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Unit of study_

CAHO4003: Contemporary Arts Honours Dissertation A

Semester 1, 2020 [Supervision] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

In this unit of study you will conduct supervised and independent study focused on a self-nominated research topic. The outcome of this year-long study is a dissertation of 15,000 words that should demonstrate a commitment to serious scholarship, a focussed investigation, disciplined editing and rigorous analysis. Throughout this semester you will work towards refining your research interests, conducting research and developing an argument. Regular meetings with your supervisor provide advice and feedback.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CAHO4003
Academic unit Sydney College of the Arts
Credit points 18
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Jan Guy,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Honours thesis Honours Dissertation Part 1
Honours Thesis
100% Ongoing
Due date: 05 Jun 2020 at 23:00
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Assessment summary

In consultation with Supervisor, candidate will develop a 15000 word draft dissertation. Candidate should demonstrate consistent progress in individual research.

Assessment occurs at end of Semester 2.

Assessment criteria

Result name

Mark range






High distinction




85 - 100

Displays innovative and imaginative thinking. Artwork or written work demonstrates initiative and ingenuity in research and production, confident and proficient application of materials and critical skills throughout, and makes an insightful contribution to contemporary art. Demonstrates a high level of ability to set demanding and achievable objectives, meets those objectives in challenging and exciting ways with a high degree of success. Demonstrates a broad and in-depth knowledge of current issues and practices as well as the ability to apply theoretical understandings and relate ideas and artwork/written work to a broader context. Exhibits independence in thinking and motivation as well as a high degree of sophistication in critical analysis and self-evaluation








75 - 84

Artwork or written work demonstrates initiative and resourcefulness in research and production, competent application of materials and critical skills throughout, receptiveness to critical feedback, and a willingness to explore new ideas. Displays a high level of commitment, ability to set demanding and achievable objectives and meet those objectives with a high degree of success and originality.Demonstrates a broad awareness of current issues and practices and the ability to adapt and apply ideas to new situations. Displays independent motivation and resolution of problems with informed criticaljudgment.






65 - 74

Artwork or written work displays evidence of initiative in research and production, competent application of materials and critical skills in most areas, receptivity to critical feedback and a willingness to explore new ideas. Exhibits commitment, the ability to set clear and achievable objectives, and meets thoseobjectives with some degree of success and originality. Demonstrates awareness and understanding of key concepts and practices and the ability to relate and contextualize ideas. Approaches problems with innovation and insight






50 - 64

Artwork or written work contains evidence of a reasonably accurate command of material and technical proficiency in some areas, responds to critical feedback inconsistently and in fairly direct translation. Exhibits an adequate level of commitment, the ability to set reasonable objectives and meet more than basic unit of study requirements with limited achievement. Demonstrates an understanding of relevant concepts and practices within a defined context, attempts to present some conceptual relevance to the project brief. Some evidence of independent self-assessment.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.


For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Ongoing Thesis Development One-to-one tuition (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 18 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 360-450 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an in-depth and critical understanding of contemporary art practices, histories and theories that inform your own writing processes
  • LO2. demonstrate rigorous and independent thinking
  • LO3. engage critically with social, cultural and ethical issues and apply local and international perspectives to extend and contextualise your written practice
  • LO4. communicate your ideas professionally, creatively and effectively
  • LO5. show awareness, sensitivity and empathy to subjective, cultural and racial differences
  • LO6. use appropriate technologies and media to effectively gather and disseminate information

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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