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 as 

Specialisation Stream Type Stream
Art Theory Major ARTHA14806

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