module specification

DN5002A - Human Scale (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Human Scale
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 150
54 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
96 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Wednesday Afternoon
Autumn semester City Wednesday Morning

Module summary

As humans, we live in a continuous and ongoing relationship with our environment This module aims to show how our understanding of the human body (its scale, proportions and movement) together with awareness of sociological and physiological human behaviour are key aspects to successful design.

This module will examine how humans live, work and spend time together and through the analysis of contemporary and historical precedents will study performance, interaction and customs and in relation to economic, political and environmental conditions and how this fosters new practice.

Close observation of the interaction between the behaviours of people within the immediate environment will be at the core of this area of study. It will show how analysis of the human being, at a range of scales, is vital to relevant, safe and ethical, innovative design that responds to physical and sensory needs. Environmental observation and reflection will be documented through a range of media, analysed to support the generation of concepts and design ideas.

Informed selection and application of material processes are an intrinsic part of the design and production of both objects and the made environment. Workshop activities will explore and test ideas, resolving design issues through modelling in traditional and digital materials and technologies. Material experimentation and knowledge will enhance both the concept and its communication.

Prior learning requirements


DN5004A Design Details
DN5022A Interior practices and Techniques

Available for Study Abroad? YES


The module will necessarily reflect current debate and practice concerning thinking, and use of materials, techniques and technologies appropriate to human-centred design, including 2D and 3D production processes and relevant discipline-specific skills.

Through the studio projects, you will normally develop knowledge and experience of:

• research of historical, socio-economic and cultural data;
• researching and testing inclusive, ergonomic, behavioural and sensory aspects of design;
• producing diagrams, sampling and modelmaking in response to research;
• reflective practice through sketching, modelling and drawing typologies;
• developing and testing outcomes against identified aims;
• traditional and digital modelling techniques;
• reflective practice relating to individual cultural capital;
• developing an individual approach towards the portfolio.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching provides the guidance and foundation to ensure that independent study is effective in addressing the module’s learning outcomes and assessment tasks.

In-class activity makes use of varied student-centred approaches such as active, flipped and blended learning, so that a range of learning strategies is deployed, and individual learning styles are accommodated. Information is provided through a range of means and sources to minimise and remove barriers to successful progress through the module. The course team seeks to embed the University’s Education for Social Justice Framework in fostering learning that is enjoyable, accessible, relevant and that takes account of the social and cultural context and capital of its students.

Activities foster peer-to-peer community building and support for learning. Reflective learning is promoted through interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, receive 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 written reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-based learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal and career 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 the module, to the standard expected at Level 5, you will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

1. understand how to select and explore methods of socio-economical, cultural, political and historical data through observed, measured and environmental surveys and precedents relevant to inclusive, ergonomic, behavioural and sensory design of the site and potential user;

Cognitive Intellectual Abilities

2. begin to integrate within your design practice, reviewed and theorised concepts relevant to human-centered design and spatial experience; demonstrating anthropometric and ergonomic considerations, sensory engagement and knowledge of required regulation;

Transferable Skills

3. demonstrate your analytical investigation through traditional and digital modelling, sketching and drawing, conceptual propositions, through precedent analysis and design typologies with material, environmental and sensory considerations.

Professionalism and Values

4. demonstrate through applying your own cultural capital or experience your individual approach towards the given project or tasks and evidence your approach in both artwork and portfolio.