Ulster University Belfast School of Art

mission statement

As Northern Ireland’s civic university, Ulster University will deliver outstanding research and teaching that encourages the innovation, leadership and vision needed to help our community thrive.

international role

We are a university with a national and international reputation for excellence, innovation and regional engagement, making a major contribution to the economic, social and cultural development of Northern Ireland.

Our core business activities are teaching and learning, widening access to education, research and innovation and technology and knowledge transfer.  Look at our courses and see how we're preparing students for tomorrow's world today.

national role

As Northern Ireland’s civic university, Ulster University is grounded in the heart of the community and strives to make a lasting contribution to society as a whole. Renowned for its world-class teaching, Ulster aims to transform lives, stretch minds and develop the skills required by a growing economy.

Although the University can trace its roots back to the Victorian era, our sights are set firmly on the future. Our students are at the centre of everything we do, and each of our four campuses provides a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses that will engage our students and give them the skills they need to carve out their careers.

This is a new era for Ulster University as we are embarking on an ambitious plan for the next five years with a strategic vision that will take us to our fiftieth anniversary in 2034. At Ulster University we want to build on our successes and leave a legacy that is strong and dynamic.

Civic Contribution At Ulster we have a strong sense of civic responsibility. As we are the only university spread across Northern Ireland we have the opportunity to fully participate and deliver meaningful impact across the wider community. We support our students and give them the necessary skills so they can build a better future for those around them.

Academic Excellence Our University has an outstanding reputation for teaching and research; this can be seen in the NSS survey and our results in the latest Research Excellence Framework. Academic excellence permeates every aspect of our endeavours. We have an outstanding reputation for teaching as well as world-class teaching facilities, coupled together, this creates an educational experience that develops skills, raises ambitions and prepares future leaders.

Global Vision Our research is world-leading and globally relevant, we work with other universities around the world to deliver ground-breaking research that can help future generations. At Ulster University we are proud of our multi-cultural community, we have many international students and staff, and promote a strong, internationally-relevant curriculum.

Operational Excellence Throughout our campuses we have a vibrant community of staff members, all talented and skilled individuals, that inspire our students and prepare them for life after university. We encourage integrity and diversity allowing our University to reflect the makeup of the global society we serve.

main focus

The Belfast School of Art was established in 1849 and remains the largest Higher Education Institution for Art & Design across Ireland. It has the subjects largest and most developed teaching, learning and research environment on the island. We are proud of our diverse and expanding range of subject areas that include:

  • Animation and Games Design
  • Art Psychotherapy
  • Fine Art practices - painting, printmaking, performance art and sculpture. 
  • 3D Design and Contemporary Applied Arts, ranging from product, furniture, ceramics, silversmithing and jewellery.
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration 
  • Interaction Design and Service Design 
  • History and theory of art and design including feminist theory, queer theory, and curatorial practice. 
  • Photography with Video
  • Fashion, Constructed Textiles and Textile Art

faculties and departments

Faculties at Ulster University

  • Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
  • Faculty of Life & Health Sciences
  • Ulster University Business School 

For more information on departments and the organisational structure please see https://www.ulster.ac.uk/departments 

bachelor level programs

For more information on our Bachelor level programmes please see https://www.ulster.ac.uk/faculties/arts-humanities-and-social-sciences/art/undergraduate

Foundation Year in Art and Design

BDes Hons Animation

BA Hons Fine Art

BDes Hons Games Design

BDes Hons Graphic Design and Illustration

BDes Hons Interaction Design

BA Hons Photography with Video

BA Hons Product Design

BA Hons Textile Art, Design and Fashion

master level programs

For more information on our Master level programmes please see https://www.ulster.ac.uk/faculties/arts-humanities-and-social-sciences/art/postgraduate

MA Animation

MSc Art Psychotherapy

MA UX and Service Design

MSc Fashion and Textile Retail Management

MFA Fine Art

MFA Photography

MFA Photography (elearning)

research activity and main areas

Research Activity and Main Areas

In line with the University 5&50 strategic plan (2017) the Art & Design research clusters were revised into thematic groups mapping to the University priority themes of Social Renewal, Healthy Communities, Creativity & Culture and Sustainability. Within the Art & Design Research Unit, these thematic groups foster solo and collaborative research as meeting our REF2014 objectives for this cycle, through:

1)     Art, Conflict & Society: Working with community groups, government, those affected by the troubles, museums and other organisations applying art practice to conflict situations nationally and internationally.

2)     Art, Design & Health: Working with HSC Innovations, C-TRIC, MOIC, NI pain society, NI Pain forum, Verses Arthritis and other organisations, stimulating or challenging topical debate or driving innovative solutions for better healthcare or personal wellbeing.

3)     Art, Space & Place: Engaging with the creative community in topics interrogating historic, environmental, geographic, cultural identity and sustainability issues.

4)     Creative Industries Institute: Design-led investigation engaging with industry bodies, the public and private sector leading the interdisciplinary Research Knowledge Exchange activities with the creative sector.

doctorate level programs

The Belfast School of Art Research Unit has a long-standing relationship and influence on the regional creative community. We are diverse group of researchers working across a broad spectrum of art & design enquiry. Collectively we interrogate a broad spectrum of creative inquiry, through theoretical and applied research with impactful knowledge exchange.

Ulster’s Art & Design research is ranked 3rd in the UK for its world-leading 4* research and joint 7th for overall GPA. We enjoy a vibrant research environment recognised as 100% internationally excellent and world leading with 80% at 4* and 20% at 3* (REF, 2014).

Our outputs are among the most diverse in the university ranging from Journals, conference proceedings and books (monograph and photobooks) to artefacts, performances, exhibitions, or designs, patents and software. These world leading outcomes occupy many of the world's leading collections and archives (Tate, New York Met, Imperial War Museum) or have influenced the development of world-leading industry and innovation.

For more information on Doctorate level programmes see https://www.ulster.ac.uk/research/topic/art-and-design

subject areas for exchange students

All of our subject areas are open to accepting exchange students.

For more information please see https://www.ulster.ac.uk/global/study-abroad

application deadlines

For more information please see https://www.ulster.ac.uk/global/study-abroad

teaching languages

English 

semester dates

For more information please see https://www.ulster.ac.uk/global/study-abroad

cost of living per month (studying and living)

For more information please see https://www.ulster.ac.uk/global/study-abroad

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