Art Theory / Arts - 4817

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Art & Design


Campus: Paddington

Career: Undergraduate

Typical Duration: 4 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 192

UAC Code: 421401

Domestic Entry Requirements: See Domestic Entry Requirements

International Entry Requirements: See International Entry Requirements


Bachelor of Art Theory

Bachelor of Arts

View program information for previous years

Program Description

The Bachelor of Art Theory Bachelor of Arts (BArtTh BA) is a 4-year dual award program which combines the focused study of the visual arts and visual culture with an education in the humanities, social sciences and the creative and performing arts.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

The BArtTh component will provide graduates with:
  • A rigorous understanding of art and design history and theory;
  • A capacity to make informed critical judgements about various forms of contemporary and historical visual culture;
  • An understanding of the global dimensions of visual and artistic forms
  • An understanding of art in the context of its exhibition and display
  • A capacity to undertake research in art history and visual culture
The Program Objectives of the UNSW BA are:
  • To develop informed understanding of human experience, human culture and human society
  • To teach the tools and methods of understanding associated with Humanities and Social Science disciplines, and to encourage students to perceive the relationships between these disciplines
  • To encourage the breadth of vision and critical thinking associated with interdisciplinary scholarship and research
  • To enable students to place contemporary Australian society and culture in an historical and comparative context
  • To engage critically with fundamental questions about value in both ethical and aesthetic contexts
  • To develop the skills of critical, creative and imaginative thinking about society, culture and the arts
  • To promote the techniques and value of reasoned and openminded discussion and debate
  • To foster understanding of the experiences and world-views of other times, other places, and other cultures.
The Graduate Attributes for this Program are as follows:
  1. The skills involved in scholarly enquiry
  2. The ability to engage in independent and reflective learning
  3. Information Literacy - the skills to locate, evaluate and use relevant information
  4. The capacity for enterprise, initiative and creativity
  5. A capacity to contribute to, and work within, the international community
  6. The skills required for collaborative and multidisciplinary work
  7. A respect for ethical practice and social responsibility
  8. The skills of effective communication
  9. An in-depth engagement with the relevant disciplinary knowledge in its interdisciplinary context.

Program Structure

The Bachelor of Art Theory/Bachelor of Arts consists of 96 UOC of Art Theory courses and 96 UOC of Arts courses.

BArtTh Component

Compulsory core courses (30 UOC) consisting of:
  • Art Theory Major (SAHT) courses (66 UOC)
BA Component
  • Home Major stream (60 UOC)
  • Minor stream (24 UOC)
  • Arts and Social Sciences Prescribed Electives (12 UOC)
The following home major streams are available in the Bachelor of Arts:
  • Asian Studies
  • Chinese Studies
  • Advanced Chinese Studies
  • Development Studies
  • Criminology
  • Creative Writing
  • English
  • Environmental Humanities
  • European Studies
  • Film Studies
  • French Studies
  • Advanced French Studies
  • German Studies
  • History
  • Indigenous Studies
  • International Relations
  • Japanese Studies
  • Advanced Japanese Studies
  • Korean Studies
  • Advanced Korean Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Media, Culture and Technology
  • Music Studies
  • Music Studies (Intensive)
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Spanish and Latin American Studies
  • Theatre and Performance Studies
Minor Streams
The above majors are also available to be completed in a minor stream.

External Minors are Streams of study offered by other Faculties:
  • Studies in Psychology (24 UOC)
Language Studies for Commencing Mid-Year Students

If your language skills are assessed as Level A in Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced or Professional you cannot commence study until Semester 1.

Award with Distinction

High achieving students who secure a WAM of 75 across their program and who have completed at least 48 UOC of their program at UNSW are eligible for the award of their Pass Degree "with Distinction".

Sample Program

UNSW Program 4817 - Art Theory / Arts
  Semester 1 Semester 2 UOC
Stage 1 SAHT1102 Creative Practices: Methods (6) 48
SAHT1211 Theories of the Image (6) SAHT1212 Theories of Art History & Culture (6)
Arts Major (6)
Arts Major (6)
Arts Minor (6) Arts Minor (6)
Stage 2 SAHT1221 Contexts for Art (6) Art Theory Major (6) 48
Art Theory Major (6) Art Theory Major (6)
Arts Major (6) Arts Major (6)
Arts Minor (6) Arts Minor (6)
Stage 3 Art Theory Major (6) Art Theory Major (6) 48
Art Theory Major (6) Art Theory Major (6)
Arts Major (6) Arts Major (6)
Arts Major (6) FASS Prescribed Elective (6)
Stage 4 Art Theory Major (6) Art Theory Major (6) 48
Art Theory Major (6) Art Theory Major (6)
Arts Major (6) Arts Major (6)
Arts Major (6) FASS Prescribed Elective (6)


Honours in BArtTh Component

Students undertaking the BArtTh in Dual Award mode may apply to complete an additional year (48 UOC) of study for the award of Honours. For details of Honours please see 4516 Bachelor of Art Theory (Honours).

Honours in Bachelor of Arts Component

After completion of 144 UOC including all of the requirements of the Bachelor of Arts dual degree, high achieving students may apply for admission to the Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences (Honours) program 4504. Entry to Honours requires a WAM of 70 or higher in the major stream in which you want to study at Honours level.

Academic Rules

The Academic Rules for the BArtTh/BA and the online enrolment facility provide students with a wide range of course choices. The online enrolment facility checks that students meet the enrolment requirements for individual courses but not that a course complies with Program Rules. Students are responsible for ensuring they are enrolling in accordance with the Academic Rules outlined in the Program Structure above. Students should not assume that because they have enrolled in a course online that the course is automatically credited to their degree program.

To qualify for the award of the BA degree at Pass level, a student must, in relation to courses in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
  1. complete 96 UOC in the Bachelor of Arts program;
  2. complete the requirements for one 60 UOC home major stream
  3. complete the requirements for one 24 UOC minor stream
  4. complete 12 UOC Arts and Social Sciences Prescribed Electives
  5. complete at least 30 UOC of Level 1 courses before enrolling in Level 2 courses
  6. specify your major and minor at the time of enrolment into Level 2
  7. complete at least 48 UOC, including 6 UOC at Level 1 and 6 UOC at Level 2 in your major/minor, before enrolling in Level 3 courses


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.

Related Program(s)

3409 Arts
4803 Art Theory

Area(s) of Specialisation