Art History and Theory


The School of Art History and Theory at UNSW Art & Design offers programs in Art Theory and courses in Art and Design History.

Art Theory is the study of ways of thinking about art and design – their histories, practices, reception and philosophies. Art Theory contextualises these practices by using a range of methodological tools: including psychoanalysis, philosophy and aesthetics, and political and sociological theories.

The goal of Art Theory is to enable students, whether studying to be practitioners or cultural critics and commentators, to be able to place the practice of art and design in the context of a rigorous and sustained enquiry which sees those practices as opportunities for questioning and thought. An overall objective of Art Theory is to provide the necessary background for understanding and evaluating contemporary theories of art and design, and increasing understanding of one’s own approach to art, whether as practitioner, educator or historian.

Art and Design History provides a core set of knowledges for all students in Art & Design. The assumption of the teaching and research in this discipline is that not only those who write and study art and design, but also practitioners, need to have a grounding in the historical study of their practice.

Art and Design History addresses both Western and non-Western art and design.
The faculty specialises in the study of modern and contemporary art. The histories of specific media, such as photography, film, painting or sculpture are also addressed by specific courses.

Studying Art History and Theory at UNSW
UNSW Art & Design offers a Bachelor of Art Theory program and related Dual Award programs. Honours study and various opportunities for postgraduate study are also available.

Art History and Theory can be studied in the following Programs 

Program Code & Name Stream Type Stream
3403 Arts Minor ARTHA23403
3409 Arts Minor ARTHB23409
3429 Media (Comms & Journalism) Minor ARTHB23429
3434 Media (PR and Advertising) Minor ARTHB23434
3437 Arts and Business Minor ARTHA23437
3438 Media (Screen & Sound Prod) Minor ARTHB23438
3444 Arts and Business Minor ARTHB23444
3452 Music / Arts Minor ARTHB23452
3456 Music / Arts Minor ARTHA23456
3474 Music (Honours) / Arts Minor ARTHB23474
3573 Commerce / Arts Minor ARTHB23573
3574 Economics / Arts Minor ARTHB23574
3856 Medicine / Arts Minor ARTHB23856
3947 Science / Arts Minor ARTHB23947
3948 Adv Science (Honours) / Arts Minor ARTHB23948
3949 Adv Mathematics (Honours)/Arts Minor ARTHB23949
3955 Environmental Management/Arts Minor ARTHB23955
3961 Engineering (Honours) / Arts Minor ARTHB23961
3963 Computer Science / Arts Minor ARTHB23963
3968 Computer Science / Arts Minor ARTHA23968
4043 Social Work (Honours) / Arts Minor ARTHA24043
4045 Social Work (Honours) / Arts Minor ARTHB24045
4760 Arts / Law Minor ARTHA24760
4773 Arts & Business / Law Minor ARTHA24773
4782 Arts / Law Minor ARTHB24782
4783 Arts and Business / Law Minor ARTHB24783
4815 Art Theory/Soc Rsch & Policy Major ARTHA14815

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Art Theory can be studied in the following Programs 

Program Code & Name Stream Type Stream
3763 Engineering (Honours) / Arts Minor ARTHA23763
4516 Art Theory (Honours) Honours ARTHAH4516
4703 Art Theory / Law Major ARTHA14703
4803 Art Theory Major ARTHA14803
4806 Art Theory/Arts Major ARTHA14806
4817 Art Theory / Arts Major ARTHA14817

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  Art History and Theory

Study Levels

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