Course Descriptions for Master of Fine Arts


1. Painting practice and theory

2. History of fine arts

I. Core Courses

Research Methods in Fine Arts (3 credits)

As a fundamental and core course in fine arts studies, this course elaborates systematically on the objectives, genres, and methods in the field. It also introduces the formats and key points in thesis writing. It takes into account the approaches in social sciences, as well as those in fine arts in particular, with an emphasis on the combination of theory and practice.

History of Fine Arts (3 credits)

The course focuses on the development and style changing of Chinese and Foreign art history, and the impact of politics, economy, and culture upon the development of fine arts. The teaching content involves ancient Chinese art, modern Chinese fine arts, Chinese folk arts, the interaction between Western and Eastern fine arts, ancient Western fine arts, modern and contemporary Western fine arts, and the cultural legacy and archaeology in fine arts.

Special Topics in Culture (3 credits)

In terms of Archaeology and Communication Studies under the perspective of humanities, the course will introduce the deep connections between arts and social science reflected in special topics. Undertaking this course, students will understand the correlation between culture and art that broaden insights on the study of art history.

Academic Activities (1 credit)

Students are required to participate in at least ten academic activities that are recognized by the Faculty of Humanities and Arts, such as lectures, seminars, or visits organized by the University. After each activity, students are required to submit a one-page (A4)-length report, marked by the designated adviser or tutor. The course aims to improve the comprehensive quality of students, broaden their academic horizons, and cultivate their creative thinking abilities.

II. Major Core Courses and Elective Courses

Special Topics in Arts3 credits

Through the lens of Art reflected in special topics, the course discusses and descripts the research methodology or study subject in art. It introduces art phenomenon and history path through various theories, such as: Iconology/Iconography, Art History, Religious Iconography, Visual Psychology, etc.

Special Topics in Art History Theory3 credits

This course introduces the origins, evolutions, attributes and genres of art and puts an emphasis on the relationships between art and culture. It aims to improve the art literacy of students and cultivate their cultural awareness and sensitivity.

For students majoring in History of Fine Arts, the learning expectation as well as assessment is relatively higher, which require the students to have extensive readings in relevant to research direction that needs to have unique insight at end. For students majoring in Painting Practice and Theory, they need to understand the basic pattern of art development and ways of various artistic expressions and be able to apply the knowledge in art practice.

Painting Practice (3 credits)

The course mainly introduces classic paintings and artists’ practice methods, technique skills and creation rule. Under the guide of lecturers during study period, students can comprehend basic theories in creative practice and acquire a level of creation rule and painting techniques.

For students majoring in Painting Practice and Theory, the learning expectation as well as assessment is relatively higher, which focuses on various techniques and styles of painting. Students need to further determine their own painting style and research direction one wants to pursue. For students majoring in History of Fine Arts, they are expected to acquire basic skills of painting and variations so to conduct innovative art practice.

Social Practice in Arts / Internship (3 credits)

The social practices/internship in arts is an important part of the master program in fine arts. The social practice/internship is a way of reinforcing theory studies, as well as a preparation process for students to get ready for their final project and thesis writing.

Graduation Project (6 credits)

Students majoring in Painting Practice and Theory are required to complete graduation project themed on a particular topic. The project shall be a holistic display of a combination between theoretical understanding and creative practice in which the project reflects everyday life with focus on history. It shall be visually presented and comprehensively and systematically demonstrated to one’s study achievement in the past two years.

Thesis (6 credits)

Students who apply for graduation are required to complete a master’s thesis and pass the thesis defense. The thesis should be an original body of work that contributes to a particular problem in fine arts. It should articulate the research questions, methodologies and primary arguments. For students majoring in Painting Practice and Theory, the minimum length of the thesis should be 15,000 words in Chinese, not including footnotes, graphs, tables, reference list, and appendices. For students majoring in History of Fine Arts, the minimum length of the thesis should be 20,000 words in Chinese, not including footnotes, figures, graphs, tables, reference list, and appendices.



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