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Diploma of Visual Arts

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

The Sydney Art School 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





 This qualification reflects the role of individuals who combine specialised technical, creative and conceptual skills to plan and realise a body of work in one or more art forms. Mediums may include ceramics, drawing and illustration, painting, jewellery making, photomedia, printmaking, public art, sculpture, textile design, wood design, digital art and glasswork.

Practice at this level is underpinned by application of arts theory and history and the ability to critically analyse and synthesise information from a range of sources. Discourse around complex ideas is also required.

Visual artists may work in their own practice, or in a wide range of contexts across the arts, government, community or commercial organisations.

Entry Requirements

To enter this qualification, individuals must have the technical and organisational skills to conceptualise and create works in selected medium.

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

Pathways Information

Pathways into the qualification
It is highly recommended that people entering this qualification possess  HSC, Certificate IV qualification in visual arts OR a related discipline AND have well-developed skills in a specialised art form.

Pathways from the qualification
This qualification prepares people for entry into work at a professional level. Its conceptual and theoretical content also supports learning at higher levels. People with CUV51115 Diploma of Visual Arts often engage in further learning in vocational and higher education through Advanced Diploma and Degree qualifications in a range of arts-related disciplines and beyond.

Qualification Rules and Units

Qualification Details

Full details of for this qualification CUA51115_R1-Diploma-of-Visual-Arts pdf File

Packaging Rules

Total number of units = 15

6 core units plus

9 elective units of which

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


 Recommended Unit Options 


CUAACD501 Refine drawing and other visual representation tools

CUAPPR501 Realise a body of creative work
CUAPPR502 Develop own sustainable professional practice
CUAPPR503 Present a body of own creative work
CUAPPR505 Establish and maintain safe creative practice
CUARES503 Analyse cultural history and theory

Elective Units 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/CUA51115_R1.pdf 

CUAACD502 Create observational drawings
CUAACD503 Select and refine a specialised drawing technique
CUAACD505 Work with the human form in creative practice
CUADRA501 Refine drawing techniques
CUADRA502 Investigate drawing materials and processes
CUAJWL401 Experiment with techniques to produce jewellery
CUAPAI501 Refine painting techniques
CUAPAI502 Investigate painting materials and processes

Elective Units 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/CUA51115_R1.pdf 

BSBLIB504 Develop exhibition concepts
BSBMKG414 Undertake marketing activities
BSBMKG527 Plan social media engagement


Recognition of Prior Learning 

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


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.

Employability skill

Industry/enterprise requirements for this qualification


  •           responding appropriately to feedback on own skill development and performance
  •           consulting with peers and mentors about a range of issues related to own practice
  •           documenting own work
  •           engaging in critical discourse with colleagues and peers


  •           collaborating with others artists
  •           sharing ideas
  •           seeking feedback and guidance from mentors


  •           analysing complex information and responding with creative solutions
  •           developing solutions for complex design challenges
  •           balancing potentially conflicting needs
  •           evaluating the effectiveness of solutions

Initiative and enterprise

  •           working creatively with an art form
  •           developing ideas from historical and contemporary research
  •           achieving own individual style of creative expression

Planning and organising

  •           planning a creative project
  •           monitoring own work and introducing strategies to improve skills and knowledge
  •           conducting a range of research to inform work projects
  •           planning work tasks in a logical sequence
  •           setting work and practice goals
  •           planning for a sustainable professional practice


  •           developing goals for professional practice
  •           taking responsibility for own professional development
  •           monitoring own work and introducing strategies to improve performance
  •           using knowledge of industry and legal frameworks within own practice


  •           developing strong artistic technique
  •           identifying opportunities to maintain and enhance industry knowledge
  •           seeking feedback from colleagues and mentors
  •           exploring and testing new approaches
  •           participating in industry networks and professional development opportunities


  •           using an extended range of materials and technologies relevant to specific creative practice
  •           proactively using the internet as a research tool