Courses & Units

Bachelor of Fine Arts 13C



This on-campus 3-year (minimum) full-time course is offered by the Faculty of Arts through the Tasmanian College of the Arts, Hunter Street, Hobart. Part-time study is also available.


Course Name Bachelor of Fine Arts
Course Abbreviation BFA
Course Duration 3 Years
Maximum time to complete (Part-time) 7 Years
CRICOS code 005531K
Responsible Faculty Faculty of Arts



Location Semesters
Hobart Semester 1, Semester 2, Summer school


The Bachelor of Fine Arts offers a broad visual arts and design education through a wide range of disciplines: Art and Design Theory, Drawing, Electronic Media, 3D Design, Visual Communication, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture. It provides graduates with knowledge and skills in their chosen field and the capacity to continue to develop towards independent and professional practice in the creative arts. The course requires a commitment to studio-based study, and learning through creating and producing works, and requires you to do at least one studio major supported by a minor in Art and Design Theory. Majors may be undertaken in the studio disciplines of Electronic Media, 3D Design, Visual Communication, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture, all of which are informed by rigorous and challenging ongoing theoretical debate. You may also choose to extend the Art and Design Theory minor into a major by adding more units from the Art and Design Theory program, including units cross-listed from other disciplines in the Faculty of Arts. The BFA is a flexible degree and units or even a full major from outside the normal BFA schedule of units can be undertaken from another school or faculty, such as Arts, Business, Computing, Music and Science as part of your degree.

By completing the degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts, graduates will be able to demonstrate advanced visual and/or design literacy through the three interdependent aspects of:

  • exploration
  • Knowledge and
  • expression

Exploration refers to investigating and developing processes and skills to communicate ideas and intent. Graduates will be able to generate and develop ideas through:

  • exploring and experimenting with diverse media, processes, practices and technical skills
  • using critical thinking skills, (such as problem framing and resolution, decision making, reflective practice and researching)
  • developing and selecting strategies to communicate intent through producing works.
    working independently and in a group

Knowledge refers to demonstrating and applying knowledge through production and discourse. Graduates will be able to demonstrate and apply knowledge of the following to their own developing practices:

  • concepts, principles, media and practice
  • historical and contemporary contexts and cultural debates
  • ethical and moral roles of art and design
  • qualities of their chosen medium and essential terminology
  • workplace health and safety practices
  • participating in creative and cultural industries

Expression refers to the communication or expression of ideas to a range of audiences through producing works, writing and speaking. Graduates will be able to express ideas by:

- producing works

  • through the practical and creative resolution of ideas
  • using their own developing mode/s of expression
  • working independently and in a group to achieve goals within specified timeframes

- writing:

  • using the discourse of the discipline
  • contextualising works of art and design
  • critiquing (analysing, evaluating and justifying) their own and others work
  • adhering to the conventions of the specified genre (e.g. artist statement, proposal, critique)

- speaking :

  • using the discourse of the discipline
  • critiquing (analysing, evaluating and justifying) own making choices
  • adhering to the conventions of the specified genre (e.g. artist statement, pitch, critique, presentation, performance)

Career Outcomes

Increasingly employers are seeking flexible graduates who can solve problems creatively, who can express themselves clearly and who understand the role of art and design in contemporary culture.

Undertaking a BFA can be the start of developing a career as a; studio artist, designer, curator, gallery administrator, teacher, or a more specialised career in; arts administration, community arts, public art, illustration, photography, animation or arts writing. Fine Arts graduates also use their degrees more generally to develop careers in advertising, administration, public service, publishing and small business amongst many others.

Additional Information

E-media, Furniture, Design, Graphics Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture


If you are transferring from another university or course, you can apply to be given credit for equivalent studies satisfactorily completed. (Please note that there are guidelines as to how much credit can be granted for previous study, and study must have been within the last ten years.)

If you have completed a related TAFE diploma you can be awarded credit for up to one 100% or one-third of the degree requirement. (Please note, you will need to provide a portfolio and samples of any written work so that a determination can be made about the way in which this credit will be offered. In some circumstances it may still take three years minimum to complete the degree).

If you have completed a previous degree in the last ten years you will normally be granted credit for 100% or one-third of the BFA degree requirements.

Transfer provisions

Units from other courses

Students are permitted to enrol in units from another degree course to count towards the BFA, provided that the weighting of these units totals no more than 100%, with no more than 50% of units in any single one of the introductory, intermediate or advanced levels of the degree.

Students enrolled in other courses

Students from other degree courses can take units in fine arts. However, some units have quotas and entry to these units is subject to School approval. Contact the School for details.


As an applicant you will gain automatic entry if you satisfy the University's normal admission requirements, with the addition of at least a passing grade in a practically orientated pre-tertiary Visual Arts or Design subject and English subjects or at TAFE certificate IV (or higher, with evidence of some study of Art History or Theory).

If you do not meet these requirements, then it is still possible to apply and gain entry to the BFA. You will be asked to submit a folio of no more than ten photographs, drawings, paintings or electronic images of your creative work and a statement of about 200 words outlining your interest in the course including any relevant experience or qualifications. Instead of a place in the BFA you may be offered admission to the Diploma in Fine Arts, with the suggestion or requirement of undertaking some bridging or preparatory units. If you successfully complete a probationary period of study you will be able to transfer to the BFA.Course counselling may be requested by successful applicants prior to the start of semester, to discuss choice of studio subjects and potential careers

If you've previously undertaken study overseas, please review our list of equivalent qualifications.

Please note: international students should refer to the General Admission Requirements page for information regarding entry requirements.

Credit Transfer and Articulation

Graduates who have completed a BFA degree with sufficient merit are eligible to apply for entry to the Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours (BFA(Hons)) degree. Details on eligibility and how to apply are contained in the BFA(Hons) section of the Handbook.

Alternatively Graduates who have completed a BFA degree with sufficient merit are eligible to apply for entry to the coursework postgraduate degrees: Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, and Master of Fine Art and Design. Details on eligibility and how to apply are contained in the postgraduate coursework section of the Handbook.

Graduates completing the Honours degree with sufficient merit are able to apply for entry to a research higher degree such as Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Information on these courses is obtainable from the Office for Research and the Research Higher Degrees Handbook.

BFA graduates wishing to pursue a teaching career must also complete the two-year Bachelor of Teaching (BTeach) degree. This is a postgraduate qualification taken after graduating with a BFA. The degree course is available on both the Launceston and Hobart campuses. Information brochures are obtainable from Student Recruitment offices on both campuses and from the contact number for the BTeach.
If you are currently studying for a degree in another faculty you are able to apply to transfer to the BFA degree course and will receive some credit for your previous successful study.

In the Bachelor of Fine Arts, you need to choose a major, a minor, 4 degree electives and 8 student electives. The Art Theory minor is a compulsory minor for all students. Therefore, the Art Theory major can only be taken as a second major with the first major being a Studio major.

This degree consists of a total of 24 units comprising:

  • A major of 8 units: 2 introductory, 2 intermediate, 4 advanced units
  • A minor of 4 units: 2 introductory, 2 intermediate units
  • Four degree electives: two must be introductory and two at any level (to meet the overall requirements of the minimum and maximum level of units for the whole degree). For example, if you choose 2 advanced level degree electives in year 2 of the degree, you need to enrol in 2 student electives at intermediate level.
  • Eight student electives: units which may be chosen from this or any other subject area within the University, provided they meet the unit level requirements for the degree (see next point below), unit pre-requisites and quotas. You may take individual units or study up to the equivalent of a second major or a minor through your student electives and try out different subject areas - it's your choice.
  • Unit level requirements for the degree are: between 8-10 units at introductory level, 6-10 units at intermediate level and 6-10 units at advanced level. For example, this means you could study 8 introductory, 8 intermediate and 8 advanced, or you could take 8 introductory, 7 intermediate and 9 advanced units or other combinations within these ranges.

Course Structure

MAJOR - Choose 1 minimum from the following list:

MINOR - compulsory

Annual Course Cost

Fees for domestic students are based on individual unit selections. Please refer to the fees section of each unit description to work out an indicative annual cost.

International students should refer to the International Students course fees page to get an indicative course cost.


For information on general scholarships available at the University of Tasmania, please visit the scholarships website.

Course Rules

  1. These Specifications apply to the single Bachelor degrees listed in Schedule A. These specifications shall take effect on 1 January 2010 and shall apply to all candidates for the Bachelor degrees listed in Schedule A.

  2. Candidates for the Bachelor degrees shall be admitted in accordance with Rule 3 Admission and Student Progress.

  3. Candidates for the degrees shall complete the degree requirements in not more than the degree maximum, which will be twice the course length and one additional year. The maximum completion time will be calculated from the commencement of the first unit which is passed and which counts towards the degree requirements.

  4. Bachelor degree requirements

    1. Requirements for Bachelor degrees comprise a minimum of 24 units, comprising 8-10 units at introductory level, 6-10 units at intermediate level and 6-10 units at advanced level. For Bachelor degrees with requirements over 24 units, all additional units will be at advanced level.
    2. Required units
      Course duration Unit numbers and levels
      Units required Nominal degree length Introductory Intermediate Advanced
      24 3 year 8-10 6-10 6-10
      28 3.5 year 8-10 6-10 10-14
      32 4 year 8-10 6-10 14-18
      40 5 year 8-10 6-10 18-22

      The ranges in unit numbers accommodate choice in the levels of units in the degree electives and student electives only.

  5. Degree models

    1. There will be two Bachelor degree models: General and Specialist, which are defined by the combination of modules and electives of the first 24 units.

      • A standard major module is comprised of 8 units: 2 introductory, 2 intermediate and 4 advanced;
      • a reversed major module is comprised of 8 units: 4 introductory, 2 intermediate and 2 advanced;
      • a minor module is comprised of 4 units: 2 introductory and 2 intermediate;
      • degree electives units are those chosen from a schedule provided by the faculty;
      • student elective units are those selected by candidates from any available units in which they are qualified to enrol.
      • The models are identified in Schedule A and details of the availability of modules and units are listed in Schedules B and C respectively.

    2. General model

      The first 24 units of a General degree will comprise: one standard major, one minor, 4 degree elective units and 8 student elective units.

    3. Specialist models

      The first 24 units of a Specialist degree will follow either:

      • Specialist model 1: two standard majors, one minor and 4 student elective units, or
      • Specialist model 2: one standard and one reversed major, one minor and 4 student elective units, or
      • Specialist model 3: either two standard majors, one minor, 2 degree electives and 2 student electives, or one standard and one reversed major, one minor, 2 degree electives and 2 student elective units.

  6. Enrolment conditions

    1. Enrolment in all units will be in accordance with requisites determined by the relevant Faculty.
    2. When two or more units of the same name or content are offered within the University, only one may be counted towards the degree.

  7. Enrolment exemption - credit for previous studies

    Passes in units in other incomplete courses in this University or another approved tertiary institution (or other approved professional examining body) may be credited towards the degree and a course plan developed to detail the units required by the student to qualify for the degree. The maximum credit granted will be in accordance with the limits as stated in Rule 3 Admission and Student Progress.

  8. Transition

    Students who have passed units towards degrees under the previous specifications will be entitled to transfer to the degrees under these specifications with full equivalent credit. The transition for continuing students to these specifications will be managed to ensure that students are not disadvantaged.

NB: Academic Senate noted (31.10.08) that is it recognised that professionally accredited degrees required for entry to professional practice will not be compromised by the move to standard course structures. UTAS will have the opportunity to put its position on the benefits on implementing the standard course structures to accreditation bodies when these programs come up for reaccreditation. If accrediting authorities or any national curriculum arrangements require a structure which does not fit a model already approved, then the UTLC will be requested to develop an additional model.