National Art School


The National Art School (NAS) is a culturally significant Australian visual arts institution, with origins that can be traced back to 1843. It has a rich tradition of artistic practice and a well-renowned alumni.

Housed in the historic walls of the old Darlinghurst Gaol in Sydney’s premier Arts precinct, NAS offers a select number of full time programs; Bachelor of Fine Art, Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) and Master of Fine Art, and for the community, a comprehensive range of part-time and intensive short courses.

NAS utilises the studio based Atelier Method of teaching, where there is a high ratio of staff to students, with intensive instruction by professional practising artists taking place in a studio environment.

Students have access to over 80 eminent practising artists with established studios and art historians who lecture, lead by example and provide intensive tuition. Drawing, art history and theory and their relationships to contemporary culture are taught each year in the undergraduate programs.

For high school students, courses include the HSC Extension Workshops and for Year 11 students; the Dobell School.

NAS values its links with the international community including Japan, Korea, United Kingdom, USA, Sweden and France, where art exchange and art practice enhances the studio-based tradition of learning and scholarship.

Aside from educational programs, NAS has a year-long program of exhibitions, public programs and lectures, managed through the NAS Gallery, Art Forum, the Study Centre for Drawing and six School departments; Ceramics, Photography, Painting, Printmaking, Drawing, Sculpture and Art History & Theory.

NAS’s historic venues, including the Cell Block Theatre and The Chapel, are also available for hire for commercial events, theatrical productions and private and public functions.


This school offers programs in:
  • English

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This school also offers:


Master of Fine Art

Campus Full time Part time July 2017 Australia Sydney + 1 more

The Master of Fine Art by Research (MFA) is designed for practising artists who wish to develop specific research interests in their studio production [+]

The Master of Fine Art by Research (MFA) is designed for practising artists who wish to develop specific research interests in their studio production towards a higher level of professional expertise. It is delivered over two 48-week academic years in a full-time study mode or an equivalent part-time duration. The MFA is a “Research by Project” degree whereby a candidate proposes and undertakes the development of a studio research project in a selected studio discipline. The MFA exemplifies the School’s central belief in the studio model of learning that promotes dialogues between studio practice and theory. Offering a program within discrete studio disciplines affirms the importance of developing studio skills and thinking pertinent to each discipline. The MFA candidate is expected to produce a highly developed and resolved body of work and a supporting written document which provides a critical context for their studio practice. Studio Disciplines offered include: Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture. MFA Studio Research Program Each MFA candidate’s studio research is self-directed in consultation with assigned supervisors whose own practices and experiences are relevant to the candidate’s project. The research project demands autonomous studio investigation and theoretical reflection, with support, guidance and critical comment provided through individual tutorials, formal studio critiques, peer discussions and reviews. In addition to this individual supervision, formal group studio critiques provide candidates with another valuable forum for discussion about their studio research projects. MFA Symposium Program In addition to the studio research program, regular symposia, in the form of lectures, seminars and candidate presentations are held during each academic year in order to provide candidates with an additional critical context for the development of their studio research. Candidates are expected to deliver presentations on their studio research at regular intervals, providing the opportunity for critical discussion of their developing research direction. A group seminar which interrogates historical and theoretical texts is also an integral part of the Symposium program. Additionally, research methodology lectures and meetings are offered throughout the year to assist candidates in the organisation of the written component of their research project. The integration of lectures, seminar groups, discussions and candidate presentations in the symposium program synthesises theory and practice appropriate to the development of the candidate’s individual research project. Candidate Assessment Entry to the MFA is assessed in two stages: Stage One: 1). Previous Study - Australian or New Zealand Bachelor of Fine Art degree with Honours, or - overseas degree qualification in Fine Art considered equivalent, and - a credit average maintained in previous studies with Distinction or better completion of a Major at Honours level (Class I or Class II Division I) in the intended MFA specialisation 2). A comprehensive 500-1000 word MFA Research Project Proposal 3). Supporting evidence of 12 examples of current works in the form of visual material (slides, video, CD, etc.) or equivalent 4). A curriculum vitae of achievements in the field of art practice, including exhibitions, research and publications 5). Consultation with Academic/Professional Referees nominated by the candidate 6). Evidence of meeting the NAS English language requirement (international students only) Applicants considering a Drawing Major must have: - satisfied the above criteria in any studio major, and - a substantial portfolio of drawings demonstrating their suitability for acceptance into the Drawing MFA. Stage Two Successful Stage One applicants are invited for an interview with the Postgraduate Admissions Committee comprising: - the Postgraduate Coordinator, or nominee; - the Subject Leader of the relevant studio discipline(s), or nominee; - a specialist lecturer with relevant knowledge and expertise. At interview, candidates will be required to present and discuss: - their MFA Research Project Proposal; - their portfolio of current work; - their goals in undertaking postgraduate academic studies at NAS; - their intentions in relation to their art practice. Fees Domestic students: - Full-time: $7,000 per year ($3,500 with Postgraduate Bursary) - Part-time: $3,500 per year International students $28,500 per year [-]


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