Develop your creative skills and knowledge with the Bachelor of Fine Arts. Taught by internationally-recognised practising artists and scholars, you’ll develop your independent artistic practice in a rigorous and supportive community of artists and thinkers.

 

Faculty
Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Award
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Commencing Terms
Term 1, Term 2, Term 3
Duration (Full Time)
3 Year(s)

Overview

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is designed for those who wish to thrive in and lead the future of global contemporary art and culture. You’ll be encouraged to experiment with a range of artistic processes, mediums and techniques to explore your ideas, curiosities and passions.

You’ll focus on one distinct major, choosing either Studio Practice or Art Theory. Both pathways feature professional practice, research skills and opportunities for elective study, meaning you’ll be prepared for a diverse range of careers and professional contexts in today’s art world and related creative fields.

Key features

Define your practice
Our degree allows you to choose a major in either Studio Practice or Art Theory. Your specialisation will be informed by an expansive choice of subjects to establish your practice with theory and skills that interest you. You'll learn from a network of creatives to understand different areas of the art system and how they interact. We teach you to be confident in the value of your unique practice and your place in the contemporary art space.

A creative community
Learn alongside artists, designers, media practitioners and curators in a community engaged with contemporary events and debate. A dynamic campus will influence your practice and network with a social and collaborative culture. Situated in Sydney’s creative heart, the UNSW Art & Design campus at Paddington is at the centre of local galleries, industry and studios.

A professional and global approach
Be confident to launch a career as a professional creative or use your skills in other industries as a creative professional. Our students graduate with tangible professional skills that make them stand out in industry. You’ll learn how to network, promote your practice, write applications and grants, and gain local and global perspectives through field trips, internships, overseas electives, exchange and our international visiting curators' program. 

Why study this degree at UNSW?

  • Be supported by our diverse, open and inclusive Arts, Design & Architecture community.
  • Learn through research-informed teaching
  • Prioritise career success – UNSW won the Australian Financial Review’s Most Employable Students Award in 2020
  • Join our School of Art & Design creative community with a dedicated campus and cutting-edge facilities
  • Apply your creative skills in our on-campus galleries, student publications and events
  • Benefit from strong industry links and partnerships
  • Access world class alumni connections
  • Join a global top 50 university (QS World University Rankings, 2021)
  • Join a community that’s part of the prestigious Group of Eight (Go8) universities
Program Code
4821
CRICOS Code
097696E
Campus
Paddington
UAC Code
421000
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
144
Indicative Enrolments
86

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Entry requirements

2021 Lowest Selection Rank
2021 A Levels

13

2021 IB Diploma
2021 Lowest ATAR

65.05*

    1. 2021 Lowest Selection Rank
      The 2021 Lowest Selection Rank (LSR) is the adjusted rank (ATAR plus adjustment factors) you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2021.
    2. 2021 A levels
      The 2021 A levels score is based on four Advanced Level (A2) subject. Entry scores are calculated from the best three or four A2 subjects (excluding repeated subjects) using the following values: A*=6, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1. At most one Applied A Level subject may be included in the best four subjects used to calculate the aggregate.
    3. 2021 IB Diploma
      The 2021 IB Diploma is an indication of the IB you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2021. It is to be used as a guide only.
    4. 2021 Lowest ATAR
      The 2021 Lowest ATAR is the lowest ATAR (before adjustment factors were applied) to which an offer was made. Where <5 is listed, this indicates that less than 5 ATAR-based offers were made and so the score has not been published. N/A indicates no offers were made on the basis of ATAR.

Assumed knowledge

Visual Arts

Alternative entry pathways

Portfolio Entry

At UNSW School of Art & Design we look for creative talent. As such, some students are admitted solely on their ATAR, or equivalent, and some are identified by demonstrating their creative potential by preparing and submitting a portfolio of art, design, media or written work. Submitting a portfolio can boost your chances of admission to Australia’s leading school of art and design. For more information and to see specific guidelines and deadlines visit Art & Design's Portfolio Entry page.

UNSW also offers a number of other alternative entry schemes to support you in boosting your admission opportunities. Explore your alternative entry options.

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

International direct entry

We do not accept secondary qualifications from this country. We may accept tertiary study results, please contact us for more information.

Please contact us for direct entry requirements.

Pathway programs

UNSW Global has university pathway programs that provide seamless transition to UNSW Sydney so you can achieve your academic and career goals.  

Find out more

 

UNSW offers a number of other alternative entry schemes which could support you in boosting your admission opportunities. Explore your alternative entry options.

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Program structure

The Bachelor of Fine Arts is three years full-time consisting of 24 courses. Depending on whether you choose a Studio Practice or Art Theory major, the program will include:

Studio Practice

  • 6 Core courses
  • 6 Disciplinary studio courses
  • 4 Theory courses
  • 6 Free electives
  • 2 General education courses

Art Theory

  • 6 Core courses
  • 10 Art Theory Major courses
  • 6 Free electives
  • 2 General education courses

Study areas

    • Studio Practice
    • Art Theory
    • Drawing
    • Painting
    • Printmaking
    • Photography
    • Sculpture
    • Moving Image
    • Art and Embodiment
    • Art and Institutions
    • Art, Science and Technology
    • Local and Global Art

Full program structure

Each university year at UNSW has three terms and an optional summer study period.

Some courses need to be studied in your first and second year, so you’re prepared for courses that can only be studied in later years. You can study full-time or part-time. Depending on how you plan your study load, you can fit two or three courses into a term and one course in a summer term.

Throughout your degree, you’ll be guided by our dedicated, nationally and internationally recognised staff of artists, art theorists and curators to develop an independent creative practice. With two majors to choose from, the degree is structured to develop depth in disciplinary skills and knowledge, underpinned by specialised art history and theory courses. Discover more about what you’ll learn in each major below.

  • Core courses

    Across this suite of six core studio courses, you’ll develop creative, conceptual and professional skills and explore new possibilities for your independent and interdisciplinary artistic practice.

    Disciplinary studio courses
    In first year, choose from a range of introductory courses to expand your skills and knowledge. In second year, select at least two areas in which to deepen your practice from the following studio areas:

    • Drawing: Learn the formal, material and conceptual possibilities of contemporary drawing practice.
    • Painting: Engage with painting as a formal, material and conceptual practice.
    • Photography: Develop diverse and transferable photographic skills across digital and analogue processes.
    • Printmaking: Gain diverse technical skills across etching, lithography, relief-printing, screen-printing and digital imaging.
    • Sculpture: Engage with sculptural, spatial and social possibilities of contemporary art.
    • Moving Image: Explore contemporary approaches to video art, short film, audio-visual composition and installation.

    History and theory
    Throughout the degree, you’ll critically engage with the histories and theories informing contemporary art practice. You’ll gain important analytical, communication and research skills, as well as critically examining the key ideas and debates shaping today’s art and culture.

    Free electives and general education
    Add to your repertoire of skills and knowledge through elective courses in a wide range of areas in art, design, media, and theory, as well as courses from across the university. General education courses enable you to broaden your educational experience. You can choose any general education course from across the university in areas that align with your interests.

    Below is an example of what you could study in a standard three-year, full-time study plan:

    First year

    • 2 Core courses
    • 2 Disciplinary studio courses
    • 2 Theory courses
    • 2 Free electives

    Second year

    • 2 Core courses
    • 2 Disciplinary studio courses
    • 1 Theory course
    • 2 Free electives
    • 1 General education course

    Third year

    • 2 Core courses
    • 2 Disciplinary studio courses
    • 1 Theory course
    • 2 Free electives
    • 1 General education course
  • In the Art Theory Major, you’ll choose a combination of core and optional courses that are curated around the following study themes:

    • Art and Embodiment
    • Art and Institutions
    • Art, Science and Technology
    • Local and Global Art

    Core courses
    The core studies throughout the program allow you to explore a range of histories and theories informing contemporary art practice and discourse. With a focus on the relationship between local and global contexts, these courses give you insights into the complex and intersecting ideas shaping current debates about art and culture.

    Art theory major
    Choose from a range of interconnected courses across contemporary art, new media, performance art, and art institution and museum studies to gain broad knowledge and deep insights. Hone your analytical, communication and research skills to help you discover and articulate complex ideas.

    Free electives and general education
    Add to your repertoire of skills and knowledge through elective courses in a wide range of areas in art, design, media, and theory, as well as courses from across the university. General education courses enable you to broaden your educational experience. You can choose from any general education course from across the university in areas that align with your own interests.

    First year

    • 4 Core courses
    • 2 Art Theory Major courses
    • 2 Free electives

    Second year

    • 1 Core course
    • 4 Art Theory Major courses
    • 2 Free electives
    • 1 General education course

    Third year

    • 4 Art Theory Major courses
    • 1 Core course
    • 2 Free electives
    • 1 General education
  • Fine Arts (Honours) and Art Theory (Honours) are one-year programs that allow you to advance your studies and can be a pathway to postgraduate study. They’re intended for high-achieving students who have completed an undergraduate degree in fine arts (or similar area), either from UNSW Sydney or another university. 

Future careers

Studio Practice major
Many of our graduates are practising contemporary artists in their fields of expertise. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (Studio Practice) also equips graduates with the transferable skills and insights that secure employment across the cultural and creative industries including:

  • Art direction, advertising and communications
  • Arts and cultural administration and policy making
  • Arts education and training
  • Arts writing, publishing and criticism
  • Commercial photography and photojournalism
  • 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

Art Theory major
UNSW’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (Art Theory) prepares students for a range of careers as thinkers, curators, producers, publishers, innovators, policy makers and future leaders.

Our graduates have the hands-on skills underpinning how creative content is exhibited, distributed, interpreted and promoted and are sought after across a range of arts, cultural, entertainment, media and technology industries.

Graduates find employment in areas including:

  • Arts and cultural management, policy making and administration
  • Art and design criticism, 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 

Double degrees

UNSW offers a comprehensive suite of career-enhancing double degree options. The Bachelor of Fine Arts can be combined in the following double degrees:

How to apply

Applications for undergraduate study from domestic students (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holders and New Zealand citizens) are processed by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Visit the Apply section of the UAC website and you can nominate up to five degrees in order of preference, with the first being your most desired degree and university.

On-time applications for admission usually close at the end of September each year for Term 1 admission. Late applications can be submitted, but a late fee will apply. For study starting in Term 1, the majority of offers are made in December and January. Visit the UAC website for key dates for admission outside of Term 1.

Ready to apply?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

*If you are an international student studying an Australian qualification, go to the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for application and UAC key dates. Note: If you are under 18 years of age, you need to make special arrangements. Read more.

Ready to apply?

Fees & Scholarships

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$7,950*

Commonwealth Supported Place, Student Contribution Band 2

*The student contribution for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 based on a standard full-time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The actual student contribution you will be liable for depends on your individual program of study and the calendar year in which you enrol. Actual fees are calculated upon enrolment. Student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University and may increase each year during your studies (subject to caps determined by the Australian Government), effective at the start of each calendar year.

The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included.

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$37,440*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$117,000*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

Scholarships

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university life accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a local or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.