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Course summary

Do you dream of showcasing your creative work in galleries and exhibitions around the world?

If so, you can take inspiration from the many Southern Cross University graduates whose careers are thriving after completing our Bachelor of Art and Design.

This internationally acknowledged degree is designed to enhance your artistic flair and develop your career options as an artist, curator or designer. Students are immersed in a rich studio experience with an atmosphere that inspires creativity, and access to the dynamic arts scene of the Northern Rivers.

From our purpose-built, well-equipped studios, you'll develop your skills in painting, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture, digital arts and design, and drawing.

Our graduates have featured in some of Australia's most prestigious arts awards, and their work features regularly in commercial and public settings, both nationally and internationally.

You may also use this degree as a precursor to further study, through Honours and PhD, with a view to careers in research and education.

Students applying for the Bachelor of Art and Design must complete a folio presentation and interview prior to being granted entry into the degree. For more information, please contact the Course Coordinator on






Students complete core studies in:

  • Studio studies: painting, printmaking, mixed-media, 3D studies
  • Art theory
  • Curating
  • Studio drawing
  • Design.

In second and third year, students select from a range of creative and media arts units and/or units from across the University to complement their areas of interest.

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

Apply intellectual rigour and critical analysis to complex art, social, economic, environmental, political and historical issues.

Develop research and evaluate ideas, concepts and processes through critical and reflective thinking and practice

Demonstrate skills and knowledge of the practices, languages, forms, materials, technologies, techniques and critical reflective thinking in the discipline of Art and Design research.


Negotiate and develop creative and innovative responses to specific fine art challenges.

Apply relevant skills and knowledge to produce creative works and artefacts.

Develop research and evaluate ideas, concepts and processes through critical reflective thinking in the production of creative works.

Ethical practice

Interpret, communicate and present ideas, problems and arguments with reference to principles of social justice and creative art's ethical frameworks.

Evaluate issues with reference to principles of social justice and fine arts ethical frameworks.

Knowledge of a discipline

Demonstrate a command of contemporary art world views and contemporary issues relating to professional or scholarly settings in the creative art industries and communities

Demonstrate knowledge of the practices, languages, forms, materials, technologies and techniques within Art and Design

Lifelong learning

Independently access, manage and evaluate sources of information in contemporary formats.

Develop the qualities of a reflective, responsible and inclusive practitioner in culturally diverse settings.

Work independently and collaboratively in the culture of fine art, in response to project demands.

Communication and social skills

Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form

Work collaboratively to achieve mutually agreed outcomes.

Interpret, communicate, collaborate and present ideas, problems and arguments in modes suited to a range of audiences, including studio critiques.

Cultural competence

Demonstrate cultural proficiency, cultural competency and cultural safety in a range of professional and scholarly community contexts.

Recognise and develop cultural understanding and reflect on social and cultural issues, and apply local and international perspectives to practice in the fine arts sector.

Units in visual arts studio studies, digital art and design, photography and drawing are assessed by studio production work, artist’s journal, portfolio and e-portfolio. Generally, approximately 70 per cent of the final grade is based on the studio production work. During study sessions there are ongoing individual and group critique opportunities for feedback on students’ progress. Art theory units are generally assessed through research papers, group presentations and take-home exams.

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including studio-based teaching, field work, lectures, tutorials, online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit. Students also have the opportunity to study some units online (for example, digital photography).

Graduates typically become practising artists and fine art researchers within the context of contemporary practice. Students exhibit in the Graduate Exhibition and can undertake research projects.

Students have the opportunity to undertake an internship in the dynamic arts industries of the New South Wales North Coast. They can also study for a session at universities overseas including the prestigious Pratt Institute in New York, University of Hertfordshire in England, Universitat de Barcelona in Spain, University of Massachusetts in USA, and Kansai Gaidai University in Japan.


The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this web page again before acting and see our disclaimer

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'