module specification

DN6031 - Work Ready 2 (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23, but may be subject to modification
Module title Work Ready 2
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%   Work Ready Portfolio and Competition / Exhibition / Work Placement Submission
Coursework 20%   Critical Reflection
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

Graphic design, illustration, publishing and animation are complex fields, encompassing a range of ways of working and patterns of professional engagement. Succeeding within these professional practices  requires specific skills in pitching, presentation methods, management, innovation and communication. This module helps you to develop your experience of the professional workplace and the legal and ethical frameworks surrounding them through participation in live competition or exhibition and/ or work placement.

The module looks at formal models for concept innovation, creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills, alongside developing individual responsibility as a practitioner and critical self-reflection. Through professional submission, pitching and presentation to potential employers, participation in real-world competition briefs or exhibition opportunities, students will develop and test their design approaches and professional strategies for differentiation and self-promotion within a highly competitive field.

The module sets out to prepare students for entry to the workplace or higher study through experience of professional portfolio development and related group and self-promotional activities. It helps students to assess not only their position within the design industry but also to define their individual creative strengths, presenting their work to a high professional standard. Through practice, students will establish a sound process for research, design development and production. A series of lectures, workshops, seminars and assignments, will prompt the investigation, analysis and practice of the forms, properties and qualities of a wide range of professional practice fundamentals, for example, digital portfolios, branding, event design and management, costing, copyright laws and offline and online content creation.

Within the module, students will experience work-related learning through live exhibition, competition and/or simulated consultancy and/ or work placement. They 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 developed throughout. These skills are 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 to prepare for the launch of an individual design practice during the final degree show and subsequent career.

The module seeks to enable students to:

• research, analyse, and adapt their practice for sector-specific professional conventions in relation to real-world employment, exhibition or 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 exhibition, client or employer project pitching from inception to delivery, within commercial timeframes and develop strategies to maximise 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 employment preparation or freelance self-promotion and build enterprise strategies for consultancy practice.

Prior learning requirements

Pass & Completion (120 credits) of Prior Level


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

• primary and secondary case study research;  LO 1, 2

• professional networking;  LO 2, 3

• working with teams in a professional context;  LO 3

• professional communication and dissemination skills;  LO 1, 4

• negotiation, collaboration and enterprise development;  LO 3

• regular presentation of progress and findings;  LO 1, 4

• development of a career plan from reflection on your research and experience;  LO 4

• project pitching and client fostering;  LO 1, 2, 3 , 4

• analysis of own and other competitive professional practices;  LO 1,2

• legal and ethical frameworks for freelance/ consultancy practice;  LO 4

• digital & photographic presentation techniques for portfolio and practice;  LO 4

• self-promotional skills – visual, verbal and text-based.  LO 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 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 visits, drawing tasks, digital 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 apply discipline specific professional presentation standards enabling competitive advantage within both real-world and simulated contexts;

Cognitive Intellectual Skills
LO2 generate, test and pitch design proposals for a specified employer, client or audience, showing complex conceptual thinking, project differentiation, critical analysis, and the development of individual creative identity;

Transferable Skills
LO3 demonstrate active reflection, effective and professional standard project planning and design management skills, managing communication, negotiation, and liaison with stakeholders, individually and within teams;

Subject Specific Practical Skills
LO4 present and position their creative identity effectively alongside other practices, through a range of sector specific media and formats appropriate to a specific career path and proposed area of practice.

Assessment strategy

Students will produce a coherent visual presentation of a placement, exhibition and/or competition submission, independent research development and findings, together with a critical and reflective evaluation of successes and opportunities for career development and self-promotion.

This module will formatively assess the research, planning, critical commercial response and analysis and presentation at the end of each project phase. The satisfactory completion of continuing independent studentship and professional and academic 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 exhibition/ self-promotion/ competition/ placement outcomes, to include a practice portfolio, reflective diary and evidence of supporting research. Precise requirements will be stipulated in the module guide.

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


Core Text:
De Soto, D. ( 2014) Know Your Onions: Graphic Design: How to Think Like a Creative, Act Like a Businessman and Design Like a God
Bis Publishers; 01 edition
Taylor, F. (2012) How to create a portfolio & get hired: A guide for graphic designers and illustrators, Laurence King
Boyle, G. (2003) Design Project Management, Ashgate Publishing
Cooper, R. and Press, M. (1994) The Design Agenda, Wiley
Loyatt,P. (2017)The Working Woman's Handbook: Ideas, Insights, and Inspiration for a Successful Creative Career
Prestel; 01 edition
McLuhan, M. and Fiore, Q. (2008) [1964] The Medium is the Massage; An Inventory of Effects, Penguin Classics
Moross, K. (2014) Make Your Own Luck: A DIY Attitude to Graphic Design and Illustration  Prestel; 01 edition
Shaughnessy, A. (2010) How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul
Laurence King; 2 edition

Other Texts:
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

Applied arts magazine
Creative review
Design week
Journal of design history
West 86th: a journal of decorative arts, design history, and material culture


Social Media Sources:

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