Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Visual ArtsCurriculum

Major Required Courses / 33 units
Major Elective Courses / 51 units
University English

Course code: University English
6 Units

These courses aim to enhance students’ English language skills in critical reading, academic listening and academic writing, and to reinforce the effective use of communicative strategies in English for academic purposes. After completing the two courses in this category, students should be able to:

1. Comprehend extended academic spoken discourse by employing cognitive and metacognitive lecture comprehension strategies;

2. Analyse and evaluate ideas and arguments from a diverse range of academic texts;

3. Employ fundamental research skills and conventions of citations and referencing in academic writing;

4. Write extended academic texts including a literature review and argumentative research papers logically and coherently;

5. Enhance their oral presentation skills in an academic setting; and

6. Reflect on and self-assess their own abilities and performance in order to become more independent and competent lifelong learners.

For details, please visit the website of General Education Office

University Chinese

Course code: University Chinese
3 Units

Courses in this category aim to enhance students’ competence and interest in reading, writing, speaking and Chinese language knowledge, and to foster the linguistic proficiency and communication skills that are essential to their study and future careers. After completing a course in this category, students should be able to:

1. Identify and evaluate the main ideas in Chinese texts in a variety of genres;

2. Write Chinese essays of an academic, expository or argumentative nature, expounding a theme or topic in a logical and coherent manner, with correct grammar and appropriate choice of vocabulary;

3. Speak in public with effective techniques and confidence;

4. Clearly describe the cultural content of Chinese language through concrete analyses of Chinese characters and idioms;

5. Improve their Chinese proficiency independently using self-access multimedia resources.

For details, please visit the website of General Education Office

Healthy Lifestyle

Course code: Healthy Lifestyle
2 Units

The category provides a blueprint for how students can live an active and healthy life. This category is created to offer different kinds of 1- or 2-unit courses, which involve physical activities to promote students’ physical or psychological and mental health. The overarching curricular outcomes of this category are to purposefully engage students in physical activities by developing knowledge of, skills for, and attitude towards an active and healthy lifestyle. Specifically, students in various courses in this category will learn to:

1. Appreciate and value the benefits of healthy lifestyle practices by relating them to a healthy body from multiple perspectives;

2. Appreciate the importance of making health-enhancing decisions in daily living by adopting healthy habits such as intake of healthy foods, regular exercise, and managing life’s stresses through self-reflection, and mediation;

3. Reflect on the responsibilities and commitment associated with developing healthy relationships in social and family settings;

4. Recognize the role of art and music in supporting healthy behaviors and lifestyle.

For details, please visit the website of General Education Office

The Art of Persuasion

Course code: The Art of Persuasion
2 Units

The course aims to develop students’ persuasive speech skills in English for the purpose of effectively expressing their points of view in a variety of settings. After completing the course in this category, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a grasp of key concepts, principles, and theories underlying effective communication and persuasion by applying them appropriately in various speaking and presenting engagements;

2. Conduct audience analysis to prepare speeches for intended audiences;

3. Draw upon a variety of sources to enrich their oral presentations;

4. Apply principles of effective communication to the preparation and delivery of presentations;

5. Analyze and evaluate persuasive presentations produced by themselves and others.

For details, please visit the website of General Education Office

Level 1 Foundational Courses / Year 1– 2

Course code: Level 1 Foundational Courses
9 Units

Three categories, (1) History and Civilization; (2) Values and the Meaning of Life and (3) Quantitative Reasoning, are included under Level 1 Foundational Courses. In each of the categories, eight courses will be available for students’ selection. Students will be required to take one 3-unit course in each of the categories, for a total of 9 units.

After taking these courses, students will be able to use historical and cultural perspectives to gain insight into contemporary issues; to apply various value systems to decision-making in personal, professional, and social/political situations, to recognise the value and limitations in the quantitative data encountered in daily life such as in the media or public reports, as well as to make use of quantitative data effectively to support sound reasoning in daily life. In what follows, the outcomes of each of the three categories are presented.

History and Civilization (3 units)

The interdisciplinary courses in this category aim to:

  1. Inform the role of history in human endeavors be it cultural, social, political, economic, or scientific;
  2. Allow students to understand how historical events have shaped our current world affairs; and conversely, how the current world affairs have shaped the way the past is being seen;
  3. Provide a journey through the human race in historic times: our activities, ideas, creations, institutions and impact;
  4. Acquaint students with the historical and cultural achievements of some of Asia’s oldest nations, and their persistent influence in the contemporary world.

Values and the Meaning of Life (3 units)

The interdisciplinary courses in this category aim to guide students to:

  1. Engage in reflection on moral beliefs and practices, through inquiry into questions of ethics and morality as presented in one or more philosophical and/or religious traditions;
  2. Identify, understand and reflect on ethical issues, and to articulate, assess and defend moral judgments in an informed and thoughtful way;
  3. Identify and evaluate moral dilemmas in the context of change and development in an increasingly globalized world;
  4. Recognise philosophical views from different cultures and communities across different times and their implications for answering the question of how we are to live.

Quantitative Reasoning (3 units)

The interdisciplinary courses in this category aim to guide students to:

  1. Use quantitative data for the purposes of analysis and reasoning to understand, interpret, critique, debunk, challenge, explicate, and draw conclusions;
  2. Apply basic mathematics and computational skills to the analysis and interpretation of real-world quantitative information (e.g., Big Data) in the context of a discipline or an interdisciplinary problem to draw conclusions that are relevant in their daily lives;
  3. Model and solve problems with quantitative methods, such as using formulas, interpreting graphs, tables, and schematics, and drawing inferences from them.

For details, please visit the website of General Education Office

Level 2 Interdisciplinary Thematic Courses / Year 1– 2

Course code: Level 2 Interdisciplinary Thematic Courses
6 Units

Under the new GE Programme, all the courses at Level 2 will be interdisciplinary and theme-based. Several interdisciplinary themes, each of which is broad enough to accommodate contribution of different academic disciplines, will be formulated to allow students more flexibility in the selection of GE courses according to their interest and academic goals. GE courses under the new themes are envisaged to be timeless in benefiting students in the long term, and to promote HKBU’s ethos of WPE. Students should be able to relate the courses of their choice to their majors. When choosing courses, students could consult their academic advisors or programme directors.

In each of the themes, a list of courses will be available for students’ selection. Students will be allowed to take two 3-unit courses, for a total of 6 units, under any one or two of the following themes: (1) Science, Technology and Society; (2) Sustainable Communities; and (3) Culture, Creativity and Innovation.

After completing the two 3-unit courses at Level 2, students should be able to relate their majors with interdisciplinary thematic knowledge and make connections among a variety of disciplines to gain insight into a wide range of issues related to contemporary personal, professional, and community situations. The general aims of each theme and its associated outcomes are presented as follows:

Science, Technology and Society

Courses in this theme will provide a broad conceptual and historical introduction to scientific theories that have shaped our world. As such, courses will attempt to increase students’ understanding of the human-built world. Science and technology are no longer specialized enterprises confined to single disciplines but rather they have become intertwined with each other and with human society. The impact of science and technology has to be recognised with its implications for the future. Specifically, courses in this theme will address:

  1. The role of technology in human history, and more specifically the importance of technology and technological innovation to various historical civilizations;
  2. How ideas about nature have evolved, leading to scientific and technological developments that impact societies around the world;
  3. How technology and science have far-reaching effects upon values, cultures, economy and the social, commercial and legal systems of different communities;
  4. What are the ethical and moral reasoning for the use of some technological developments around the world;
  5. How cultural, political, and economic values help to shape and direct technological developments, which in turn can have a profound effect on those same social values and the society that holds them;
  6. How different societies or communities respond and react to the advancement of technology.

Sustainable Communities

The world's environment has emerged as a major subject of political, economic, scientific, ethical and theological discussion and inquiry. This thematic category introduces the students to the broad concept and understanding of sustainable communities. Communities are considered to be sustainable when they are environmentally, socially, and economically healthy and resilient. These communities meet challenges through integrated solutions rather than through fragmented approaches.

The courses will address how a sustainable community manages its natural, human, and financial resources to meet current needs while ensuring that adequate resources are equitably available for future generations. Among the many aims, courses in this category will define, and analyze how to:

  1. Protect and enhance local and regional ecosystems and biological diversity;
  2. Utilize prevention strategies and appropriate technologies to minimize environmental concerns that relate to conservation of water, land, energy, and nonrenewable resources;
  3. Attend to the basic human rights of all community members and defend against injustices including exploitation and psychological and physical harm;
  4. Design diverse and financially viable economic base for the community;
  5. Provide businesses and services that enhance community sustainability.

Culture, Creativity and Innovation

Throughout the history of human kind, culture has played an important role in human endeavors. We recognise that works of art, drama, literature, and music have shaped the cultural heritage of the world. There are many different ways by which societies shape all aspects of creative expression, ranging from the availability of resources to the provision of rewards or punishments. Cultures can encourage creativity and they can seriously hinder them.

Courses in this theme will identify ways in which culture reflects and shape the experience of being human; examine a variety of traditional and contemporary theories of culture that sheds light on innovation and creativity; investigate particular historical periods to discover the social, economic, and political contexts that have contributed to creativity and innovations. The power of creativity, art and culture could be harnessed to play an increasingly important role in driving economic and social progress.

In the courses of this category, students will be able to:

  1. Recognise that cultural factors clearly have a profound influence on different outlets for creative expression, on the nature of the subject matter and form of expression, and on the functions that various forms of expression serve;
  2. Appreciate that “culture” is essential to understanding the role and responsibility of citizenship, and importantly to creativity too;
  3. Define creativity in the larger context of originality, meaningfulness, and value–and the way that this manifests itself around the world;
  4. Recognise that creativity is a way of thinking, and is a collaborative process;
  5. Understand the theoretical models that show the effect of culture on creativity in the global context.

For details, please visit the website of General Education Office

Level 3 GE Capstone / Year 3

Course code: Level 3 GE Capstone
3 Units

As a culminating experience in the GE Programme, students will have an opportunity to engage in the following learning activities that will further enhance their skills in a variety of ways. Students will have to complete one project or course in any of the following:

  1. Participate in a Service or Experiential Learning Project; or
  2. Attend a Service Leadership Education Course associated with project elements; or
  3. Take part in an Interdisciplinary Thematic Group Project under one of the themes completed in Level 2; or
  4. Conduct an Independent Study which can be an individual interdisciplinary project of his/her own under the supervision of a faculty member.

Relevant programmes can decide whether to count the 3-unit project/course towards their major, minor or concentration requirements, but not free electives. If a project/course is double-counted towards other requirements outside GE, the student will have to take other course(s) to make up the three units to fulfil their programme requirements or for graduation.

The aims of the projects or courses in this level are to help students:

  1. Synthesize knowledge from various disciplines to provide innovative solutions to solve a societal or global problem;
  2. Value the importance of working as a team for the common good;
  3. Show what has been learnt in the classroom and experiential environments as it applies to addressing an important issue faced by local, regional, and the global community.

For details, please visit the website of General Education Office

The Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Visual Arts programme is a professional degree that focuses on intensive practice-led work in the visual arts supported by a programme in General Education. It emphasises creativity, versatility, and intelligent articulation, thus enabling its graduates to enter professional, studio-based careers in such fields as studio arts, design, and/or craft after earning the degree.

The programme consists of a set of required courses and a number of elective courses to be taken from two concentrations: Studio and Media Arts and Craft and Design. It provides students with solid foundations in their personal choice of areas including drawing, painting, Chinese arts, media arts, graphic arts, sculpture, glass, ceramics, object design, experience design, and is supported by required courses in art history and theory, visual and material culture.

The underlying philosophy of the programme is rooted in the idea of the ever-shifting climate of creative production in the context of society. Studio teaching is conducted through a combination of workshops, and individual and group tutorials, and is founded on the belief that art and design practice is fundamentally a social phenomenon. The aim of the staff and students is to participate in social interaction and discussion through visual arts.

The programme is offered in two distinct modes: in the ‘professional mode’ as an undergraduate degree programme that enables graduates to enter professional careers in such fields as design, fine arts, and/or craft; or in ‘liberal arts mode’, which may or may not prepare them for careers as visual arts professionals, as career preparation is not a primary objective of liberal arts education.

The structure of the curriculum in Professional Mode (total: 128 units) is as follows:

I) Major Courses 75 units
II) University Core 13 units
III) General Education 18 units
IV) Free Electives 13 units
 V) Studio Honours Project 9 units

Academic Advising

Academic Advising is to provide students with academic counseling, guidance and assistance on their studies. Information is now available for current students to download in intranet.

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