Credential · Bachelor of Arts (BA) · Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) · Bachelor of Music (BMus) · Bachelor of Media Arts (BMA) · Combined Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education (BFA/ BEd; BMus/BEd) · Diploma/ Certificate
Program Length · 5 years for combined degrees · 3-4 years for bachelor's degree · 2-3 years for diploma
· 12-52 weeks for certificate
Entry · Combined degrees - entry after 1 to 3 years of university studies · Bachelor's degree - direct entry; entry after 1 or 2 years of certificate or diploma study · Diploma/ Certificate - direct entry
Areas of Study · General arts, visual art, music, theatre, drama, film, dance, digital media · Specialization areas include drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, performance, theory, acting, production, broadcast arts, vocal arts, audio engineering, film editing, etc., as well as specific industries such as film & television, education, art therapy, arts & cultural management and the arts & entertainment industry in general.
Special Features · public exhibitions/ shows of student work · international exchange/ study abroad · industry internships
The study of fine and performing arts provides a wide variety of educational and career options for creative-minded students. You can enter the first year of the bachelor's program directly from high school and take a three- or four-year Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Bachelor of Music (BMus) or Bachelor of Media Arts (BMA) degree. These degrees all cover foundational arts studies, but differ in the amount of time given to practical, applied work in a specific area (for example visual art, theatre/ drama, dance, digital media, film and television, music theory or music performance). Many larger universities also offer five-year combined degrees in Fine Arts/ Music and Education, where students graduate with two degrees.
Arts degrees provide great flexibility for possible combinations of majors and minors, so that you can tailor your program to your own talents and interests. For instance, within theatre/drama you can study technical theatre, theatre design, or acting. Within visual arts you can study drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture or photography, with specialty arts universities offering metalwork, ceramics, textile arts, glass and native/ First Nations arts. Digital media and film studies encompass sound recording, visual effects, illustration/ storyboarding and more. So many choices means finding the right program itself requires creativity: you should look for programs in the Faculties of Arts, Fine Arts, Communications and Culture, Humanities, Applied Media and Performing Arts.
Most arts-based university-level programs combine theoretical, historical and cultural learning with practical studio or lab work, and often culminate in public shows or performances of students' art. Field trips and study abroad sessions are sometimes optional, sometimes compulsory, so that students are exposed to important art works and working situations "live." Class sizes are small, thereby providing an intimate and personal education that encourages exploration and development of your own artistic vision--vision that is reflected in the professional portfolio built up during the program.
Many community colleges also offer fine and performing arts programs, with some art colleges dedicated solely to this field. Their programs are usually 1- to 2-year diplomas and certificates that prepare students for employment. These credentials may also qualify for university transfer credit. Some art colleges offer 4-year degrees, but with more options than university Fine Arts or other departments; community college programs are also more career-oriented and often include business skills.
Private career colleges provide training for specific fine arts careers based on industry demand. Typically lasting between 12-52 weeks, visual and digital media programs are offered by some private computer and technology career colleges, while career colleges devoted to film, photography, music, audio-visual arts, media arts or performing arts are also available. Career colleges emphasize hands-on training and workplace skills development while taking the study of the various arts to an even more specialized level: for example you can study film make-up artistry, professional photography, DJ arts, film and television production/ post-production and much more. Career colleges maintain and expose students to important industry connections, and industry internships are often part of the curriculum.