When you study art theory at UNSW, you’ll explore the histories and theories that inform contemporary art and culture. Immersed in the creatively and intellectually stimulating context of Australia’s largest community of art and design practitioners, curators, students, educators and researchers, you’ll prepare yourself with the core knowledge and skills for a career in the arts and cultural sectors.
As an art theory student, you’ll be guided by our dedicated team of Australian and internationally recognised art theorists, curators and artists, helping you to examine the intersections between art and a range of historical, cultural, social and institutional contexts.
With complementary studies in studio art practice, visual arts, opportunities for elective study and opportunities to learn in professional contexts, you’ll graduate with the confidence and breadth of experience for a successful career in the contemporary art world and related creative industries throughout Australia and internationally.
Our graduates move into diverse careers including:
arts and cultural management, policy making and administration
art and design criticism, arts writing, communications and journalism
galleries, libraries, archives, museums
creative direction, planning and production
curatorship, festival, event and museum management
cultural and creative research and scholarship
media industries, publishing and distribution
public programming and engagement
entrepreneurship, strategy, creative consultancy and start-ups.
If you’re interested in studying art theory, your options at UNSW are flexible. You can study full-time or part-time. You can choose the art theory major within our Bachelor of Fine Arts and deepen your expertise through honours. You might also choose art theory and history as a minor within another undergraduate program.
If you’re interested in postgraduate study, our Master of Fine Arts will allow you to explore the ideas and concepts you’re interested in through a major research project and dissertation.
Your undergraduate study options in art theory include:
The honours program is an optional one-year program intended for high-achieving students who have completed the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Art Theory) at the School of Art & Design, or an undergraduate degree in art history, art theory, visual culture or equivalent, from another university.
Through a Master of Fine Arts at UNSW, you’ll undertake supervised research and investigation into an approved area of fine arts, media arts, design or curatorial practice through a substantial body of creative practice and a 15,000–20,000 word dissertation.
Postgraduate research through a PhD or Master of Philosophy (MPhil) will deepen your expertise and help you develop the broad intellectual sophistication, research and professional skills prized by employers. You’ll have access to first-rate facilities and world-class supervisors at the forefront of their fields in art theory.
Art theory is offered as a major in UNSW’s fine arts programs. We also offer fine arts with a studio practice major.