Art and Design Portfolio Preparation

Photograph by Photography Student Charlie Murphy


Art and Design Portfolio Preparation QQI Award (Level 5 – 5M1985) – 1 Year

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The CDCFE Portfolio Preparation course is designed to prepare students for entry to colleges both in Ireland and abroad. Emphasis is placed on research and development methods in both practical and academic subjects relevant to Art and Design practice. This approach facilitates the development of a balanced portfolio which acknowledges the student’s own individual ideas development.


Course Content

Observational research and exploration of ideas and materials through:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Illustration
  • Combined Materials/Design
  • Sculpture
  • Appreciation of Art and Design
  • Digital Photography
  • Image Processing
  • Portfolio Editing and Evaluation
  • Communications
  • Work Experience


Entry Requirements

Leaving Certificate (to include O6 / H7 English) or LCA Merit level. Mature students are welcome to apply.

Applicants will be required to meet with the course team, to learn more about the course and to present four pieces of creative work, for example any of the following: drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, 3D work, poster design, photography etc. – to ensure this course is a good fit. You will be notified in advance with a date and time to meet with the course team. This meeting will be held in our Raheny Campus.

All applicants are required to bring a hard copy of their LC or LCA results on Registration Day.


Certificate in Art QQI Level 5 (5M1985)



Progression Opportunities

While preparing their individual portfolio, students on the course cover the QQI Level 5 Art Award (5M1985) which is recognised for entry to Third Level Art Colleges such as NCAD, TUD, IADT, LSAD and ITs (Institutes of Technology) nationwide. The QQI Award affords students the opportunity to achieve Distinction grades that can be used in lieu of minimum Leaving Certificate requirements for third level college entry.

Graduates of this course may also apply for entry to higher and advanced certificate and degree programmes at national Institutes of Technology, Technological Universities, Universities and Art Colleges at home and abroad such as, NCAD (National College of Art + Design), TU Dublin, IADT (Institute of Art, Design + Technology), Crawford College of Art + Design, LSAD (Limerick School of Art + Design), TUS (Technological University of the Shannon), and IT Carlow; London, Edinburgh, Utrecht, Berlin.

Students can use this major Level 5 Art Award (5M1985) to apply to colleges through the CAO.



1 Year



Course Charges

Year 1: €50

Applicants in receipt of a Social Welfare payment will keep their payment whilst studying on the course under the Back to Education Allowance scheme.

Further Examples of Student Work