UNSW Art & Design

UNSW Art & Design, formerly University of New South Wales Faculty of Art and Design and College of Fine Arts (COFA), is part of the creative Arts, Design & Architecture faculty of the University of New South Wales, and is located on Oxford Street in Paddington, Sydney, Australia.


In 1975 the visual art section of the National Art School was taken under the auspices of the Alexander Mackie College, becoming a ‘multi disciplinary’ college with a School of Art and a School of Teacher Education;.[1] In 1982 Alexander Mackie College was reconstituted into two separate institutions - the St George Institute of Education and the City Art Institute,[2] which, along with other bodies, became part of the Sydney College of Advanced Education (Sydney CAE).

The City Art Institute seceded from Sydney CAE in 1987 and joined the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) to create the NSW Institute of the Arts. The two institutions remained at their original locations in Paddington and Balmain but the partnership was short-lived. In 1988 Federal legislation removed the distinction between state-owned Colleges of Advanced Education and federally funded universities, resulting in the amalgamation of most CAEs with existing universities. The devolution of NSW Institute of the Arts was included in these changes, made effective on 1 January 1990, when Sydney College of the Arts joined the University of Sydney and the City Art Institute, renamed the College of Fine Arts (COFA), became a faculty of The University of New South Wales.[3]

Still located at the original Paddington Campus, COFA was renamed UNSW Art & Design in July 2014. Its activities include teaching of and research in art, design and multi media, art history and theory and art education. It offers bachelor, master and doctoral degrees in fine art, art education, art theory, design and art administration.

In May 2009, the Federal Government gave UNSW Art & Design $48 million, through the Education Investment Fund (EIF), for the $58 million Gateway@COFA redevelopment.[4]


UNSW Art & Design offers eighteen undergraduate degrees including some double degrees associated with other UNSW faculties. Bachelor's degrees are offered in Fine Arts, Fine Arts/Arts, Fine Arts/Education, Commerce/Fine Arts, Fine Arts/Laws, Fine Arts/Science, Fine Arts/Advanced Science, Design, Design/Education, Design/Media (PR and Advertising), Design/Commerce, Art Theory, Art Theory/Arts, Art Theory/Laws, Art Theory/Social Research and Policy, Media Arts, Media Arts/Education and Media Arts/Science (Computer Science).

Postgraduate degrees in coursework are offered in Art, Curating and Cultural Leadership and Design. UNSW Art & Design also offers Masters by Research degrees and has a PhD program.

The Paddington campus houses the Paddington Library (previously Clement Semmler Library),[5] which maintains a large collection of art and design literature, journals, periodicals and electronic resources. The Ivan Dougherty Gallery, which had a regular schedule of exhibitions and seminars throughout the year, was closed in 2013 for campus reconstruction.[6] It is replaced by the Art & Design Space (AD Space).[7]

Arc @ UNSW Art & DesignEdit

In 2007, the COFA Students' Association[8] was wound up and combined with the two previous Kensington student organisations as a new student organisation known as the Arc @ UNSW. This new student organisation is a service provider on campus, running student media such as Zing Tycoon (a student zine) and the College Voice, operating the student-run Kudos Gallery, and funding the Grants and Sponsorship Scheme for non-academic artistic initiatives.

The Arc Student Representative Council represents UNSW Art & Design students to Art & Design, the University, and externally. The Arc also provides support and funding to university clubs and societies.

UNSW GalleriesEdit

UNSW Galleries opened on the UNSW Art & Design campus in late 2013 with Making Change,[9] an exhibition of film and photo-based art by some of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists.[10] José Da Silva is the Director of UNSW Galleries.[11]

Kudos GalleryEdit

The Kudos gallery is a student run initiative run by the Arc Kudos Gallery Management Committee. The Gallery hosts around 30 student art exhibitions per year, enabling students to gain valuable experience exhibiting and curating shows in a public gallery. In 2008 the Gallery celebrated its 10th anniversary with the exhibition 'Kudos to Kudos'.

Notable AlumniEdit

Notable current and past facultyEdit



  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ News, UNSW Archives (9 June 2013). "1990s". www.recordkeeping.unsw.edu.au.
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ [4]
  6. ^ [5]
  7. ^ "Art & Design Space - UNSW Art & Design".
  8. ^ [6]
  9. ^ "Making Change - UNSW Art & Design".
  10. ^ "Making Change: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Australia–China Diplomatic Relations - IDAIA".
  11. ^ "José Da Silva | UNSW Art & Design". artdesign.unsw.edu.au. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  12. ^ Dexter, John (26 May 2017). "Sarah Contos Wins Inaugural Ramsay Art Prize". Adelaide Review. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  13. ^ Coggan, Michael (26 May 2017). "Ramsay Art Prize won by artist Sarah Contos for quilt 'celebrating women in all their glory'". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Our Staff | UNSW Art & Design". www.artdesign.unsw.edu.au. Retrieved 4 December 2017.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 33°53′02″S 151°13′13″E / 33.88394°S 151.22032°E / -33.88394; 151.22032