlines service Shannon Airport including Aer Lingus, American Airlines, US Airlines, Air Canada, Delta Airlines etc.
Further information is available from www.shannonairport.ie
Another alternative is to fly into Galway airport (40 minutes drive from the College) which is accessible from London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Manchester and other airports.
Further information is available from www.galwayairport.com

Within Ireland:
Ballyvaughan is approximately 40 minutes from both Ennis and Athenry train stations. Details of train timetables that service these stations are available from www.irishrail.ie

You can also reach Ballyvaughan by bus. Bus Eireann have a daily service between Galway city and Ballyvaughan and details are available from www.buseireann.ie
The College is a 4 hour drive from Dublin by car, 1 hour from Galway and approximately 1.5 hours to Limerick.


Academic Staff and Description


Mary Hawkes-Greene President

Mary Hawkes-Greene, President, co-founded Burren College of Art in 1994. She has a strong background in education administration, having studied special education at postgraduate level and subsequently designed and implemented programmes in this field.

"From my experience, the educational experience required by an artist at an advanced level is often incompatible with the large institutional structures in which art programmes find themselves. We set up Burren College of Art as an alternative for those seeking a more focused personal experience. In an era characterised by rationalisation and efficiencies, it is a wonderful privilege to know each student individually and to feel you are contributing in a meaningful way to their development as artists and people. Of course, the Burren, this amazing creative and healing landscape, is at the core of the entire experience. It is the reason we exist and the catalyst for unleashing creative potential. Our long-term goal is to raise sufficient scholarship funds to make all MFA places at Burren College of A...  [ Read All ]

News and Events

The Wednesday Session

We are delighted to welcome the following artists to Burren College of Art for a series of public talks.

31st January, Dorothy Cross
7th February, Seamus McGuiness (tbc)
14th February, Aideen Barry
21st February, Blaise Drummond
All talks will take place in the Lecture Hall of the College and will begin at 11am. These lectures are open to the public and all are welcome.

February 2nd to 4th 2007

Burren Spring Conference

This year's Conference Theme is Ways of Seeing the Burren.

Throughout November and December
Roger Castonguay's WebCast for NBC Universal Studios, New York
Roger Castonguay, one of our undergraduate students this semester, is doing a web-cast Documentary Reality Series for NBC Universal Studios NY.

He and 9 other students were chosen from a casting call that spanned the whole of the United States. The ten students chosen represent a wide variety of personalities, majors, and diversity of destinations for their study abroad. Equipped with video cameras these students are traveling the Globe from each of their destinations which cover 5 continents and ten differ...  [ Read All ]

Information For  Undergraduates

Our undergraduate Study Abroad programmes, Summer School and Artist Residency Scheme also recruit internationally. See The Programmes for details.

The Burren College of Art is part of an international network of colleges of art and is a member of the following associations of higher education institutions

Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD)
College Art Association of America (CAA)
European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA)
International Council of Fine Art Deans (ICFAD)
National Association for Study Abroad (NAFSA)
National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD)  

Information For  Postgraduates

The Master of Fine Art programme is accredited by the National University of Ireland, Galway and is operated in association with the Royal College of Art, London and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

In graduate fine art education a distinction between an MA and an MFA is often made. An MA is a one year full-time (or two years part-time) education in fine art that introduces students to the subject at the graduate level. By contrast, the MFA is a two-year full time professional education aimed at preparing students for professional practice as an artist. The MFA takes students further into becoming an artist than the MA. Internationally the best fine art master's courses share this two-year full-time structure and professional orientation. In the USA the Master of Fine Art is generally accepted as the terminal degree in studio arts and is a pre-requisite for teaching in university level education.

Our MFA programme is unique. The environment of this programme gives students the time and space to create and debate art in the inspirational landscape of the Burren, free from urban distractions. This is an ideal locatio...  [ Read All ]

Student Facilities

The Burren College of Art understands that artists need space in which to grow and develop and also understand that art students have the same needs. The College is proud of its studio facilities in which each student is allocated an individual studio that is spacious, warm and bright, to which they have access 24/7 throughout the semester.

The College has recently opened a new wing that provides each MFA student with a dedicated space of 14ft x 14ft x 14ft. The clean, elegant design features movable walls that provide remarkable flexibility and transform the studio spaces into an enormous gallery space as required. Natural and artificial light, Internet access, and a group critique space contribute to an excellent working environment within the new wing.

Undergraduate students also enjoy generous studio space that is available 24/7.

Students have complimentary email and internet access, both for support in their studies and personal use. College notice boards and student mailboxes serve to make the Study Room the information hub for students.



Undergraduate Students will be housed, on a self-catering basis in houses convenient to the college and village of Ballyvaughan.

They are bright, recently-built houses with all modern facilities - fully equipped kitchens, with cooker, microwave, dishwasher and laundry facilities. Accommodation is based on either twin or single occupancy, each house having 6-7 bedrooms. MFA students may request College housing also.

MFA students may request College housing also although many prefer to rent cottages in the village. The College can help students source housing by providing a list of available accommodation in the area.


How To Apply


Undergraduate Application Requirements
Completed Application Form
6-10 Slides of recent work
Statement of Intent
2 Letters of Recommendation
€50 non refundable application processing fee
Successful applicants will be required to submit 4 passport sized photographs and completed Medical Form.

Application Deadline for the Fall 2007 semester is April 27th 2007.