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Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts

The Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts at Sydney Art School is available to Australian students as well as international students who wish to study in Australia. 

It is recommended for visual arts students who are looking to to refine existing technical artistic skills and develop artworks that also provide communication of a concept or narrative. 

The studio based "hands on" based learning model follows the classical atelier tradition of teaching art.  Specialist art studio sessions for skills in drawing, painting, printmaking and jewellery making are available.

The Sydney Art School Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts course is accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework provides for a pathway into Australian universities.  It is also listed on the Commonwalth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).








Arts & Design


Full Time,  Part Time




This course is available to International Students


Western Sydney University (WSU),  Austalian Catholic University  (ACU),  Other*

Studio Locations

Hornsby,  Baulkham Hills



Qualification Description

This qualification reflects the role of individuals who have para-professional level technical, creative and conceptual skills to originate, realise and exhibit a substantial body of resolved work that expresses their own creative vision. Visual artists work within and across many mediums, and their practice may incorporate ceramics, digital art, glasswork, drawing and illustration, jewellery making, painting, photomedia, printmaking, public art, sculpture, textiles or wood design.

Practice at this level is underpinned by application of art theory and history, the ability to engage in critical discourse and to debate one’s own work and the work of others.

Visual artists may work in their own practice, or a wide range of contexts across the arts, government or commercial organisations and also bring visual arts perspective to areas such as business, community services and science.


Entry Requirements

To enter this qualification, individuals must have the conceptual, technical and organisational skills to create and present work in their chosen creative form.

Those skills and knowledge may have been acquired through experience in a creative field or through formal study.

Pathways Information

Pathways into the qualification

People entering this qualification will have well-developed artistic skills and knowledge which may have been achieved through experience in a creative field or through formal study. It is recommended that people possess CUA51115 Diploma of Visual Arts or a diploma qualification in a related field.

Pathways from the qualification

This qualification prepares people for independent practice as a professional visual artist. Its conceptual and theoretical content also supports learning in higher education across a broad range of arts-related disciplines.

Qualification Rules and Units

Total number of units = 12

7 core units plus

5 elective units of which:

3 units must be selected from Group A
2 units may be selected from Groups A or B or from any currently endorsed training package qualification or accredited course at Diploma level or above.
Elective units must be relevant to the work environment and the qualification, maintain the integrity of the AQF alignment and contribute to a valid vocational outcome.

Core units

BSBCRT601 Research and apply concepts and theories of creativity

CUAACD601 Extend professional expertise with drawing and other visual representation tools

CUAPPR505 Establish and maintain safe creative practice

CUAPPR601 Originate a body of independent creative work

CUAPPR603 Engage in the business of creative practice

CUAPPR604 Publicly present a body of own creative work

CUARES602 Extend cultural research expertise


Group A

Below is a subset of Electives from Group A that are readily covered as part of current SAS studio sessions.  Other elective units listed in the qualification may be chosen by the student with the agreement of the School. A complete list can be found at https://training.gov.au/TrainingComponentFiles/CUA/CUA60715_R1.pdf

CUAACD502 Create observational drawings

CUAACD503 Select and refine a specialised drawing technique

CUAACD504 Research and apply light and colour

CUAACD505 Work with the human form in creative practice

CUAACD506 Refine 2-D design ideas and processes

CUAACD507 Refine 3-D design ideas and processes

CUAACD513 Make mixed media artworks

CUAACD602 Extend professional expertise across new art forms and media

 CUADRA501 Refine drawing techniques

CUAPAI501 Refine painting techniques

MEM19038A Apply traditional techniques to jewellery and 3D object production

MEM19039A Plan, conduct and supervise a jewellery and object exhibition

MEM19043A Oversee jewellery or object design production


Group B

Below is a subset of Electives from Group B that are readily covered as part of current SAS studio sessions.  Other elective units listed in the qualification may be chosen by the student with the agreement of the School. A complete list can be found at https://training.gov.au/TrainingComponentFiles/CUA/CUA60715_R1.pdf

TAEDEL401A Plan, organise and deliver group-based learning


Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) against other units not listed above may be assessed by Sydney Art School on request. 

A complete list of units specified for this qualification can be found at http://training.gov.au/Training/Details/CUA60715.

Please contact us if you wish to discuss the options available.

Employability Skills Summary

The following table contains a summary of the employability skills as identified by the visual arts, craft and design industries for this qualification. The employability skills facets described here are broad industry requirements that may vary depending on qualification packaging options.

Employability skill

Industry/enterprise requirements for this qualification


  •           articulating and debating complex ideas
  •           communicating effectively with other on creative and technical issues
  •           researching wide-ranging historical and contemporary information
  •           developing and maintaining effective networks
  •           reading and interpreting a range of complex information related to working at a professional level in the creative arts industry
  •           presenting and promoting work to others
  •           documenting own work as a professional artist


  •           building professional collaborative relationships
  •           maximising the potential of individual strengths within a collaborative creative project


  •           dealing with complex concepts and theories of creativity
  •           developing and applying a range of strategies to resolve issues in professional creative projects
  •           evaluating the effectiveness of different approaches to achieve different artistic effects

Initiative and enterprise

  •           communicating ideas through creative expertise
  •           initiating creative and innovative ideas
  •           refining own individual style of creative expression at a professional level
  •           integrating knowledge of current and emerging trends in own design work
  •           thinking laterally about how own skills and knowledge can be applied professionally
  •           demonstrating originality and innovative approaches to the creation of artworks

Planning and organising

  •           establishing goals for professional creative projects
  •           managing the complete creative project from initial ideas to realisation of final work
  •           planning practice to improve own artistic technique
  •           using time-management strategies to set priorities


  •           reviewing and reflecting on own work practice
  •           researching and critically analysing current and emerging industry business practices
  •           engaging with industry at a professional level
  •           integrating professional standards and codes into own practice


  •           developing specialised expertise with chosen techniques and art forms
  •           developing and extending professional expertise in a range of professional and creative skills
  •           using research and networks to proactively extend own skills and professional opportunities
  •           identifying opportunities to maintain and enhance industry knowledge and engagement
  •           developing and maintaining the legal knowledge required to operate a professional practice


  •           maximising the potential of specialised technologies relevant to own creative practice
  •           proactively using the internet as a sophisticated research tool