Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Visual Arts

Acting Programme Director: Mr LEE, Kalen W K

The BA (Hons) in Visual Arts programme at the Academy of Visual Arts is a professional degree that focuses on intensive practice-led work in the visual arts supported by a programme in General Education. It emphasises creativity, versatility, and intelligent articulation, thus enabling its graduates to enter professional, studio-based careers in such fields as studio arts, design, and/or craft after earning the degree.

The programme consists of a set of required courses and a number of elective courses to be taken from two concentrations: Studio and Media Arts, and Craft and Design. It provides students with solid foundations in their personal choice of areas including drawing, painting, Chinese arts, media arts, graphic arts, sculpture, glass, ceramics, object design, experience design, and is supported by required courses in art history and theory, visual and material culture.

The underlying philosophy of the programme is rooted in the idea of the ever-shifting climate of creative production in the context of society. Studio teaching is conducted through a combination of workshops, and individual and group tutorials, and is founded on the belief that art and design practice is fundamentally a social phenomenon. The aim of the staff and students is to participate in social interaction and discussion through visual arts.

In accordance with the institutional philosophy of the AVA the aims of the BA (Hons) in Visual Arts programme are:

  1. To nurture creative talents with new ideas, inspiration, and professionalism;
  2. To be an active part of the growing creative and cultural sectors in the region, through institutional participation as well as through the contributions of AVA’s graduates and students;
  3. To be and remain the best Visual Arts degree programme in the region; and
  4. To further extend AVA’s and HKBU’s international reputation by producing cutting-edge creative works and visual arts research.

Based on these aims the objectives of the BA (Hons) in Visual Arts programme are:

  1. To provide solid training in visual arts skills and techniques, and to familiarize AVA’s students with contemporary concepts and approaches of the field;
  2. To equip AVA’s students with scholarly skills and abilities at academic level, and thus enable them to seek further academic education in graduate and postgraduate studies;
  3. To lead our students to develop their own artistic profile according to their interests, enabling them to explore, develop and realise creative ideas in response to externally set, and self-generated projects; and
  4. To nurture well-balanced, confident graduate personalities, whose personal and professional conduct is based on the values of a civilized society, and the appreciation of culture as a major foundation of our way of living.

The Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Visual Arts programme is offered in two distinct modes: in the ‘professional mode’ as an undergraduate degree programme that enables graduates to enter professional careers in such fields as design, fine arts, and/or craft; or in ‘liberal arts mode’, which may or may not prepare them for careers as visual arts professionals, as career preparation is not a primary objective of liberal arts education.

The structure of the curriculum in Professional Mode is as follows:

I) Major Courses 75 units
II) Honours Project 9 units
III) General Education 38 units
IV) Free Electives# 6 units
    128 units

# Students may take additional GE courses in any categories to fulfil the “Free Electives” requirement but only a maximum of 6 units will be counted towards the fulfilment of the “Free Electives” requirement.

In general, the BA (Hons) in Visual Arts programme (Professional Mode) requires all its students to attend four Required Courses (1000 level) during their first year at the Academy that provide all students with a comprehensive introduction into the practice and history of the visual arts. Students are required to take another two theory courses (2000 level) in their second year, as well as choose a selection of Elective Courses (2000 level) based on their personal interests to expand their practical knowledge and skills base. In their third and fourth years, the students are expected to develop more depth in three studio areas of their choice by selecting one Studio Course (3000 level) per term, to which the 2000 level courses they have taken before are pre-requisite. Their studies reach its peak in Year 4, when the students demonstrate their achievement of the graduate attributes in the Studio Honours Project (4000 level), which is supplemented by an interdisciplinary practice course and a professional practice course (both 4000 level) for added exit velocity.

Within this outlined structure the BA (Hons) in Visual Arts programme is offered in two concentrations differentiated as Studio and Media Arts, and Craft and Design.

Studio and Media Arts
A concentration in Studio and Media Arts allows the student to focus his endeavours in traditional studio arts and/or contemporary media arts, aiming to generate meaning through aesthetic and/or intellectual concepts, beyond a merely functional approach. It indicates the student’s ability to work in areas related to the fine arts—as a practising artist—to teach related areas or take on some administrative positions from the area.

Craft and Design
Craft and design both have the physical work-result at the centre of their disciplines. Be it a hand-made artefact or a mass-produced industry product, the essence of the result is in its physicality. Because of this, concepts of functionality, usability, sustainability, but also consideration of production processes, market-demand and/or general benefits play an increasingly important role to the visual artist. Completion of this concentration indicates the student’s ability to work as designer or artisan, to teach in this area, and/or to take on administrative positions related to the area.


  1. Students are required to achieve minimum 27 units of Level 3 studio courses.
  2. A concentration is achieved by completing 18 units of Level 3 studio courses and 9 units of Studio Honours Project (total: 27 units) in the same division (Craft and Design or Studio and Media Arts).  The remaining 9 units of required Level 3 studio course may be taken in the other practice division.  If a student completed more than 27 units of Level 3 studio courses, the concentration would be established through the division from which the majority of units completed from the studio courses.
  3. Students of the professional mode are required to complete a self-organized non-credit bearing work experience (internship, work placement, or similar) in a company or institution of relevance by the end of Year 2, otherwise students usually may not progress to Year 3.
  4. Students are required to take a total of 38 units of General Education (GE) courses, including 3 units from each of the 4 different Distribution areas of learning outside AVA.
  5. Students are required to take a total of 6 units of Free Elective courses, which may include a maximum of 6 units of GE/IGE courses in any Distribution areas of learning.
  6. As a graduation requirement, students are required to complete a minimum of 36 units of courses at the upper levels (levels 3 or 4). These upper level courses include major courses (e.g. VART4035 Interdisciplinary Practice in Visual Artists, VART4036 Professional Practice for Visual Artists and VART4056 Studio Honours Project) and non-major courses alike.
  7. To fulfil graduation requirements, students are required to attain Foundation Putonghua Proficiency recognized by the University.


I. Major Courses 75 units
  Major Required Courses (24 units) 
  VART1005 Visual Arts Practice I 3 units
  VART1006 Visual Arts Practice II 3 units
  VART1305 Arts and Its Histories I 3 units
  VART1306 Arts and Its Histories II 3 units
  VART2305 Art in the 20th Century I 3 units
  VART2306 Art in the 20th Century II 3 units
  VART4035 Interdisciplinary Practice for Visual Artists 3 units
  VART4036 Professional Practice for Visual Artists 3 units
  Major Elective Courses (51 units) 
  Cluster Elective Courses 
  1. Studio and Media Arts Concentration 
  1.1 Drawing and Painting 
  VART3105 Further Studies in Studio and Media Arts (Drawing and Painting) 3 units
  VART3377 Studio: Drawing and Painting 9 units
  1.2 Chinese Arts  
  VART3106 Further Studies in Studio and Media Arts (Chinese Arts) 3 units
  VART3385 Studio: Chinese Arts 9 units
  1.3 Media Arts 
  VART3107 Further Studies in Studio and Media Arts (Media Arts) 3 units
  VART3386 Studio: Media Arts 9 units
  1.4 Sculpture 
  VART3195 Further Studies in Studio and Media Arts (Sculpture) 3 units
  VART3387 Studio: Sculpture 9 units
  2. Craft and Design Concentration 
  2.1 Graphic Arts 
  VART3205 Further Studies in Craft and Design (Graphic Arts) 3 units
  VART3395 Studio: Graphic Arts 9 units
  2.2 Glass and Ceramics 
  VART3207 Further Studies in Craft and Design (Glass and Ceramics) 3 units
  VART3396 Studio: Glass and Ceramics 9 units
  2.3 Object Design 
  VART3365 Further Studies in Craft and Design (Object Design) 3 units
  VART3397 Studio: Object Design 9 units
  2.4 Experience Design 
  VART3366 Further Studies in Craft and Design (Experience Design) 3 units
  VART3405 Studio: Experience Design 9 units
  Non-Cluster Elective Courses  
  1. Studio and Media Arts Concentration  
  VART2405 Drawing: Mark Making and Collage 1.5 units
  VART2406 Drawing: On Location 1.5 units
  VART2407 Life Drawing 1.5 units
  VART2415 Painting: Materials and Techniques 1.5 units
  VART2416 Painting: Approaches to Observation 1.5 units
  VART2417 Chinese Calligraphy: Seal and Clerical Scripts 1.5 units
  VART2425 Chinese Calligraphy: Standard and Semi-cursive Scripts 1.5 units
  VART2426 Chinese Seal Engraving: Seals with Chinese Characters 1.5 units
  VART2427 Chinese Seal Engraving: Pictorial Seals and New Materials 1.5 units
  VART2435 Chinese Painting: Gongbi 1.5 units
  VART2436 Chinese Painting: Experimental Expression  1.5 units
  VART2437 Chinese Painting: Xieyi 1.5 units
  VART2445 Chinese Painting: Landscape 1.5 units
  VART2446 Analogue Photography 1.5 units
  VART2447 Digital Photography 1.5 units
  VART2455 Video Basics 1.5 units
  VART2456 Video Studio 1.5 units
  VART2457 Sound Basics 1.5 units
  VART2465 Video and Sound Editing 1.5 units
  VART2466 Media Arts: Multimedia Authoring 1.5 units
  VART2467 Media Arts: Physical Media 1.5 units
  VART2475 Additive Sculpture: Clay and Plaster  1.5 units
  VART2476 Additive Sculpture: Bronze Casting 1.5 units
  VART2477 Subtractive Sculpture: Wood 1.5 units
  VART2485 Subtractive Sculpture: Stone 1.5 units
  2. Craft and Design Concentration   
  VART2486 Woodworking  1.5 units
  VART2487 Metalworking  1.5 units
  VART2495 Digital Tools: Graphics Software  1.5 units
  VART2496 Digital Tools: Desktop Publishing  1.5 units
  VART2497 Basic Illustration  1.5 units
  VART2505 Experimental Illustration  1.5 units
  VART2506 Typography  1.5 units
  VART2507 Type Design  1.5 units
  VART2515 Graphic Design  1.5 units
  VART2516 Editorial Design  1.5 units
  VART2517 Screen Printing Basics  1.5 units
  VART2525 Advanced Screen Printing  1.5 units
  VART2526 Relief Printing  1.5 units
  VART2527 Intaglio Printing: Etching  1.5 units
  VART2535 Glass Blowing: Vessels  1.5 units
  VART2536 Glass Blowing: Basics  1.5 units
  VART2537 Glass Kiln-Forming  1.5 units
  VART2545 Glass Casting  1.5 units
  VART2546 Ceramics: Hand-building Techniques  1.5 units
  VART2547 Ceramics: Alternative Techniques  1.5 units
  VART2555 Ceramics: Wheel-throwing Techniques  1.5 units
  VART2556 Ceramics: Surface Treatments  1.5 units
  VART2557 Small Metal Jewellery: Cold  1.5 units
  VART2565 Small Metal Jewellery: Hot  1.5 units
  VART2566 Wearables: Pattern Making  1.5 units
  VART2567 Wearables: Dyeing and Decorating  1.5 units
  VART2575 Digital Tools: 3D-Software  1.5 units
  VART2576 Digital Tools: Prototyping  1.5 units
  VART2577 Hong Kong Crafts: Traditional Techniques  1.5 units
  VART2585 Hong Kong Crafts: Space-Saving Objects  1.5 units
  VART2586 Space and Site  1.5 units
  VART2587 Space and Display  1.5 units
II. Studio Honours Project 9 units
III. General Education 38 units
IV. Free Electives 6 units
    128 units

Towards the end of their first year of studies students may declare their choice of study mode for their continuing studies as either professional mode or liberal arts mode. All choices need to be submitted to the Programme Management Committee before the beginning of the next academic year. The Programme Management Committee will consider all submissions based on the study plan as proposed by the student (incl. intended minor), the suitability of the student for the desired studies, the availability of courses, and other issues, and will recommend the students’ admission into one of the available modes. If no choice is formally declared, students will be placed in the ‘professional mode’ as it is assumed that the majority of students intend their undergraduate studies to be for the purpose of career preparation.

Students who choose the Bachelor of Art (Honours) in Visual Arts programme in ‘liberal arts mode’, will take a reduced study load in Visual Arts-related units, thus will not be able to obtain a concentration. In liberal arts mode, the educational content of the programme is also 128 units in total, with 60 units dedicated to the major in Visual Arts, and 38 units assigned to the General Education programme of the university. Of the remaining 30 units, students are required to commit 15 units towards a set of courses in cognate disciplines (e.g. a Minor) as approved by the Programme Director, while they may choose further 15 units as Free Electives.

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