Dougal has been at Ulster University since 2011, as a Lecturer in Painting within both the BA Fine Art and MFA programmes. He was a course co-director for the BA programme from 2015-2019 and is again currently course director from 2021-23. PhD supervision responsibilities have seen the successful completion of theses by Dr Susan Connolly (2019) and Dr David Haughey (2021).
A co-director in the early years of the Belfast artist-run organisation Catalyst Arts from 1994-96, Dougal went on to become a Lecturer in Painting at Limerick School of Art and Design, from 1997-2004. From 2004-2011 he worked across the National Diploma, Foundation and HND courses at SRC Newry and Armagh. He has been a studio member at Queen Street Studios, Orchid Studios and PSSquared Studios in Belfast, where he currently sits on the board.
Dougal has been a prize winner at the Liverpool John Moores Contemporary Painting Exhibition in 2004, the John Moores Retrospective in Seongnam, South Korea in 2010, and an exhibitor again at the John Moores in 2012. Notable Belfast exhibitions have been The MAC International 2014, and a solo exhibition ‘A Dream and an Argument’ also at The MAC. He was represented by the third space gallery in Belfast from 2008-2012. In 2006, he curated ‘The Double Image’, part of the Golden Thread Gallery’s Collective Histories of Northern Ireland exhibition series.
When he is not teaching, Dougal paints and reads from a shed in his garden, where his interests focus mainly on relationships between painting, movies and historiography.