module specification

DN6004 - Design Competition (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Design Competition
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Competition Submission and Practice Portfolio
Coursework 30%   Reflective Consultancy Diary
Coursework 10%   Evidence of Professional Practice & Independent Studentship
Running in 2018/19 No instances running in the year

Module summary

Design is a complex creative field, encompassing a range of ways of working and patterns of professional engagement. Succeeding within freelance consultancy practice requires specific skills in pitching, presenting, innovating and communicating. This module helps you to develop your experience of competitive practice and the legal and ethical frameworks surrounding them.

The module looks at formal models for concept innovation, creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills, alongside developing your individual responsibility as a practitioner and your critical self-reflection. Through professional submission, pitching and presentation to real-world competition briefs, you will develop and test your design approach and professional strategies for differentiation and self-promotion within a highly competitive field.

The module sets out to prepare you for entry to the workplace or higher study through experience of professional portfolio development and related promotional activities. It helps you to assess not only your position within the design industry but also to define your individual creative strengths, presenting your work to a high professional standard. Through practice, you will establish a sound process for research, design-development and production. Through a series of lectures, workshops, seminars and assignments, you will investigate, analyse and practice the forms, properties and qualities of a wide range of professional practice fundamentals, for example, website portfolios, press releases, design rights statements, consultancy costing, copyright laws, portfolio content.

This module develops your ‘learning for work’. Within the module, you will experience work-related learning through live competition and/or simulated consultancy. You will refine a range of transferable skills in communication, management, research and analysis and will be encouraged to reflect and report on the work-relevant skills you develop throughout. These skills are both desirable and advantageous for all graduates and include (for example): action planning, contribution to professional meetings, entrepreneurship, acting as a consultant, goal setting, negotiating, networking, project management, self-appraisal, team working. Activities undertaken within this module will help you to prepare for the launch of your individual design practice during your final degree show and subsequent career activity.

Prior learning requirements

Pass & Completion of Prior Level (AMD-ASD Courses Only)

Module aims

The module seeks to enable you to:

• Research, analyse, and adapt your practice for sector-specific professional conventions in relation to real-world competitive situations
• Develop professional entrepreneurial processes for the generation, development, testing and pitching of concepts in response to specified clients and audiences
• Plan and manage self-promotion activities and client project pitching from inception to delivery, within commercial timeframes and develop strategies to maximise your chances of success
• Employ professional standards in the manipulation of appropriate media for the communication and presentation of your design identity and specific concepts
• Review competitor practices in relation to freelance self-promotion and build enterprise strategies for consultancy practice


Through studio-set projects, students will develop knowledge and experience of:

• primary and secondary case study research
• professional networking
• working with teams in a professional context
• professional communication and dissemination skills
• negotiation, collaboration and enterprise development
• regular presentation of progress and findings
• development of a career plan from reflection on your research and experience
• project pitching and client fostering
• analysis of own and other competitive professional practices
• legal and ethical frameworks for freelance/ consultancy practice
• digital & photographic presentation techniques for competition submission
• trade-fair, exposition and exhibition conventions and presentational planning
• self-promotional skills – visual, verbal and text-based

Learning and teaching

Projects will seek to enable a range of learning opportunities such as;

independent research
critique and self-reflection
collaborative work and liaison
project management
trade fair, exposition and exhibition conventions and individual preparation
publicity material analysis

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
Apply confident professional standards within communication (techniques, formats and practices) for competitive advantage and present your freelance practice within both real-world and theoretical contexts

Cognitive Intellectual Skills
Generate, test and pitch design proposals for a specified client or audience, showing complex conceptual thinking, project differentiation, critical analysis, and the development of individual creative identity

Transferable Skills
Demonstrate effective and professional standard project planning and design consultancy management skills, managing communication, negotiation and liaison with stakeholders, individually and within teams

Subject Specific Practical Skills
Present and position your creative identity effectively alongside other practices, through a range of sector specific media and formats appropriate to your specific career path and proposed freelance practice

Assessment strategy

You will produce a coherent visual and verbal presentation of your competition submission, independent research development and findings, together with a critical evaluation of your successes and opportunities for career development and self-promotion.

This module will formatively assess the research, planning, critical commercial response and analysis, planned exposition/ exhibition presentation, and reflective diary at the end of each phase. The satisfactory completion of continuing independent studentship and professional practice will be continuously monitored and forms a part of the assessment requirements for the module. Precise requirements for the analysis, diary and studentship will be stated in the brief.

The final mark awarded at the end of the module will assess a range of self-promotion and competition outcomes, to include a practice portfolio, reflective consultancy diary and evidence of supporting research. Precise requirements will be stipulated in the module guide.

Work must be carefully organized and presented to indicate the development of work and the content clearly labeled. Students must attend timetabled sessions.


Cooper, R and Press, M (1994) The Design Agenda, Wiley
Goslett, D (1984) The Professional Practice of Design, Batsford
Hill, E and O’Sullivan T (1999) Marketing, Longman
Hilton, S and Gibbons G (2001) Good Business: Your World Needs You, Texere
Ollins, W (2003) On Brand, Thames & Hudson
Thakara, J (1970) Winners: How Today’s Successful Companies Innovate By Design, Gower