Course Aims and Mission

Our Level 6 Art course is designed to enable the students to acquire the skills and methods used by professional artists.

We have chosen the modules that are the most relevant to a successful career in art and design.

The course offers an enriching combination of art modules: Painting, Drawing, Combined Materials, Printmaking, Fine Art Photography and the History and Appreciation of Art and Design alongside the beneficial modules of Work Experience and Communications.

Course Duration

 This is a one year, full time course running from September to May. 

Successful completion of this course will result in a QQI Level 6 Certificate in Art, 6M4029.

Entry requirements

  • A Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Applied, or equivalent
  • QQI Level 5 qualification in Art/Art and Design or equivalent
  • Mature students who are over 23 years of age

Allocation of all places is based on interview

Modules studied in this course include:
  • Drawing 6N3569
  • Painting 6N3452
  • History & Appreciation of Art & Design 6N3450
  • Work Experience 6N1946
  • Communications 6N1950
  • Fine Art Photography 6N3449
  • Printmaking 6N3568
  • Combined Materials 6N3587

Further Career Opportunities

Practising artist, art education, community arts worker, gallery assistant, studio technician, art workshop instructor, arts administration.

Studio Space

  • All students are allocated a personal table in a bright and well-appointed studio.
  • The ethos of the studio is casual but since art students have to work harder than average there is a good working atmosphere.
  • We have top of the range computers and printers loaded with the Adobe Creative suite of software.
  • We have two ceramic kilns and a printing press


All the teachers will help you tell your story with a professional looking portfolio. A good portfolio is a record of your experience and promise for the future.

Additional Activities

  • Local Gallery Visits
  • Trip to Dublin Galleries
  • Guest speakers
  • Participation in two exhibitions of work

Course Progression

Upon successful completion of this course, learners may be eligible to apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme for entry to a range of higher certificate and degree programmes at Institutes of Technology and Universities.

Career Options

  • Self-Employment; working in a studio as an independent professional artist.
  • Working as artist in residence for Community Arts.
  • Working with others on community projects for example: St Patrick Days parade, Commemorative events, and other festivals.
  • Teaching: leading workshops on various creative projects for schools, Art Centres, Institutes and Groups.
  • Further study at any of the national colleges of art and design around the country.
  • Design: working as part of a design team as art director, free-lance designer or designing your own products for sale. Consider that every object for sale has an Art and Design aspect.
  • Curator: running exhibitions for public and private organisations.

Student Testimonial


For as long as I can remember I have been interested in Art and Design and when circumstances offered an opportunity to return to education, I embarked on the Art and Design FETAC Qualification here at the Westport CFE.  The FETAC Level 5 & 6 courses offer the learner the opportunity to embark on a journey of self-discovery and creativity.  The variety of materials and processes are second to none and you are encouraged and supported by the friendly, knowledgeable and experienced tutors who are all working artists themselves.  The diversity of students both young and mature like myself add to the pleasure of the time here at the College and the staff provide a great support structure for any questions or queries you may have.  So in conclusion, I would highly recommend this course.  It’s fun, exciting and opens up so many opportunities.


Once you have applied online you will be called for an interview within a few weeks.  QQI examination fees cost €80, although Medical Card holders are exempt from paying this fee on production of a valid medical card.  Books and essential class materials may also be required.  A €200 Government levy will apply on acceptance of a place on PLC course, but medical card holders and those in receipt of a maintenance grant will be exempt.  A Student Service fee of €100 also applies.


Drawing  6N3569

  • This module aims to equip the learner to develop their drawing skills through the process of observation to record and describe accurately what they see.
  • The learner will explore principles of design through drawing, line, tone, space, textures etc. The learner will experiment with different media including:  graphite, charcoal pencil pen and ink also digital and non-conventional 3d drawing.
  •  The learner will experiment with the limitations and possibilities of different drawing media. There is and emphasis on drawing from observation through a six week life drawing block.
  • The learner will have a chance to display work at an end of year exhibition.

Assessment Criteria: Collection of Work 100%

Painting  6N3452

This module aims to foster creativity and self-expression through a variety of painting approaches.  Students compile a body of work exploring different paint media such as, Gouache, Acrylics, Water Colour, as well as experimenting with techniques in Oil painting, Egg tempera and Mixed Media . There is an opportunity to display their  paintings in a public exhibition at the Customs House Gallery, Westport at the end of the year.

Assessment Criteria: Collection of Work 100%

History & Appreciation of Art & Design 6N3450

This course explores different facades of Art and Design from sculpture, painting, areas of design and craft. Students will learn to appreciate and draw critical analysis of Art at an international and European level. We also aim to give students an insight into our rich heritage of national and local Artists. Course includes day tours to galleries and local events. This course includes a practical design element whereby students participate in a creative workshop from puppetry, textiles, book craft, or calligraphy which reflects their research into historical significance of Art, Craft and Design. Students will learn to apply this knowledge into their personal artistic development in the other modules of the course.

Assessment Criteria: Collection of Work 100%

Work Experience 6N1946

Work experience Module is divided into 3 key study assignments including preparation for a work experience placement. This module is aimed at giving students a clearer insight into the challenges faced by professional visual artists, designers and craft workers in the workplace. Study in future career options and key challenges facing visual artists. Analysis and reflection on work experience.

Assessment Criteria: Collection of Work: 60%; Skills Demonstration: 40%

Communications 6N1950

Students studying Communications Level 6 will do the following:

  • Critique current issues in communications and information technology, to include digital and mobile technology, the internet, and the policies and principles relevant to a vocational area.
  • Evaluate in practical terms the elements of legislation that must be observed in a personal and or work context, to include health, safety and welfare at work and communications related legislation, and the responsibilities that apply when working in a supervisory capacity.
  • Assess the impact of non-verbal communication and of the physical environment in everyday human interaction.
  • Participate in formal and informal working groups, to include leading or facilitating, notetaking, summarising discussion, agreeing outcomes and action points.
  • Use drafting, editing and proofreading skills and the correct conventions of language usage including spelling, punctuation and syntax to produce formal written communications relevant to a particular vocational area, to include reports, correspondence, faxes, memos, minutes.
  • Demonstrate vocal and interactive skills in personal and professional contexts, including an oral presentation, discussion, debate, meeting, interview and or job seeking skills and for the purposes of persuading, informing or advocating.

Assessment technique: Collection of Work – 50%, Skills Demonstration – 50%

Fine Art Photography 6N3449

This module explores photography as an art form.

Learners will be able to:

  • Explore the history of fine art photography.
  • Explore the development and enhancement of creativity through the practice of photography.
  • Implement a conceptual approach to the development of personal work.
  • Explore creative photography by employing a range of techniques, subject matter and stylistic approaches.

Assessment Criteria: Portfolio/Collection of Work 40%, Project 30%, Learner Record 30%

Printmaking 6N3568

The printmaking module gives the students an opportunity to create works as multiple editions and gain training in traditional and contemporary techniques.  There is an emphasis on professional standards with particular focus on relief and etching mediums.  It is a challenging but rewarding area that gives students an endless array of stylistic and experimental choices.

Assessment technique: Collection of Work 60%; Learner Record 40%


Combined Materials 6N3587

Combined Materials requires you to think outside the box. There is great freedom enjoyed in this module as it gives the opportunity to experiment and try new areas of exploration. This is your chance to use as many different materials as you can think of, so try not to limit yourself. Students will have the opportunity to use cameras, computers, projectors, and software etc. to produce a diverse body of work.  Areas such as Video Mapping, Stop- Gap Animation, Mask Making, Self Portraits and Recycled Art will be covered.  It also challenges most people’s opinion of what is and what is not Art.  Here is truly an opportunity to break new ground.

Assessment technique: Collection of Work: 100%

Westport College of Further Education reserves the right to limit the number of places available, make changes in any course or to withdraw the course. No part of this information shall be deemed to form a contract between Westport College of Further Education and the student, or a third party.