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A dissertation of up to 20,000 words on an approved research topic.

One of the most important elements of the honours degree and postgraduate diploma, the Art History dissertation involves writing a research thesis of about 20,000 words on a subject of the student's own choice, based on primary sources. It can focus on a study of a particular artist or art work or a more thematic examination. The sources used may be printed or published - or archival - depending on the topic chosen.

The dissertation offers a comprehensive training in research skills and methods and requires you to submit a short thesis based on primary sources that meets professional standards of argument, documentation, and presentation. The successful completion of one of these projects is regarded as the principal research qualification for those who may wish to proceed to MA study or beyond.

Employers seeking evidence of substantial self-discipline also regard completion of these projects highly.

Paper title Dissertation
Paper code ARTV490
Subject Art History and Visual Culture
EFTS 0.5000
Points 60 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2020
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,426.50
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $13,983.00

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54 300-level ARTH, ARTV or VISC points
ARTH 470, ARTH 490
Limited to
BA(Hons), PGDipArts
Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission. View more information about departmental permission.
Teaching staff
Professor Takashi Shogimen and Associate Professor Mark Seymour
Course materials will be made available electronically.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Specific learning objectives of the dissertation include:
  • The development of the capacity to work independently
  • The refinement of skills in accessing and evaluating information
  • The capacity to analyse material in a logical and coherent manner
  • The articulation of ideas in the form of an extended academic discourse
  • The development of habits of scholarship, in particular the ability to set high standards, to be self-critical, to critique sources, and to prepare and present material of publication standard

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Not offered in 2020

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system