Course Title: Photography - Illusion & Reality

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Photography - Illusion & Reality

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 1 2024


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Professor Daniel Palmer

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 006.03

Course Coordinator Availability: via email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course, you will explore key concepts and discourses surrounding photographic visual culture. 

You will examine the ways in which historically, photographs have been taken, disseminated, considered and used, and the ongoing impacts of digital technology.  

By engaging with cultural issues related to photography you will develop your own critical perspective on the role photographic imagery plays in today’s societies. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  • Employ critical, cultural discourses and technical knowledge of contemporary photographic practices and emerging technologies to achieve sophisticated visual outcomes
  • Apply initiative and judgment in planning, problem solving and decision making in your practice or future study.
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on your discipline in both local and international contexts.

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

  1. Engage with key discourses related to photography in visual culture and art historical contexts.
  2. Critically discuss issues concerning visual culture such as ethics, identity, authenticity, authorship, materiality, and power constructs.
  3. Examine and analyse images in terms of how they communicate meaning.
  4. Construct an articulate exposition outlining an argument in relation to photographic visual culture. 

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as lectures, tutorials, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. Delivery may be face to face, online or a mix of both. 

Overview of Learning Resources

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

There are services and resources available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student website. 

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. Assessment may include essays, reports, reflective papers, creative projects and presentations, individually and in groups. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1, 20% - Reading Quizzes
CLOs: 1

Assessment Task 2, 30% - Preliminary Essay Work
CLOs: 1, 2, 3

Assessment Task 3, 50% Critical Essay (1,500-1,800 words or equivalent)
CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4 

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 Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.