Fine arts

Students in a Drawing class at Paddington

Shape the future of contemporary art

Fine arts at UNSW will prepare you to thrive in and lead the future of global contemporary art and culture. Fine arts allows you to experiment with a range of artistic processes, mediums and techniques, explore your ideas and creativity and hone your independent art practice.

Prepare to thrive in the creative sector

As part of UNSW School of Art & Design, you’ll join a creative community with an unmatched record for producing critically acclaimed artists and designers. Our fine arts graduates are exhibited and collected widely in Australia and internationally, including in many of the world’s leading art museums, galleries and major biennales. Our graduates consistently achieve national recognition -winning Australia’s most prestigious art prizes, including the Archibald and Blake prizes, the NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship, as well as other notable prizes, scholarships and residencies.

Through fine arts, you’ll gain the transferable skills, confidence and insights to kick-start your professional artistic practice and thrive in the creative and cultural industries. Our graduates move into diverse careers, including: 

  • art direction, advertising and communications
  • arts and cultural administration and policymaking
  • arts education and training
  • arts writing, publishing and criticism
  • commercial photography and photojournalism
  • contemporary art practice
  • curating and program management in festivals, museums, galleries and public spaces
  • exhibition planning, design and installation
  • entertainment, media and technology industries
  • theatre, film and television production
  • urban planning, site activation and public art.


Studio practice 

Through a studio practice major, you’ll study two out of six choices of specialisations. 

  • In the drawing studio, you’ll develop understandings of the formal, material and conceptual possibilities of contemporary drawing practice. You’ll work from the human figure, experiment with a range of traditional and contemporary materials and extend your individual practice through rigorous creative and experimental approaches.

  • In the painting studio, you’ll engage with painting as a formal, material and conceptual practice. Exploring connections between conceptual and material enquiry, you’ll develop an individual practice by testing ideas and techniques in a critically-informed studio environment.

  • In the printmaking studio, you’ll acquire diverse technical skills in traditional and contemporary print methods, including digital imaging, etching, lithography, relief printing and screen-printing. You’ll use collaborative enquiry, analysis, critique and reflection to generate ideas and artworks in a contemporary printmaking environment.

  • In the photography studio, you’ll develop diverse and transferable photographic skills, supporting you to become artists and practitioners in a variety of fields. The studio fosters critical enquiry and experimentation to explore the material and conceptual possibilities of photography in contemporary contexts.

  • In the sculpture studio, you’ll develop artworks by engaging with sculptural, spatial and social possibilities of contemporary art. The studio fosters a collaborative and critically-informed approach to support students in developing their artistic practice.

  • In the moving image studio, you’ll explore contemporary approaches to video art, short film, audio-visual composition and installation. You’ll develop understandings and skills in a variety of creative contexts for moving image practice, including gallery, screen, virtual and public spaces.

    Through a series of core studio art practice courses, you’ll also be supported to explore a breadth of understanding of fine arts practice while you dive deep and develop your independent practice. 

Art theory

We also offer art theory as a major within our undergraduate suite.