Art theory

Artist wears cape in front of art works in the Honours Art and Design Gallery

Dive into new concepts and ideas 

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.

Learn with world-renowned artists and theorists

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.

Transferrable skills for diverse creative careers 

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.

Study with us

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.