Sydney College of the Arts

Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) was the first tertiary art school established in New South Wales when in 1970 a government report recommended the establishment in Sydney of ‘… a corporate college of advanced education … for the purpose of providing tertiary education for persons preparing for professional careers in art and design’. The Gleeson Report

In 1976 Sydney College of the Arts was established as a College of Advanced Education and enrolled its first students when it took over responsibility for design diploma courses previously conducted by the Department of Technical and Further Education. A visual arts program was offered by SCA the following year.

In 1988, the Design School and the Visual Arts School separated with the design courses moving to the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney. SCA became solely dedicated to the research and practice of contemporary visual arts.

On 1 January 1990, SCA became an academic college of the University of Sydney with status equivalent to a faculty. In 1996, after twenty years located in ‘temporary’ premises in Balmain, SCA relocated to the historic Kirkbride buildings in Rozelle. SCA continues the tradition of academic excellence associated with Australia’s most established educational institution by providing a specialist and multi-disciplinary approach to research-based visual arts education that reflects the diversity of professional art practice.

SCA moved from its original temporary campus in Balmain to the refurbished historic Kirkbride site in Rozelle in 1996. Kirkbride is a Victorian neo-classic complex of sandstone buildings originally designed for use as a hospital by colonial architect James Barnet and built in the 1880s.