Master of Fine Art


Our Master of Fine Art (MFA) is a two-year full-time degree intended for BFA or equivalent graduates who wish to develop a higher level of specialised knowledge and further their professional expertise within their area of studio practice.

The Master of Fine Art is a two-year full-time degree involving a blend of coursework subjects, individual research and studio practice. Over the two years students engage in independent enquiry through studio practice and research toward the development of a major body of work and accompanying exegesis. The MFA continues the studio-based model of learning at NAS, centred on the development of individual practice under the guidance of established artists and the vital dialogue between theory and practice.

By the completion of the degree, students have developed a cohesive body of work reflecting the advances they have made in their practice. Studio Specialisations offered in the MFA are Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Photomedia, Printmaking and Sculpture. Our MFA students are provided with individual studio spaces and access to workshop facilities in their chosen discipline.

Program Structure

The Master of Fine Art is a two-year full-time course of study. The structure of the course is based on 2 stages of one year each, with three subjects taken in Stage 1 and two subjects in Stage 2.


Stage 1

Stage 1 of the MFA program comprises three inter-related subject streams: a Studio Specialisation supported by a weekly Studio Seminar program, and the Art History and Theory lecture series. This stage introduces students to a studio research environment, and develops their ability to work with increasing autonomy and independent judgment.

Studio Specialisation

Upon commencement, students propose a Studio Research Project within a selected studio specialisation that will form the basis of an ongoing studio enquiry over the two years of the degree. Students are provided with an individual studio space and access to workshop facilities in their chosen Studio Specialisation and receive three hours per week face-to-face contact with studio lecturers in the Studio Specialisation stream.

Studio Seminar

Students attend two hours per week in face-to-face seminar sessions. In Stage 1 the focus of these seminars is on Research Methodologies, Professional Practice, and Issues in Contemporary Art, which extend independent research skills and enhance knowledge of professional art world practice and discourse, enabling students to increase their understanding of their own activity within that context.

Art History & Theory

Students attend two hours of lectures and tutorials per week in Stage 1. These lectures examine the historical and theoretical developments underpinning contemporary art practice and enable students to pursue their own practice fully informed of the various currents of contemporary discourse that serve to shape our understanding of current art practice.


Stage 2 

Studio Specialisation

In Stage 2 of the MFA, students continue the development of their Studio Research Project toward resolution of a substantial, coherent and highly resolved body of work. Students continue to work in their individual studio space under the supervision and guidance of selected academic staff. Students are allocated one hour per week individual supervision with selected academic staff in the Studio Specialisation stream.

Studio Seminar

The Studio Seminar program is designed to provide research support for the development of the written dissertation component of the MFA, and to promote peer learning and engagement within the MFA cohort. Regular student work-in-progress presentations and studio critiques involving a number of staff and students provide valuable feedback to assist students in the articulation of their individual studio research interests.

Admission Requirements


Eligibility for standard admission is based upon:

  • Australian and New Zealand Bachelor degree qualifications in Fine Art (AQF level 7), or
  • overseas tertiary qualifications in Fine Art considered equivalent to Australian studies, with
  • a credit average in a that degree, and
  • completion of a suitable Major study in that degree


In addition to satisfying eligibility requirements, applications for admission are evaluated upon the following criteria:

  • Portfolio of work displaying the technical and conceptual capacity to undertake study at postgraduate level
  • Communication and literacy skills required for study at postgraduate level
  • Studio Project Proposal displaying the quality, coherence and suitability for study at postgraduate level

Application Process


Interviews take place on campus in early December. This is your opportunity to talk about your practice, your proposal and why you want to study at the National Art School.


Offers are made as soon as possible after interviews are complete. Successful applicants must complete and return an Acceptance of Offer by the due date to confirm their place on the course.

Alternative Entry

Alternative Entry

In exceptional cases where applicants do not possess any of the qualifications outlined above they may apply for admission to the Master of Fine Art with:

  • Completion of an undergraduate degree in another discipline; and
  • Extensive professional experience in the arts.

Professional experience will include an established record of production and presentation of art works through industry/professional systems as follows:

  • Regular presentation of work for solo and group exhibition in venues of industry standing and professional recognition;
  • Inclusion of work in curated exhibition programs/projects and art prizes of industry standing and professional recognition;
  • Inclusion of work in public and/or private collections of curatorial significance and professional recognition


Please fill in our online enquiry form below or call us on +61 2 9339 8651 to speak with a student admissions advisor.

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