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VIS8011 Aesthetic Theory (Masters)

Semester 2, 2019 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Aesthetic Theory (Masters)
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 100300 - Visual Arts and Crafts
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: David Akenson


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in the following Program: MARA


This course critically examines aesthetic theories from pre-modern, modern and contemporary periods which have influenced artists both present and past. This course provides a more advanced level of knowledge and skills development of key debates within art history, theory and practice focusing primarily on the design, development and final production of a professional project by each student. This is done through the development and production of either written or practical studio research.


Students undertaking this course will gain an advanced level of knowledge covering aesthetic theory from some of the Western world's most important philosophers. The course will provide the material for the student to critically reflect on the connection between aesthetics, philosophy and contemporary debates and critical rejoinders to those earlier theories.


On successful completion of this course, students will have:

  1. an advanced level of specialised knowledge in ancient, modern and contemporary aesthetic theory
  2. a demonstrated ability to discuss and evaluate a range of aesthetic problems and broader debates through critical responses to key texts in aesthetics
  3. an integrated understanding of knowledge and how it applies to a specific discipline area and associated practice.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Hellenic philosophy to empiricism and rationalism 25.00
2. From phenomenology to post-structuralism 25.00
3. Psychoanalysis and the return of the real 25.00
4. Contemporary debates in aesthetics. 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Berger, D 2009, Kant’s aesthetic theory: the beautiful and the agreeable, Continuum, London.
(Electronic Resource.)
Evangeliou, C 2006, Hellenic philosophy: origin and character, Ashgate, Aldershot, England.
(Electronic Resource.)
Gaut, B & Lopes, D (ed.) 2005, The Routledge companion to aesthetics, 2nd edn, Routledge, London.
Halsall, F, Jansen, J & O’Connor, T (eds) 2009, Rediscovering aesthetics: transdisciplinary voices from art history, philosophy and art practice, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
James, D 2009, Art, myth and society in Hegel’s aesthetics, Continuum, London.
(Electronic Resource.)
Townsend, D 2001, Hume’s aesthetic theory: taste and sentiment, Routledge, London.
(Electronic Resource.)

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 65.00
Lectures 39.00
Private Study 61.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ESSAY 2000 WORDS 100 30 12 Aug 2019
JOURNAL QUESTIONS 100 20 07 Oct 2019
RESEARCH PAPER 3000 WORDS 100 50 28 Oct 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.