Monash University

Undergraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2013 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 applies to students commencing this course in 2013 and 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

Coordinator (Course) Michael Vale


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • This course is only available to specific cohorts of students - contact the faculty for eligibility details.
  • Full-time study only


This course 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.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 7, the Bologna Cycle 1 and Monash Graduate Attributes. For more information refer to

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that graduates will be able to:

  • identify and evaluate relevant research concepts in relation to aesthetics, history, theory and cultural issues in the relevant discipline
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the disciplines of the visual and media arts in order to undertake sustained independent studio practice at a professional level
  • critically assess contemporary discourse on visual and media arts, speculative design theory and research both locally and internationally
  • evolve their own aims, interests and vision, to be expressed through their studio work within the discipline of visual and media arts with a high level of personal autonomy
  • interpret, represent and respond to the aesthetic, theoretical, historical and cultural contexts of visual and media arts practice


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:

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

Semester one

  • DWG1201 Drawing 1
  • OHS1000 Introduction to art and design health and safety (0 points)
  • TAD1101 Introduction to visual culture in art design and architecture
  • VPR1001 Visual practices 1 (12 points)

Semester two

  • PHO1204 Digital imaging for contemporary art
  • TAD1102 Modernism and the avantgardes
  • VPR1002 Visual practices 2 (12 points)

Second year (48 points)

Semester one

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

Semester two

  • VPR2002 Visual practices 4 (12 points), or theory of art and design (12 points)
  • completion of one unit of theory second-year level (units with a prefix of TAD)
  • elective

Third year (48 points)

Semester one

  • VPR3001 Visual practices 5 (12 points), or theory of art and design (12 points)
  • completion of one unit of theory third-year level (units with a prefix of TAD)
  • elective

Semester two

  • VPR3002 Visual practices 6 (12 points), or theory of art and design (12 points)
  • completion of one unit of theory third-year level (units with a prefix of TAD)
  • elective

NOTE: Students wishing to complete the theory major must take 24 credit points of second-year level theory units (including TAD2102 Perspectives on post-war practices), and 24 credit points from third-year level theory units (units with a prefix of TAD). Students completing this major must also complete 24 credit points of complementary study and 24 credit points of elective units.


Bachelor of Visual Arts