Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design

Course information for - 2024 entry

Offered at 2 locations

3 years full-time or equivalent part-time
VTAC code
58.50 for Melbourne
Fees (first year)*

$12632 CSP

Start dates
Semester 1 intake: Not available
Midyear (Semester 2) intake: Beginning July 2024
Applications open April 2024


ACU’s Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design tailors a blend of studio-based fine art, graphic design, and art history. Combining form and function, this dynamic course allows you to embrace and expand your creative passions while learning industry-based insights and real-world skills. You don’t need an extensive portfolio to apply, and you won’t go through a gruelling audition process.

With dedicated studios and workshops, learn how to harness your individual style and develop your skills as a graphic designer and contemporary artist through real-world studio practice and industry placements in the creative industries.

You’ll have the opportunity to study art history overseas, at the Venice Biennale, in Paris or at our Rome campus, developing local and international networks and expanding your global outlook.

Benefit from hands-on, project-based learning and exhibit your skills to the public in the ACU gallery space throughout your studies, culminating in a final year graduate exhibition which will showcase your work and curating skills at a professional standard.

Enhance your creativity and develop skills and capabilities working across a broad range of mediums, including drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture. Push creative boundaries and be supported by dedicated educators who are art historians, designers, and curators, and who exhibit their work nationally and internationally. 

In your final year you’ll complete a major project in your chosen area and take part in the graduate exhibition showcasing your artwork, catalogue design, events management, and curating skills.

Graduates of this course can pursue further study with a Master of Teaching degree.

Professional experience

You will be required to complete a Professional Practice unit and a 105-hour Industry Internship.

The Professional Practice unit gives you the opportunity to explore some of the diverse career outcomes available to you as a visual arts and design graduate. It emphasises the importance of being an enterprising, socially responsible professional among your networks and communities of practice within the creative industries.

The Industry Internship requires you to volunteer in any area across the creative industries that interests you. This may include: facilitating creative workshops for community groups, volunteering in a museum or gallery, or working with graphic and web design companies or publishers.

Professional recognition

Graduates of this course may be eligible for membership of the following professional bodies:

  • Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA)
  • Australian Print Council
  • Australian Net Art and Technology (ANET)
  • Australian Sculptors Association
  • Craft Australia
  • International Council of Museums (ICOM)
  • International Association of Art (UNESCO) (only available to NAVA members)
  • National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA)
  • Potters Society
  • Victorian Artists Society (VAS)
  • Victorian Ceramic Group.


Our graduates have pursued careers in creative industries including:

  • administrator
  • advertising
  • art conservation
  • art creative director
  • art gallery manager
  • art theory research assistant
  • art therapist (with further training)
  • art writer
  • book illustrator
  • curatorship
  • events coordinator
  • film-maker and editor
  • graphic designer
  • visual artist
  • teaching (with further study)
  • theatre and set designer
  • visual merchandiser

Course details

Course structure

Course map

Open all

Please note: Course maps are subject to change.

Commencing Semester 1

  • Visual Arts unitsARTS109Drawing10 cp
  • Visual Arts unitsARTS236Ceramics/Multimedia10 cp
  • Graphic Design minor - GRDE - Graphic Design - 100-level unitsDESN120Graphic Design Thinking10 cp
  • Bachelor of Arts unitsBA minor or elective unit 1ORCore Curriculum unitsCore Curriculum Unit 1See the ACU Core Curriculum page for details

    Students wishing to take elective units in art history and theory may take HUMA252, HUM253 and/or ARTS247 from the BA Visual Arts sequence, subject to availability. 

    Core curriculum units may be studied in professional terms, subject to availability.

    10 cp
  • Visual Arts unitsARTS112Art in the Early 20th Century10 cp
  • Visual Arts unitsARTS241Painting10 cp
  • Graphic Design minor - GRDE - Graphic Design - 200- and/or 300-level UnitsDESN242Design for Publication10 cp
  • Bachelor of Arts unitsBA minor or elective unit 1ORCore Curriculum unitsCore Curriculum Unit 1See the ACU Core Curriculum page for details

    Students wishing to take elective units in art history and theory may take HUMA252, HUM253 and/or ARTS247 from the BA Visual Arts sequence, subject to availability. 

    Core curriculum units may be studied in professional terms, subject to availability.

    10 cp

Commencing Semester 2

Graduate statement


As an ACU graduate you have personal insight founded on an understanding of who you are as a professional, a citizen and a scholar. You embrace change and growth through critical self-awareness and learning autonomy. You are empowered to seek truth and meaning, drawing on the principles of justice, equity, and the dignity of all human beings.


As an ACU graduate you value human dignity and diversity. This appreciation is founded on deep reflection, and empathy. You have experience of Indigenous Knowings and perspectives and can engage respectfully when working alongside Australia's First Peoples. You can connect with people and cultures and work with community in ways that recognise the dignity of the human person and all cultures


As an ACU graduate you utilise imagination and innovation to solve problems. You critically analyse information from a range of sources to creatively solve practical problems and use critical thinking to make decisions and advance the common good. You appreciate the role of innovation and creative thinking in developing a better future for each person and community.


As an ACU graduate you recognise your responsibility to work for social justice and a sustainable world founded on a commitment to human dignity and the common good. You lead change through respectful collaboration and effective communication of ideas to diverse peoples, groups and communities in local and global contexts. You are empowered to positively impact your profession and the community.

AQF framework

Bachelor - AQF Level 7

Exit Points

A student who has successfully completed the requirements for the Diploma in Visual Arts and Design may exit from the course with that qualification.

Entry requirements

An applicant must also comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy that includes meeting a minimum ATAR requirement.

International applicants need to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements as defined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

To be eligible for admission to the course, an applicant must have completed the following prerequisites at year 12, or equivalent:


New South Wales

Assumed knowledge: 2 units of English (any) (Band 3).

Recommended studies: Visual Arts for study in Visual Arts.


Prerequisite: Units 3 and 4 – a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or 20 in any other English

Disclaimer: The course entry requirements above are for 2024 Admission. Refer to your relevant Tertiary Admission Centre website for future years' entry requirements.

View transparency admission information

Applicants with work and life experience

You’ll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course.

 If you have no formal education qualifications you may be eligible for a selection rank based on your work, life or service experience.

  • If you’ve been in paid employment, relevant to the course you’re applying for, for a minimum of six months full-time (or equivalent), this work may be assessed for your selection rank.
  • If you’re 21 years or older you can sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) through your local TAC.
  • You can apply for an ACU bridging course. Our bridging courses allow you to transition back into studying and can give you a head start on the relevant undergraduate degree.
  • If you have served in the defence force, your rank and time in service may contribute to your selection rank.

Find your path into study

English language requirements

Overall score of 6.0. Individual score of 6.0 in writing and speaking, and 5.5 in listening and reading.

Adjustment factors

If you’re currently completing Year 12 you may be eligible for adjustment factors that can boost your rank and help you get into your desired course.

Adjustment factors may be applied to your TAC application if you study particular subjects, attend schools geographically close to our campuses or in certain regional areas, apply as an elite athlete or performer or meet certain other criteria.

Learn more about adjustment factors

Inherent requirement

There are essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of that course or unit. You will need to be able to meet these inherent requirements to complete your course.

Learn more about inherent requirements for your course and how they affect you


Pathways into course for current or recent Year 12 students

Admission Schemes

Adjustment Factors which may improve your Selection Rank

  • Most applicants to undergraduate courses at ACU are eligible for adjustment factors – which can help improve your selection rank when applying for a degree. Your location, school or personal circumstances may make you eligible too. Learn more about the full list of available adjustments.

Articulation from another course

Work and Life Experience

  • Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)
  • Work experience - A Selection Rank can be calculated based on your work experience - you need to document all of your experience and provide supporting documentation.

If you have a Selection Rank but it's not enough for this course

  • Complete 2 non-award individual UG units; the results attained for these units can then be converted to a Selection Rank
  • Complete a VET qualification such as an AQF Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma
  • Commence another ACU Bachelor degree with a lower required Selection Rank, successfully complete 2 or more units, then apply for an internal transfer to this course. A new Selection Rank will be calculated from your results in the ACU units.

Further study

Graduates with bachelor degrees may be eligible for entry into honours courses or to a range of postgraduate coursework programs, eg graduate certificates and graduate diplomas and, through these qualifications and/or with relevant work experience, to master’s degree programs.


Course costs

Average first year fee*

$12632 CSP

All costs are calculated using current rates and are based on a full-time study load of 40 credit points (normally 4 units) per semester.

A student’s annual fee may vary in accordance with:

  • the number of units studied per semester;
  • the choice of major or specialisation; and
  • elective units.

The University reviews fees annually.

Payment options

You should be able to concentrate on getting good marks instead of worrying about how you’ll pay your fees. We have a number of options that can help you ease the financial burden, including government assistance, scholarships and income support. 

Explore your options 


You could be eligible for one of the hundreds of scholarships we award each year to help students from across the university with the cost of studying, accommodation or overseas study opportunities. Some of our scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, but these aren’t just for the academically gifted; ACU also recognises excellence in community engagement and leadership. We also offer a range of scholarships for those who may be struggling financially or who have faced other barriers to accessing education.  

Search our scholarships  

How to apply

Domestic applicants


Apply through VTAC

VTAC code 1200212011

Direct application

Apply now

Staff Profile

Dr Elvis Richardson

Lecturer (Graphics/Graphic Design), National School of Arts and Humanities

Dr Elvis Richardson is a visual artist, curator, and graphic design educator at the Australia Catholic University. She has taught units in basic to advanced graphic design including print and web design, motion graphics and video editing and visual arts units - self-directed studies, photography, sculpture, drawing and printmaking. Dr Richardson’s works are held in the collections of National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of NSW, Heide Museum of Art, Art Gallery of Ballarat, Artbank, City of Fremantle, MerriBek Council and the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art. She is the founding editor of CoUNTess a blog publishing data on gender representation in the Australian visual arts sector. 

Assoc. Prof. Victoria Carruthers

Senior Lecturer (Art History), National School of Arts and Humanities

Associate Professor Victoria Carruthers is Senior Lecturer in modern and contemporary art history and theory at the Australian Catholic University. Her research explores the intersections between art, literature and music across visual cultures from 19th century to the present day. She completed her doctoral thesis on the art of the late American surrealist Dorothea Tanning and has published several articles on her practice. Before coming to art history, Assoc. Prof. Carruthers studied opera (performance) and musicology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and completed a BA in literature and philosophy and a Masters by thesis on Shakespeare's late plays.




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