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Contemporary Visual Culture / Cultúr Físiúil Comhaimseartha


What is... Contemporary Visual Culture?

Offering the benefits of an arts degree taught in an art and design school, students learn about the theory and practice of visual culture across the fields of art, design, film, photography, curating,  digital  and  print  media. The programme brings past and present together to understand how visual culture functions in today’s world. Taught in tandem with studio-based courses, it provides an industry-focused grounding in theories of contemporary visual culture, art and design history and a range of related subjects including aesthetics, gender studies and exhibitions. Teaching applies theory to practice featuring project-based learning, work placements, and visits from leading industry practitioners.

What are my... Career Opportunities?

Graduates will be able to work in visual culture industries, in sectors promoting and mediating visual culture. These roles include researchers, audience advocates, exhibition planners, project archivists, cultural policy advisors, research developers, and cultural journalists: critics, writers and broadcasters for publications and popular media on visual culture.

What other options do I have after completion?  

Graduates who achieve the appropriate honours standard may have access to a range of taught Masters, MPhil and PhD degrees by research in DIT or elsewhere in Ireland and abroad.

Learning Outcomes: What will I Study?  

On the BA Contemproary Visual Culture is centred on academic excellence in research practice, writing and presentation skills. With a blend of individual and group learning, written assignments and presentation work, you will apply your research to the contemporary industries of visual culture: from art galleries, design companies and museums to publishing and media outlets. 

You learn about:

  • key trends and debates in recent cultural history  
  • recent histories of art and design 
  • the main philosophical and sociological theories underpinning contemporary visual culture including: aesthetics, postcolonial theory, strategies of protest, theories of vision and spectacle, methods of history-making through material culture 
  • research practices including the use of archival, primary, and secondary sources 
  • critical methods of analysis  
  • the relationship between research and industries of visual culture 

and how to

  • research and critique visual culture through the application of professional-standard writing and editorial skills 
  • utilize and develop multi-media presentation and documentation systems, including visual, print and web technologies 
  • apply research on visual culture to current industry contexts 
  • work independently to initiate and undertake in-depth research on visual culture relevant to contemporary society 
  • collaborate on team projects to organize and curate publications and events on visual culture

“The BA Visual and Critical Studies is an innovative and academically strong interdisciplinary programme with outstanding  connections  to  cultural  institutions  in  the city. The teaching staff is  committed,  highly  competent, and knowledgeable in their fields of expertise. Graduates demonstrate an advanced ability to formulate independent ideas and to analyse problems critically.”  Professor Christoph Lindner, University of Amsterdam

Module Listing

Year One

  • Search & Research  
  • Whose History? 
  • Introduction to Philosophy & Aesthetics  
  • Technologies of Today: Web Design  
  • After Nationhood  
  • Vision & Spectacle  
  • What is Study?  

Year Two

  • Resistance: Cultures of Protest  
  • Fractured Worlds  
  • Collaborative Learning: Work Placement Module  
  • Body Culture: The Visualized Self Today 
  • Ethics, Polemics  Archive Studies 
  • What is the Topic? 

Year Three

  • Talking Points: Public Seminars 
  • Thesis Preparation  
  • Written Thesis Project  
  • Art & Society 
  • Exhibiting Memory: Cultures of Monuments & Museums 
  • Ireland, Film & Documentary 
  • Narrative in Visual Culture  
  • Play & Games 
  • Post Modern Aesthetics: Deconstructing Derrida  
  • Psychology of Space, City Mapping  
  • Typography, Culture & Society  
  • Virtual Environments   

Is there an Advanced Entry Option?

Yes. An application to any year after Year 1 is called Advanced Entry.

  • All applications are made through CAO and not directly to us here in TU Dublin. Click here to apply.
  • Closing dates for application vary. Most programmes will be open until 30th June but many programmes accept late applications.
  • Contact the School directly using details below to ask if a late application will be considered.

Are there study abroad options?  

Yes, in the second year on the Contemporary Visual Culture programme students may study with an international Erasmus partner.  

Further Information   

T: (01) 402 4138 (School Office)

E: (Programme Chair)


Twitter / Instagram @cvcdit

What our Students say!

  • Contemporary approach to cultural studies and the study of the visual in every form, the BA in Contemporary Visual Culture is a collaboration of theory based learning, discussion, cultural critique and group learning. You learn critical skills, visual history and its modern importance. 
  • My favourite part of the programme is the diversity between modules, ranging from Typography to Philosophy. 
  • Learn the importance and relevance of images and visual culture in everyday life; how to think and analyze critically, engaging with contemporary art and visual culture. I have gained an appreciation for art, exhibitions, museums and visual culture generally. 
  • You study philosophy, visual arts and cultural studies - it is a unique course as it is hard to get these subjects together in any other college. 
  • The modules help you learn new ways to think about the world and yourself in it. 
  • I enjoy exploring cultural identity, fine art, using philosophy within the arts, going to galleries and events as part of the programme. 
  • We work in groups, review and interpret readings and visual culture. I particularly like the modules in web design, aesthetics and the study of research. 
  • The BA in Contemporary Visual Culture is the study of visual culture, past and present and the theories surrounding the production and dissemination of visual culture. You learn how to analyze visual culture in a critical context and how to assess the role of the visual in society today.