Our Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is designed to impart the skills, knowledge and creative independence required to sustain a career as an artist.
This individual development requires a holistic approach to art education - one that we have always believed is best accommodated by students learning the skills and knowledge of the studio through studio practice under the guidance of established artists.
NAS has long been recognised for our use of this studio model of learning. Our focus on small class sizes ensures that every student receives individual guidance and that their independent exploration of art making is informed by a comprehensive knowledge of the historical underpinnings of that practice as well as the dynamic range of contemporary possibilities for art practice today.
The BFA comprises three interrelated areas of study: Drawing, Art History & Art Theory and Studio. Study in these key subject areas continues throughout all three years of the degree.
In the first year of the degree, students are introduced to the foundational skills and concepts of art making in a comprehensive exploration of studio practice in all range of studio areas including Ceramics, Painting, Photomedia, Printmaking and Sculpture. In the second semester, students narrow the focus of their studio study to two of those areas – one of which will form the basis for an ongoing studio Specialisation in following years of study.
Study in Drawing at this level introduces students to the foundational principles of visual observation, analysis and experimental drawing, and the Art History & Theory program examines the historical precedents and contemporary contexts of visual arts practice.
In the second year of the degree, students commence study in a Studio Specialisation nominated from one of two studio areas studied in the previous semester. The year is project based and supports the development of individual work practices in preparation for the final year of the degree.
Students continue to study Drawing where the skills attained in the previous year are extended to include both contemporary and traditional drawing practices. The Art History & Theory core program examines the history and cultural conditions of modernity and an Art History and Theory Elective program offers students an opportunity to engage more deeply with a broad variety of specialised topics.
In the third and final year of the degree, students work on independent projects under the guidance of studio staff. This final year emphasises self-directed learning and individual development with all students building a major body of work for assessment and exhibition at the conclusion of the year.
The Drawing Program is driven by individual student projects at this level and the Art History & Theory core program examines the major concepts, terminology and debates that shape contemporary art and culture today.