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CUA41315 - Certificate IV in Visual Arts

This qualification reflects the role of individuals working at a pre-professional level who are beginning to develop their own artistic voice and command of techniques in a range of art forms.

Practice at this level is underpinned by application of broad and integrated technical and theoretical knowledge and the ability to analyse and use information from a range of sources.


To Be Awarded a Qualification ...

Each qualification has its own set of Core and Elective Units.  

You will need to complete Units of Competency based on the Packaging Rules set down by the Australian Government listed against the qualification at training.gov.au.  A list of Units currently offered by Sydney Art School is provided in the details section of each qualification.

To Complete Units of Competency ...

You will need to be assessed as meeting the perfomance criteria  for those Units by

  • attending studio sessions associated with that unit, AND
  • completing and submitting your Assessment Workbook associated with that unit AND  
  • completing and submitting your portfolio of work relevant to that unit (this will be described in further detail in the Assessment Workbook).

While you are enrolled in studio sessions at Sydney  Art School

  • You can work towards multiple Units at the same time.  
  • You can submit your Assessment Workbook at any time during your enrolment at Sydney Art School.

Be realistic about how much you can achieve.  As a guideline,  if you are attenidng only 1 studio session per week then completing an average of 2 Units over the course of 2 x 8 week terms terms  is a good starting point expectation.


Award of Certificate IV and Diploma qualifications require completion of 15 Units.

Award of the Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts requires 12 Units. See the detailed description of each qualification for the requirements.

To be assessed against a Unit you need to:


  • attend one or more Studio Session Series to develop your skills,  AND
  • complete and submit  the Assessment Workbook and Portfolio, AND
  • be assessed as meeting the listed perfromance requirements for that Unit.


You can choose the pace at which you complete the Units.  As a guide;


  • Part Time students should initially aim to submit the Assessment Workbook and Portrolio for 1 unit per term, and
  • Full Time students should initially aim to submit the Assessment Workbooks and Portfolios for 4 units per term.



Recognition of Prior Learning

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

Other Units Not Listed

If there are other Units you are particularly interested in working towards that are not listed in our current offerings please contact us.


Packaging Rules

Total number of units = 15 

6 core units  plus

9 elective units  of which:

  • 4 units must be selected from Group A
  • 3 units must be selected from Group A or Group B
  • 2 units may be selected from the remaining listed electives or any currently endorsed training package qualification or accredited course at Certificate III, IV or Diploma level.


 Unit  Associated Studio
Session Type 
Unit Enrollment Fee 
Unless otherwise
BSBWHS201 Contribute to health and safety of self and others  Any  
CUAACD301 Produce drawings to communicate ideas  Any  
CUAPPR401 Realise a creative project  Any No Charge*
CUAPPR404 Develop self as artist  Any  
CUAPPR405 Develop and discuss ideas for own creative work  Any  
CUARES403 Research history and theory to inform own arts practice  Any  
Elective Units Group A    
BSBDES301 Explore the use of colour  Painting, Drawing  
BSBDES302 Explore and apply the creative design process to 2D forms Any   
BSBDES303 Explore and apply the creative design process to 3D forms Jewellery   
CUADRA401 Experiment with techniques to produce drawings Drawing  No Charge* 
CUAIND401 Extend expertise in specialist creative fields Any   
CUAJWL401 Experiment with techniques to produce jewellery Jewellery   No Charge*
CUAPAI401 Experiment with techniques to produce paintings Painting   No Charge*
CUAPPR302 Document the creative work process Any  
CUAPPR407 Select and perpare creative work for exhibition Any  
PMC552024C Hand mould products Jewellery   
Elective Units Group B    
CUAIND301 Work effectively in the creative arts industry Any   
Elective Units from CUA31115 Certificate III in Visual Arts    
CUADRA301 - Produce drawings  Drawing  No Charge*
CUAPAI301 - Produce paintings Painting No Charge*
CUAJWL301 - Produce Jewellery Jewellery No Charge*


* No Charge when enrolled in a specified Studio Session types.
* Only 1 Assessment Workbook issued at No Charge and 1 Assessment Fee Waiver can be used per course per term.


A complete list of units specified for this qualification can be found at http://training.gov.au/Training/Details/CUA41315

Options may be available to complete any of these units at Sydney Art School.  Please contact student enrolments if you would like to discuss this futher.


How Much Will a Qualification Cost and How Long Will it Take to Complete?

Full Time Students

Fees for full time students are shown in the table below.  Each full time course at Sydney Art School is 1 year (4 terms).   You can start your enrolment at the beginning of any term. 

Each term is 8 weeks. The nominal studio session attendance is 20 hours per week.  

Part Time Students

Part time students complete the same assessment tasks as full time students.  They just complete them over a longer period.

If you want to study part time discuss your planned rate of completeion with the Principal or Student Liaison Officer and a fee schedule will be provided.   In general the total course fees will be the same as for full time students,  just spread out over your planned study duration.


2017 Course Fees


Fee per Term*

Total Fees*


Full Time

12 Months / 4 Terms

Part Time

24 Months / 8 Terms

Certificate III in Visual Arts  $1800 $900 $7200
Certificate IV in Visual Arts
$2125 $1250 $8500
Diploma of Visual Arts

$2125 $1250 $8500
Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts

$2125 $1250 $8500
 Payment Terms  Fees are payable each term in advance
  * International student levy is $500 per term


Studio Based Learning Format

Learning at Sydney Art School is done in a working studio where you will progress and complete assigned assessment tasks and be observed by assessors and other industry practitioners. The studio provides a hands on learning environment with a strong focus on skills development and producing artistic works.

Your Tutor

On enrolment you will be allocated a primary tutor.  The role of the primary tutor is to;

  • assign and mark your assessment tasks
  • recommend Studio Sessions for you to attend
  • monitor your artistic and academic progress
  • provide feedback to your questions on artistic or academic matters

Your Attendance and Studio Sessions

During your time at Sydney Art School you will attend  2 types of Studio Sessions:

  • Skills Development Studio Sessions &
  • Open Studio Sessions

International students will need to attend Studio Sessions for at least 20 hours per week during school terms.

"Skills Development Studio Sessions" are groups where a tutor provides theoretical and practical instructions on specific technical skills such as drawing, painting or jewellery making. Full time students may attend up to 6 hours of Skills Development sessions per week.

"Open Studio Sessions" provide a collegiate environment where you can work alongside tutors and other students.  You will use these sessions to 

  • use studio facilities to progress work on their tasks for assessment.
  • share learnings with other students
  • seek and give feedback on technical or creative concepts
  • consolidate technical skills
  • progress towards your assessment tasks.
  • share learnings with other students
  • seek and give feedback on technical or creative concepts

At least one tutor is present during any Open Studio Session.  They will not be providing specific demonstrations but are working on  their own art.  This gives you the opportunity to observe how they work in a professional practice environment. 


Other Fees & Charges

Material Fees:

Materials are not included in course fees unless otherwise indicated.


International Student Levy:

$500 per term 

Applicable to students who are sponsored by Sydney Art School for a Student Visa under the CRICOS program.


Qualification or Statement of Attainment Issuance Fee;

Statement of Attainment Issuance Fee: $100
Qualification Issuance Fee:  Initial $0,   Reprints $100

Service level times:
Standard: within 1 week
Priority: within 48 hours add $100 

Statements and Certificates are provided in electronic (.pdf) format.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is where you're competence against a Unit is assessed against evidence that you have collected through other courses or experience.

You will be asked to present your evidence firstly by use of an Assessment Workbook.  Your evidence will be reviewed by an assessor and may require a one on one interview with an assessor.

For students enrolled in a studio session at Sydney Art School RPL Fees are $200 per Unit.

For students not currently enrolled in a studio session at Sydney Art School RPL Fees Per Unit are:

  • Certificate IV Units: $250 per unit
  • Diploma Units: $300 per unit
  • Advanced Diploma Units: $350 per unit 

* Some Studio Sessions and Units may have additional fees  These will be indicated where applicable.


Entry Requirements

There are no entry requirements for this qualification.

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


  •           passing on key safety information to colleagues
  •           presenting and discussing ideas with others
  •           producing art works which are consistent with the ideas that inform them


  •           checking safety procedures with other team members
  •           discussing ideas and industry developments with others


  •           resolving safety issues in own work
  •           refining ideas to incorporate feedback from others
  •           adjusting techniques to achieve a particular effect

Initiative and enterprise

  •           developing several possible ways of communicating an idea
  •           developing new and personal ideas, and own artistic voice from research and experimentation

Planning and organising

  •           sourcing and analysing information to develop ideas
  •           organising the presentation of ideas to others
  •           organising work tasks to ensure safety
  •           organising workspace and materials for work projects
  •           researching history and theory to inform creative practice


  •           establishing and following safe working practices
  •           maintaining personal safety standards
  •           challenging one’s own ideas and approaches
  •           having clear goals about one’s future as a creative practitioner


  •           evaluating information gained from research and integrating ideas into the development of own work
  •           using practice, feedback and evaluation opportunities to continuously improve skills and knowledge
  •           improving skills through experimentation with materials and techniques
  •           keeping up-to-date with industry and technological developments


  •           using the internet for research
  •           extending the application of tools and equipment to produce art works
  •           using technology to expand own arts practice