Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


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

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit prepares students to be successful creative, enterprising, ethical, socially responsible professionals within the creative industries. The emphasis of the unit is on the vocational and organisational aspects of practice and theory, as understood in the context of research concerning best practice in the field.

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:

LO1 - Demonstrate an understanding of the basic skills, knowledge and attitudes that will assist them in the development of their practice as professionals, whether in employment or as self-supporting arts-related practitioners (GA5, GA7)

LO2 - Apply knowledge and skills gained as a result of undertaking this unit to the Internship program incorporated into the course structure (GA3, GA5)

LO3 - Anticipate and articulate the transition from undergraduate studies to the next phase of their development as emerging artists, graphic designers, art historians, museologists, curators or art writers equipped with the skills, knowledge and attitudes required of professional practitioners (GA5, GA7)

LO4 - Apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes gained as a result of undertaking this unit to all aspects of preparation for the graduating exhibition, to be held at the conclusion of this course (GA7)

LO5 - Provide a comprehensive review of what is entailed staging an exhibition (GA1, GA2, GA5, GA6)

Graduate attributes

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

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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

GA6 - Solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - Work both autonomously and collaboratively 


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, service organisations, unions 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 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, reports, interview briefs and folio submissions.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Building networks and community partnerships are integral to building a sustainable career in the arts. These skills are embedded in the curricula as project-based activities. This learning and teaching approach 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 are designed to instil confidence in students’ artistic ability and strategically link their creative practice and its dissemination to professional practice. The learning and teaching strategy and rationale for this unit ensures students gain confidence, exposure and public critique from presenting a professional practice research seminar to their peers, researching industry professionals and exhibiting their artwork outside the University setting.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessments encourage students to engage with industry professionals, develop their knowledge and skills in preparing art or design work for a competition brief, and encourage students to research and analyse the issues relating to creative practice, and communication that information about the arts industries to their peers. This strategy will assist students in the development of their practice as professionals and assist their transition from undergraduate studies to the next phase of their career in the arts industry.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Industry Discussion


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA5, GA7

Art Competition or Exhibition Pitch


LO3, LO4

GA5, GA7



LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA5, GA6

Equivalent tasks may also be used

Representative texts and references

Australian Council for the Arts. (2008). Visual arts: protocols for producing Indigenous Australian visual arts. Canberra: Australian Council for the Arts.

Barker, E. (Ed.) (1999). Contemporary Cultures of Display, New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press in conjunction with The Open University.

Bowen, L. (1999). The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Creative Marketing, New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Dernie, D., (2006). Exhibition Design, Lawrence King Publishing, London.

Hooper-Greenhill, E. (2000). Museums and the interpretation of visual culture, Routledge London.

Lorenc, J., (2007). What is Exhibition Design?, RotoVision Hove.

McCann, M. (1979). Artist Beware, New York: Watson-Guptill Publications.

McClellan, A. (2003). Art and its Publics: museum studies at the millennium, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.

National Association for the Visual Arts, (1995) NAVA Professional practice kit for Visual Artists: Sydney.

Smith, C. (2004) Art Marketing 101: a handbook for the fine artist, 2nd edition, Nevada City, Calif.: ArtNetwork

Further references


E Publications through:









ART GALLERY OF N.S.W.                                 




AUSTRALIA COUNCIL                                       




N.S.W MINISTRY for the ARTS                          

ORCA – Community-Based Arts                         

CRAFT AUSTRALIA                                          

ARTSPACE (CAS) SYDNEY                              

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