Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT) was established as an autonomous higher education institution within the Institutes of Technology sector on April 1st, 1997. On that day, Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design, with its 450 students, was incorporated in the new institute and has developed since as our School of Creative Arts. Two Schools were established ab-initio. The School of Creative Technologies and the School of Business & Humanities enrolled their first students in October 1998. In 2012 the three academic schools were amalgamated into two faculties: Faculty of Enterprise and Humanities and Faculty of Film, Art and Creative Technology. Today, IADT has 2,300 full-time students, 800 part-time students and is set to grow to 3,000+ full-time places. IADT has built an international reputation in the creative, cultural and digital media sectors and is also a valued educational and enterprise partner in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown and the wider Dublin and East Coast region.
IADT – origins
The origins of the Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design can be traced to a response by what was then titled the Borough of Dun Laoghaire Vocational Education Committee (VEC) to a local need of school leavers for a portfolio course to prepare for entry to colleges of art and design. From this modest beginning, the College grew in reputation to become one of the leading art, design and film schools in the country. A one-year pre-diploma course in art and design was established in the Technical Institute in Dun Laoghaire in the late 1960’s and was developed to become the first art foundation course in Ireland.
In 1970/71 Dun Laoghaire VEC granted permission for a further three-year course leading to a Diploma in Art and Design.
In August 1979, the Minister for Education agreed to establish ‘Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design’ [DLCAD] as a separate entity from the 1st September 1979. On August 1st, 1980, the Minister for Education made an order designating the ‘Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design’ as an NCEA recognised institution. The VEC undertook a development plan to improve the facilities provided for students at the school and an additional building at York Road became available from January 1981. With effect from October 1st, 1981, a Principal was appointed to the school.
In a separate development, the Department of Education acquired the Christian Brothers’ seminary in Carriglea Park in 1982, on learning of the Christian Brothers’ intention to sell the property and consolidate their activities in Marino. It is interesting to note that the purchase price for the campus in 1982 was £2million! The Department of Education was considering the possibility of establishing a ‘Regional Technical College’ on the site – for many reasons, this did not become a reality until 1997. However, with land and vacant educational buildings at Carriglea, the opportunity arose to address the urgent accommodation needs of DLCAD and arrangements were made with the VEC to allow the college to locate from the town of Dun Laoghaire to the Carriglea campus.
The academic session of 1983/84 saw the extensive refurbishment of the campus buildings in preparation for the move of the College of Art and Design. This opportunity was enthusiastically taken up by the staff in consultation with the design team and a well-designed, functional and appropriately equipped college took shape on the campus, including studios, workshops and offices. New third level courses at National Certificate, National Diploma and Degree levels were designed, validated by the NCEA, and implemented. While student numbers increased progressively it was not until 1st September 1988 that the staffing structure of the college was enhanced to reflect the third level status of the staff. The college grew progressively and by 1997 had 450 students enrolled.
IADT – establishment within the Institutes of Technology sector in 1997
The establishment of the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology under the RTC Acts on the 1st April 1997 realised the long held ambition of Dun Laoghaire VEC, the staff of DLCAD and the wider community to create a fully fledged third level college based in Dun Laoghaire. A working group finalised the planning and established IADT with a vision that the new college would augment the established foundation and reputation in art, design and media through new disciplines, embracing humanities, technology and business. This has been additionally recognised in the unique naming of the college and the integration of art, design and technology in name and mission.
The campus has grown significantly in the period since 1997, with the addition of the Atrium Building , Carriglea Building , the Mediacube [Digital Media Incubation Centre] in 2007, the Backlot  and National Film School building . Student numbers have grown from 450 to 2,300 with further growth to 3,000+ students and a further building programme planned.