University of Sydney Handbooks - 2017 Archive

Download full 2017 archive Page archived at: Mon, 28 Aug 2017 11:21:56 +1000

Bachelor of Visual Arts

Please refer to the units of study descriptions in Table A - core units of study and Table B - Critical Studies and Disciplinary Elective units of study.

First year

Semester 1 Semester 2
CASF1001 Studio Foundation: complete two transdisciplinary projects CAST1001 Studio 1: choose two disciplinary areas
CATE1001 Critical Studies: Contemporary Art: an Introduction CATE1002 Critical Studies: The Avant-Garde
Contemporary Drawing (two of CADR1005, CADR1006, CADR1007, CADR1008) Contemporary Drawing (two of CADR1005, CADR1006, CADR1007, CADR1008)

The first year comprises units of study that develop your creative work and your theoretical awareness of contemporary art practice. You learn about materials and methods appropriate for your work, and develop the technical skills required to make and document it successfully.

In the first semester you are exposed to a wide range of disciplinary areas represented at SCA. You complete two transdisciplinary projects (Studio Foundation) developed by a team of academic staff from different disciplinary areas. The projects entail both academic instruction and technical workshops that give you a choice in the media you use for the execution of your end-of-semester project outcome. You receive four hours of academic tuition supported by a two-hour technical workshop each week.

From second semester you can begin your specialisation by choosing two disciplinary areas in Studio 1. Studio 1 gives you an opportunity to locate yourself within two specific studio environments over two six-week blocks. You work with the production methodologies and creative contexts characteristic of the particular studio environment. Your projects are supported by technical workshops in the chosen discipline areas. Studio 1 helps you to choose a disciplinary major of study in second year and reinforce pathways for future interdisciplinary projects.

Contemporary Drawing introduces you to the fundamentals of visual research and investigation, using traditional analogue as well as advanced digital technologies, both of which are essential to contemporary art practice. Each semester you undertake two of the following projects delivered over a six-week block: Life Drawing, Digital Drawing, Experimental Drawing and Animation/Time Based Drawing.

Second year

Semester 1 Semester 2
Studio 2: choose one discipline major Studio 3: continue in your chosen discipline major
Critical Studies Critical Studies
Elective* Elective*

Third year

Semester 1 Semester 2
Studio 4: continue in your major Studio 5: final project in your major
Critical Studies Critical Studies
Elective* Elective*

*You can also apply to take a six credit point unit of study offered by another faculty. Please use the Special Permission function in Sydney Student.

Disciplinary majors

In second year you select a disciplinary major. Completion of a major is a requirement of the course. You complete Studio 2-5 units of study over second and third years.

Studio 2 provides a creative environment in which you explore and develop your own emerging ideas and personal artistic voice within your chosen disciplinary major.

In Studio 3 you build on experience you gained in Studio 2 and expand your ideas as you renew the exploration of your personal artistic expression.

The primary focus of Studio 4 and Studio 5 units of study is the consolidation of your own creative practice leading to the production of work for the graduate exhibition at the end of the third year. You are expected to work on independent and self-directed projects that continue to develop and extend ideas and approaches you initiated in second year.

In the last semester you pursue self-initiated practice to a standard appropriate for public exhibition.

The studio units of study integrate theory and practice in a flexible structure that fosters experimentation across a broad range of approaches, mediums and cross-disciplinary methodologies.

Critical Studies

In addition to your disciplinary major, you select and complete four units of study from the Critical Studies area. Critical Studies provides you with the theoretical concepts and historical context you need for an in-depth understanding of contemporary art practice.

Critical Studies immerses you in current themes and debates in contemporary art, exploring artists’ practices while also linking these to modern and postmodern developments. You are encouraged to apply these critical skills to your own work and to that of other artists, writers, and curators.

You can take the Advanced Critical Studies unit in the last semester, which will allow you to undertake extended research on a topic of your own choice. If you are considering enrolling in Honours you can take this unit of study to prepare your research project.


You also complete four elective units of study chosen from:

  • a suite of SCA studio-style electives including electives that deepen your skills and knowledge of your disciplinary major
  • the Critical Studies suite or
  • units of study offered by other faculties across the University.

By selecting all four electives from the Critical Studies areas you can complete a second major in Critical Studies.