Read up on what a Bachelor of Visual Arts at USYD is like but want to know a bit more about it?
We’ve talked to Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) graduate, Kalanjay, to hear all about the pros and cons of this degree and to help you decide whether this is the right degree/university for you.
Let’s jump into it!
Why should you study a Visual Arts degree at USYD?
If you’re interested in art and art making, or perhaps you see yourself as a gallery curator in the future, studying Visual Arts would be a great pathway to take.
Studying Visual Arts at USYD means you’ll be part of the SCA and will have access to great resources and facilities. This includes machinery and kilns, alongside materials and tools for something as specific as jewellery making!
Top 3 Pros of a Visual Arts degree
#1: Access to resources and equipment
One of the great things about studying Visual Arts at USYD is that you’re given access to a whole range of resources and equipment to support whatever it is that you’re creating!
SCA has a number of different workshop spaces to provide the resources and facilities for different kinds of art making. For instance, kilns and pottery wheels for ceramics, welders and metal saws for metal work, jewellery tools such as wire cutters, and so much more!
#2: Helpful teachers and technical staff
Kalanjay said, “With USYD you have access to people, teachers, lecturers, specialists and technical staff.” The teaching and technical staff at the SCA are considered incredibly helpful and supportive towards their students.
If you have questions about the practical side of an artwork; how you might put it together or install it, the technical staff will help you out. If you’re stuck on an assessment, or unsure about the content you’re learning, the tutors and experienced lecturers are there to support you.
#3: Freedom and space to create art
“The benefit is the freedom to make what you want, and you’re given the space and tools for it,” Kalanjay said.
The SCA creates a supportive and productive environment for emerging and growing artists, providing you with zero limitations when it comes to art making.
The great thing with being part of an art school like the SCA, is that you’re in a space with other young artists. Although you’re all working on individual pieces, you become close with your peers as you bounce ideas off each other!
“You’ll also be involved in a nice cohort and meet a lot of peers which is important for art making…” Kalanjay said. “It’s nice to be in a space to focus on your art.”
Top 3 Cons of a Visual Arts degree
#1: Content is somewhat outdated
As the SCA is quite old school and arguably outdated in the nature of content that is taught, it lacks greater relevance to contemporary artworks and more recent ideas.
“It was very old school, not traditional, but relaxed. It almost felt like the 70s.” Kalanjay said.
#2: The course could use more structure
Although some people can benefit from having almost complete freedom when it comes to visual arts, it can be hard to self-regulate. Some students might say that the course would be better off if it had more structure or a clearer framework so you would have more guidance and direction.
“Some people struggled with the lack of direction and freedom, but I really benefited from it,” Kalanjay said.
If you’re someone who loves freedom to express yourself creatively, you could really benefit from this course.
#3: No built-in internships
Finally, not having any built-in internships or accredited placements within the degree means you don’t get any formal industry experience. However, there are excursions and group gallery visits to give you more exposure to different types of art and local artists.
Though, not having the opportunity to take on an internship can potentially disadvantage you when it comes to job searching and you’re up against other university graduates with experience in the field.
Kalanjay didn’t have any regrets! He found that this course suited his interest in visual arts and was able to make the most of the opportunities and experiences throughout the degree.
What do you wish you had known before starting Visual Arts at USYD?
Although Kalanjay didn’t have any regrets about the degree in itself, he said, “I wish I was more widely read before starting uni, so I knew what to ask and what to read beforehand and could use the resources better.”
If you’d like to get a head start before enrolling into the degree, it might be good to read up on some academic literature about the visual arts concepts you’ll be engaging with.
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
A major differentiating factor between a Bachelor of Visual arts at USYD compared to other universities, is “the freedom” as Kalanjay simply put it.
With the experienced faculty and the facilities and resources available, you have complete freedom to create.
What inspired you to choose Visual Arts at USYD?
“I just wanted to do art,” Kalanjay said. “I liked art.”
Visual Arts at USYD is known particularly for the facilities and spaces at the SCA. Recently moving onto the main campus in Camperdown/Darlington, the SCA has the resources for students to practice art.
What are the possible career paths?
The great thing with visual arts is that you can enter a number of different professions within the field. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Arts worker (admin, managing and curating)
- Art education
- Art therapy
- Art consultant
Also depending on the major you choose, you can follow more specific career paths relevant to your area of practice!
Nandini Dhir is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Marketing) and a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications), as a Dalyell Scholar, at Sydney University. She enjoys covering local issues in her area and writing about current events in the media. Nandini has had one of her pieces published in an article with the Sydney Morning Herald. In her free time, Nandini loves doing calligraphy, ballet, and sewing, or is otherwise found coddling her cats.