Students at NAS HSC Intensive Studio Practice

HSC Intensive Studio Practice

The NAS HSC Intensive Studio Practice program is a great opportunity for Year 11 Visual Arts students who are passionate about art and want to take their skills to the next level in the HSC and beyond. Endorsed by the NSW Education Standards Authority, the HSC Intensive has been offered since 2000 to students in both government and non-government high schools.

The HSC intensive is unique as it is taught by professional artists who know what it takes to succeed. Students get to work in professional art studios, enhance their skills and build up their art portfolio. It’s not just about learning, as it’s also a chance to meet other art-loving students from all over the state.

To apply for the course, you need to be a high achiever in your Preliminary Visual Arts Course and show that you’re serious about your studies. You also need an endorsement from your Visual Arts teacher. Applications for 2024 are now closed. The outcome of applications will be sent to schools in late May.


The HSC Intensive provides an opportunity for Year 11 students in Visual Arts to enrich and extend their study within a choice of seven specialised disciplines:


Black and White Photography

Students will expand their artistic talents through the power of analogue photography. They will delve into the captivating realm of visual storytelling through darkroom processes including 35mm film photography, photograms, and cyanotypes. Students will explore the art of composition and tonal expression, harness the magic of light and shadow, select thoughtful subject matter, and refine their editing skills.



Armed with clay and an array of raw materials, students will embark on an exploration of the natural world. Students will uncover the potential of clay as they meld, shape, and fire their compositions. They will learn new creative processes and push the boundaries of what’s possible within the ceramic studio. This immersive experience takes them on a journey from inspiration through research and development, and on to a realised artwork ready for exhibition.


Digital Photography

Experience the world of digital photography like never before. Students will deep dive into the art of photography, exploring the core elements of composition, the play of light and colour, the selection of compelling subject matter, and the magic of post-production editing. Through this journey, students embrace new forms of visual language and expand their technical skills.


Life Drawing

Prepare to be immersed in the art of capturing the subject of the human figure. Students will spend the entire course drawing the undraped life model. Through this process, students will improve their observational drawing skills, delving deep into proportion, perspective in foreshortening, and form. Different methodologies will be employed to capture the figure – from lightning-quick gestural sketches that capture the spirit of the moment to sustained explorations that place the figure in a spatial context.



Be inspired by the champions of art history as you enter the compelling world of transcription – a unique process that involves the analysis and reinterpretation of historically significant images. Through meticulous research and hands-on practice, students explore the formal qualities and language of these masterpieces. This program empowers students to explore the depths of artistic expression as they observe the surface, composition, and the interplay of planar and architectural space. They will also explore the cultural and conceptual context of each painting, unlocking the artistic intent of the artworks that they are researching. This newfound perspective will infuse their own creative medium with fresh and exciting insights.



Students will immerse themselves in a diverse array of printmaking techniques to enhance and broaden their experience within the printmaking studio. Central to our program is a focus on etching in an exploration of contemporary technical, aesthetic, and creative intentions. The course is designed to fuel independent research and imagination to produce a folio of prints.



Students will dive headfirst into the exploration of the human figure using a variety of sculptural methods. Starting with a hands-on study in clay, they’ll investigate the human form and progress to a sustained exploration of the figure. The culmination of this course is the creation of a large-scale figure using select methods of construction. With this final project, students are encouraged to reinterpret sculptural conventions and traditions.

Course Dates

The dates for the 2024 HSC program are:


Module 1: Tuesday 16 – Friday 19 July 2024 and;

Module 2: Monday 30 – Friday 4 October 2024

Course Fees

The fee for all students who are accepted into the NAS HSC Intensive Studio Practice is $450. All regional students who require boarding will be asked to pay an additional $450 ($900 total). This will be payable on acceptance to the course.


Boarding facilities are limited and can only be offered to rural/regional students. Boarding students will be offered share accommodation at a nearby hostel and are always supervised by two teachers. Students living within the Sydney Metropolitan and Blue Mountains area, the Central Coast and Wollongong will not be offered boarding facilities. Alternate accommodation suggestions can be supplied upon request.


In the event of the student needing financial assistance, a “NAS Regional Boarding Scholarship” may be applied for on the application form. This will cover full or partial fees. Eligible students are those who, due to financial restrictions and without the scholarship, would find it difficult or impossible to attend the program. A letter of support from the school should accompany the application outlining the student’s eligibility.


Please note:The NAS HSC Intensive Studio Practice now operates as a University Developed Board Endorsed Course, and as such the National Art School will have responsibility for:


  • Forwarding a list of participating schools to the NSW Education Standards Authority so that the course appears in Schools Online to enable those schools to enter their students.
  • Informing school principals in writing if at any time a student is at risk of receiving an ‘N’ (Non-completion) Determination.
  • Advising the school in writing when students have satisfactorily completed the course.

Each School will have responsibility for:


  • Entering students into the course on Schools Online at the commencement of Year 12. Once the school has entered the student’s course on Schools Online, the NAS HSC Intensive Studio Practice appears on the student’s HSC certificate as a one-unit course but will not contribute to the student’s ATAR count. NAS will issue each student with a “Statement of Results” which will include a mark out of 50.

The Program is supported by: Edward and Deborah Griffin, Howard Tanner AM and Mary Tanner, Susan Rothwell AM and Garry Rothwell AM.