Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


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

Teaching organisation

Students will work independently on self-initiated projects under the guidance of assigned lecturers or mentors. Three hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Self-Directed Studio is a unit of monitored studio or theoretical work in the student's specialisation: design, visual arts or art history and theory. For the specialisations in design or studio-based art the student will identify technical and research skills that will enable the production of a substantial body of work demonstrating an understanding of concepts and applications central to the contemporary Arts and Design sector. For the specialisation in art history and theory, students will commence research and an extensive written study submitted at the conclusion of their course.

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

L01 - demonstrate an ability to engage with an area of research appropriate to their emerging, individual approach to practice (GA1,GA4,GA9,GA10)

L02 - apply the intellectual and practical skills required of a contemporary practitioner in the selected specialisation (GA4,GA5,GA10)

L03 - demonstrate that they understand the nature of work intended and created, personal working methods and strategies for research and studio practice (GA4,GA5,GA7, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

Students will commence individual research towards the production of a substantial body of work which demonstrates an understanding  of the concepts and contexts central to their practice.

Students will work independently in their own studio space or, in the case of art history and theory specialists, on research for an extensive written study. They will meet regularly with an assigned academic.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

ARTS332 is designed to help students complete individual research that will lead to the creation of a substantial body of work. They will be assigned a mentor who will oversee and guide their independent projects through to fruition.

Mode/Attendance Pattern: Students will work independently on self-initiated projects under the   guidance of assigned lecturers or mentors in supervised studio sessions.  


150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. The balance of the hours becomes private study or work on self-initiated projects.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used in ARTS332 to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements.  

The Research and Collaboration-Group Presentation students’ ability to work in groups and encourages them to talk about the intention of their research as well as their methods for carrying it out. This meets LO1 and LO3.

The Research Documentation Portfolio gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their methods of collecting material for their Visual Arts project and documenting their artistic processes. This meets LO1 and LO2.

For Visual Arts and Design students, the semester’s work culminates in the presentation of a Body of Art Work which will represent the accomplishments of the students throughout the semester. For art history and art theory students, they will submit a Research Project which showcases their learning throughout the semester. This final assessment task meets LOs1-3.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Research and Collaboration-Group Presentation




Research Documentation Portfolio




Body of Art Work

or Art History/Theory Research Project




Representative texts and references

As this is a visual practice studio-based unit, there are no prescribed text books.  However, recommended reading and other references are available upon consultation with the lecturer.  As part of any self-directed professionally based practice it is assumed that students are utilising a wide range of resources both formal and informal, both academic and popular, in all media, all cultures, etc.  There is no way in which one can predict the sources of creative inspiration hence the decision not to list prescribed or even recommended texts and references is to stimulate students to take responsibility for their learning as enshrined in the objected of this unit.

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