module specification

DN4005 - Workshop Practice (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Workshop Practice
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
186 hours Guided independent study
114 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Monday Morning
Year City Thursday Afternoon
Year City Thursday Morning
Year City Monday Afternoon

Module summary

Good design and high quality artefacts are informed by knowledge of the potential and the limitations of relevant technologies and techniques, materials and processes. The focus of this module is on the development of understanding and ability in a range of key practical skills and an understanding of material and process through experience, experimentation and direct observation.
The module will introduce students to some of the key methods and principles of achieving high-quality outcomes, whether crafted, manufactured or constructed. It will develop capacity for informed decision-making about material experimentation and process investigation through the exploration of why particular choices of material, technique, process and technology are made in relation to factors such as aesthetics, function, scale and ethical considerations.
The module is taught within disciplinary specific studios, includes a range of relevant exercises and will aid realisation of designs and projects originated in other modules. The module will establish this knowledge through research into current practice, making and drawing workshops, as well as lectures, seminars and the utilisation of a wide variety of published sources.

Module aims
This module aims to introduce key designer making skills and practical understanding of material, process and related issues, such as health and safety for workshop and other production contexts. Students will develop an appropriate level of competence in practical realisation through experience, experimentation and practice through exploration of material, processes, techniques and technologies. Through taught classes and this experience they will learn constructional requirements, scales, material values, economies of production, functional and aesthetic design constraints.
The module will enable students to recognise, and understand ethical issues surrounding the choice and use of material and production choices in the context of their discipline.


Through discipline-specific studios, indicative exercises and projects, students will develop knowledge and experience of workshop health, safety and regulation, effective and safe working with a range of materials, techniques, processes, tools and equipment, properties, limitations and potential of a range of materials in discipline specific scenarios, for example: textiles, wood, metal, synthetic polymers, etc.
Students will discover the relationship between choices of material, the means of production and the designed artefact.
Design studios and exploratory practice are supported by exercises, visits and group critiques together with a series of lectures.

Learning Outcomes 1 - 4


Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1.Subject Specific Practical Skills
demonstrate competence and creative material experimentation in discipline-specific making skills appropriate to level four;
2.Knowledge and Understanding
make informed, creative choices regarding material, process and technology in relation to construction, scales, material value, economies of production, and functional and aesthetic design in a range of contexts;
3.Cognitive Intellectual Abilities
test and critique personal choices for artefact production demonstrating awareness of material and process through referenced research and a range of idea development for process;
4.Transferable Skills
demonstrate and apply good workshop practice (with awareness of health and safety issues and regulation) and assess situations for relevant risk factors.

Assessment strategy

Through annotated recording of a range of processes, experimentation and research, understanding of the key attributes of a design and make process will be evidenced. Including critical enquiry and comprehension of the requirements for realisation of creative outcomes.

Material experimentation and the communication of the outcomes of given briefs through models and finished work will constitute the three-dimensional aspect of portfolio delivery.

The assessment submission should include drawing and construction design development as a method leading to the successful analysis and practical application of making techniques.
Students will produce a range of practical outcomes assessed formatively through an ongoing process of tutorial and feedback and at regular project reviews.  The final mark will be given after a summative assessment of final coursework outcomes at the end of the module.
Work must be carefully organised and presented and all aspects of the submission must be clearly labelled with name, student number, module code and date. Students must attend timetabled sessions.

Portfolio, to include:

sketchbooks/journal to evidence research and development with critical analysisof material, process and technology in relation to construction and evidencing awareness of safe workshop practice;

a body of experimental material research to evidence trial and error investigation;

models and finished work in answer to module briefs


Ashby, M.F. and Johnson, K. (2014) Materials and Design: The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design, Butterworth-Heinemann
Pye, D. (1995) The Nature and Art of Workmanship, Bloomsbury Press
Braddock, S. and O’ Mahony, M. (1998) Techno Textiles, Thames and Hudson
Codina C. (2002) Jewellery and Silversmithing Techniques, A and C Black
Health and Safety Executive (2006) Essentials of Health and Safety at Work, HSE
Hoppen, K. (1999) In Touch: Texture in Design, Conran Octopus
Joyce, E. (1987) The Technique of Furniture Making, Batsford
Lefteri, C. (2002) Wood, RotoVision
Lefteri, C. (2004) Metals, RotoVision
Lefteri, C. (2008) The Plastics Handbook, RotoVision
Lefteri, C. (2007) Making it: Manufacturing Techniques for Product Design, Laurence King
McCreight, T. (1991) The Complete Metalsmith, Davis Publications