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Start Date

1 year(s) full-time


Program Code

Study as
Full-time or part-time

Entry Requirements
TAFE/RTO (Guaranteed): N/A
View full entry requirements


Assumed Knowledge

Key features

  • Gain advanced design and research skills – 97 per cent of our assessed research in visual arts and crafts is at or above world-class1.
  • Learn in state-of-the-art workshops and studios.
  • Have access to a library that has the largest collection of art, craft and design resources in South Australia.
  • Benefit from our networks and relationships with industry – locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Use this qualification as a pathway toward a PhD.
  • Learn from teachers and academics who are established, practicing artists and designers.
  • Study at a School that has been ranked in the World Top 100 for art and design2.

12015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)
22017 QS Subject Rankings



This honours degree will introduce you to high level research and develop skills necessary to engage in rigorous research and analysis in the art and design field. It can be used in preparation for postgraduate and PhD studies, or for research or leadership roles in the dynamic and creative visual arts and design industries.

You will be taught by leading researchers and acclaimed academics, and will learn in state-of-the art on-campus workshops and design studios. As part of your studies you will work on a year-long project that involves the development of a research proposal, which is then realised through investigation, exploration, experimentation, analysis and implementation.

Why Bachelor of Art and Design (Honours)

Why this Degree

Graduating with an honours degree will set you apart from the crowd, ensuring you have a competitive edge and are well-placed for a career in industry, research or further postgraduate study.

We are one of only two universities in Australia to combine art, architecture, design and planning principles, making us a great choice for students with a specific interest in these creative, innovative fields. In our world-class workshops and design studios you will have the opportunity to further develop valuable hands-on skills.

You will also benefit from our strong industry links and award-winning teaching staff and academics. Our teaching staff received top ratings in the 2017 Good Universities Guide for teaching and staff qualifications.

Real-world connections

Our teaching staff are highly trained industry professionals who bring with them years of experience. They have strong industry links and many hold professional positions with organisations including the Global Design Network. For students this means links to industry and the opportunity to build important networks. We also host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.


Your career

When you graduate from this honours degree you will have the skills needed to take on a range of roles in the creative arts and design industries. You will also have the necessary research skills to embark on a career in the education or research sector. Careers to consider:

  • visual communications designer: specialised graphic designer that uses software applications to create visual design elements for publishers, web developers and multimedia companies
  • illustrator: produce still drawings for use in advertisements, magazines, on packaging, greeting cards and in newspapers
  • artist: create original artwork; fine artists are usually self-employed, but some artists may produce work during artist residencies or may be commissioned by an individual or organisation

You could continue your studies with a Masters by Research or Doctor of Philosophy.

What others are saying

During my Honours year I undertook an internship as a Curatorial Intern at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital for the Arts in Health program. This experience allowed me to develop my skills and see myself as a professional.

Lizzy Emery

Bachelor of Art and Design (Honours)

Placeholder image

Lizzy Emery

Bachelor of Art and Design (Honours)

What you'll learn

What you Learn

You will learn skills necessary for completing research in art, architecture and design. You will then apply these skills to frame and develop your own research project, producing a research outcome that responds to your research questions and your project aims and objectives. Outcomes are visual and/or written, as appropriate to your discipline and project. Throughout your research studies you will be supervised by an experienced research academic.

You can gain an extra qualification and broaden your career prospects by completing a Diploma in Languages.

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week. 



Your studies will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • research proposals and presentations
  • a thesis or paper
  • literature/artefact review

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities


The honours component includes a minimum of one year of advanced studies in research and professional practice. You will receive First Class, Second Class or Third Class Honours, depending on your performance. You will graduate with industry experience and connections, and a higher level qualification than a bachelor degree. Your honours year will prepare you for future leadership roles.

What courses you'll study


Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
AAD Research Methods VSAR 4003 4.5
AAD Research Practices ARCH 5052 4.5
AAD Honours Research Studies 1 VSAR 4008 9
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
AAD Honours Research Studies 2 VSAR 4009 9
AAD Honours Research Studies 3 VSAR 4010 9

I aim to create a learning environment where students are challenged to produce thoughtful, functional communication that focuses on solving design problems for a specific audience.

Dr Myra Thiessen

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Myra Thiessen
Portrait image for Dr Myra Thiessen

Dr Myra Thiessen

Program Director



Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarship search page for more.

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Adelaide - City West campus

City West is in Adelaide’s most lively precinct, close to art galleries, music venues, cafés and restaurants. It has brand new learning spaces; modern lecture theatres; architecture workshops, contemporary art and design studios; and well-equipped student lounges. Explore City West >

Your study spaces

As an art and design student you will have access to:

  • dedicated design studios and workshops
  • the University’s collection of art, craft and design resource materials, which is the largest in the state
  • Adelaide’s arts, culture and entertainment precinct, located close to our City West campus
Your study spaces

Your study experience

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments. But you’ll also discover that your journey at UniSA is about social experiences, healthy living and getting involved. You’ll find student gyms, community clinics, tech zones and chill-out spaces. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and loads more.

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student support services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help, we're here to assist. We provide a full range of support services, including:

  • academic counselling
  • personal counselling
  • social support services, including family support and nearby childcare
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • Wirringka Student Services, offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a supportive place to study
  • services offered through our student association, USASA

When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

How to apply

To apply to study with us go to the top of this page and click Apply. You will be directed to our online application portal.

Applications open on Monday, 7 August and close at 11.59pm on Thursday, 30 November. Honours applicants need to provide extra documentation which must be emailed to aadstudy@unisa.edu.au. This comprises a 500 word statement of intent, plus a 500 word outline of your proposed research thesis or project. It is important that your research thesis aligns with the expertise and research agendas of academic staff in the School. Applicants must complete details related to their thesis proposal through a form and should be emailed to aadstudy@unisa.edu.au. Statement of intent (500 words): Outline your future career objectives for undertaking research study, together with a summary of your specific aims for developing your academic, creative and professional skills. Proposal Outline and Portfolio: Succinctly state what your proposed research topic or project is and what discipline areas or fields of research you are considering working within. Applicants are also required to provide a portfolio. Please note: if you do not provide this information, your application will not be considered as the School needs to ensure that it has the appropriate supervision required for the topic or project to be undertaken.

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