Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit develops distinctions between genres and periods of writing in the art world and in the academy. It brings students to a level at which they can distinguish art criticism, art history, new art history and art theory from each other, and make judgements about their value as research material. It prepares students for honours work, as well as for art world workplaces by developing research skills already established in Level 1 and Level 2 units. These skills are developed by detailed examination of texts that have played a significant role in the history of art and their adequacy at interpreting the visual art they address. These texts are given historical context and students are expected to understand them alongside their geographical, social, cultural and historical contexts. Students are also required to develop arguments that examine the rhetorical forms and argumentative styles that art writers and art historians put to work.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) historical and cultural contexts of several areas of art historical study; (2) some key theoretical and historical moments in the development of the discipline of art history; (3) the relationship of different genres of art writing and art history to each other; (4) the relationship that these moments and genres have played in the interpretation of artworks and the development of art movements; and (5) how to evaluate writing about art after the demands of research methodologies.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short essay; (2) oral assessment; and (3) long essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Darren Jorgensen
Unit rules
at least one Level 2 unit from the History of Art major sequence
VISA3330 Art Theory
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials: 1 hour per week
Enrolled students can access unit material via the LMS (Learning Management System).
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.