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

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
ARTH1006 Art and Design Histories: Form and Space 6
ARTH1007 Art and Design Histories: Making and Meaning 6

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

Code Title Units
ARTH2043 Modernism and Postmodernism in Art and Design: 1850-2000 6
ARTH2050 Photography and Art 6
ARTH2052 Art of the Modern Print 6
  ARTH 2055: Fabric of Life
ARTH2057 Art and Politics of Collecting 6
ARTH2080 Art and Visual Culture of the Long Eighteenth Century, 1660-1815 6
ARTH2081 Art of the European Courts, 1500-1815 12
ARTH2082 Art, War and Conflict 6
ARTH2097 Victorian and Edwardian Art: Australia and Europe 1837-1914 6
ARTH2098 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art 6
  ARTH 2102: Art of Portraiture
ARTV2015 Art and Politics 6
ARTV2016 Cartographies: Art Exploration and Knowledge 6
ARTV2017 Contemporary Australian Art 6
ARTV2018 Cyberculture 6
  ARTV 2020: Gender & Visual Culture
ARTV2024 Memory 6
ARTV2029 Representing the Self 6
ARTV2030 Theories of the Object 6
ARTV2031 Theories of the Image 6
ARTV2034 Individual Research Unit 6
ARTV2035 Issues in Contemporary Craft and Design 6
ARTV2050 Renaissance and Baroque Art 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
ARTV2056 City Sites: studies in art and urbanity 6
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