Founded in 1982 by Rod Taylor, Adelaide Central School of Art has successfully established itself as a school of excellence in both teaching practices and student success. The School achieved accreditation for its first award courses in 1994, offering a one year Certificate IV and three year Diploma of Visual Art. In 1998 the School became a Higher Education Provider offering a four year Bachelor of Visual Art program. In 2008 the School was approved to offer the FEE-HELP loan scheme which allowed students to defer their fees through a government loan.

In 2010 the School initiated a restructuring of its course offerings, moving from a four year degree structure, to a three year Bachelor of Visual Art degree, with a fourth year offered as an Honours year to high achieving students.

In 2011, Adelaide Central School of Art received approval from the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology (DFEEST) for these new courses, aligning them with national standards, and offering academic parity with other tertiary institutions in Australia.

In August 2012, the South Australian Government granted Adelaide Central School of Art a 50-year lease for two heritage buildings at the Glenside Cultural Precinct. The new School campus is adjacent to the Adelaide Film Studios, home of the South Australian Film Corporation and related creative enterprises, in a vibrant arts and learning community. 

The School’s move to expanded and re-furbished premises within the Glenside Cultural Precinct just on the outskirts of the Adelaide CBD has already enabled the School to extend its programs and provide increased opportunities for students, staff and the community at large.

In 2013 the School received approval from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), for the School’s renewal of registration for the maximum period of seven years until 31 Oct 2020 as a ‘Higher Education Provider’ under Section 35 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (the TEQSA Act). In 2017 the School received approval from TEQSA under section 55 of the TEQSA Act for the renewal of accreditation for the School’s Associate Degree of Visual Art, Bachelor of Visual Art, Bachelor of Visual Art (Honours) courses for the maximum period of seven years until 26 April 2024.

In 2019 the QILT National Student Experience Survey once again recongnised ACSA as the best art school in Australia for overall student experience. The survey compares over 57 tertiary providers offering undergraduate courses in the creative arts. This endorsement by our students reaffirms ACSA's enviable and unique position in the South Australian visual arts sector.

Administration Building (formerly the Staff Dining Room, prior to that it was the male No. 1, 2 and 5 dining rooms)

This bluestone building accommodates the School’s main reception and administration offices, Central Artist Supplies and Adelaide Central Gallery on the ground floor. The mezzanine is currently tenanted by Artlink Magazine and Flux Visual Communication.

Teaching and Studio Building (formerly the male M, N & O Wards, but better known as the P&O ward)

This 3 storey red brick building provides spacious teaching studios for Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Contemporary Studio Practice and Art History and Theory classes. BVA and Honours student studios are integrated on each floor with some studios set aside for resident practising artists.  This building also has a dedicated lecture theatre, a media room, upgraded library facilities, extensive areas for the display of student work, a sculpture workshop and student kitchen and lounge areas.

The School extended its teaching facilities in 2017 with the addition of a secure external courtyard providing enhanced studio and teaching facilities for the sculpture faculty. The covered workspaces are an extension to the main machinery workshop and enable students to explore working with a greater range of materials and space to make more ambitious works.