• Total units 48 Units
  • Major code ARTT-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate
Art Theory Major

The Art Theory major is primarily designed to meet the needs and interest of visual arts designers and makers by informing their practice with sustained critical inquiry into the social, cultural, ethical and historical context of contemporary art.  Students develop the analytical skills necessary for viewing at images and objects with a critical eye, selective reading, and the ability to communicate effectively about works in different media, including their own, to specialist audiences using professional conventions.  1000-level courses are held at the National Gallery of Australia, providing students with a rich learning environment and direct access to works in the National Collection.  Art Theory is located within the studio-based environment of the School of Art.



Due to structural changes in the undergraduate program rules in 2012, the courses that make up the new 2012 majors may be different to the pre-2012 majors, and therefore some courses cannot be counted between majors.  Students are advised to contact the CASS Student Office if they are unsure about their Majors.


Learning outcomes

Students who complete this major will have the skills and knowledge to:

  • closely analyse the social, cultural, ethical and historical context of contemporary art.
  • evaluate artistic ideas, concepts and process by thinking creatively, critically and reflectively. 
  • interpret, communicate and present ideas, problems and arguments about art in modes suited to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • recognise and reflect on local and international perspectives to contemporary practice in the visual arts.
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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

12 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
ARTV1009 Introduction to Art and Design Theory A 6
ARTV1010 Introduction to Art and Design Theory B 6

36 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
ARTH2052 Art of the Modern Print 6
ARTH2055 Fabric of Life: An Introduction To Textile History 6
ARTH2102 Art of Portraiture: History and Theory 6
ARTH2097 Victorian and Edwardian Art: Australia and Europe 1837-1914 6
ARTV2015 Art and Politics 6
ARTV2016 Cartographies: Art Exploration and Knowledge 6
ARTV2017 Contemporary Australian Art 6
ARTV2018 Cyberculture 6
ARTV2019 Framing Other Cultures 6
ARTV2020 Gender and Visual Culture 6
ARTV2021 Indigenous Australian Visual Culture 6
ARTV2024 Memory 6
ARTV2029 Representing the Self 6
ARTV2030 Shopping Around 6
ARTV2031 Theories of the Image 6
ARTV2035 Issues in the Decorative Arts and Design 6
ARTV2050 Cool Old Masters 6
ARTV2051 Design History 6
ARTV2052 Introducing Asian Modernisms 6
ARTV2053 Contemporary Asian Art 6
ARTV2054 Australian Art: The Modern Period 6
ARTV2055 Costume, Fashion and Visual Culture 6
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