University of Sydney Handbooks - 2012 Archive

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Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours)

The objective of the additional honours year is to provide 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. Students may continue to work in the area of their undergraduate study or undertake research in a different area.

Studio areas available include Ceramics, Film and Digital Art, Glass, Jewellery and Object, Painting, Photomedia, Printmedia, and Sculpture, Performance and Installation (SPI). The honours program focuses on establishing the individual's research practice, further equipping students for entry into professional practice or entry into the Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Philosophy programs.

Students nominate study by either:

  • Studio project and research paper (predominantly through studio-based work, supported by a research paper of 5,000-7,000 words).
  • Dissertation and minor studio project (predominantly by dissertation of 15,000 words). In this case the program will provide an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the theoretical and critical issues that affect art making to prepare students for higher degree study in art history, theory or criticism.

Students are expected to have developed a focus and direction in their work and be prepared for working in a tutorial environment with a supervisor. Students are assigned a supervisor from SCA's academic staff members. They also participate in seminars and attend lectures as required. Students are examined at the end of the course at the Degree Show.

Honours supervisors

Each student is assigned a supervisor for the general supervision of studio and written work, seminar preparation and other requirements of the course studies. The student has the responsibility for maintaining regular contact with the appointed course supervisor, maintaining ongoing studies consultation and keeping to a schedule of dates for the presentation of research paper or dissertation drafts. Meetings are expected to be at least fortnightly.

The supervisor will maintain a record of progress, and at the end of first semester a summary of progress will be provided to the candidate.

Honours examination

The final examination of candidature for BVA (Honours) will take place at the Degree Show at the end of the course.

A panel of two (one not being a member of SCA staff), will examine the studio work and research paper or dissertation. A supporting visual record of work completed during the candidature and documenting its development during the course forms part of the submission.

SCA will arrange preliminary meetings for the candidate with each of their examiners, to familiarise the examiner with work to be submitted.

Seminar attendance

Students must satisfy the requirements for both participation and attendance and be present at the whole of each seminar and contribute actively to its discussion.

Information to be provided to students

The BVA Honours Course Guide, which is made available to all students at the time of enrolment into the Honours program, is a comprehensive guide to the course requirements and includes advice on approaches to the Research Paper and Seminar Presentation.