Open Day Online

Welcome to NAS Open Day Online

A comprehensive guide to the National Art School

Everything you need to know about studying at NAS is available at your fingertips, wherever you are.

This page will be updated regularly so you can:

  • discover more about the National Art School
  • chat with our staff online
  • see what our current students are working on
  • find out about our Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA), Master of Fine Art (MFA) and Doctor of Fine Art (DFA) degree programs
  • get a taste of life at NAS with our 2020 Art Forum videos, the weekly lecture program for students featuring invited guests talking about their curatorial, artistic and research projects
  • find out how to apply to study with us and more

Applications to study at the National Art School in 2022 are now open.

Ready to take the next step with us? For additional information and to apply, use the link below.


Student Services
+61 2 9339 8651
[email protected]

I feel like attending NAS provides me with opportunities to connect to the real art world out there.
– Yalan, BFA

I chose NAS because I wanted to get my hands dirty and acquire the skills I need to be an artist.
– Melinda, MFA

The professional opportunities that NAS facilitates, not only for students but also alumni, initiate a career path beyond your degree. It’s great how the school helps with your next steps.
– Mungo, MFA

I knew that NAS had the resources to support my goals, and I was particularly impressed with the calibre of NAS’s teachers and wanted the opportunity to learn from them. So many NAS alumni have gone on to produce incredible work and have amazing careers, so I knew NAS was something special.
– Elle, MFA

Information Sessions, Portfolio Advice, Webinars and more!

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Why study at the National Art School?

As Australia’s leading independent fine art school, NAS attracts exceptional students from across the country. The Bachelor of Fine Art degree is focussed on studio-based learning, designed to impart the skills, knowledge and creative independence required to sustain a career as an artist. Studying at NAS, you will join a vibrant community of artists and art professionals, students and teachers, who are devoted to pursuing the highest aspirations for contemporary art practice.


Find out more about our academic and administration staff here.


The National Art School’s Director and CEO Steven Alderton has a lifetime’s experience in the arts, as a curator, gallery director, researcher, master planner and practicing artist who continues to wield a paintbrush in the studio.

He arrived at the National Art School in January 2017 after holding Director positions at the Australian Museum, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and Lismore Regional Gallery.


In 2001, Simon Cooper joined the National Art School as Head of Printmaking, then in 2008 became Head of Studies.

He is responsible for the development and delivery of the school’s academic program, including the BFA, MFA and more recently introduced DFA.

Simon is also an accomplished practicing artist who has exhibited in Australia and overseas, with his work held in national and international collections.


Since studying at NAS from 1985 -1987, Lynda Draper has worked as a ceramicist for more than 30 years, recognised as one of Australia’s finest and most revolutionary practitioners. She has been NAS’s Head of Ceramics for the past five years.

In 2019 she won one of Australia’s major art awards, the Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Prize, and recently held a solo exhibition at Sullivan + Strumpf Art Gallery.


Stephen Little joined NAS as Head of Painting in 2010, having taught in higher education since the early 1990s, including at the University of Western Sydney, Sydney College of the Arts and Goldsmiths College in London where he attained his PhD.

He has worked with many major galleries including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and White Cube and the Lisson Gallery in London, and has exhibited his own work around the world, from Sydney to Amsterdam to Seoul.


Putting together a portfolio to apply for art school can be tricky to navigate, but help is right here. Have a look at the National Art School’s new video to guide your portfolio preparation and answer your questions. It offers specific guidance about which artworks to include, how many, how to present them, and much more, plus useful tips for making your portfolio stand out.


NAS presents a weekly lecture program for students on campus, with invited guest artists talking about their creative practice and professional experience, and answering questions. From the 2020 series, meet Painting Lecturer Elizabeth Pulie and Sculpture Lecturer Bridie Lunney.

Elizabeth Pulie has exhibited her work since 1989. Her recent PhD research at Sydney College of the Arts (The University of Sydney) led her to extend her painting practice to greater experimentation with new mediums, while theoretical enquiry now completes her practice. She has presented papers at eight conferences and symposia since 2014, both within Australia and internationally.

In 2002 and 2003 Pulie co-directed Front Room, an artist run space in the front room of her house. From 2002 to 2005 she edited and published the magazine Lives of the Artists, and established the Sydney Ladies’ Artist’s Club from 2005-06. Pulie is represented by Sarah Cottier Gallery in Sydney and Neon Parc in Melbourne.

Combining practices of large-scale architectural interventions, sculpture and durational performance, Bridie Lunney acknowledges the body as a conduit between our psychological selves and the physical world.

Recent projects include Temporal Proximities, Magdalene Laundries at Abbotsford Convent, 2019; From Will to Form, TarraWarra Biennial, New Histories at Bendigo Art Gallery, 2018; Fold for Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture, Federation Square, 2017; An Imprecise Science Artspace, Sydney, 2015; This Endless Becoming for Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, 2014; Drawing Weight for 30 Ways with Time and Space, Performance Space, Sydney, 2013 and Place of Assembly Melbourne International Arts Festival 2012.

She is a current PhD candidate at Monash Art Design Architecture and is a Lecturer in Sculpture at the National Art School, Sydney.

From the Studios

NAS has long been recognised for our hands-on studio-based model of learning taught by experienced practising artists. Our focus on small class sizes across the disciplines of ceramics, drawing, painting, photomedia, printmaking and sculpture ensures every student receives individual guidance and support. NAS ensures the independent exploration of art-making by students is underpinned by a comprehensive understanding of art history and theory, as well as the dynamic range of contemporary possibilities for art practice today.

Check out how our current students are utilising their NAS studios below.

Casey, BFA 3 Ceramics

“NAS is really studio focused; you don’t have to justify that time, it’s encouraged. In the studio you’re surrounded by fellow artists, you can bounce ideas back and forth and really watch each other’s work develop.”

Taylor, MFA Printmaking

“I think the success of NAS graduates is a testament to how experienced all the lecturers are, the teaching is really good.”

Lesley, BFA 3 Painting

“I’m always so inspired by the long list of NAS alumni. Hearing about how many have been finalists or won the Archibald Prize makes me know I’m studying at the right place.”

Nina, MFA Painting

“I love being here, whether I’m painting in my studio or reading in a little nook on campus, I’m just happy to be part of such a supportive and encouraging community. I think what I find most valuable is the one-on-one teaching, I think the feedback and critiques from lecturers are really important for my development as a painter.”

Kansas, MFA Painting

“The experience at NAS has been invaluable. Not only has it been beneficial to be surrounded by like-minded people, but the academic side to the program has opened my mind to a diverse range of thinkers, and consequently widened my understanding of the world. I chose NAS as my place of study mainly because many of the lecturers are also world-renowned practicing artists.”

Corey, MFA Photomedia

“The studios and facilities, the workshop and the combination of studio space and time are crucial; I come here 4-5 days a week. The space we’re afforded makes all the difference, having somewhere you can be incredibly productive or have room to sit and think, which has been key to my learning and the development of my work.”

Mol, BFA 3 Photomedia

“The feeling of the NAS campus – dare I say ‘the vibe of it’ – is like none other. It’s such a privilege to see amazing artists just do their thing. My peers and lecturers help me push myself to be a better artist. My parents have always encouraged my sisters and me to do whatever we love, and for me that was Fine Arts. In 2015 I had the privilege of seeing Australia’s incredible exhibition at the Venice Biennale represented by Fiona Hall, and when I found out she was a NAS graduate I just had to go here!”

Luke, MFA Painting

“So much of why I’m here is the culture of the art school – it’s being around other students and the atmosphere of the place. It’s alive.”


Bachelor of Fine Art

Our Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) degree is designed to impart the skills, knowledge and creative independence required to sustain a career as an artist, across the core disciplines of ceramics, drawing, painting, photomedia, printmaking and sculpture.

This individual development requires a holistic approach to art education, one we have always believed is best accommodated by students acquiring the skills and knowledge through studio practice under the guidance of NAS’s dedicated teachers, all established professional artists.

NAS has long been recognised for this studio model of learning. Our focus on small class sizes ensures every student receives individual guidance and that their independent exploration of art-making is informed by a comprehensive knowledge of art history and theory as well as the dynamic range of contemporary possibilities for art practice today.

The three-year BFA course comprises three interrelated areas of study: Studio, Drawing and Art History & Theory. Study in these key subject areas continues the degree.


Visit to apply

Master of Fine Art

The two-year Master of Fine Art (MFA) degree involves a blend of coursework subjects, individual research and studio practice. 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 practice and theory.

Applications to the MFA are submitted direct to the school on a rolling basis.

See our MFA page for more details.

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