module specification

DN5021 - Materials, Technology and Markets (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Materials, Technology and Markets
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
300 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Research book/Portfolio
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

This module enables the student to discover and examine the current professional environments for design, manufacture and production available within the discipline 

Students will bring together their knowledge and experience of materials and making and re-examine them in the light of industry and real world needs. Students will develop and understand approaches to design, production and manufacture and to the introduction of efficient and industry relevant development and making practice.

The module introduces specialist methods, terms and approaches that are used to communicate technical specifications and visual form with precision and clarity. Students will further establish critical and evaluative processes to expand knowledge and understanding of materials, manufacture and the professional requirements underpinning ethical and sustainable values and responsibilities relevant to three-dimensional design. Students will discover how craft, design, technology, manufacturing and emerging material and process technologies can apply to contemporary practice and begin to recognise their place in the designed and made world.

Through specialist industry contact and specific tasks, students will experience critical debate, commercial response and career relevant development while identifying the commercial and professional context
The presentation and communication of all aspects of this module are key to the fulfilment of an understanding of industry practice vital for professional approaches to designing and making at level 6. Students will deliver presentations in appropriate disciplinary forms gaining confidence in presentation, collaboration and decision making including team working.

Prior learning requirements

Pass and completion of prior level


A series of lectures, seminars and workshops will develop knowledge of and a technical analysis of contemporary projects, providing a practical framework through which to evaluate discipline specific examples.
The syllabus will also typically include initial demonstrations of industry standard methods of production, in University work-shops, or hosted at external industrial facilities. The purpose of this is to bring to light opportunities for making and unexpected approaches. Using this, students will research ‘in action’, seeking unexpected possibilities revealed by the outcomes of experimentation.
Students will research and build a database of relevant, especially new and forthcoming, materials, technology and processes that will now or in the future be deployed in the design and manufacture of products.
Taught sessions will normally develop analytical design thinking and subject specific professional considerations
plus methods of research, analysis and professional presentation for ‘real world’ dissemination
Your work will be planned and recorded (through detailed diary, workbook or log) research through all stages of analysis, development and proposition including case and precedent study
Workshops will aid you in the development of a professionally constructed presentation utilising image/ text/ word/ object.
There will be individual and team review of work in progress and outcomes proposed.

Learning Outcomes 1 - 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and ad-dresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are ex-pected 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 regu-larly 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 oppor-tunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make rec-ommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the mod-ule, 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 develop-ment 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

Knowledge and Understanding (Research File)
LO1. Demonstrate an appropriate level of understanding of the dynamic relationships of specific industry design and make requirements for your chosen discipline evidenced through primary and secondary research.

Cognitive and Intellectual Abilities (Reflective Diary)
LO2. Evidence and illustrate considered reflection of appropriate industry process and applications within your personal creative and intellectual practice

Transferable skills (Presentation and organisation)
LO3. Discover and apply approaches to research, information gathering, organisation, communication and presentation as appropriate to current design practice.

Subject specific skills (Outcomes appropriate to research field)
LO4. Employ effective and appropriate techniques for the development of industry focussed research and the application of your findings to physical outcomes through technical and visual representation and communication as appropriate to your discipline.

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed through the submission of a research book/portfolio and research presentation;
The Research Book/portfolio is a collated document demonstrating an or-ganised knowledge and understanding of the core syllabus areas. The Research Book documents each student’s participation in the core lectures and workshops and consists of text, photographs (labelled and annotated), sketches, diagrams, production drawings and a set of references for all texts consulted.
The research presentation will include a verbal/visual presentation (which presents and debates the students analysis of making and the related ethical/professional standards) and contribution to an end of year show. This submission will include documentation and evidence of presentational research and testing (within normal professional conventions), exploring poster presentation, event promotional information and exhibition/ trade fair approaches alongside event participation.

The work will be assessed in relation to the quality of production analysis, thinking and development in relation to the discipline and the graphic quality and clarity of the Research Book submission

Students will present a coherent, verbal, visual, object and text-based summary of research development, process, concepts and findings.
Interim work in progress will be formatively assessed and feedback provided throughout the project. Satisfactory engagement in relevant workshop activities, events and continuing independent practice (and associated health and safety procedures) will also be monitored throughout. Students must attend all timetabled taught studio and/or workshop sessions.

Research book/Portfolio:

A research book/portfolio of student–produced research evidencing specific industry design and make requirements in your discipline with considered reflection of appropriate industry process and applications.

Graphic quality and clarity of the Research Book/portfolio submission research, information gathering, organisation, communication and presentation

The quality of communication and dissemination methods used within the research presentation



Rawsthorn, A. (Author) Dirie, C (Editor) (2018) Design as an Attitude, Ringier
Prof Hoskins,S.(2018) 3D Printing for Artists, Designers and Makers, Bloomsbury Press
Burden, E. (1992) Design Presentation, New York: McGraw-Hill
Charny, D. (2011) Power of Making: The Case for Making and Skills, V&A Publishing, London
Dodge, C et al, (2000) The Crit, London, Architectural Press
Hamilton, C. (2005) Afluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough, Allen and Unwin, London
Peters, T. (2011). Experimental Green Strategies: Redefining Ecological De-sign Research - Architectural Design. London: John Wiley & Sons.
Solomon M.R. & Rabolt N.J. (2003) Consumer Behaviour: In Fashion, Pren-tice Hall
Thompson, R. (2007) Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals, Thames and Hudson, New York.
Weidemann J. And Dalcacio R. (2010) Product Design in the Sustainable Era, Taschen, Koln.