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Course Description

Learning through and about the Visual Arts enriches the experience of studying while at school. The knowledge, understanding, skills and values gained from the subject assist students in building conceptual and practical skills which can be applied in art, craft, design and related careers, as well as preparing students for life after school in other real world contexts. Fostering interest and enjoyment in the doing, production and consumption of art, the subject seeks to build informed citizens and discerning audiences for art, as well as the beliefs and ideologies that accompany it.


Visual Arts


(Preliminary and HSC)

Course Type

Board Developed

Topics studied in Year 11

In the Preliminary course, art criticism and art history can focus on particular aspects of content such as the agencies in the conceptual framework, the notion of practice, and how the frames offer different interpretations of the visual arts. Students may be introduced to case studies in the Preliminary course following a more broadly based understanding developed about practice, the conceptual framework and frames.

Topics studied in Year 12

In the HSC course, case studies are investigated as a class and individually. These case studies are made to extend upon critical and historical learning opportunities offered during the course and focus on the relationship between practice, the conceptual framework and the frames.

What do you do in this course?

Visual Arts is of great relevance to students’ lives and enables them to gain increasing intellectual autonomy, evident in interpretations of their own work and the work of others. The subject rewards individual thinking in the representations of students’ ideas both aesthetically and persuasively. It offers students opportunities to engage in creative and inductive forms of inquiry and to be assessed on their production – through the making of artworks – as well as on their critical and historical understanding of art, demonstrated in their writing and talking about art.

How can this course help you in the future?

Visual Arts builds a desire in students to continue learning after school in further education and training, employment, in informal and formal settings and as informed citizens. Many courses are available in art, craft and design and related fields in the university sector and the TAFE sector and an increasing number are being developed by private providers. Some examples of careers that have foundations in Visual Arts are: Photographer, Potter, Sculptor, Theatrical costume maker and designer, Toymaker, Visual merchandiser, Animator, Cartoonist, Craftsperson, Desktop publisher, Engraver, Illustrator, Make-up artist, and Model maker.