The creative nature of the visual arts provides individuals with the opportunity for personal growth, the expression of ideas and a process for examining identity. Exhibitions of artworks offer an insight into the diverse interpretations of life and experiences of artists. Engagement with artworks facilitates creative thinking and the development of new ideas; it also supports connection and exchange within local, national and global communities.

VCE Studio Arts encourages and supports students to recognise their individual potential as artists and develop their understanding and development of art making. 

VCE Studio Arts broadens students’ understanding of, and ability to engage with, artworks. It equips students with the knowledge and skills to pursue an art studio practice and follow tertiary and industry pathways in fine art, research and education. The study also offers students opportunities for personal development and encourages them to make an ongoing contribution to society and the culture of their community through lifelong participation in the making and viewing of artworks.

VCE Studio Arts

Unit 1:

Studio Inspiration & Techniques

In this unit students focus on developing an individual understanding of the stages of studio practice and learn how to explore, develop, refine, resolve and present artworks. Students explore sources of inspiration, research artistic influences, develop individual ideas and explore a range of materials and techniques related to specific art forms. Using documented evidence in a visual diary, students progressively refine and resolve their skills to communicate ideas in artworks.

Unit 2:

Studio Exploration & Concepts

In this unit students focus on establishing and using a studio practice to produce artworks. The studio practice includes the formulation and use of an individual approach to documenting sources of inspiration, and experimentation with selected materials and techniques relevant to specific art forms. Students explore and develop ideas and subject matter, create aesthetic qualities and record the development of the work in a visual diary as part of the studio process.

Through the study of art movements and styles, students begin to understand the use of other artists’ work in the making of new artworks. Students also develop skills in the visual analysis of artworks. Artworks made by artists from different times and cultures are analysed to understand developments in studio practice. Using a range of art periods, movements or styles, students develop a broader knowledge about the history of art. Analysis is used to understand the artists’ ideas and how they have created aesthetic qualities and subject matter. Comparisons of contemporary art with historical art styles and movements should be encouraged.

The exhibition of artworks is integral to Unit 2 and students are encouraged to visit a variety of exhibition spaces throughout the unit, reflect on the different environments and examine how artworks are presented to an audience. 

Unit 3:

Studio Practices & Processes

In this unit students focus on the implementation of an individual studio process leading to the production of a range of potential directions. Students develop and use an exploration proposal to define an area of creative exploration. They plan and apply a studio process to explore and develop their individual ideas. Analysis of these explorations and the development of the potential directions is an intrinsic part of the studio process to support the making of finished artworks in Unit 4.

For this study, the exploration proposal supports the student to identify a direction for their studio process. The student determines the studio process. This process records trialling, experimenting, analysing and evaluating the extent to which art practices successfully communicate ideas presented in the exploration proposal. From this process students progressively develop and identify a range of potential directions. Students will select some of these potential directions from which to develop at least two artworks in Unit 4.

The study of artists and their work practices and processes may provide inspiration for students’ own approaches to art making. Students investigate and analyse the response of artists to a wide range of source material and examine their use of materials and techniques. They explore professional art practices of artists from different historical and cultural contexts in relation to particular artworks and art forms.

The exhibition of artworks is integral to Unit 3 and students are expected to visit a variety of exhibitions throughout the unit, reflect on the different environments where artworks are exhibited and examine how artworks are presented to an audience. Students are expected to visit at least two different exhibitions and study specific artworks displayed in these exhibitions during their current year of study.

Unit 4:

Studio Practice & Art Industry Contexts

In this unit students focus on the planning, production and evaluation required to develop, refine and present artworks that link cohesively according to the ideas resolved in Unit 3. To support the creation of artworks, students present visual and written evaluation that explains why they selected a range of potential directions from Unit 3 to produce at least two finished artworks in Unit 4. The development of these artworks should reflect refinement and skilful application of materials and techniques, and the resolution of ideas and aesthetic qualities discussed in the exploration proposal in Unit 3. Once the artworks have been made, students provide an evaluation about the cohesive relationship between the artworks.

This unit also investigates aspects of artists’ involvement in the art industry, focusing on a least two different exhibitions, that the student has visited in the current year of study with reference to specific artworks in those exhibitions. Students investigate the methods and considerations of the artist and/or curator involved in the preparation, presentation and conservation of artworks displayed in exhibitions in at least two different galleries or exhibitions. Students examine a range of environments for the presentation of artworks including public galleries and museums, commercial and private galleries, university art galleries, artist-run spaces, alternative art spaces and online gallery spaces.

Example pathways
  • Art Conservator,
  • Art Director
  • Art Teacher,
  • Art Therapist,
  • Artist,
  • Curator,
  • Graphic Artist,
  • Illustrator,
  • Photographer,
  • Textile Designer,
  • Web Designer

This is a guide only, please see the careers team for pathway planning advice.


There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4.

Unit 3 and 4 Assessment

Percentage contributions to the study score in VCE Studio Arts are as follows:

  • Units 3 and 4 School-assessed Coursework: 10 per cent.
  • Units 3 and 4 School-assessed Task: 60 per cent
  • End-of-year examination: 30 per cent

This subject requires the completion of a folio as part of assessment.