Monash University

Undergraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2012 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

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This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

Managing facultyArt, Design and Architecture
Abbreviated titleBVA
CRICOS code075111F
Total credit points required144
Standard duration of study (years)3 years FT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Caulfield)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Telephone +61 3 9903 1517, email or visit

Course coordinator

Dr Michael Vale


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • Full-time study only


The Bachelor of Visual Arts provides students with a broad introduction to a range of contemporary art practices. The program enables students to appraise a variety of contemporary media in order to develop a more conceptual and interdisciplinary art practice. It provides pathways to professional training and development in the field of visual arts. Graduates may practice professionally in one or more art media, or may become involved in art gallery activities, cultural programs and art education, or in a range of art and design industry activities.

The course immerses students in a range of conceptual and practical approaches to art making delivered through workshops, along with a choice of elective units which, taken together, enable students to form individual study projects. The workshop program of the Bachelor of Visual Arts promotes an experimental approach to conceptual and material outcomes. The methodology focuses on collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches to projects. The course provides an intensive exploration of the theoretical framework of contemporary art practice.

This Bachelor of Visual Arts degree is an alternative minimum entry requirement for the honours degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts, which provides a fourth year of study at Caulfield. Students may extend studies in their chosen major discipline at fourth-year/honours level and undertake studies in the research methods of the visual arts.


To educate graduates who have a knowledge and understanding of the disciplines of the visual arts. Upon successful completion of the Bachelor of Visual Arts, graduates will have an array of concepts and skills pertinent to visual arts practice. They will have the:

  • capacity to critically assess and contribute to contemporary discourse in visual arts
  • ability to evolve their own aims, interests and vision, to be expressed through their studio work whilst working independently
  • ability to apply knowledge, understanding and imagination in aesthetics, history, theory and cultural studies in an independent manner.


The degree structure is given depth by a sequence of units which form a major study taken over three years. It is given breadth by complementary and other units in studio and theory from which individual study programs can be formed.

(a.) First-year study program

The first year of the course has a common structure for all students that provides a sound introduction to both theory and practice in the context of the visual arts and assists the student to make an informed choice of a major study. Elective units are chosen after consultation with the studio coordinator. In the first year students undertake the following:

  • visual practice studios (24 points)
  • drawing
  • digital imaging
  • theory of art and design (12 points)
  • occupational health and safety (0 points)

(b.) Major study in second and third-year study program (48 points)

In consultation with the course coordinator and discipline leaders, students seek selection into one of the major disciplines, together with supporting units. In the second year of the course, students may select a major in visual practice or theory of art and design.

(c.) Complementary studies

Students undertake 24 points of supporting studies from within the Faculty of Art and Design; students majoring in visual practices will undertake their complementary studies in theory of art and design while students majoring in theory will select from a range of studio-based electives.

(d.) Elective units (24 points)

Elective units are selected by students from the second year of the course. They will generally be taken from those within the Faculty of Art and Design, however, units elsewhere in the University are also available.

(e.) Occupational health and safety (0 points)

A compulsory health and safety unit which deals with issues relevant to art and design.


All units are 6 points unless otherwise indicated.

First year (48 points)

First semester

  • VPR1001 Visual practices 1 (12 points)
  • TAD1101 Introduction to visual culture
  • DWG1201 Drawing 1B (fine art/visual arts) or PHO1204 Digital imaging for contemporary art
  • OHS1000 Introduction to art and design health and safety (0 points)

Second semester

  • VPR1002 Visual practices 2 (12 points)
  • DWG1201 Drawing 1B (fine art/visual arts) or PHO1204 Digital imaging for contemporary art
  • TAD1102 Modernism and the avantgardes

Second year (48 points)

First semester

  • VPR2001 Visual practices 3 (12 points)
  • TAD2102 Perspectives on post-war practices
  • elective

Second semester

  • VPR2002 Visual practices 4 (12 points), or theory of art and design (12 points)
  • complementary study (theory or studio)
  • elective

Third year (48 points)

First semester

  • VPR3001 Visual practices 5 (12 points), or theory of art and design (12 points)
  • complementary study (theory or studio)
  • elective

Second semester

  • VPR3002 Visual practices 6 (12 points), or theory of art and design (12 points)
  • complementary study (theory or studio)
  • elective


Bachelor of Visual Arts