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Art Theory and Research Method

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The Course Syllabus for Overseas Postgraduate Students

Course code

Art Theory and Research Method

I. Scheduled total   credits

48 Experiments:  18  credits





Teaching method

Class teaching and Seminar

Assessment method

Essay and others

II.Compatible major


III.Prerequisite   course

The Psychology of Art


This course provides all students studying Art & Design (MFA) with most of the theoretical and professional knowledge and understanding, from a range of critical perspectives.The course uses in-depth analyses of individual artworks (or art phenomenon) to introduce students to methods, concepts, and problems of exploration in art theory. The understanding of 'art theory' and

'research methods' is deliberately broad, encompassing academic writing as well as qualitative research, quantitative research: the idea of the course is to identify commonalities and specificities across a breadth of disciplinary and organizational models.

The course mainly focuses on the theoretical system and research methods of art and design.

Sections may be taught which focus on aspects of literature research, historical research,

experimental method, field research, case study and the overall study.The students who enroll in

this course should possess the proper knowledge of humane and sociological science, also know

the cutting edge and the trend in their own field. By studying and practicing, Students will develop skills in thinking critically and historically about how institutions or individual

determine the value and meaning of artworks while improving their ability to analyze complex issues about art appearance, esthetic senses, and art logic.

.Content of the Syllabus and the Scheduled Study Hours:

Chapter 1. Introduction    3 credits hours

1. The Characteristics and Category of Art Study

2. The method system of Art Study

3. The Aims of Art Study

4. The Research Process of Art Study

Chapter 2. Art Theory and Research                     3 credits hours

1. The Three Gradations of Art Theory

2. The Basic Structure of Theory

3. The Relationship Between Subject and Object

Chapter 3. Literature Review and Topics of Significance    3 credits hours

1. The Role of Literature Review

2. Literature Consulting and Research Theme

 3. The Method of Literature Consulting

Chapter 4. Quantitative Research                       6 credits hours

1. Data Base

2. Frequency Analysis and Statistical Graph

3. The Relation of Several Main Variables

Chapter 5. Historical Research Method                  3 credits hours

1. History, Project and Statement

2. Literature, Authentication and Evaluation

3. The Heart of The Matter

Chapter 6. Experimental Research Method               3 credits hours

1. Types and processes  

2. The Classical Experiment Design  

3. Physical Experiments and Field Experiment

Chapter 7.The Investigation Method                     3 credits hours

1. Definition, Types and Processes

2. The Sampling Method and The Design of Questionnaire

3. Data Collection and Data Processing

Chapter 8.The Fieldwork                               3 credits hours

1. The Overview of Fieldwork

2. The Gist of Fieldwork

3. The Practice of Fieldwork

Chapter 9.The Case Study and The Overall Study          3 credits hours

1. The Strategy of The Case Study

2. The Practice of The Case Study

3. The Practice of The Overall Study


  1. The Fieldwork                                  6 credits hours

   2. The Simulative Experiment 6 credits hours

3. The Case Study                                 6 credits hours

.Teaching Materials and Reference Books

1.Lixin Li, Design Art Research Methods, Jiangsu Fine Art Press, 2010.

2.Dingbang Yin, Design in Introduction, Hunan Science and Technology Press,1999.

3.Robert·K, Haitao Zhou, Yongxian Li,Case Study Research Design and Method, Chongqing University Press,2010.

4.Xiaotian Feng, Research Methods of Sociology, China Renmin University Press, 2009.

5. Daoyi Zhang, The Strategy of Design, Chongqing University Press, 2007.

6. William Pepperell Montague, the way to recognize,The Commercial Press,2012.

.Teaching TeamLili Zhang, Rong Han, Ningna Sun, Fanglin Li

.The Author Who Write The SyllabusLili Zhang


1.  Teaching Method

The structure of each seminar will vary according to the material taught and may include formal presentations by the tutor, short individual papers delivered by students, and group work.

2Assessment Method

Assessment for this course will be divided into two 50% blocks: ONE 3,000 word essay and ONE assessed seminar presentation. Essays should be 3000 words in length, with footnotes or references and bibliography. Please include reproductions of any images discussed in the text.

Presentations occur in class or in art galleries (museums). Presentations can be delivered by individuals or in small groups (2-3), where each group member spotlights, and then answers, a particular question/group of questions related to the project brief. The basic principle is that each student should talk for 12-15 minutes (a group presentation with 3 students should last for 36-45 minutes) at least. Please ensure that one student end his/her presentation with two questions for the audience.

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