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The Fine Art program is designed to ensure that each student is able to gain basic knowledge across a range of fine art disciplines, and encounter ongoing studio-based experience. The art history/theory courses introduce students to current fine art theory and research methods. The program thus allows students to develop their own expression within an art making context and to gain critical skills in examining and interpreting contemporary and historical art.
In the studio program, students may experience:
- 2-Dimensional Art - including drawing, painting and printmaking
- 3-Dimensional Art - including fibres/textiles, sculpture and ceramics
- Photomedia - including digital imaging and video as an option.
Study within these fields may lead to ongoing work and study in the arts, including work as a practicing artist or craftsperson. Graduates are multi-skilled and may also gain work in arts related organisations like galleries and museums, art schools and colleges, design studios and community arts organisations. Skills in digital imaging may lead to a range of occupations in commercial art fields such as web design, film/video production, graphic design and the media. The practice of art has also become of interest in health settings, including an area of specialty in counselling. Further experience or study may be required to enter in to specialist fields such as artist, art curator, art teacher, art or diversional therapist.
Students gain direct experience practicing art within the studio courses. Students have the opportunity of participating in activities of the autonomous student exhibition venue, Watt Space. An elective course is also available that allows students to practice in a professional studio of a practicing artist or to approach external bodies such as private and public galleries to gain experience in curatorial practice.
View examples of students' work on the online gallery.
For more information about Fine Art, visit the School of Drama, Fine Art and Music site.
Further Study Options
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD), Postgraduate Coursework programs and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following a degree in Fine Art include:
Honours: Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours)
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worth while considering the range of postgraduate study options available. Postgraduate study may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the post-graduate study options following the Bachelor of Fine Art include:
Masters by Research
As the global job sector can be competitive, it is of great advantage to complete a postgraduate qualification, particularly by independent research (such as Masters by Research, or PhD). See examples of research areas within this discipline here.
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/campaigns/postgrad/
Graduates gain employment in a range of art and non-art related roles. Many of the core skills gained in the Fine Art program are transferrable to a wide range of fields. Some of the jobs listed below will depend upon the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, for example some may require further study.
- Art Dealer
- Art Director
- Art Therapist
- Arts Administrator
- Arts Manager
- Community Arts Worker
- Community Project Officer
- Cultural Development Officer
- Education Officer
- Events Manager
- Exhibitions Officer
- Film/Television Production Assistant
- Gallery Manager
- Graduate Programs - Public and Private Sectors
- International Aid/Development Worker
- Lighting Designer
- Multimedia Designer / Web Designer
- Museum/Art Gallery Curator
- Museum Publications Officer/Editor
- Policy Officer/Analyst
- Practicing Artist/Craftsperson
- Primary Teacher/Classroom
- Research Officer
- Secondary Teacher
- TAFE Teacher
- Tour Guide
- University Lecturer / Academic
- Visitor/Tourism Information Officer
- Visual Effects Technician
- Youth Worker
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Many Fine Arts graduates set up their own creative businesses, seek funding from arts grants, scholarships and fellowships, or juggle several casual or part time jobs to sustain their art making, Below is a sample of larger organisations that employ of Fine Arts graduates.
- ACP Magazines (Australia)
- Artists in Schools, NSW Department of Education & Training (Australia)
- Australian National Library (Australia)
- Australian Regional Gallery listing (Australia)
- Commercial Galleries, Australian listing (Australia)
- Department of Local Government NSW (Australia)
- Fairfax Media (Australia)
- Mission Australia (Australia)
- Museum of Contemporary Art (Australia)
- National Archives of Australia (Australia)
- National Museum of Australia (Australia)
- News Corporation (Australia)
- NSW Department of Education (Australia)
- Ogilvy (Australia)
- Oxfam (International)
- Pan Macmillan Australia (Australia)
- Powerhouse Museum (Australia)
- Random House (Australia)
- Saatchi & Saatchi (International)
- The Samaritans (Australia)
- Scholastic (Australia)
- The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Arts Law Centre of Australia Online (Australia)
- Arts NSW (Australia)
- The Australian Ceramics Association (Australia)
- Australian Commercial Galleries Association (Australia)
- Australian Culture and Recreation (Australia)
- Australian Film Commission (Australia)
- Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (Australia)
- Australian Photographic Society (Australia)
- Australian Print Workshop (Australia)
- Collections Australia Network (Australia)
- Craft Australia (Australia)
- Creative Industries Innovation Centre (Australia)
- Design Institute of Australia (Australia)
- Museums Australia (Australia)
- National Association for the Visual Arts (Australia)
- NSW Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild (Australia)
- Octapod (Newcastle) (Australia)
- Office of the Arts, Department of the Prime Ministers and Cabinet (Australia)
- Screen Hub (Australia)
- The Sculptors Society (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Sample Job Ads and Tips for Applying
Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.
Please note, the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.