• Offered by School of Art
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Visual Arts
  • Areas of interest Visual Arts
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Julie Brooke
    • Dr Kirsty Darlaston
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Autumn Session 2014
    Spring Session 2014
    See Future Offerings

This course considers different methodological approaches to works of art, craft and design in order to illuminate their potential range of meanings. It uses case studies of art works selected by students to explore modes of analysis and interpretation that prioritise artists’ practice-led research. The course is structured around seminar presentations and responses by staff, students and academic visitors, including artists, curators and writers. It also involves visits to collections and displays at national institutions where different examples of research approaches are tested.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyse works of art, design and other forms of visual communication.
  2. Evaluate selected historical, cultural and theoretical contexts of works of art in relation to their study object.
  3. Identify and apply appropriate modes of analysis, evaluation and comparative critical frameworks.
  4. Present reasoned, referenced, and structured arguments in both written and audio-visual forms.

Other Information

Autumn Session intensive classes will be held from 7 - 11 April, class times 10am - 5pm

Spring Session intensive classes will be held from 30 September - 3 October, class times 9am - 5pm.

From case studies of both works of art, texts, and contexts these courses will seek to develop methods and modes of analysis appropriate to the priorities of the practice-led research - which forms the majority emphasis of a postgraduate student's work at the ANU School of Art. In conjunction with the practical and material emphasis of these priorities, Arguing Objects also enables students from outside the School of Art to focus on modes of analysis which prioritise the practical knowledge of the maker, and thus to investigate both the context of production and the context(s) of the work's reception in the world at large.

In keeping with the objectives of the course, students are required to choose as their subject an art object housed in one of the institutions located in Canberra (eg, National Museum of Australia, National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Australian War Memorial, the ANU, or Canberra Museum and Gallery) as the focus of their study. For the purposes of this study, an "art object" may comprise a work of art or design in any medium.

Indicative Assessment

1. Participation: 10% [Learning Outcomes 1-4]

2. Seminar presentation and submission of powerpoint: 20% [Learning Outcomes 1-4]

3. Essay/research paper: 70% [Learning Outcomes 1-4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Five 6-hour days attendance at intensive classes conducted either at the ANU or cultural institutions and a further 18 hours of directed preparatory reading and preparation and up to 82 hours of independent private study/research.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $924
2004 $1926
2005 $2286
2006 $2286
2007 $2286
2008 $2286
2009 $2286
2010 $2358
2011 $2424
2012 $2472
2013 $2472
2014 $2478
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3366
2004 $3390
2005 $3570
2006 $3570
2007 $3570
2008 $3570
2009 $3570
2010 $3570
2011 $3576
2012 $3756
2013 $3756
2014 $3762
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4666 07 Apr 2014 07 Apr 2014 18 Apr 2014 23 May 2014 In Person N/A

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8630 29 Sep 2014 10 Oct 2014 10 Oct 2014 15 Nov 2014 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions