module specification

DN4007 - 3D Visual Research and Communication (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title 3D Visual Research and Communication
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 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

This module introduces and develops a range of knowledge, skills and approaches in the research, sketching and communication of information and ideas for 3D disciplines and artefacts in visual form.
The ability to draw and communicate visually for research, as well as design development, is critical to the success of a designer in any 3D discipline. This module intends to make development of subject specialist skills in these fields a central component of the courses that it serves.
Students will take part in a range of studio sessions, workshops and lectures that introduce a wide range of traditional and contemporary drawing, visual research and communication media, methods and practices to help them explore, record, select from, analyse and interpret their environment and the world of images, spaces and artefacts for a range of purposes.
Through the regular practice of a wide range of drawing methods, whether for the recording and communication of information, the generation of concepts and design or the expression of ideas, students will develop confidence and a key resource to support their practice.
Discipline-specific projects will explore the recording and expression of line, colour, form, structure, light, space and perspective, texture, detail and context appropriate to the requirements of the field in a range of media and formats.


Through structured learning and individual projects, students will develop knowledge and experience of a range of drawing techniques such as observational drawing, mark making, collage, and freehand sketching; and techniques of visual recording such as photography, film (where appropriate) and annotation.  L.O 1

This module enables students to apply a range of visual techniques to concepts and proposals using discipline-specific skills in visual communication.  L.O 2

Students will practice sector-specific communication skills in hand or digital communication media to describe material, construction and surface.  L.O 3

Through the project briefs students will develop a personal approach to visual research and communication relevant to the discipline.  L.O 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

At the end of the module, students will be able to:

1. Knowledge and Understanding
record and analyse chosen materials and artefacts through a range of techniques relevant to the discipline;
2. Cognitive Intellectual Abilities
use visual research and communication techniques to produce and support critical interpretation of design and making;
3. Transferable Skills
express and communicate to others concepts, ideas or proposals employing an appropriate range of visual techniques and media, relevant to the discipline;
4. Subject Specific Practical Skills
demonstrate confidence in regular use of visual research and communication techniques as fundamental creative tools for design practice.

Assessment strategy

In end of project critiques, students are expected to produce a coherent presentation of the development of their visual research, together with a critical evaluation of relative successes and failures, communicating and debating this with others. Formative feedback will be provided through the year in tutorials, group discussions and during workshop sessions. Formative feedback encourages students to reflect on progress and discuss strategies for further development of skills and practice.
Structured activities and independent learning within the portfolio will be formatively assessed. The satisfactory completion of relevant technical/ workshop activities and continuing independent practice (and associated health and safety procedures) will be monitored.
The final mark will be awarded in relation to a portfolio of a carefully presented and organised body of work, including projects undertaken, evidencing engagement and development of drawing technique and visual research, produced under guidance and independently. Work submitted shall be clearly labelled reflecting the learning hours allocated to the projects and module overall.  Students must attend timetabled studio and workshop sessions.

Portfolio, to include:

sketchbooks and portfolio to evidence research and development of technique and critique of visual communication methods;

a body of experimental drawing, mark making, collage, to evidence trial and error investigation demonstrating increasing confidence;

presentation of the critical and analytical interpretation of visual communication.


Phaidon Editors, (Reprint edition 2018) Vitamin D2: New perspectives in drawing, Phaidon.
Torrey, J. (Editor) Selby, A. (Editor) Sawdon, P. (Editor) (2007) Drawing Now: Between the Lines of Contemporary Art, I.B.Tauris
Edwards, S. and Wood, P. (2010) Art and Visual Culture: 1850-2010: Modernity to Globalisation, Tate
Berger, J. (2003) Ways of Seeing, Penguin
Edwards, B. (2001) Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Fontana
Harrison, H. (2009) The Encyclopaedia of Drawing Techniques, Search Press
Hoptman, L. (2002) Drawing Now: Eight Propositions, New York Museum of Modern Art
Jarman, D. (1995) Chroma: A Book of Colour, Vintage
Jones, O. (2001) The Grammar of Ornament, Dorling Kindersley
Nicolaides, K. (1990) The Natural Way to Draw, Houghton Mifflin
Rodic, Y. (2010). Face Hunter, Thames and Hudson
Rowe, M. (2013). Thomas Heatherwick : Making, Thames and Hudson
Schuman, S. (2012) The Sartorialist: Closer (The Sartorialist Volume 2),Particular Books
Vitamin, D. (2005) New Perspectives in Drawing, Phaidon
Wright, L. (1983) Perspective in Perspective, Routledge and Keegan Paul

Web sites:
Campaign for Drawing -
Drawing Research Network -
Tracey - Contemporary Drawing Research -