module specification

DN6046 - Skills and Innovation (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Skills and Innovation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
228 hours Guided independent study
72 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
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
Year City Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

In this module you will work with a high degree of independence in the selection and application of appropriate tools, materials and processes for visual communication.

There is an emphasis on innovation and experimentation, specifically your individual ambitions to test boundaries and take creative risks to make advances in exploring and applying discipline-specific tools. ‘Tools’ might be interpreted as physical implements for drawing, printmaking, publication-making, stop-motion animation or other, but also digital tools in the context of software workspaces and use of digital apps.

How can you adapt and work in an innovative way and on a granular level with the ‘tools of your trade’ as an illustrator, animator or graphic designer? How can your deep understanding of the qualities and limitations of materials, and possibilities offered by processes, aid your problem-solving and decision-making as a graphic designer, illustrator and animator? These are questions you will be supported to formulate, explore and answer in relation to your own practice as you continue to investigate the possibilities of our making workshops and digital facilities.

You will gain insights from module tutors and visiting practitioners about how experimentation forms part of the creative research and development process; then reflect on this and establish strategies for building research and development into your practice. This practice will directly feed into developing and finalising work for the Major Project module.

Thinking through making and visual experimentation as a research method is encouraged and supported. You will evidence your work in analogue and digital sketchbooks and through a portfolio of experimental and developmental work, along with evidence of reflection and self-critique.

During this module you will:

• explore the purpose and methods of research and development in the context of the creative industries and your own practice.

• work with an increasing level of innovation and experimentation with tools, materials and process;

• reflect on and critique your work in order to invent, test, iterate and refine visual approaches;

• develop further confidence in using experimentation and creative risk-taking with materials and processes as part of thinking through making and as a research method for visual communication;

• take the initiative in selecting the materials and processes that are relevant to your discipline, practice, project aims and professional ambitions; and devise an individual approach to using those materials and processes.

Prior learning requirements

Pre-requisite: DN5027 Skills and Enquiry

Available for Study Abroad? NO


The module will cover sector-specific approaches to:

• research and development in the creative industries;

• analogue and digital workspaces, tools and processes;

• studio-based collective working, discussion and critique;

• critical self-analysis and reflective techniques to advance your personal approach to practice;

• problem solving, decision making, thinking through making and discipline specific visual communication research methods.

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.

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading books and journal articles, going to galleries and exhibitions, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing project work and presentations, and preparing for deadlines. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and Weblearn and Linkedin Learning, the online learning platform.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, to the standard expected at Level 6, you will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

1. understand the appropriate use and professional application of skills, process, tools and materials for a range of briefs and outcomes;

Cognitive Intellectual Abilities

2. manage, reflect upon and continuously evaluate a process of experimenting with tools, processes and materials including their inherent challenges, limitations and potential for innovation;

Transferable Skills

3. demonstrate effective problem solving and critical thinking, along with high quality documentation of process and outcomes;

Subject Specific Practical Skills

4. evidence a high level of skill and independence in the selection, manipulation and execution of analogue and/or digital tools, techniques and processes;

Professionalism and Values

5. demonstrate personal responsibility, confidence, resilience, ambition and creativity, acting as inclusive, collaborative and socially responsible practitioners, working according to the expectations of professionals in your discipline.


http://Link to digital reading list

Creative Review
Eye Magazine
Printed Pages