• Offered by Physics Education Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Vice Chancellor Undergraduate
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Nicholas Robins
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2019
    Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings
The Art of Making : A practical course aimed at turning ideas into reality (VCUG2003)

Please contact nick.robins@anu.edu.au to seek a permission code.

The Art of Making is about turning ideas into outcomes. Which ideas? Into what kind of outcomes? That depends on you. In this course, you’ll learn about every aspect of ‘making’—understanding, through your own experience, how people use social and intellectual capital to generate and transform knowledge into realities that change our lives and change society.

First, you'll work with experienced, innovative and open minded researchers and fellow students to apply creativity thinking and generate ‘What if?’ ideas, which you’ll refine into ‘The Pitch’ for a design project. If your project spans multiple disciplines, or is genuinely ‘out of the box’, you’ll know you’re in the right course. Then you’ll work on the ‘Planning’ stage with a mentoring panel of at least three researchers from across campus, who together will provide skills across the breadth of your project, and whose aim will be for you to succeed. Once you have worked out what you need to start making the project come to life, then it will be time for ‘Doing’ – fully occupying your mind and hands in ways that will turn your ideas into real things. Again you’ll be fully supported by your mentors, including new ones if you find yourself needing different skills or advice.

The three components of the course—‘The Pitch’, ‘Planning’ and ‘Doing’—will take different amounts of time for different students, depending on individual creativity and interests, and are quite likely to be iterative, as each stage of thinking and learning encourages you to refine the design stages. You’ll be helped to monitor this creative process through weekly reflective approaches to self-assessment and sharing constructive feedback with your peers, in ways that continuously drive you towards effective individual and collaborative learning and the course’s learning outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Demonstrate a practical understanding of the process of making ideas into reality, from creative inspiration through to execution. 
2. Demonstrate the capacity to apply creativity and imagination in a specific context, and convert ideas into practical outcomes subject to appropriate peer-review.
3. Ask for, prepare and give constructive feedback in the context of peers and mentors.
4. Demonstrate enhanced oral communication skills, including differential use of formal and informal face-to-face, panel and presentation styles. 
5. Engage with a growing network of human and infrastructure resources in future work and development. 
6. Demonstrate a formal set of skills for practical management of a complex project.
7. Evidence an enhanced confidence in their abilities and talents, supported by a framework of new tools for actively and professionally demonstrating competence in a range of scenarios.

Other Information

Please contact nick.robins@anu.edu.au to seek a permission code.

Indicative Assessment

A rough breakdown of course assessment areas and percentage contributions, with associated learning outcomes:

Oral skills (15%): formal and informal face-to-face, panel and audience presentation styles. [LO 3,4,5 & 7]

Written skills (25%): milestone document, weekly short reports, final project summary document. [LO 1,2,3 & 6]

Team work (10%): constructive participation in peer review. [LO 3,4 & 5]

Practical skills (40%): coalescing an idea, planning, negotiation, execution, outcome. [LO 1,2,5,6 & 7]

Course Attainment Presentation (10%): A panel discussion between conveners, students and mentors in a Course Attainment Presentation, with the panel taking into account student self-assessment and attainment in ongoing assessment items. [LO 1,2,6 & 7] 

The students will undertake a strengths questionnaire on entry to the course, as well as an outgoing self assessment. The differential from this can be used by the student to guide future areas of work and development. 

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.


Approximately 10-12 hours per week

Requisite and Incompatibility

You will need to contact the Physics Education Centre to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

Please send us any reading you would like us to do for your project idea.


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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2019 $3000
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $4560
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4951 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 In Person N/A

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9967 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person N/A

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