Fine Art

Why a PhD or Research Masters in Fine Art at Newcastle?

Fine Art incorporates studios in photomedia, sculpture, painting, printmaking, ceramics, fibres and textiles, and art history/theory. The University of Newcastle encourages cross-and trans-disciplinary practice, new media and reflexive practice.

PhD and Masters by Research students will benefit from our national and international reputation in creative work, scholarly research and teaching.

Newcastle's studios and teaching spaces are second to none, including state-of-the-art photomedia facilities, airy painting studios, the only university foundry on the east coast of Australia, over a dozen kilns, as well as printing and papermaking machines.

Graduate research students get the chance to materialise their ideas using technology they otherwise couldn't access, such as our laser cutter or paint labs. Our dedicated student gallery, Watt Space, also offers students the opportunity to exhibit in Newcastle city centre.

Fine Art at UON has a strong record of engagement with practice as research, the art/science nexus, arts/health, and community engagement.


Research proposals are invited in the following areas:

  • material studies
  • museology
  • queer studies
  • feminism
  • the abject
  • art and environment
  • art and science
  • trace
  • place and memory
  • digital media and multi-media practice


Methodologies include practice as research, as well as trans- and cross-disciplinary methodologies.


Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Dr Deidre Brollo: printmaking, artist's books and installation; perception and memory
  • Dr Faye Neilson: 3D art and its theoretical discourse, particularly in relation to contemporary art practice and installation; object materiality, analogy and signification with reference to the domestic environment, especially in the reworking of traditional fibres-textiles processes
  • Mr Kris Smith: digital media and multi-media practice; digital animation; digital photomedia; hybrid photomedia; time-lapse photography; traditional photomedia; pre-cinema time-lapse photography, modernist films of the 1920s, investigating time as the fourth dimension in art
  • Dr Una Rey: fourth dimension in art Australian contemporary art practices including painting, art writing, intercultural and cross-cultural practices (non-Indigenous and Aboriginal); landscape and narrative.

How to apply


There are a number of research projects being undertaken by graduate students in the area of Fine Art at Newcastle. Take a look some of the current topics:

  • Narrative and Storytelling in Contemporary Art Practice
  • Can Digital Artists use Modern Art Aesthetics and Techniques to Create a Defining Post-Digital Art Aesthetic?
  • Rites of Passage - The Lost Art of Being Human
  • Calligraphy on Ceramics in Contemporary Art: A Practice-Based Research Project from the Perspective of an Iranian/Australian Artist
  • ORI* on Aesthetics and Language of Folding and Technology
  • How the Shift Towards Interconnected Creative Process is Transforming Arts Practice and Art in Public Spaces
  • Visualising the Tensions of Science and Sustainability in Contemporary Art Practice
  • Class, Nation, and Regionalism. A Study of Novocastria
  • The Perception and Phenomenology of Sculpture when Sited in a Specified Context