module specification

DN6001 - Project Design and Development (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Project Design and Development
Module level Honours (06)
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 80%   Portfolio (development and final work)
Coursework 20%   Critical evaluation
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

Together with their final project realisation module, this module is intended to prepare graphic design, publishing and illustration and animation students for independent practice, entry into the professional workplace, or for higher studies.

Through independent and studio-based knowledge of visual communication fundamentals, skills, elements, processes and principles, students will facilitate, design and develop a series of self-directed studio projects. This will naturally require in-depth research, a well-constructed visual communication process, and the exercise of practical and thinking skills, resulting in a significant body of creative work for public and work related exhibition.

A negotiated and approved proposal will confirm the individual project. Using course and studio narratives, creative exploration and experimentation, students will develop research, concept development, material investigation, digital and analogue proposals, modelling or prototyping and visualisation. The final outcome will be produced in final project realisation.

The module will ensure that students critique and reflect upon their own work and position in the creative sector. The module emphasises self-direction and personal focus whilst acknowledging external and professional trends, expectations and constraints.

This module seeks to enable students to;

select or devise and conduct a comprehensive visual communication project resulting in a significant body of work displaying the synthesis of conceptual and technical skills within the final presentation;

demonstrate ability to determine the relevant and required research and construct a research and development process suitable for successful completion of the project;

affirm their creative identity as they enter the professional field and indicate a sense of future direction and position including in the context of principles and ethics;

evidence self-management of the project in respect of planning, monitoring, recording and evaluation.

Prior learning requirements

Pass & Completion (120 credits) of Prior Level


The module will provide opportunities to learn:

● subject specific project exploration and presentation;  LO1 & LO3

● identification, defence of proposals to a professional standard and presentation readiness;  LO1, LO2 & LO3

● project management, research and development in professional context;  LO2 & LO3

● decision making, appropriate presentation of a work-related identity;  LO4

● how to professionally and effectively articulate their position within their intended industry.  LO1 & LO4

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 offline and online 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 is delivered through lectures, practical workshops, demonstrations, inductions and studio-based activities supported by external visits where necessary. Group seminars, tutorials and informal feedback during workshop sessions offer the opportunity to reflect upon learning-in-progress, and to discuss and progress strategies for developing skills and practice. Blended learning will support students in individual and group projects. 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.

Successful learning in this module is dependent upon regular attendance and engagement in the scheduled teaching and the level of self-managed study undertaken. In order to make the most of all the opportunities available, students will be encouraged and supported to organise and plan their learning activities effectively. The level of self-managed learning will be monitored. Self-directed study may include individual and/or group tasks, for example, research, site and studio visits, drawing tasks, digital trends skills, or collecting and collating materials in preparation for the following week's session. The construction of a portfolio of personally produced and assembled work is vital to success in the module and the progress of this will be monitored in tutorials and seminars.

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 this module, students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
LO1 present and convincingly defend their process and outcomes, demonstrating critical self-reflection and clear understanding of the professional and ethical context and presentation requirements for their work;

Cognitive Intellectual Skills
LO2 manage and continuously evaluate the project development process in the context of complex and changing problems;

Transferable Skills
LO3 identify a design problem or situation requiring analysis and resolution, providing a rationale for the choice and decisions and constructing a viable project proposal;

Subject Specific Practical Skills
LO4 design and undertake a sustained design development process using an appropriate range of resources, techniques, materials, media and discipline-specific knowledge, developing a personal and professional design identity and articulating a creative direction.

Assessment strategy

At regular critiques or tutorials, students are expected to produce a coherent account of their project in progress, together with critical evaluation of successes and issues for further research, development or revision. Formative feedback will be given in response to the project plan.

All students are required to undertake formal interim presentations with evidence of continuous reflective journals responding to studio critique and tutorial guidance. Work presented will be subject to formal studio feedback from a panel of disciplinary specialists. This will inform final assessment marks and must be considered and acted upon by the student.

The final mark is given at the end of the module, following assessment of a comprehensive portfolio of all relevant developmental and presentation work and the final proposal itself.

Work must be carefully organised and presented to indicate the development of work and the content clearly labelled. Students are required to attend timetabled studio and workshop sessions.


Airey, D. (2014) Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, New Riders
Birdsall, D. (2004), Notes on Book Design, Yale University Press
Crow, D. (2006) Left to Right: The Cultural Shift from Words to Pictures, AVA Publishing
Glebas, F. (2008) Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding, Focal Press 
Ingledew, J. (2011) An A-Z of Visual Ideas: How to Solve Any Creative Brief, Laurence King
Jesmond, A. Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User, Smashing Magazine Book Series
McAlhone, B. (1996) A Smile in the Mind, Phaidon Press

Other Texts:
Alina Wheeler, A. (2003) Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team, John Wiley & Sons
Armstrong, H. (2009), Graphic Design Theory: Readings From The Field, Princeton Architectural Press
Baines, P. (2005), Type and Typography, Laurence King Publishers
Caldwell, C. (2014) Editorial Design: Digital and Print, Laurence King
Collington, M. (2016) Animation in Context: A Practical Guide to Theory & Making, Fairchild Books
Eisner, W. (2008) Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist, W.W. Norton
Heit, L. (2014) Animation Sketchbooks, L. Heit
Lupton, E. (1999) Design Writing Research: Writing on Graphic Design, Phaidon Press
Wells, P. and Hardstaff, J. (2008) Techniques for Live Action and Animation, Focal Press

Baseline Magazine
Creative Review
Eye Magazine


Electronic Databases:
Flux Journal

Design Resources:

Additional texts and other reference materials will be identified by studio tutors annually.