Course Title: Art 1: History+Theory+Cultures

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Art 1: History+Theory+Cultures

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information: For further information regarding the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) Melbourne, please contact:

Program Manager: Dr Clare McCracken

For further information regarding the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) Hong Kong, please contact:
Hong Kong Program Lead: Dr Drew Pettifer


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023

Flexible Terms

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Hong Kong Arts Centre


340H Art


OFFSe12021 (HA1C)

Course Coordinator: Clare McCracken (Melbourne) and Drew Pettifer (Hong Kong)

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 4978

Course Coordinator Email: /

Course Coordinator Availability: via email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces you to select themes and practices in contemporary art. You will explore how these themes have been addressed in critical theory and different historical and cultural contexts. You will be introduced to a broad range of ideas, methods and cultures of art practice, including how to analyse, research and write about art. These will provide you with the skills and knowledge to establish a strong foundation for your studio practice and will expand your experience of art.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

In course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Acquire knowledge of creative practice and theory and their applications to fine art
  • Critically examine global, social, cultural, environmental and historical knowledge and contexts to inform your art practice

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

  1. Identify and formally describe key art works related to select themes
  2. Analyse and discuss key ideas, histories, theories and cultural contexts of contemporary art
  3. Source artists and their work relevant to your studio projects
  4. Apply and communicate your research through writing and oral presentations

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will explore a range of artists and their work. Lectorials will present the theoretical, critical and historical contexts for the creation, reception and understanding of art and culture. You will be encouraged to actively participate in discussions of a range of relevant topics and critical texts, and to apply these to your own studio practice. Tutorials will provide a supportive environment to develop and extend your skills in researching, writing and speaking about art. Where possible there will be opportunities for you to experience first hand the exhibition and presentation of art through gallery and museum visits.

You will receive verbal and/or written feedback from academic staff and peers through a variety of consultations and tutorials on your work. You will also have access to online materials, instructional tutorials, and readings through CANVAS and the


Overview of Learning Resources

A wide range of art examples will be presented in lectorials and tutorials. Recordings and copies of lectorial slides will be posted on Canvas.

Core readings, additional information and guides about essay writing, research and referencing will also be posted on the Canvas.

To access this go to myRMIT at: and log in.

A course bibliography is available on Canvas with a list of suggested texts for starting your research for assignments.

Research Resources

Students are strongly advised to make use of the online books and journals available through the RMIT university library.

A subject guide with links to relevant resources, including referencing and citation help has been created by the RMIT Library specifically for History + Theory + Cultures students. For more information visit: On this page you will find a link to a class specific subject guides, which provide recommendations for relevant research sources.

Referencing and Citation

Lectorials and tutorials will provide an introduction to correct referencing techniques and writing skills for assignments. You are strongly encouraged to seek assistance with your referencing and citation from your tutor and/or the Course Coordinator.

Additional online advice and activities are available to help you cite and quote your sources correctly, and avoid plagiarism. If you have not already done so, we suggest you work through the activities on the RMIT Study and Learning Centre Learning Lab website

RMIT also has an online guide with examples of how to cite different source material:

Study and Writing Support

RMIT has developed a number of online resources that are available for Melbourne and Hong Kong students to use. Visit the Learning Lab for more information:

Technical Support for Online/Canvas Access

If you have trouble accessing Canvas or downloading materials please contact RMIT Information Technology for help and support (online):

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 through the following assignments

Assessment Tasks – Hong Kong

  1. Artwork Analysis 15% (3 minute class presentation) (LO1,LO4)
  2. Detailed Artwork Analysis (1000 words or equivalent - this may be a written, verbal or online presentation) 35% (LO2 LO3, LO4)
  3. Written Essay 50% (1200-1500 words) (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4)

Assessment Tasks – Melbourne

  1. Weekly Creative Response 20% (LO1,LO4)
  2. Detailed Artwork Analysis this may be a written, verbal or online presentation) 35% (LO2 LO3, LO4)
  3. Written Essay 45% (LO1, LO2, 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. 

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.