Our history

Oxford street trams 1940s

UNSW School of Art & Design can trace its origins back to the establishment of The Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts in 1833.

In 2014, UNSW College of Fine Arts (COFA) altered its name to UNSW Art & Design to acknowledge its commitment to the breadth of contemporary creativity.

For more than 180 years, UNSW School of Art & Design – variously known as Sydney Technical College, the National Art School, Alexander Mackie College and the City Art Institute – has been committed to education, practice and research in art and design.

Acknowledgement of Country

UNSW School of Art & Design stands on an important place of learning and exchange first occupied by the Bidjigal and Gadigal peoples.

We acknowledge the Bidjigal and Gadigal peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the land that our students and staff share, create and operate on. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend this respect to all First Nations peoples across Australia. Sovereignty has never been ceded.