The University of Newcastle, Australia
Selection Rank
78.63 (Median SR)
About Selection Ranks
International entry requirement

Start dates
  • Semester 1 - 24 Feb 2020
Mode of delivery

Face to Face


3 years full-time or part-time equivalent up to 8 years maximum.

Start dates
  • Semester 1 - 24 Feb 2020

$32,945 (indicative annual fee, 2019)
Indicative annual fees are based on a full year full time load (80 units) Find out more about fees

English language proficiency
  • IELTS overall minimum - 6.0
  • IELTS section minimum - 6.0

Find out more about IELTS.


3 years full-time.

Mode of delivery

Face to Face

UON program code: 11498
CRICOS code: 059878C

Study natural history illustration

The study of Natural History Illustration brings together three main subjects - art, science and the environment, with careers in areas such as medical illustration, archaeology, botanics and environmental conservation.

The Bachelor of Natural History Illustration at UON is for drawing and digital illustration enthusiasts who are fascinated by the natural world. The degree is designed to be a bridge between art and science, relying on scientific accuracy and meticulous attention to detail. You'll study a variety of interdisciplinary courses, where you'll learn a range of traditional and modern techniques enabling you to creatively bring objects to life through artistic representation.

Why study with us?

  • One-of-a-kind degree: the only Natural History Illustration degree in Australia and one of only a few in the world.
  • Exciting careers: work opportunities exist in areas such as publishing, education, medicine, scientific research, archaeology, libraries, galleries and museums.
  • Graduate with a professional portfolio: build up your illustration portfolio with assignments, showcases and projects with partners, creating a body of work that could help you get a job after you graduate.
  • Learn hands-on using world-class facilities including the Specimen Collection, Wildlife Lab, Cultural Collections and Anatomy Labs. Studies are mostly taught through studio learning and field trips.
  • Benefit from strong networks: learn from teachers who are well-known illustrators and work on your major project with our industry partners, including the Australian Museum, Australian Reptile Park, Royal Botanic Gardens and the Wetlands Centre.
  • Work Integrated Learning – opportunity to gain real-world experience through industry placement opportunities and embedded authentic experiences throughout the program.

Student work showcase

What you will study

The Bachelor of Natural History Illustration integrates lectures and tutorials with hands-on field observations and data collection. In the studio, you will learn traditional and digital illustration techniques as well as specialised laboratory applications. Your courses will also involve:

  • Develop field observation techniques
  • Ethically collect specimens from the field
  • Identify flora and fauna
  • Illustrate using a range of painting and drawing mediums
  • Photograph specimens
  • Produce anatomically accurate sketches
  • Study habitats
  • Use laboratory equipment as tools for observation

Advanced study options

If you want to get an employment edge and open yourself up to higher salaries and positions, you could consider an additional year of study and complete your Bachelor of Natural History Illustration  (Honours) degree. Students use the program as a spring board to secure innovative and exciting roles.

The Honours program will help refine your practical research skills. Over the year you will be complete a research project focusing on a specific topic or problem.

The benefits of completing your Honours degree include:

  • you will develop high level analytical and research skills, along with expertise in your research area
  • you will set yourself apart in the highly competitive, global job market
  • we have extensive facilities and generous scholarships are offered to Honours students
  • you will make a significant and original contribution to your chosen field
  • you set the foundation for further postgraduate research such as a Research Higher Degree or Masters by coursework.

Natural History Illustration (Honours) handbook


Related undergraduate degrees

Program plans

Download a program plan for further details on your degree's structure and what courses you will study.

These program plans are applicable to new students. Current students should refer to the program handbook to access the plan relevant to the year they commenced.

View the full course list

Career opportunities

Graduates of the Bachelor of Natural History Illustration enjoy exciting and diverse career opportunities across a range of industries including publishing, education, medicine, scientific research, archaeology, libraries, galleries and museums. Our graduates complete work-ready, with intensive practical experience and strong professional portfolios giving them an edge in the job market.

Below is a list of typical roles for Bachelor of Natural History Illustration graduates.

The following list provides some example jobs for graduates of the Bachelor of Natural History Illustration. While this is a fairly unique and specialised qualification, graduates are able to find opportunities in a range of areas such as publishing, education, scientific research and development facilities, libraries, galleries, museums, archaeological and fossil sites, botanic gardens, or with anthropologists, scientists, and taxonomists.

Some of these jobs will depend upon the level of study undertaken and level of experience, for example some may require further study.

  • Animator
  • Archaeological Illustrator
  • Artist
  • Artist-in-Residence
  • Arts Administrator
  • Concept Artist
  • Cultural Interpreter
  • Exhibitions Officer
  • Finished Artist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Medical Illustrator
  • Museum/Art Gallery Curator
  • Scientific Illustrator
  • University Lecturer/Academic
  • Wildlife Artist

Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for graduates with the skills gained the Bachelor of Natural History Illustration.

Some of these jobs will depend upon the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, and the combination of other majors and electives studied, for example some may require further study.

  • Art Dealer
  • Art Director
  • Conservator
  • Cultural Heritage Officer
  • Publications Officer/Editor

Practical experience

Practical experience

Major project

The Bachelor of Natural History Illustration is mostly taught through studio studies and field trips. In your third year, you will complete a major project with an external organisation such as the Australian Museum, Australian Reptile Park, Royal Botanic Gardens or the Wetlands Centre. Apart from developing strong professional links, the project is integral to enriching your illustration portfolio. You will be building your professional portfolio throughout the degree, creating a body of work that will help jumpstart your career.

Showcase your work

At UON you will benefit from various opportunities to showcase your work on campus and through an annual display at Eden Gardens in Sydney. Many students even have the honour of featuring their work in galleries and publications both in Australia and internationally.

Awards and prizes

A wide range of awards and prizes are also offered to outstanding natural history illustration students, including the Australian Geographic Natural History Illustration Prize.