CCI101 Visual Communication (8)

This subject introduces students to visual signs and how they convey meaning. The relationship between sender and receiver, the combination of word and image, and visual narrative structures are explored through examining conventions and codes in visual culture. The psychology of perception, types and uses of images, and their social function and effects are considered throughout. Using examples of images from art, graphic design, advertising, film, photography and digital technologies, the subject gives context to diverse forms of visual communication through a range of cultural, historical and semiotic explanations.

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

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2018.

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



One session


School of Communication and Creative Industries

Enrolment Restrictions

Not for students who have previously completed VIS101 Visual Communication.

Subject Relationships

VIS101 VIS101 made obsolete

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with the ways in which visual images communicate meaning;
  • be able to analyse the structure and content of diverse forms of visual communication;
  • be able to engage in informed debate regarding art, design and media visual representations;
  • be able to demonstrate skills of fundamental critical evaluation of extant literature examining conventions and codes within visual culture; and
  • be able to demonstrate the use and structure of appropriate academic writing, research and referencing.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Visual coherence: The meaning of images
  • Illusion: in graphics, art and photography
  • Encoding and decoding: Reception and the audience
  • Advertising and consumer cultures: Elements of signs
  • Colour and signs/perception of colour
  • Symbol, Metaphor and Irony: Towards modernity
  • Perspective in Visual Art
  • Political and Religious signs: Towards global culture
  • Sequential Narrative: Comic-book art/high and low culture
  • The gaze and the other: Advertising signs and Sexual signs: gender imaging
  • Mass Media: Theatre, Film and Television: genres
  • Semiotic Theories: Towards Postmodernism in visual culture


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.