Course Outline

DES104 Art, Design and Digital Culture

Course Coordinator:Leah Barclay ( School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Contemporary design is grounded in a diverse history of art, design and digital culture. This course provides a foundational knowledge for  interdisciplinary design and demonstrates the ways in which design today is changing and impacting other sectors from health to environmental science. This course will provide you with the skills to critically evaluate and utilise problem-solving strategies, creativity, and theoretical frameworks to address a diverse range of design challenges in wider social, political, cultural and ecological contexts. 

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Interactive online learning activities. 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Scheduled face to face workshops. 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Seminar – Scheduled face to face seminar. 1hr Week 5 Once Only
Learning materials – Interactive online learning activities. 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Scheduled online workshops (Recorded). 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Seminar – Scheduled online seminar (Recorded). 1hr Week 5 Once Only

Course Topics

Contemporary art and design 
Visual culture 
Designing for social and cultural change 
Digital culture 
Augmented reality 
Sound design 
Design as performance 
Design pathways and industry engagement  
Expanding photographic practice 
Emerging technologies 
Curation and collaboration 

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Critically evaluate and utilise problem-solving strategies, creativity, and theoretical frameworks to address a diverse range of design challenges Knowledgeable
2 Apply understandings of relevant social and political contexts to the analysis of works of art and design. Empowered
3 Identify and reflect upon important works of art and design and communicate their significance. Knowledgeable
4 Recognise and reflect on local, regional, and global perspectives to work independently and collaboratively on creative practice and research projects with industry partners Creative and critical thinker
5 Develop culturally sensitive design skills that respond to place, embrace sustainability, and acknowledge Indigenous protocols and perspectives Creative and critical thinker
6 Interpret and reflect on design ethics and inclusive design practices to produce socially engaged, agile, relevant and impactful design outcomes Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

It is assumed you will have basic visual analysis skills.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

In most weeks there will be individual activities and/or small group collaborative tasks. These will support the development of ideas and understanding for Tasks 1 and 2. These activities and class discussion will provide formative feedback on approaches for Tasks 1 and 2. From week 2 onwards, learning materials will contain short quizzes to provide formative feedback on understandings of course material for Task 3.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Essay Individual 30%
1200 words
Week 5 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Artefact - Creative, and Oral Group 30%
5 minute oral presentation and supporting creative artefacts
Week 11 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Portfolio Individual 40%
5 designs and 800 word reflection
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check and in class
All - Assessment Task 1:Digital Culture Essay
Demonstrate core academic skills and critically reflect on concepts and theoretical ideas in contemporary art, design and digital culture.
Product: Essay
You will select a topic and write a critical essay that demonstrates your core academic skills and ability to apply and reflect on concepts and theoretical ideas in contemporary art, design and digital culture.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Ability to observe, interpret and critically analyse works of art, design and digital culture
1 5
Critical reflection on concepts and theoretical ideas in contemporary art, design and digital culture
1 2 3 6
Communication and written expression
All - Assessment Task 2:Digital Culture Lab
Create an original project and presentation that you will showcase in the 'Digital Culture Lab' - an on campus and online event where you will present your work
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Oral
The Digital Culture Lab allows you to develop an original project that you will showcase for public engagement. Your project can be conceptual and can explore or experiment with an original idea specific to your design discipline. Your project will respond to a specific theme and the medium and the format of your project will be negotiated with your tutor during the workshops. Your final project will be presented in the form of an oral presentation during the Digital Culture Lab during your workshops. This task introduces you to the curation and exhibition of art, design and digital culture.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrate how art, design and digital culture create meaning
Create an original work and develop ideas with a team
3 4 5
Analysis and interpretation of research and creative topic to produce an original project
Professional communication and presentation
1 3 5 6
All - Assessment Task 3:Art and Design Portfolio
Portfolio of 5 workshop activities submitted as a digital portfolio
Product: Portfolio
You will produce a portfolio of original designs resulting from workshop activities. All requirements for each project are available on Canvas. Final portfolio must be submitted as a cohesive digital portfolio with an 800 word reflection on the tasks.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge and identification of major works of art and design.
1 3
Demonstrated understanding of the significance of influential works of art and design.
2 3 4
Application of creative and technical skills in the completion of art and design activities
1 3 5 6
Production of socially engaged, relevant and agile design outcomes in response to workshop activities

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

UniSC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • UniSC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • UniSC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890