Why Study Here?

The greatest part of a student’s time at the National Art School is spent on art making, under the guidance of established, practicing artists.

This is the studio based practice model of learning that we are acclaimed for. It is the key to our long history of producing Australian artists of national and international renown. Small class sizes and an emphasis on one-to-one interaction are essential elements of the student experience. This creates opportunities for guidance, feedback and discussion with teachers that helps our students grow quickly towards artistic independence.

Within their chosen discipline, we task our students with project work that provides the time and support to build that independence, culminating in participation in the Graduate Exhibition. Students’ technical skill and conceptual understanding is underpinned by core study in Drawing and Art History & Theory.

We challenge our students, and help them challenge themselves, so that they emerge from the National Art School with the knowledge, skills and confidence to successfully pursue their career.

Studios and Facilities

In keeping with our focus on studio practice, our campus boasts a broad range of workshop and studio facilities that support learning across an extensive range of both traditional and contemporary art making practices.

As students progress through the BFA and commence independent projects within their nominated area of Studio Specialisation, students are provided with an individual studio space in their area where they can develop their work. Similarly, students at MFA level are provided with individual studio spaces within dedicated postgraduate studio areas.

Our dedicated Drawing facilities support a range of practices from life drawing and other observational practices to multi-media works, installation practices and new media art works.

In addition to specialist workshop facilities in all of our studio areas including Ceramics, Painting, Photomedia, Printmaking and Sculpture, our recently refurbished central workshops support an extensive range of small to large-scale fabrication techniques in both timber and metal.

Our central digital imaging lab provides access to the full range of Adobe digital imaging software on a Macintosh platform, and our Library computer room provides further access to digital resources.

Various Project Spaces throughout the campus provide an opportunity for classes and individual students to develop and present a broad range of art works and exhibition projects.

Campus Life

The National Art School lies within the heart of Sydney’s arts precinct in the vibrant inner city suburb of Darlinghurst, surrounded by a thriving and diverse creative community.

Since 1922 we have occupied the old Darlinghurst gaol, an unrivalled sandstone campus which is both a site of immense historical significance and a specialist fine art school. The campus is fitted out with high quality facilities such as museum-standard galleries and state-of-the-art workshops, authentic artist studios and private workspaces, a library and learning centre, research and digital labs, student lounges and spaces for collaboration. Students also have access to the free campus-wide WIFI network.

At the heart of the student experience is the National Art School’s vibrant community of artists and art professionals, students and faculty, who are devoted to the pursuing the highest aspirations for contemporary art practice. As a student at the National Art School, you will have access to over 80 eminent practicing artists and art historians, who lecture, lead by example and provide intensive studio-based tuition across the disciplines of ceramics, drawing, painting, photomedia, printmaking and sculpture.

In addition to the School’s contemporary art space, NAS Gallery, students are within walking distance to some of Sydney’s best galleries, museums, theatres, live music venues and cinemas in the stimulating and culturally rich Darlinghurst precinct.

The Student Representative Council unites the student body and enriches life on campus with exciting social events, including the Student Ball, student socials and performance nights.

Career Opportunities

Where can the National Art School take you?

The NAS Bachelor of Fine Art degree is designed to develop highly skilled arts practitioners who can work independently or collaboratively across a variety of professional roles.

An emphasis upon the development of studio skills and independent practice means BFA graduates are highly suited to a range of specialist and generalist careers in the visual arts.

In addition to working as artists and curators, our graduates may work in the related fields of arts administration, the museums and galleries sector, arts marketing and sales, arts policy and consultancy and a broad range of technical or arts production roles.

Increasingly fine arts graduates will develop a ‘portfolio career’ combining their independent art practice with these related professional roles or in combination with roles in completely different occupational fields.

Many BFA graduates use their degree as the basis for entry into a specialist postgraduate degrees such as Arts Management or Education that provide a range of professional qualifications and career paths.

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