Course Title: Theories and Professional Practice 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Theories and Professional Practice 1

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 2 2020

Course Coordinator: Fiona Hillary

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 4978

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 50 Level 2

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

To qualify for entry into this course you need an undergraduate degree in a relevant area or substantial industry experience in a relevant field.

Course Description

This course will be co-delivered with two courses from the Master of Fine Art: Critical Frameworks A (VART3615) and Tools for Creative Research (VART3613). 

In Critical Frameworks A (VART3615), you will be expected to engage with the range of fundamental principles and contemporary concerns informing art practices at an entry level. Lectures and tutorials will encourage you to discuss issues including aesthetics; the construction of meaning in art from semiotics to affect; material innovations; philosophical discourses affecting practice; contemporary understandings of site and place; and the multiplicity of art history/s. Discussions draw upon the many narratives that underpin our understanding of art today, including mining history and interrogating conventions. Classes are not specific to media but draw upon the range of practices from those that result in discrete art objects to the ephemeral and the social.

You will use this course to initiate your understanding of the social, cultural and historical context in which you practice and to begin a dossier of artists that are relevant to your practice.

In Tools for Creative Research (VART3613), you will be introduced to a range of research resources and methods to support the deepening of your art practice. The principles and tools you will use are based upon the critical interplay between making and reflecting. These include online and printed resources; library and visual research methods; how to make effective use of individual and group critiques; and how to make critical use of gallery and other cultural contexts for your own practice. You will be required to utilise these research resources and methods and demonstrate how they inform aspects of your Masters research.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes
In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Engage in self-directed learning and independent research with an emphasis on art in public space practice to develop an individual and collaborative art practice and locate practices within an appropriate conceptual and theoretical context
  • Test, experiment and explore real and conceptual issues and develop key project management skills through innovative public practice and engagement with international and local industry
  • Critically examine global, social, cultural, environmental, and historical knowledge and contexts that inform public art practice
  • Research, analyse and synthesise information and select methods and resources to develop communication and work ready skills appropriate to the public art field
  • Engage in autonomous and collaborative continuous learning concerning new developments in cultural/artistic production and associated discourses in art in public spaces
  • Create and manage a safe, sustainable and effective project environment within public space both independently and with your peers

Upon successful completion of Critical Frameworks A (VART3615) you will be able to:

  1. Locate appropriate contemporary theoretical frameworks that inform your practice
  2. Identify and evaluate relevant material histories with which to align your practice.
  3. Articulate the relationship between your own creative practice and that of others.
  4. Contribute to the theoretical discourse that defines and shapes contemporary arts practice.

Upon successful completion of Tools for Creative Research (VART3613) you will be able to:

  1. Make effective use of a range of creative research resources.
  2. Make critical use of gallery visits and other art events.
  3. Productively apply the feedback provided on your work in solo and group critique sessions.
  4. Describe and critically analyse your own work and the work of other artists.

Overview of Learning Activities

Through a combination of lectures and tutorials, through your project work and presentations you will be introduced to the theory and professional practice of art in public space.


Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources will include set readings, demonstrations and industry/professional guest speakers. You may also be required to attend field trips, guided studio workshops and site/venue visits.

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The University Library has extensive resources for art students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies

The Library provides guides on academic referencing: and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. To successfully complete this course you will need to complete all assessment tasks from Critical Frameworks A (VART3615):

  • Create an online dossier of artists relevant to your practice (LO 1, 2) 20%
  • Create an online dossier of artists relevant to your practice (LO 1, 2, 3) 30%
  • Create an annotated bibliography of sources pertinent to your practice (LO 1, 2, 3, 4) 50%

and Tools for Creative Research (VART3613):

  • Study for a Concept Map (LO 1, 2) 30%
  • Student Presentation on an Exhibition (LO 1, 2, 3) 20%
  • Concept Map (LO 1, 2, 3, 4) 50%

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: - assessment