Postgraduate Students

Why Study at the SCA Graduate School

Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) is the visual arts faculty of the University of Sydney, and the SCA Graduate School is the home for postgraduate study within the faculty.

The Graduate School provides high quality education in contemporary visual art. We offer a range of flexible, self-directed and cross-disciplinary programs to a diverse cohort of students. Whether you are looking to consolidate existing professional skills, establish a continuing art practice, or engage in a sustained research endeavour, the Graduate School will provide you with intellectual challenges and creative support, within a community of students and artists.

SCA is committed to a studio-based model for visual arts education and research, and creative work is integral to what we do. As a Graduate School student, you will learn from visual artists who are leaders in their field, and regularly apply the concepts and techniques they teach. You will have access to dedicated studios and facilities in a range of discipline areas, and to a specialist collection of resources relating to the theory and practice of contemporary visual arts and design in the SCA Library.

You will also be encouraged to articulate your practice within a broader art historical, theoretical and philosophical context. Throughout each year, the Graduate School provides a range of opportunities for you to exhibit and discuss your work and the work of others, whether as part of your degree, or through the Graduate Forum, talks by visiting artists, the Graduate School Gallery, and the annual PhD Conference & Exhibition.

Research Degrees


Sydney College of the Arts Graduate School provides an integrated approach to the processes of art making and research. The SCA Graduate School offers two research degrees in contemporary art: the Master of Fine Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

These degrees offer eligible artists the opportunity to develop a specific area of interest into a substantial body of work, within the community of the Graduate School and the academic structure of the University of Sydney. Through sustained, rigorous investigation, artists undertaking a research degree make a significant contribution to our understanding of contemporary visual art.

A research degree requires in-depth study in a specialised area, supervised by a member of SCA's academic staff. This research takes the form of a major thesis. SCA Graduate School offers two modes of research: a traditional written thesis, or a thesis comprising a substantial exhibition and a written thesis.

You can pursue a research degree after completing an Honours degree or Masters studies.

Coursework Degrees


A coursework masters degree at Sydney College of the Arts is ideal for graduates who want specialised knowledge and skills to establish or consolidate their creative practice, take the next step in their profession, change careers, or pursue their personal interest in contemporary visual art and creative culture.

Coursework masters degrees can also serve as a pathway to higher research degrees for established artists who have been unable to complete an honours year.

From 2015 the SCA Graduate School will offer two coursework masters degrees, the Master of Contemporary Art and the Master of Moving Image.

These degrees combine units of study with timetabled classes and self-directed projects. A dedicated academic coordinator, each an expert in the field contemporary visual art, digital filmmaking and interactive design, oversees each degree.