module specification

CU4002 - Digital Design and Image Making (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Digital Design and Image Making
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Research and preparation coursework- 2 visual assets/500 words
Coursework 40%   Image-based coursework - 10 assets/artefacts
Coursework 50%   Design principles coursework - 10 assets/artefacts
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

Module code:  CU4002

Module title:  Digital Design and Image Making

Module description:  This module provides an introduction to designing visual images and to the creation of vector and bitmapped images. Students will learn how to design, create and prepare images for use in animation and interactive applications, utilising industry standard software and the working methods of a visual designer.

Teaching period:  Year

Required prior learning:  N/A

Assessment:  Coursework 1(10%) + Coursework 2 (40%) + Coursework 3 (50%) [Pass on aggregate]

The aims of this module are to:

Introduce the tools for producing single frame images using vector based drawing software and bitmap drawing software.

Introduce the use of digital still photography and other tools for digitising, manipulating, importing and exporting single frame images, for use in animation and interactive applications.

Introduce and make use of the main design elements of line, shape, tone, colour, volume, texture and composition in a digital environment.

Introduce through industry standard client briefs the design processes and working practices of the digital designer.

Develop in students an understanding of audiences and the skills of critical reflection and evaluation of their own and other peoples work.


Visual design principles (eg layout, screen design, colour);
Perception – physiological and subjective effects;
Designing for a specific target audience;
Managing the design processand working to a brief;
Creating and manipulating bitmap and vector images;
Image capture and transformation;
Colour palettes, colour modes and other image attributes;
Transformation of objects, reshaping and applying effects and filters;
Colour systems (RGB, grey scale, CMYK, hexadecimal, etc.);
File formats; jpeg, gif, tiff, png, eps, lineart, etc.;
Scanning, storing and transporting images;
Enlargement and reduction, resolution, colour depth, image size and file size.

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching and learning will be carried out through seminars (1 hour) and workshops (3 hour). During seminars students are introduced to specific principles and techniques. These principles and techniques will be explored further through practical workshops.

In addition to this contact time students are expected to spend a significant number of hours carrying out research connected with the subject, reading bibliographic and course materials, practising their software skills and working on assignments.

Appropriate blended learning approaches and technologies, such as, the University’s VLE and online tools, will be used to facilitate and support student learning, in particular, to:

• Deliver content;
• Encourage active learning;
• Provide formative and summative assessments, and prompt feedback; 
• Enhance student engagement and learning experience.

Effective digital design requires the proficient practitioner to be both self-reflective and constructively critical. The digital designer needs to be able to apply this understanding to their own work and the work of others.  The development of these skills is embedded into the module and these skills that will be further enhanced by Personal Development Planning sessions.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

LO1 - Respond appropriately and creatively to client briefs, to carry out research and to plan and schedule project work

LO2 - Understand and make use of the differences between bitmap imaging and vector drawing software. To produce and manipulate simple drawings, digital images, and typography utilising the relevant software.

LO3- Understand and make use of digital image capture; including digital photography and scanning techniques. To record images using digital cameras and import those images into relevant software applications for further editing. To scan an image at an appropriate resolution, size and colour depth, and to correct for use on screen.

LO4 - Apply a critical awareness of visual design and image construction and an understanding of visual signification and communication in still and moving image production.


Students will be encouraged to look at images online, in magazines, on billboards and wherever else they find them. They are expected to find and collect interesting examples, to determine how they have been created and manipulated, and consider how theycommunicate their particular message. They will also be advised to regularly read Digital Arts Magazine and Computer Arts Magazine.

Chapman, N. and Chapman, J. (2007) Digital Media Tools. Chichester, John Wiley.
ISBN 9780470012277 0470012277

Evening, Martin, E. (2014) Photoshop CC for photographers : a professional image editor's guide to the creative use of Photoshop, New York : Focal Press

Gyncild, B. (2012) Adobe Photoshop CS6 Berkeley, California, Adobe Press : Peachpit Press [CORE]

Hashimoto, A. and Clayton, M. (2009) Visual Design Fundamentals: a digital approach, 3rd edition. Boston, Course Technology ISBN 9781584505815 1584505818 [CORE]

Adobe Photoshop CS5 [DVD-ROM] (2011) Video2Brain California, Adobe Press: Peachpit Press

Adobe Illustrator CC (2013) California, Adobe Press : Peachpit Press [CORE]

Adobe Illustrator CS6 (2013) Classroom in a book California, Adobe Press : Peachpit Press

Webb Young, J. (2003) A Technique for Producing Ideas, Magraw Hill [CORE]