Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design

Course information for - 2023 entry

Offered at 2 locations

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

$10006 CSP

Start dates
Semester 1 intake: Not available
Midyear (Semester 2) intake: Beginning July 2023
Applications open April 2023


Join a creative community of emerging artists, designers and art historians and discover your creative talents. Our Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design develops your skills as a graphic designer and contemporary artist through studio practice, industry placements in the creative industries, opportunities to study art history abroad and present your artwork in galleries and exhibitions.

You will enhance your creativity working in a broad range of mediums, such as drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture and be supported by educators who are art historians, designers and curators, and who exhibit their work nationally and internationally. 

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. Your work will be exhibited in our ACU gallery spaces over the course of your degree and you’ll get real-world experience through professional practice and an industry internship.

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

To complete the Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design, a student must complete 240 credit points (cp).

View course rules

Sample program map

Year - Study periodUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5
Year 1 - Semester 1

ARTS109 Drawing

ARTS236 Ceramics/Multimedia

DESN120 Graphic Design Thinking data-versionlabel=2 >

BA minor 1
BA elective
Year 1 - Semester 2

ARTS112 Art in the Early 20th Century

ARTS241 Painting

DESN242 Design for Publication

UNCC100 Self and Community: Exploring the Anatomy of Modern Society


PHCC102 Being Human


PHCC104 Ethics and the Good Life

Year 2 - Semester 1

ARTS245 Printmaking data-versionlabel=2 >

ARTS237 Postmodern Art in the 20th Century

DESN227 Web Design


DESN243 Design for Visual Storytelling data-versionlabel=2 >

ARTS226 Video / Installation

Year 2 - Semester 2

ARTS238 Photography

ARTS246 Sculptural Practice data-versionlabel=2 >

DESN240 Design for Multimedia


DESN244 Design for Social Media data-versionlabel=2 >

BA minor 2


BA elective

Year 3 - Semester 1

UNCC300 Justice and Change in a Global World


PHCC320 The Just Society

ARTS325 Professional Practice

ARTS332 Self-Directed Studio

BA minor 3


BA Elective

Year 3 - Semester 2

ARTS330 Internship

ARTS341 Art in the 21st Century data-versionlabel=2 >


ARTS338 International Study Tour: Venice Biennale

(intensive winter term)

ARTS340 Visual Arts and Design Major Project

BA minor 4
BA elective

This is a sample program only and units will vary depending on your campus and mode of study. Please refer to the handbook for the prerequisite units and the current listing.

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 2023 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

Students wishing to explore education as a career can use this course as a pathway into a Master of Teaching degree.


Course costs

Average first year fee*

$10006 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


Deferment is available for one year. Find out more about deferment: Deferment Information.


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