University of South Australia

Contemporary Art

Interested in Contemporary Art?

Our innovative contemporary art degree gives you knowledge and skills in a comprehensive range of visual art disciplines including ceramics, drawing, glass, jewellery, new media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, and contemporary art history and theory.

You will have access to custom-built studio spaces and be taught by practicing artists, and world-class researchers and art educators.

You can use your contemporary art qualification as a pathway to further study in the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours) or the Master of Design (Contemporary Art). You can also combine the Bachelor of Contemporary Art with a Master of Teaching (Secondary) to become a secondary school art teacher.

Key features

UniSA, incorporating the South Australian School of Art, has over 160 years of experience in art education. UniSA is ranked #1 in South Australia for Learning Resources in Creative Arts1 and also holds the top rank in the state for Art and Design Facilities2.

As a student in the Bachelor of Contemporary Art, you will:

  • Be taught by practicing artists, world-class researchers3 and art educators
  • Learn in purpose-built studios and workshops with state-of-the-art facilities
  • Have direct access to the SASA Gallery, MOD. and Samstag Museum of Art
  • Work alongside visiting artists as part of our Artist in Residence program
  • Study in Adelaide's dynamic City West cultural precinct, home of JamFactory, Adelaide Contemporary Experimental (ACE), Nexus Arts and MercuryCX, and just a short tram ride away from the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum.

You also have the option of applying for the Bachelor of Contemporary Art/Master of Teaching (Secondary) packaged option for a pathway straight into secondary teaching.

1ComparED (QILT) Student Experience Survey 2021-22, Learning Resources Indicator (Undergraduate). SA public universities.
2ComparED (QILT) Student Experience Survey 2021-22, Creative Arts – Learning Resources Indicator (Undergraduate). SA public universities.
3Results in Studies in Creative Arts and Writing - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

Why UniSA?

Building your career is our business. With 100% of our research rated at or above world-class1, you can be confident that you'll learn advanced art and research skills of the highest standard.

You’ll be taught by industry professionals. Our academics have a very practical approach to learning and you’ll work on real projects and get real experience. We partner with local icons and international industry professionals to focus on real world projects.

We’ve also invested millions of dollars in new buildings and facilities, so you’ll use the latest technologies and learn in ultra-modern teaching spaces.

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), 4-digit Fields of Research.

UniSA offers the following Contemporary Art degrees

Choose your level of study

World-class partners for a world-class university

We are a globally connected university with over 2,500 industry and professional relationships that support student internships, research and community engagement.

Big apple artist

Big apple artist

In the city that never sleeps, UniSA architecture grad, Annika Bowker, is fully immersed in her creative practice, using her studio in Brooklyn to turn plants, textiles, wood and metal into stunning works of art.

This UNSTOPPABLE force has become a rising star in the NYC art scene, helping to renovate the Yale Natural History Museum, completing an art residency in California’s Joshua Tree National Park, working on high end residential and community housing projects, and exhibiting her work at the San Bernardino Museum with a focus on climate change.

Want to learn more? Read Annika's full story.

Start your unstoppable career in Contemporary Art

  • Annika Bowker

    Annika Bowker
    Architectural/Interior Designer & Artist
    Bachelor of Architecture (Honours)

Back to stories   Hear more from our unstoppable people

Your career

Contemporary art graduates are highly creative, motivated, disciplined, and qualified to work in a range of professional contexts, independently, or in conjunction with organisations such as councils, theatres, galleries, festivals and community groups.

The job prospects for contemporary artists in Australia are strong1 and the practical, creative and analytical skills acquired in the Bachelor of Contemporary Art are immediately transferable to other areas of the arts and cultural industries, and beyond. Careers to consider include: 

  • artist
  • designer-maker
  • arts administrator
  • art director
  • art gallery manager
  • set designer and builder
  • curator and exhibition designer
  • community arts worker and workshop facilitator
  • art therapist
  • secondary school art teacher
  • graphic designer and illustrator.

If you think you might be interested in secondary school teaching, you can apply for the Bachelor of Contemporary Art/Master of Teaching (Secondary) - it's a higher-degree pathway straight into a secondary teaching career. If this interests you, please read How Do I Become a Teacher before selecting your courses.

1Australian Government, National Skills Commission, Job Outlook 2020

Your Career

Global networks

We are a globally connected university and our staff and students come from over 90 countries. We have more than 2,500 industry and professional relationships that support student internships, research and community engagement.

UniSA's leading art museums and galleries

Ask UniSA

More FAQs

Study at UniSA

Hear from UniSA graduate and artist Lucy Zola about her experience studying Contemporary Art at UniSA and how it has helped her reach her career goals.

UniSA Video

What others are saying

My qualification in accounting, and applied knowledge, helped me to successfully elevate myself through the finance industry and enjoy a rewarding career in management; which in turn afforded me the chance to take my life into a very different direction during midlife. My master degree in art provided both direction and clarification to my emerging professional arts practice along with supportive networks and connections.

Janice Lane

Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Master of Visual Art and Creative Practice

Janice Lane

Janice Lane

Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Master of Visual Art and Creative Practice

Why study at UniSA?

As one of the most innovative universities in Australia and Asia, there are many reasons to study with us. Here are just three:


Accessible, helpful and flexible

We have six campuses, a 24/7 online learning environment, and we offer flexible study options like online and evening courses.


Graduate success

UniSA is South Australia's number one university for graduate careers.*
*ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019-21 – Full-time Employment Indicator (Undergraduate). SA public universities.


A five star university

Five stars for research, employability, teaching, facilities, internationalisation, inclusiveness and innovation*
*2023 QS Stars Ratings