Menu Search


Could a creative career be for you?

Learn all about courses in art, design, music, and the dramatic arts.

Could a creative career be for you?

It's safe to say that you'd struggle to find somebody who doesn't appreciate the Arts. Between music, theatre, dance, design, craft, photography and film, there's a medium to cater to everyone's tastes. For many, that weekly trip to the cinema can help them escape from the worries and woes of ordinary life as they transport themselves into a new dimension, entirely distinct from their own reality. However, others cannot limit this to one departure a week and they require the constant nourishment of these creative pursuits to sustain their existence!

While a few brave souls ignore the odds and commit themselves to this way of life from the outset, many stagnate in the "what if" stage, where they ponder what their life could be like if they determined to follow their dreams. Below, we will show those in the "what if" stage how to take the first step to make the dream of a creative career a reality.

Traditionally, creative careers have been viewed as less secure than more "established" professions, but those who work in the Arts will attest to the fact that you won't find better job satisfaction anywhere else. The progression routes and starting salaries may not match up with the likes of the legal or medical professions, but that does not mean you cannot carve a successful career in the creative Arts.

Are you a singer, songwriter or some other type of musical maestro? Well, there are a number of music courses you can pursue and one of them is sure to cater to your talents. BIMM is the largest and leading music education provider in Europe, with a course catalogue featuring diplomas in songwriting, vocals, guitar, drums, bass, music production, and the music business. These year-long dipoma courses give students a great foundation in their chosen area of music, helping them to launch their careers in the music industry. BIMM has several locations around the UK and Ireland, as well as Germany, and some of its most noteworthy alumni include Tom Odell, Marina Diamandis and George Ezra, to name a few!

Find out more about BIMM's courses here.

We all have our dramatic moments, but some want to display the full range of human emotion all week long, and even prefer to do this in front of an audience! Those who dream of a life on the stage or screen are in luck when it comes to the course options available to them; both The Lir Academy (Ireland's National Academy of Dramatic Art) and The Gaiety School of Acting offer a range of short-term acting courses where you can start your journey towards your big break.

Whether you prefer things behind the scenes or wish to take centre stage, The Lir Academy has a course for you. From costume design and set design, to musical theatre and acting courses, there's something to suit any thespian's needs; the academy even offers a clown course. See all of The Lir Academy's courses here.

The Gaiety School of Acting offers a range of 8/10 week courses and these include programmes for both beginners and improvers. Courses include "Introduction to Drama", "Stage Combat" and even a stand-up comedy course. See all of the Gaiety School of Acting's courses here.

Dance enthusiasts have a number of options available to them when it comes to getting a taste of a creative course. A number of PLC colleges offer one-year/two-year courses in different areas of dance.

Inchicore College of Further Education's Dance Studies/Advanced Dance course offers students the opportunity to study a range of different dance subjects including ballet, tap, modern dance, contemporary dance and more! The course runs for two years but students have the option to complete a 3rd year where they can complete teaching qualifications for dance. See the course details here.

Sallynoggin College of Further Education offers a Musical Theatre & Dance programme where students can develop their performance skills to work towards becoming a professional performer. Modules in this course include dance class, vocal performance, and acting classes. See course details here.

Bray Institute of Further Education offers the Dance Technique Performance & Choreography course. The course is offered at two different levels; the first is a year-long course which offers students a comprehensive overview of various styles of dance; the second, two-year course is for advanced performers and introduces students to teaching experience. See the course details here (one year) and here (two year).

Kerry College of Further Education also offers a one-year Dance Studies programme, where dance performance and production are explored. 

Art & Design
If your passion lies in Art & Design, then it could be worth looking into some certificate courses to help kick-start your career. The National College of Art and Design (NCAD) offers a number of short-term courses for those who want to hone their artistic skills. NCAD's Centre for Continuing Education in Art & Design runs programmes ranging from 11 weeks to one year long (part-time) and options include courses in drawing, painting, ceramics, jewellery, photography and more! See the list of courses here.  It is also possible to search for courses from a huge range of design and craft experts on the following link.  If you are interested in exploring a course in jewellery, why not investigate the following options.

PLC colleges also offer programmes in the area of art and design. Fine Art courses are available all over the country.

Ormonde College of Further Education in Kilkenny offers a Fine Art - Portfolio Preparation course which allows students to express their creative talents through a variety of artistic traditions and methods. See the course details here

Ballyfermot College of Further Education's
Textile Design and Fine Art Practice course incorporates technical, digital and material elements of art and design. See the course details here.

The emergence of the digital age has led to new media through which the Arts can be expressed. Animation, in particular, has changed dramatically over the last few years. Ballyfermot College of Further Education's award-winning animation programmes are a great starting point for those looking to break into the industry. The Classical and Computer Animation course allows students to develop their hand-drawn and computer-generated animations. See the course details here. The Animation Drawing Studies programme is a comprehensive foundation course where students focus on developing strong drawing skills. See the course details here.

There are a number of PLC colleges around the country offering courses in Animation. To search these courses, just type "animation" into the "course name" search bar in the filter menu. Access it here.

Some creative types are very visual, but others with a flair for the Arts favour the written word. Aspiring wordsmiths have ample opportunity to hone their craft through variety of part-time programmes.

Those who wish to write for the small screen need look no further than IADT's Writing Television Drama course. The course will allow students to complete a pilot or episode of a TV drama to a professional standard. See details here.

If you're more of a bibliophile than a script writer, a course at the Irish Writers Centre could be a perfect fit for you. Between fiction, non-fiction, and poetry courses, there are plenty of options for you to start the journey towards your literary masterpiece. The courses are run by industry professionals who have experienced success in the literary world. To find out more about the courses on offer, click here.

PLC colleges around the country also offer creative writing evening courses, so you can nurture your creativity without making any drastic life changes. Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute offers two 8-week evening courses, one as an introduction to creative writing and one for improvers. Rathmines College also runs a part-time evening course for the wannabe writers amongst us.

Makeup Artistry
The transformative power of makeup can often be astounding. In a cinematic age dominated by superheroes, the expertise of special effects makeup artists is becoming increasingly apparent. The masters of these mesmerising creations have to start somewhere, so you can too!

Blackrock Further Education Institute (BFEI)
offers a one-year Theatrical, Media and Fashion Makeup Artistry course for makeup artists who wish to develop their talents for the industry. View the course details here.

Sligo College of Further Education also offers a makeup artistry course in which students have the opportunity to test their special effects makeup skills. View the course details here.

The Search Begins
There is clearly a wealth of options available to anyone who is thinking of getting into the creative industry. The list above is by no means exhaustive so make sure to get in touch with colleges in your area to see what creative courses they offer. You can also use our CourseFinder to search courses by clicking here.

For those who have already completed a certificate or diploma creative course and want to pursue further study, take a moment to explore your Level Higher Education options. With our CourseFinder, you can filter your course search by sector, so you can search for courses within the creative realm. Many PLC awards allow students to apply to higher education through the Higher Education Links Scheme. If a course offers progression routes to the higher education system, this will be indicated by a link symbol on the CourseFinder. Search Higher Education courses here.

If you really want to pursue a creative career, then these short courses are a great way to get started. Even if you still have your doubts about committing to the Arts full time, these courses can give you an indication of the job satisfaction a creative career can provide. Remember the old adage, "If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life." - If this is what a creative career would mean to you, then you owe it to yourself to give it a try!

To learn more about creative industries, see our Creative Arts, Fashion & Media sector page here.

Related News

Applied Arts Ireland & Northern Ireland: Master Classes and Artist Talks 

Applied Arts Ireland & Northern Ireland: Master Classes and Artist Talks
Posted by Design & Crafts Council of Ireland