UNSW Art & Design

Art Theory

The Bachelor of Art Theory is designed specifically for aspiring thinkers, producers, curators, innovators and entrepreneurs interested in pursuing a career in the creative and cultural sectors.

Degree: Bachelor of Art Theory (BArtTh)
Duration: 3 years full-time
Honours: Available to eligible students as an additional year of study

Program Overview

This program champions creative inquiry and recognises that great ideas make things happen and change the world.

This program will help you imagine creative possibilities and futures. From experimentation and risk-taking to investigating cultural, social, political and economic contexts, the BAT will develop your skills and knowledge in order to produce incisive ideas and communicate them powerfully. Our focus on dynamic creative inquiry will give you the capacity to think experimentally, critically and independently.

The BAT is a three-year program grounded in art and design thinking with specialities in: contemporary art and design concepts; contemporary publishing and curatorial studies; and contexts for creative practices.
The program, is taught by leading experts from transdisciplinary backgrounds and offers the most dynamic and intensive experience of its kind in Australia.

You will become familiar with the most challenging experimental art and design of the recent past and present. In understanding the conceptual and practical contexts for these practices, you will be better equipped to tackle future challenges. Graduates will be attuned to diverse modes of global practice and inquiry, media literacies and critical thinking in a rapidly changing world.

The degree offers the flexibility to develop transdisciplinary pathways to prepare you for the convergence of creative and critical fields in today’s art industries. For example, the BAT offers a pathway into the Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership, a combination of degrees that provide a set of skills to support the creative innovators and change agents.

In addition, the degree can be combined with a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws or Bachelor of Social Research & Policy; enabling students to complete two degrees simultaneously.


Program Structure

Contemporary Art and Design Thinking

This major considers ways of thinking about contemporary art and design practices, including experimentalism, art history, aesthetics, visual culture, critical theory and creative methodologies. Focusing on creative research, this major will introduce you to ways of investigating and articulating contemporary art and design.

Publishing and Curatorial Studies

This major will develop research skills in the areas of curation, contemporary art writing and publishing. It focuses on the history and future of curatorial studies and publishing and writing environments.

Contexts for Creative Practice

This major will foster an environment for the integration of thinking and making. It will provide you with the skills to identify, research, analyse and evaluate art, media and design practices. Contemporary approaches to art and design will be explored by engaging diverse processes and by using open-ended frameworks and methods.


Career Opportunities

The creative and cultural industries are key drivers of growth in the contemporary global economy. Our graduates are sought after across a range of arts, cultural, entertainment, media and technology industries.

The Bachelor of Art Theory offers students the opportunity to prepare intellectually and practically to work in these transformative industries. Students learn about the methodological processes, historical contexts and theoretical frameworks that underpin creativity, culture and innovation. Students also have the opportunity to acquire the hands-on skills underpinning how creative content is exhibited, distributed, interpreted and promoted.
Careers for Bachelor of Art Theory graduates include:

  • Arts and cultural management, policy making and administration
  • Creative direction, planning and production
  • Art and design criticism, communications and journalism
  • Cultural and creative research and scholarship
  • Multi-platform publishing and distribution
  • Curatorship, festival, event and museum management
  • Design thinking and management
  • Public programming and engagement
  • Entrepreneurship, strategist, creative social enterprise and startups

Dual Degree Options

UNSW Art & Design offers an extensive suite of career enhancing dual degree options.

Our wide ranging dual degree program is inspired by the world in which our students will ultimately work – a world in which few people work alone or in just one discipline, and in which it is important to understand and master a variety of skills. Dual degrees are not only for students with clearly chosen career interests – they offer valuable complementary sets of conceptual tools and transferable skills that potentially open more doors and create more opportunities in the ever changing creative economy.

UNSW Art & Design is taking interdisciplinary art, design and media education to a new level. UNSW Art & Design offers the following combinations of creative and professional degrees:



The following Scholarships are available to Bachelor of Art Theory students:

For more information on the Bachelor of Art Theory course at UNSW Art & Design, please call +61 2 8936 0684 or Email us


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