Bachelor of Visual Arts

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Bachelor of Visual Arts is a three year full time program (or 6 years part-time) available in six disciplinary majors: painting, photomedia, screen arts, sculpture, printmedia and jewellery and object. Honours is available as an additional year to meritorious students. Honours allows students to pursue a substantial research project in a one-on-one supervisory relationship with academic staff.

The Bachelor of Visual Arts is a hands-on degree focused on developing the conceptual, theoretical and technical skills you need to transform ideas into art, and succeed as a practising artist or in a range of careers in the creative industries. From first year on, you are encouraged to work across disciplinary boundaries in order to realise your ideas, while also given grounding in the skills and history of your chosen major. You are taught by practicing artists, writers, and curators, and benefit from their extensive professional experience and arts industry networks that include galleries and museums. A strong theory and history stream hones your research and critical skills so you can develop your creative projects to their full potential. You can diversify your studies through a wide range of electives in contemporary art or in the many disciplines offered by the university. Excellent studio facilities, workshops and digital laboratories support learning across all discipline areas.

Course outline

Unit of Study information on faculty page

Study plan


First year is a mixture of interdisciplinary subjects that introduce you to the various definitions and notions that constitute contemporary art. From second year you undertake a 12-credit point unit of study in a selected major¿painting, photomedia, screen arts, sculpture, printmedia or jewellery and object¿each semester. In addition to your disciplinary major, you select and complete four 6-credit point units of study from the critical studies suite. 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. You also complete four 6-credit point elective units of study chosen from: a suite of SCA studio-style electives, the critical studies suite, or other faculties units of study.

Majors

What is a major?

A major in the Bachelor of Visual Arts is a defined sequence of study, generally comprising specified units of study in a particular discipline area.

Core majors

Optional majors

Further course information

Progression rules

All units of study prerequisites must be met for progression.

What is an elective?

An elective is an optional unit of study within a degree. Electives in the Bachelor of Visual Arts enable you to further tailor your study to your desired outcomes. You can select electives from Sydney College of the Arts or from other faculties within the University in the second and third year of study.

Course opportunities

Sydney College of the Arts has a number of faculty-specific exchange programs available to currently enrolled students at SCA after successful completion of one year of study. Only one exchange is permissible during an undergraduate degree and exchange offers are subject to a credit average and successful completion of all units of study in the semesters preceding the exchange.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Our flexible course structure allows you to keep your career choices open right through your course. We’ll provide you with the conceptual and technical skills to work as a contemporary artist, or establish an art, media or design practice. You’ll also be well-qualified to work in a wide range of other culture-related fields, including art education and administration, curation, website and interactive design, and publishing.

Further study

Eligible students may apply for admission to the Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) or postgraduate coursework study in contemporary art or moving image. Honours graduates are eligible to pursue a higher degree by research.

About honours

The Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) at Sydney College of the Arts provides you with the opportunity to establish a research practice through the development of a visual art project, over two semesters full-time study.

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.

The Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) equips you for entry into professional practice or entry into the Master of Fine Arts or Doctor of Philosophy programs.

Other study options

Students from other faculties and universities can choose any undergraduate elective units of study.

Admission

Admission requirements

Admission to the Bachelor of Visual Arts is based on the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or equivalent. To be eligible for admission to the Bachelor of Visual Arts you will also need to submit a portfolio of your artwork. You can choose to present the portfolio at an interview or send it electronically to SCA. A panel will assess your portfolio on the basis of your: critical skills; cultural awareness; communication skills; potential for skill development; evidence of resolved ideas; and creative thinking.

Assumed knowledge

Visual Arts and Design and Technology is recommended.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

You must lodge an application for the Bachelor of Visual Arts as a preference with the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). Please refer to the current UAC guide or website at http://www.uac.edu.au for application deadlines.

To be eligible for admission to the Bachelor of Visual Arts you will also need to submit a portfolio of your artwork. You can choose to present the portfolio at an interview or send it electronically to SCA.

All applicants will receive instructions for how to apply for an interview or submit the portfolio shortly after lodging a UAC application. Please refer to the schedule at http://sydney.edu.au/sca/future-students/undergraduate/bva.shtml#how-to-apply.

Interviews will be held at SCA between 25-28 November 2014 for 2015 intake. If you cannot attend an interview or apply during or after the interview period, we will ask you to submit your portfolio electronically to SCA. Portfolios are accepted until 30 January 2015.

Ancillary expenses

Ancillary expenses are some of the additional costs associated with your degree, to ensure you have access to the best and most affordable materials during your studies.

• As a first-year student, you will be required to pay $250 at enrolment to cover materials used in studio project assignments. Other required materials are your responsibility.
• In second and third year, you need to provide your own materials and basic tools, which include personal protective equipment (PPE).
• If you are enrolling in an elective, you might be required to pay an extra fee or purchase additional materials.
• In your final year, you will be required to make a contribution towards the cost of the Degree Show exhibition and catalogue.

International students

How to apply

International applicants may apply directly to the University of Sydney, through a University overseas representative (education agent), or, if applying on the basis of a current Australian Year 12 secondary school examination or a New Zealand Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3, through the Universities Admissions Centre.

To be eligible for admission to the Bachelor of Visual Arts you will also need to submit a portfolio of your artwork.

Ancillary expenses for international students

Ancillary expenses are some of the additional costs associated with your degree, to ensure you have access to the best and most affordable materials during your studies.

• As a first-year student, you will be required to pay $250 at enrolment to cover materials used in studio project assignments. Other required materials are your responsibility.
• In second and third year, you need to provide your own materials and basic tools, which include personal protective equipment (PPE).
• If you are enrolling in an elective, you might be required to pay an extra fee or purchase additional materials.
• In your final year, you will be required to make a contribution towards the cost of the Degree Show exhibition and catalogu

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Indicative Undergraduate Student Contribution Amount

This student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. If you are a Commonwealth supported student and was enrolled in a University course before 1 January 2013 your student contribution may differ.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Future Students' website.

Annual review

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

International students

Indicative international tuition fees for undergraduate students

This international tuition fee is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact tuition fees that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total tuition fees, please refer to the University's Future Students' website.

Annual review

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.