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20 cp from 200-level units in Visual Arts and Design

Unit rationale, description and aim

Building networks and community partnerships are integral to building a sustainable career in the arts. This unit focuses on the vocational and organisational aspects of practice as understood in the context of industry-focused experiences and researching best practice in the field.

This rationale embeds real-word project-based learning that may include: writing exhibition proposals, entering art and design competitions and applying for grant funding to prepare students to transition from visual art and design student to active contributors to the creative sector.

The aim of the unit is to investigate the diverse career outcomes available for visual arts and design graduates. It emphasises the importance of developing networks and communities of practice to prepare students to be successful creative, enterprising, ethical, socially responsible professionals within the creative industries.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Research industry professionals and careers in the arts relevant to your creative practice and initiate a network discussionGC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC10, GC11, GC12
LO2Apply art and graphic design skills to a range of professional practice outcomesGC1, GC2, GC3, GC10, GC11
LO3Exhibit best-practice in the field by locating and responding to creative opportunities advertised outside the university settingGC1, GC2, GC3, GC6, GC10, GC11, GC12
LO4Research and present a specific area of professional practice, relevant to the visual art and design industries, and effectively communicate this informationGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC10, GC11, GC12


Critical considerations of the notion of the arts and cultural "industries" will underpin this unit. An examination of arts and cultural policy and funding contexts, legal, commercial and political frameworks and professional organisations will provide a basis for the content of the unit. Students will examine the nature of employment and visual arts and design practice and production based on theoretical and case study approaches. They will engage directly with the art and design sector via online and face to face talks by industry professionals and tours of arts organisations. Students will also investigate professional skills and knowledge-based tasks such as preparing business plans, developing exhibition and funding proposals, organising promotional strategies, preparing budgets, competition entries, and  interviews.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategy incorporates a vocational outlook by emphasising industry-focused experiences outside the classroom that support students to find their niche in the art world. Curriculum tasks such as industry-based interviews, making artwork for an open call exhibition and entering national and international art and design competitions outside the University are designed to instil confidence in students’ artistic ability. These active learning activities also strategically link the students’ creative practice and its dissemination to professional practice.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed to progressively demonstrate achievements against the unit learning outcomes by encouraging students to engage with industry professionals and creative communities; develop their critical thinking skills in researching and presenting an industry-related seminar and interview, build confidence and resilience in their art or design work by exhibiting it for critique outside the University setting and developing professional portfolios that represent their creative practice to future employers. These strategies will assist students to assist their transition from undergraduate studies to work-ready professionals in the creative industries.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Industry based research, and presentation: initiate a discussion with an industry professional and apply graphic design skills to effectively communicate the conversation as a magazine-designed interview. (1000 words)


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Professional practice authentic assessment task: exhibiting best practice in the field by responding to creative opportunities and applying art and design skills in a real-world context e.g. competitions/prizes, grant applications, exhibition proposal or similar real-world project.


LO2, LO3

Industry-related seminar: research and present an area of the arts industry to your peers using effective oral, written and visual communication.


LO1, LO2, LO4

Representative texts and references

Relevant links to professional organisations in Australia will be supplied on the LMS.

Williams, G. (2014). How to Write About Contemporary Art. Thames & Hudson.


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