NEW Masters in Fashion Launched by Grafton Academy and American College Dublin

NEW Masters in Fashion Launched by Grafton Academy and American College Dublin

The Grafton Academy of Fashion Design will deliver its first Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Fashion Design from September, it was announced today.

The programme is being delivered in partnership with the American College Dublin, a constituent college of Irish American University.  It is the first new course offered by the Grafton Academy of Fashion Design following the change of management in September 2018 with the retirement of former Principal Suzanne Marr.

“We are delighted to partner with American College Dublin on this innovative new Master’s programme. It has been designed to meet specific fashion-industry needs. This collaboration will allow us prepare students for a career in fashion and will develop students’ expertise in the business side of the fashion industry. It is an exciting progression for Grafton Academy to offer this Master’s degree in association with American College Dublin,” said Colin Atkinson, Grafton Academy Principal.

The Master’s will equip students with the practical skills, knowledge and expertise to forge a career in the creative business of fashion. It is being delivered under ACD’s accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the US agency that accredits such institutions as Princeton, Columbia, Cornell and Johns Hopkins universities, along with several leading fashion design schools, among them Parson School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Entry to the Master’s in Fashion Design will require a relevant Level 8 honours degree, or a Grafton Academy Diploma or international or professional equivalent, or an approved body of professional work and experience.
“This new MFA in Fashion Design will combine the unique hands-on practical approach to fashion design that the Grafton Academy has developed over 80 years and build on its reputation for producing fashion luminaries such as Louise Kennedy and Ib Jorgensen. This MFA will not only develop skills in pattern making and garment construction. It will allow students tackle the challenges and possibilities of organising and presenting a fashion collection and be successful in the business of fashion, “ said Dr Joseph Rooney, President, American College Dublin, Irish American University.


Running from September 2019, the course will not only feature the unique hands on practical approach to fashion design that the Grafton Academy is renowned for, especially in pattern making and garment construction, but will also focus on the business side of the industry with modules in business management and marketing. Teaching will be on Tuesday or Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings and will be complemented by one-to-one tutorials.

Applications should be made directly to Grafton Academy; they should include a brief outline of the student’s experience in fashion, portfolio and a statement of motivation detailing how the applicant wishes to develop his or her practice by studying the programme. The first five successful applicants who have paid their deposit for the programme will receive a €2,000 scholarship.


With a tradition of over 80 years the Grafton Academy of Fashion Design based on Herbert Place, Dublin 2 is known for its unique focus on developing practical fashion design skills, especially in the areas of pattern making and garment construction. Louise Kennedy, Ib Jorgensen, Paul Costelloe, Umit Kutluk are among the design school’s many alumni.

The new leadership team of Colin Atkinson and Evelyn Rouiller took over the management of Grafton Academy in September 2018 when long-time owner and Principal Suzanne Marr retired.

Along with their combined 35 years’ experience of fashion design education Atkinson and Rouiller bring an innovative vision for the future of Grafton Academy, fashion education in Ireland and, with this new collaborative MFA with American College Dublin, also internationally.


American College Dublin, was set up as a not-for-profit independent educational trust in May 1993 by Lynn University, a liberal arts institution located in Boca Raton, Florida. In the years since its foundation American College Dublin has consolidated its position as a high quality liberal arts institution The College retains its commitment to delivering a post secondary education that adheres to the best traditions of the American liberal arts model; one that is stimulating, challenging, interesting and useful. It remains committed to teaching in small classes (generally no more than thirty students); to teaching which is responsive to the needs of students of varying abilities and backgrounds; and to teaching which actively involves the student in the learning and assessment processes. It continues to encourage and project an international outlook, through its student recruitment (60% of the total student body comes from outside the Republic of Ireland), through the content of many of its courses and through its fostering of links with the international community in Ireland.

Share This Post

Leave a reply