The RDS Student Art Awards has an annual prize fund in excess of €17,000. Encompassing the RDS Taylor Art Award which has been awarded since 1860, the Awards are the most prestigious art awards open to students studying at degree or postgraduate level, enrolled in Irish Art Colleges.
The goal of the RDS Foundation Arts programme is to provide a platform that supports the transition from student to emerging artist; encouraging the pursuit of a career in visual arts, crafts or music.
There has been a history of promoting crafts in the RDS since 1888, when the first of the Society's Art and Industries Exhibitions featuring lace and embroidery was held at the Horse and Sheep Show. The RDS Craft Awards in its current form was founded in 1968. With a prize fund in excess of €24,000 shared over 20 categories, the RDS National Craft Awards is one of Europe’s leading independently adjudicated craft competitions.
With a prize fund of €10,000, the RDS Music Bursary is one of the largest single bursaries on offer to a young musician in Europe. Open to vocalists, conductors and instrumentalists, the Bursary aims to assist a young professional musician develop their career through further study at home or abroad or for the purchase of a suitable musical instrument.
The RDS Rising Stars Music Recitals Programme provides an audience and a venue for third-level music students to help them gain performance experience.