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Study visual arts at Sydney College of the Arts

Why study with us?

  • You will be taught by practising artists, writers, and curators, and benefit from their extensive professional experience and arts industry networks.

  • Choose from a wide range of electives in contemporary art or in the many disciplines offered across other faculties of the University.

Overview

The Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) provides students who have qualified for, or been awarded, an undergraduate pass degree in visual arts the opportunity to extend their potential in studio-based and written research.

As a candidate you may continue to work in the area of your undergraduate study or undertake research in a different area.

You can nominate to study by either studio practice and research paper or by dissertation. You are expected to have developed a focus and direction in your work and be prepared for working in a tutorial environment with a supervisor.

Subject areas
Shared pool

Admission, fees and how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status

My qualification is

The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

Your fee

Your funding & scholarships

How to apply

Applications are made directly to the University of Sydney and assessed by the Faculty. Current SCA students submit a research proposal with their application; all other applicants - a research proposal and a portfolio of recent artwork. All applicants must nominate a mode of research: by studio practice and research paper; or by dissertation.

Closing dates

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March)

International applicants may apply directly to the University of Sydney or through a University overseas representative (education agent). Current SCA students submit a research proposal with their application; all other applicants - a research proposal and a portfolio of recent artwork. All applicants must nominate a mode of research: by studio practice and research paper; or by dissertation.

Closing dates

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - visit the scholarships webpage for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

Sample study plan

Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours)

Year Sem  Units of study 
1 1 Honours semester one
  2 Honours semester two

Applying for honours

The honours year in the Bachelor of Visual Arts may be undertaken in the following areas: jewellery and object, painting, photomedia, printmedia, screen arts and sculpture or by dissertation only.

You must present a research proposal outlining the proposed topic of your investigation. If you are not a current SCA student, you are also required to submit a portfolio of recent artwork and may be interviewed as part of the admission process.

Admission requirement

To qualify for admission to the honours year you should have completed the requirements of the pass degree of the Bachelor of Visual Arts, or equivalent degree from a recognised institution, with a weighted average mark across intermediate and senior units of at least 65%.

Applicants are also selected on the basis of their portfolio and project proposal. Admission is competitive and not all eligible applicants may be offered candidature.  

Candidature in the honours year cannot be suspended nor deferred.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Handbooks Online and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

Further course information

Typical workload and assessment

At the end of honours year you are required to present a 5,000-7,000-word research paper and a substantial exhibition, performance or installation of artwork; or a 15,000-word dissertation.

Honours awards and classes

The Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) is awarded in the following classes:

  • Honours Class I where the Honours mark is in the range of 80 to 100
  • Honours Class II (Division 1) 75 to 79
  • Honours Class II (Division 2) 70 to 74
  • Honours Class III 65 to 69
  • Honours not awarded if Honours mark is below 65

Career Pathways

Our graduates can be found in a broad range of careers and roles, including:

  • Artist
  • Arts writer
  • Craftsperson
  • Curator
  • Digital artist
  • Educator (with further tertiary qualifications)
  • Filmmaker
  • Illustrator
  • Painter
  • Product designer
  • Sound artist
  • Web and multimedia designer

Graduate opportunities

The Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) focuses on establishing your individual research practice, further equipping you for entry into professional practice or entry into the Master of Fine Arts or Doctor of Philosophy programs.

Postgraduate study information

The Sydney College of the Arts Graduate School provides two postgraduate research degrees, the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

The MFA is designed to provide visual artists with the opportunity to extend their professional practice through advanced research. As a candidate you will develop a level of proficiency, self-direction and focus through investigating a proposed area of research to produce work of an original and speculative nature. The MFA is a two-year full-time program.

The PhD is designed to engage visual artists in independent research that constitutes an original contribution to the understanding of contemporary visual arts. The program provides candidates with a critical and intellectual focus to explore a single proposed research topic full-time over three to four years. Your research may reflect a critical exploration of the history, theory and practice of visual art; the development of new materials or technologies; the relationship between visual art and society; or the relationship between visual art and other disciplines.

Future study options

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.