module specification

AA3003 - Workbook (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Workbook
Module level Foundation (03)
Credit rating for module 30
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   WORKBOOK (hardcopy circa 1500 words or equivalent)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Wednesday Morning
Year (Spring and Summer) City Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

The Workbook is a visual journal that gives the student the opportunity to begin to find and develop an independent voice in their practice as they progress through the course. It is to be used to integrate project related and independent  work, to test methods, materials, processes and ideas and to record students own critical reflections and evaluations as they begin to look out into the arena in which they live and work. It is a multifunctional space to be exploited on a regular basis and can include and combine, as appropriate, drawing, painting, photography, collage, transcriptions, recordings, notations and commentary

This module is concerned with the formation of a coherent and productive research and development strategy. It will begin to locate emerging practice in subject  areas into contemporary frameworks. As such it has an essential relationship with work produced in other core modules. Assignments and field trips will open up London as a source of limitless research potential and creativity.  Emphasis will be placed upon student’s initiative, organisation, sense of perseverance and insights.

Module aims

This module aims to develop growing evidence of independent and discriminating thinking and looking in the research and development of the students’ own work. It introduces practical strategies for the formation and growth of nascent creative work and ideas and seeks to evolve the creative habits of recording, collecting, documenting, reading, reworking and reflecting and evaluating. It aims to evidence increasing subject area knowledge and to develop understanding of the relationship between context and creative practice.


The syllabus covers basic research and development skills relevant to the subject providing an overview of current practice and a range of methods and approaches. Indicative topics of study:

  • Primary research; visual and textual notation.
  • Secondary research; information retrieval.
  • Sketchbook approaches to looking, selecting and recording information.
  • Self-reflection and critical judgments.
  • London; the city as source of limitless research potential and creative possibility.
  • Field trips and assignments; e.g. Victoria and Albert Museum, British Museum, Tate Modern and Tate Britain, Brick lane, The Thames, the London Film Festival and BFI Southbank etc.
  • Media development; experimentation and play, use of chance and accident as well as method and design.
  • Sound recording and editing.

Learning and teaching

In stage 1, Workbook introduces reflective practice and personal development as extensions of other core modules and introduces basic research strategies.
In stage 2, Workbook employs London as a resource, develops research skills and subject area knowledge and forwards a sense of independence and ownership of work.
In stage 3, Workbook forms the skills, reflective practice, subject area knowledge and research and development background to the major project. Issues of presentation and layout are discussed throughout.
The module is delivered through lectures, workshops, field trips, tutorials, seminars, group and self-assessment through displays, comparison and analysis. Group discussions, tutorials and informal feedback during studio sessions will give the opportunity to reflect upon progress and discuss strategies for developing skills and practice. The course holds and uses comprehensive documentation from previous student workbooks as significant learning materials.

Sessions in support of time management and project planning will be included within this module. Students will engage in ongoing self-directed study to enable them to complete required assessment components.

Module information including all assignments, visits and deadlines will also be on Weblearn where student feedback and module participation can also be enhanced as the module moves to address e-learning developments in the faculty.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, students should be able to:

1. Use directed, independent and productive research in the development of their own work and ideas.
2. Use a range of appropriate media, techniques and strategies in the development of ideas and work.
3. Demonstrate competency of practical application of research and reflection in their own work
4.  Show evidence of increasing self-awareness and self-motivation sufficient to progress to level 4 study
5.  Evolve and develop a productive sketchbook/ workbook practice

Assessment strategy

Assessment for this module involves the submission of 1 component; Workbook (100%, week 30). Assessment will reflect work undertaken across the module in response to teaching, learning and activities detailed within the module booklet. Learning outcomes are assessed within the Workbook. Students must receive a pass overall.

This module supports and develops independent initiative and self-motivation. As such, the Workbook will normally include: evidence of reflective research, reviews or work processes, work plans, visual research such as mood boards and collation of reference material, preliminary work/research supporting the development of the work conducted in the Project module.

Formative feedback will take place throughout the module through set activities and during presentations, tutorials and group discussions. These provide opportunities for students to reflect upon progress and discuss strategies for developing skills and discipline knowledge. Their function is advisory, specifying developmental action to be taken to achieve higher competence. Summative assessment for this module will take place in week 30. It is important that students engage with the module throughout. Assessment consists of a reflective analysis and synthesis of all work completed. During this module ongoing individual studentship will be formatively reviewed and structured support for self-directed study will be given.


The following bibliography indicates set module texts. Students will be directed through additional subject-specific reading within taught sessions and as area interests develop. Electronic and image databases will be introduced in library inductions and include Art Full Text, Oxford Art Online, BFI Screenonline, DAAI Design and Applied  Arts Index, Academic Search Primer, JSTOR, Nexis UK, Bridgeman Education, VADS Visual Arts Data Service.

Brereton,R. (2005) Sketchbooks,  Lawrence King
Del Torro, G. (2013) Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions, Titan Books
Dexter,E. (2005) Vitamin D, New Perspectives in Drawing, Phaidon
Eno, B. and Schmidt, P. (2000) Oblique strategies
Flynn, Johnson (2000) Artist’s Books in the modern era, 1870-2000, Thames and Hudson
Glimscher. (1996) The Sketchbooks of Picasso, Thames and Hudson
Jones, W. (2011) Architect’s Sketchbooks, Thames & Hudson
Palmer, S. (2005) The Sketchbook of 1824, Thames and Hudson
(1998) The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci,  OUP