Course Title: Critical Frameworks A

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Critical Frameworks A

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 2 2022

Course Coordinator: Dr Michael Graeve

Course Coordinator Phone: 03 9925 2747

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 039.03.007

Course Coordinator Availability: Via email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Critical Frameworks A engages with a range of fundamental principles and contemporary concerns informing critical creative 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 cultural history/s. Discussions draw upon the many narratives that underpin the understanding of creative practice today, including mining history and interrogating conventions. Classes are not specific to media but draw upon a range of practices from discrete cultural artefacts 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 practitioners that are relevant to your practice.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This is a shared core course across the following programs:
• Master of Fine Art
• Master of Photography
• Master of Arts (Art in Public Space)
and is offered as a Program Option course for Master of Arts (Arts Management) students.

The related Program Learning Outcomes are:
MC281 Master of Arts (Art in Public Space)
• Critically examine global, political, social, cultural, environmental, and historical knowledge and contexts that inform public art practice
• Communicate to a professional level the conceptual development of a body of work within the framework of contemporary public art practice
• Research, analyse and synthesise information and select methods and resources to develop communication 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.
MC266 Master of Fine Art
• Analyse and evaluate global, social, cultural, environmental and historical knowledge and contexts that may inform your art practice.
• Research, analyse and synthesise information and select appropriate methods and resources within your art practice. 
• Produce and participate in discourse and scholarship that is globally informed, culturally and socially aware, ethical and respecting of difference and diversity.
• Engage in autonomous and continuous learning concerning new developments in artistic production and associated discourses.
MC270 Master of Photography
• Identify, evaluate and resolve both practical and theoretical challenges in combining academic research and writing with reflective practices in photographic production to successfully complete and communicate practice-led photographic research.
• Reflect on your photographic practice, and situate it within a contemporary narrative of photography and the wider social, cultural and global context. 
• Analyse, reflect and synthesise complex information to inform the creation of photographic works. 

Upon successful completion of this course, 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 critical creative practice.

Overview of Learning Activities

Students meet weekly for a lecture presentation around a given topic as specified in the Course Schedule. The lecture is followed up by an additional tutorial in which the lecture and set reading material are discussed. Students are encouraged to question and challenge ideas from the presenter and each other to get to the heart of their own sense of the material presented.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will have access to a range of facilities across the school to support your area of practice such as workshops, studios, computer labs and study spaces.

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

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 capabilities.

Assessment may include:

  • Create an online dossier of practitioners, artefacts and commentators relevant to your practice 50% LO2
  • Create an annotated bibliography of sources pertinent to your practice 50% LO1, LO3, LO4

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.

A Student Charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

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

Late submission or presentation of assessable work without an approved extension or special consideration will be penalised as follows:

  • Completed work submitted 1 to 7 days late will incur a penalty of 5% per day
  • Work submitted after day 7 will not be assessed
  • Weekends and holiday periods are included in the calculation of the late penalty

How the penalty is calculated:
Example - Work is submitted 6 days late, incurring a penalty of 30% (6 x 5% = 30%). The submission receives a result of 60 out of 100.  60 - 30% = 42. The numerical result for that assessment submission is modified from 60 to 42. The result of 42 is used to calculate the final grade for the course.