Connect with your peers and get involved with the UNSW community!

People browse the artworks in the Art and Design Honours Gallery

Clubs & societies

Life in ADA offers plenty of exciting opportunities to build friendships, connections, and engage in causes that you care about. Joining a club, society or peer mentoring program is a great way to build your community.

There are so many different Clubs & Societies you can get involved with through Arc. You can see a full list of clubs here.

You can also develop professional skills by volunteering to take an important role within your choice of club or society. Many of these volunteer opportunities are approved by UNSW Advantages and are eligible for recognition on your Higher Graduation Statement (AHEGS).

ADA has several main clubs and societies for different disciplines.

Find yours here.

Peer mentoring

Peer mentoring – community programs

Peer mentoring is also available to all students. Signing up to a Peer mentoring program is an excellent way to make friends and help you transition in to UNSW.

Peer mentoring – Arts, Design & Architecture programs

Connect with a peer mentor from your community to help make the start of your new life as a student feel less overwhelming and more exciting! Community groups include disability, international students, LGBTIQA+, and mature-aged students.

Connect with a peer mentor from ADA  to make friends in the faculty and get all the best tips on how to make the most of your time with us. 


Community events

UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture run a variety of public events each year where the wider community can join us for diverse, innovative and unique creative works and forward-thinking research produced and shared by our students, staff and partners. 

Creative spaces

Our supportive and inclusive community comes together to share interests, places and cultures in spaces that inspire your creativity and making.

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Luminocity is an annual exhibition of the Built Environment students works, launched on UNSW Open Day each year in September. 

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Social Sciences Week, for which UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture is an official partner, offers national engagement events, both virtual, face-to-face and hybrid. 

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Utzon Lectures run throughout the year, featuring keynote talks from global leaders in the Built Environment. 

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UNSW Galleries brings together the work of leading Australian and international practitioners, curators and writers working in contemporary art and design. 

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Student performance  

As part of their professional development, our talented musicians, writers, actors, dancers, filmmakers and media producers of tomorrow share their talents with the wider community. The School of the Arts & Media runs a dedicated program of student performances, film screenings and exhibitions.  

Our diverse mix of music ensembles regularly perform for the public and include:  

  • Burgundian Consort
  • Chamber Music 
  • Collegium Musicum Choir
  • Contemporary Composition Ensemble
  • Electro-Acoustic Ensemble 
  • Guitar Ensemble 
  • Jazz Ensemble & Jazz Composition 
  • Jazz Orchestra 
  • Latin Jazz Conjunto 
  • UNSW Orchestra
  • UNSW Wind Symphony
  • West African Drum Group


UNSWriting cultivates students’ flows of ideas and great writing as well as connecting writers, publishers and students. We host several events, workshops and public talks each year with past speakers including Fiona McGregor, Anna Funder, David Malouf and Tom Keneally. 

UNSWriting has been a major partner of the Sydney Writers’ Festival and has featured international festival guests in conversation on campus.  

Visit UNSWriting for more information.

External engagement

We're committed to being a valued partner, making an impact on contemporary and social issues, providing expertise and thought leadership, and contributing to public debate. 

Visit Work Integrated Learning for more information on our connections to industry.

We have extensive experience in integrating study and work experience and engaging with a wide range of audiences and external stakeholders, including:

  • UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture is engaging with an increasing number of private sector and corporate entities, professional associations and multilateral organisations on research programs and linkages, consultancy services, student internships and graduate placements.

    IFC and the Business Coalition For Women

    Researchers from UNSW’s Gendered Violence Research Network, located in the School of Social Sciences, are partnering with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Pacific Adventist University in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to examine the impacts of family and sexual violence (FSV) on the workplace in PNG. This includes the development of culturally appropriate, gender-sensitive and gender-equitable strategies for employers to address the effects of FSV on their employees and organisations. The team has created PNG’s first ‘Model Policy on Family and Sexual Violence’ based on international good practice and participatory research in PNG. The current phase involves providing implementation support for local employers through research, training and advisory services, as well as building the capacity of local trainers.

    Australian Council of Trade Unions

    A long-term collaboration between researchers from the School of Social Sciences and the ACTU has already led to domestic violence clauses for around 1.6 million workers in Australia. Currently, the partners are conducting an online survey of employer experiences of the implementation of domestic violence clauses. This provided evidentiary material for a case which the ACTU took to the Fair Work Commission in 2015 for the inclusion of domestic violence paid leave in modern awards.

    Career Ready Mentoring Program

    The School of Built Environment Career Ready Mentoring Program connects final year students with industry and alumni to provide practical support and career development advice. 

    Design Next

    Design Next works as a connector between industry and UNSW design. If you're a part of a design-driven organisation and would like to test ideas or locate design expertise at the university, get in touch with us. 

  • Schools within UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture are valued partners to federal and state government departments, agencies and other public sector entities through our extensive research, as well as our involvement in advisory committees and other government-appointed bodies.

    NSW Department of Housing

    Since 1995, the UNSW Community Development Project (UNSW CDP) has developed strong relationships between UNSW, public housing tenants in Sydney and the NSW Department of Housing, and provided resources and support to build the capacity of the local community for neighbourhood improvement/renewal.

    NSW Department of Justice

    The School of Social Sciences has been instrumental in UNSW’s 20-year relationship with the NSW Department of Justice through continuous ARC and Category 2/3 grants involving divisions such as Juvenile Justice, Corrective Services, Legal Aid and the Police. In addition to building expert research and knowledge in key areas, our staff members contribute to the Department’s role through numerous ministerial, law reform and advisory committees.

    NSW Health

    The School of Social Science’s longstanding relationship with NSW Health has resulted in ARC and NHMRC research projects to measure, understand and catalogue best practice responses to intimate partner violence. This has included the development of close working relationships with rural and urban Local Health Districts and Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health services.

  • UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture engages with a wide cross-section of civil society including international and local non-government organisations, philanthropic foundations, community-based and grassroots organisations, and corresponding multilateral bodies.

    Barnardos Australia

    Collaboration between Elizabeth Fernandez from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture and Barnardos Australia on ARC-funded research on outcomes for children in care has progressed to research commercialisation benefitting the child welfare sector nationally through initiatives such as the Practice Development Centre, the Looking After Children (LAC) project, and the Supporting Children and Responding to Families (SCARF) model.

    Ted Noffs Foundation

    Academics from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture are partnering with the Ted Noffs Foundation on a 2014–2017 ARC Linkage research project to examine the benefits of life management development for young people using alcohol and drugs who are caught up in the criminal justice system.

    UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees)

    UNSW’s Centre for Refugee Research (CRR), located in the faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture, has collaborated with UNHCR on research and advocacy initiatives for over a decade. This has led to significant improvements in protection for refugee women and girls at risk of sexual and gender-related violence. UNSW is one of the few international universities to have a MOU with UNHCR. In addition, staff and student interns are actively involved in UNHCR's Annual Consultations with NGOs in Geneva, and other high-level UNHCR meetings.

    UNICEF Vietnam

    Richard Hugman from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture has worked closely with UNICEF Vietnam for over a decade to advise the Vietnam Government on the development of professional social work. These efforts were instrumental in the government’s decision in 2010 to formally establish social work as a profession, and the project continues to examine the implementation of social work services in Vietnam.

  • The academic staff at UNSW’s Arts, Design & Architecture are active contributors to domestic and international media through commentary, feature articles and opinion pieces. The latest news for each school is listed below. For a full list of articles, please visit our newsroom.