University of Sydney Handbooks - 2020 Archive

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Visual Arts

About the major

Students enrolled in degrees other than the Bachelor of Visual Arts and Bachelor of Visual Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies can take a major or minor in Visual Arts as part of their undergraduate studies in addition to a major in their own discipline.

First year introduces you to visual art practice to further extend your conceptual understanding and creative skills, theory and practice and the wide variety of media and disciplines within SCA's well-equipped studios, by focusing on project-based creative learning experiences in 2-Dimensional (image), 3-Dimensional (sculpture), 4-Dimensional (screen) and X-Dimensional (interdisciplinary) practices.

Second year enables direct focus on theory and practice within a broad range of visual arts disciplines, including ceramics, glass, jewellery painting, photomedia, printmedia, screen arts and sculpture; as well as a range of units growing out of experimental practices and the expanded field. You may elect to develop depth by enrolling in complimentary disciplinary units. Alternatively, you may wish to develop your interdisciplinary practice by enrolling in a broader range of units.

Third year deepens your engagement with visual arts and contemporary culture, through intensive studio-based projects that are increasingly self-directed. As with second year, a broad range of disciplinary units are offered, that encourage proactive and idiosyncratic conceptual development, along with the deepening of your existing technical expertise. Further, the principles of practice-led research are established in a way that maintains the ability to find a specific focal point alongside the potential to explore a shifting or interdisciplinary mode of art making.

Requirements for completion

The Visual Arts major and minor requirements are listed in the Visual Arts unit of study table.


Honours in Visual Arts allows you to extend your potential in studio-based and written research. You can choose to complete honours in Visual Arts either by studio practice and research paper, or by dissertation.

Your final examination will take place at the graduate exhibition at the end of the honours year. You are required to present your research paper and studio work; or dissertation with an oral examination, both to a panel of two examiners.

For students who commenced their degree prior to 2018: admission to Honours requires:

  1. the completion of the requirements of the pass degree in the Bachelor of Visual Arts, or a major in Visual Arts in an undergraduate degree at the University of Sydney or an equivalent degree from another university with a weighted average mark (WAM) of at least 65 across all 2000- and 3000-level units; and
  2. presentation of a research proposal outlining the proposed topic of investigation; and
  3. for students not in the Bachelor of Visual Arts, presentation of a portfolio of creative work demonstrating level of expertise for honours level.

Requirements and units of study available are listed in the 2017 Visual Arts unit of study table.

Advanced coursework

The requirements for advanced coursework in Visual Arts are described in the degree resolutions for the Bachelor of Visual Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies.

Advanced Coursework units of study will be included in the table for 2021.

Contact and further information

Sydney College of the Art website:
School of Literature, Art and Media website: