Our School

UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture has a vibrant and diverse cross-section of academics, researchers, and students who come together to exchange knowledge and develop new ideas. Our academics are internationally recognised and leaders in their fields, creating new knowledge and new forms of understanding.

We are one of the most socially engaged faculties of our kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and a national leader in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Education and Creative and Performing Arts. UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture is one of the largest faculties of its kind in Australia, boasting over 57,000 alumni. 

We're home to some of Australia’s leading centres of teaching and research excellence and we have an impressive cohort of honours and postgraduate research students. Ranked above world standards in research excellence, we are known for our high-quality academic enquiry and contribution to knowledge bases across the breadth of Arts and Social Sciences fields. 

UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture attracts bright, imaginative, globally conscious students. We will challenge you to think critically, to communicate with creativity and influence, and to translate your knowledge and skills into exciting and impactful careers.


UNSW and the School of Arts, Design & Architecture are reputed academically on a global scale. We sit amongst some of the world’s top universities for excellence in research, learning outcomes and education.


  • Ranked 40th in the world - QS World University Rankings 2020
  • Ranked 71st in the world - Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2019
  • Ranked 94th in the world - Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019

Subject Rankings by QS Rankings in 2020

  • Social Sciences & Management at UNSW is ranked 34th in the world
  • The subject area of Arts and Humanities is ranked 42nd in the world
  • Education is ranked in the top 100 in the world and top 10 in Australia
  • English Language and Literature is ranked 41st in the world and 3rd in Australia
  • History is ranked in the top 100 in the world and top 5 in Australia
  • Modern Languages is ranked in the top 100 in the world and 5th in Australia 
  • Communication and Media studies is ranked 47th in the world and 5th in Australia
  • Politics, Philosophy, Sociology, Development Studies and Linguistics are all ranked in the top 100 in the world

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 

Benchmarked with the highest global rating of 5 by Excellence Research in Australia (ERA), the school's research is among the best in the world.

Many of our research fields ranked above world standard in 2018 by the ERA including:

  • Studies in Creative Arts and Writing
  • Historical Studies
  • Literary Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Education
  • Studies in Human Society
  • Language, Communication and Culture
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

Faculty Advisory Council

The School Advisory Council members are invited for their leadership and expertise in areas of relevance to the work of the School, the council meets three times a year.

Dean, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences

Professor Claire Annesley’s research and teaching expertise includes comparative politics, executives, gender equality, political representation and public policy. She has received numerous accolades for her research on gender politics and policy, including being awarded the 2011 Richard Rose Prize by the Political Studies Association, the 2011 Carrie Chapman Catt Prize by Iowa State University, the 2012 Public Policy Section Prize by the American Political Science Association and the 2016 Johan Skytte manuscript award by Uppsala University. While at Sussex, Claire was awarded the University’s 'Outstanding and Innovative Undergraduate Teaching Prize’ in 2016 and 2017, as nominated by students.

Chief Executive, UNSW Press Limited

Kathy Bail is the chief executive of UNSW Press Ltd, a company owned by the University of New South Wales that publishes about 50 new titles a year, including scholarly books, trade non-fiction and books published in partnership with external organisations. UNSW Press manages the UNSW Bookshop on the Kensington campus and its NewSouth Books sales division represents more than 100 publishing imprints from Australia and overseas. Kathy Bail has had extensive experience in print and online media management as a journalist at Fairfax, ACP and other independent publishing companies, editing magazines such as The Bulletin, The Australian Financial Review Magazine and Rolling Stone.

Executive Director, The Literacy for Life Foundation

Professor Jack Beetson is a Ngemba Aboriginal man from western NSW who has been actively involved in Indigenous education in Australia and internationally for over 30 years. He is currently the Executive Director of the Literacy for Life Foundation, and the Director and CEO of his own development company Beetson and Associates.

Professor Beetson has served in a number of key leadership and advisory roles, including:

  • Executive Director, Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education and Training in Sydney, Australia’s oldest independent Aboriginal community-controlled college
  • Foundation President, Federation of Independent Aboriginal Education Providers
  • Member, AITAC, the Australian National Training Authority’s Advisory Council on Indigenous vocational education and training

Professor Beetson was recognised as a United Nations ‘Unsung Hero of Peace’ for his work on Reconciliation, a decision which was acknowledged by unanimous vote of the NSW Legislative Assembly in March 2001. In 2006, he co-authored the Machin-Beetson Report on Community views regarding proposed changes to NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act. Between 2004 and 2009, he held part-time CEO positions with the Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Macleay Aboriginal Housing Association. From September 2011-October 2013, he was CEO of the Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC), which became the local lead agency for the first pilot of the national Aboriginal adult literacy campaign.

Director, The Insight Group

Malcolm Duncan co-founded The Insight Group in 1994 and continues to provide executive search and consulting services with Top 100 Australian companies and Fortune 500 organisations. Malcolm also works with local and global venture capital groups. This has involved identifying senior executives to run start-up businesses and to provide assessment of teams and organisational reviews in relation to merger and acquisition activities. Malcolm also undertakes independent management assessment of Board members and senior executive teams and coaching of senior executives. Malcolm is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has previously held Board positions with Currency House and KU Children’s Services.

Malcolm holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Master of Arts and Diploma of Education from UNSW. Malcolm has also completed the General Management Program at Stanford University.

Director, Horwitz Holdings Pty Ltd

Susan Horwitz is an experienced publisher with strong commercial management and corporate experience in media, the arts and communications. She is a Director of Horwitz Holdings Pty Ltd prior to which she held senior roles in radio broadcasting in the USA, including Vice President and Executive Director of Western Public Radio (San Francisco).

Throughout her career Susan has always been closely aligned with advancing women’s issues. She is a past Vice President of Chief Executive Women and is currently the President at Womensport NSW, a position she’s held since 2011. Susan is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Patron of Sculpture by the Sea. In 2003 she was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to Australian society in business leadership.

UNSW Foundation Board Member

Christine McNamee-Liddy is currently a member of the UNSW Foundation Board. She is also a Board Member and Past President of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (South Eastern Section) and Former National Vice President of the RFDS. She is also a member of the Board of the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (GI Cancer Institute), UNSW Foundation and the Dame Pattie Menzies Foundation. Christine is the Managing Partner of All Purpose Indoor Plant Hire and Australian Plantscapes.

She is also a Council Member of the Friends of the Sydney International Piano Competition and an Advisory Board Member of the Mosman Art Gallery and Cultural Centre. A member of the Capital Campaign Committee of the State Library of NSW and the RFDS Capital Campaign Committee (Friends of RFDS).

Christine’s former roles include Board Member Frontline Defence Services for the Australian Army and Air Force, former Advisory Council member for Irish Studies at UNSW. Council Member of the Art Gallery Society of NSW (for twenty two years) including an eight year period as the Honorary Secretary. Council Member of the Foundation of Classical Archaeology Sydney University and a member of the Aircraft Replacement Committee RFDS.

Director, Health Economics Policy, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

As a Director in PricewaterhouseCooper’s Health Economics practice, Ms Vo-Phuoc’s career is motivated by the principles of equal access to health care and equal health outcomes. At PwC, she works with clients to provide economic and policy advice and interpret data to draw insights to support improved health outcomes.

According to Ms Vo-Phuoc, her time at UNSW gave her the opportunity “to step upon the shoulders of giants – to learn, to understand and I challenge myself.” In her work, she employs these tools to continue empathising, questioning and growing. She continues to be involved with her alma mater, and serves as a UNSW Arts & Social Sciences Ambassador.

Ms Vo-Phuoc is a UNSW alumna, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 2008, and a Master of Public Health in 2012. She participated in the inaugural Arts and Social Sciences Facing Equality portrait series.