RMIT degree changes

13 09 2011

I’m curious … as I was searching for RMIT fine art exhibition dates, I found a page that detailed changes to the RMIT Fine Art bachelor degree.

screen shot; taken 13th September 2011 at 20:10; click on image for original source

It’s dated from April 2011, so it isn’t new. But it’s the first time I’ve seen it.

The content of the “Project Overview” section includes (I have added the bullet points for presentation only; the content remains unchanged):

The program is currently separated into nine specific studio areas, supported by studies in Art History and Theory:

  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Fine Art Photography
  • Gold & Silversmithing
  • Media Arts
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Sound

The proposed new studio areas (currently without names) will include the following combinations;

  1. Ceramics and Gold & Silversmithing
  2. Drawing, Media Arts and Painting
  3. Fine Art Photography and Printmaking
  4. Sculpture and Sound

Within each of these new studio areas a range of courses will be offered that ensure students have access to a rich and specialized experience in contemporary art practice and theory, as well as a more broad range of interdisciplinary offerings.

In the “New Program Description for 2012” section there is a PDF (link; I can send this to you if you can’t download it). An excerpt from it is below:

excerpt from PDF; screen shot taken 13th September 2011 at 20:15; click on image for link to original document

excerpt from PDF; screen shot taken 13th September 2011 at 20:15; click on image for link to original document

So what could this mean for a student experiencing Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT, compared to those students of the last decade or so?

It looks like there will be the possibility of combining G&S bench practice with other Fine Art practices. Perhaps we will see more freedom and experimentation in the materials used in jewellery (though the range is broad as it is!)?

Though I wonder if that will mean less depth of G&S techniques? Especially with respect to the larger-scale smithing and metal working that require more student experience and knowledge (pre-requisites – which means less flexibility to include in a ‘mixed’ degree), differently experienced staff, and more studio space…

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is interesting too [link] … looks a little confusing for existing students though (as they’re expected to finish in the new structure, so will be ‘transitioned’ mid-degree). Critically to me though, it spells out that each special studio subject has 4 hours teacher-to-student per week – which is less than the 5 hours per subject per week “in my day”. Shame (though I had mentioned this previously).

Any other thoughts??



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