ART501 Theories of Criticism (16)

This subject, along with ART502/ART512 and ART503/ART513, is intended to encourage and assist practitioners to reflect critically on their own disciplines. What, if anything, makes works of art, be they texts, textures, actions or video, different from other things? How are they produced, and how do they achieve their effects? On what basis can they be said to be good or bad? We survey the basic types of answers which have been proposed to these questions, and consider the extent to which theories, while useful, are subjective, competitive, and relative.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 1 (30)
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2 (60)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ART501. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



Two sessions


School of Communication and Creative Industries

Enrolment Restrictions

Only available to students enrolled in the Master of Creative Practice

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a familiarity with a range of theoretical literature from the Greeks to the present day from a reading of selected documents of critical theory.
  • be able to demonstrate an analytical appreciation of key issues in theories of art.
  • be able to demonstrate a detailed understanding of the theoretical and critical implications in some areas of arts practice.


This subject will cover the following topics:

- Classical theories
- Ideas of inspiration and genius
- Aesthetic theories
- Determinism
- Psychology and psychoanalysis
- Formalism and structuralism
- Post-structuralism


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.