The University of Newcastle, Australia

Visual Art Major

Study a major in Visual Art for Creative Industries at UON

A major in Visual Art engages students in multidisciplinary studio practices and offers a strong foundation in art history along with a broad knowledge of contemporary art.

The visual arts major focus is to develop students' skills in making art works and to encourage critical thinking about visual art forms across a range of media. Students will be provided with creative challenges in a studio setting and they will learn about historic and current art issues by analysing key works of art.

Specialised studio-based courses provide the practical skills required to establish a strong interdisciplinary art practice. Content includes traditional and emerging studio techniques, the use of diverse material forms and technologies and the application of innovative creative art-making strategies.

You can study visual art in the following areas:

  • drawing and painting
  • print media
  • sculpture, fibre-textiles and ceramics
  • photography
  • art history and theory

Unique, specialist facilities

The program offers high quality and accessible facilities in a range of studio areas. Art history and theory are delivered in NewSpace in the city’s cultural precinct with cross-campus access to an extensive library collection.

Studio + theoretical + real-world learning

Students are encouraged to experiment with a broad range of materials and technologies. Studio learning is expanded and contextualised through courses in art history, theory and contemporary practice to promote conceptual problem-solving and critical thinking and develop knowledge of key ideas, art systems and art markets.

What jobs can you get with a major in Visual Art?

This major prepares students for a variety of occupations that require creative thinking, cross-disciplinary art practices, flexibility and general knowledge of the visual art sector. Graduates may develop careers as an art educator, creative designer/producer, curator, commercial gallery director, arts manager, public artist, art festival director, art writer or critic, studio artist, community arts officer or become a worker in the arts/health or museums and galleries sector.

Suitable for arts and communications students with:

  • An interest in artistic studio practice across a range of production techniques and the willingness to embrace experimental, cross-discipline art practice.
  • A strong commitment to learning about current and emerging art trends in context, and a desire to develop a visual and written language to create, describe and interpret a range of creative ideas and art works.

What do you learn in a Visual Art major?

Study this major and you will learn about techniques, materials and art forms used in a studio or theoretical context. You can study courses in:

  • Artistic and creative practice: Your coursework will see you directly engaged with diverse artistic practice. You will study the creative processes in the studio and create unique art works and artistic projects.
  • Art specialties: Students can study in a number of specialist art courses: 2D (two-dimensional) forms such as drawing, painting, printmaking and photomedia, or 3D (three-dimensional) printing forms, sculpture, ceramic and mixed media works. Learning will focus on creative enquiry, personal experience and expression, and the application of knowledge and critical judgement to the production of art projects.
  • Art theory, history and criticism: Students will investigate contemporary art practices including the work of Indigenous and Australian artists in context with art of the past. You will study the role of critics, curators, art-historians and audiences to understand how art disciplines have been shaped by these stakeholders in the 21st century. Your study of art theory will also inform studio projects and will encourage a reflective studio practice.

For details on program structure, please refer to the Bachelor of Creative Industries handbook.

Which degrees include this major?

The Bachelor of Creative Industries and any associated degree program allow you to study a major in Visual Art:

Bachelor of Creative Industries
Bachelor of Creative Industries/Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship