module specification

DN7P02 - Project as Professional Practice: Furniture Design (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Project as Professional Practice: Furniture Design
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 600
504 hours Guided independent study
96 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Project Report (2500 words plus appendices)
Coursework 80%   Professional Practice
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

This module completes students’ Master’s projects, enabling students to balance creative and intellectual ambition with the rigours of professional expectations and academic research requirements. The module moves beyond the context of the collaborative design studio, building upon and extending skills and knowledge developed through design research and project development. Students will complete and deliver an approved self-set design project, applied to and tested against a defined research and professional context. 

Comprised of a significant project of independent research practice, produced under supervision, the purpose of the project is to demonstrate applied learning through a sustained, independently devised period of design research, development and production. The project marks the summation of the programme of studies and demonstrates the students’ ambition for their future in their discipline and professional sector.

This module aims to:
• support students in the design, management and delivery of design projects at an advanced, postgraduate creative and professional level;
• encourage and facilitate, through provision of supervisory guidance and structured feedback, evidence of highly developed design research and development capabilities through the completion of the major project;
• prove students’ abilities successfully to negotiate highly complex problems and situations, to engage in both speculative and well-grounded design processes, and to generate valid, applicable and innovative outcomes;
• enable students to communicate their individual approach as a designer, their discipline-specific abilities and their professional attributes in an appropriate and convincing manner, in order to enhance career opportunities.

Prior learning requirements

Completion and pass of DN7018 Design Project Development


With tutorial support, students will realise the project plan devised through ‘Design Research for Practice ‘, and ‘Design Project Development’.

Each student’s syllabus will be individually constructed to address the learning outcomes.

There will be regular group seminars and colloquia through which students will gain insights from others’ progress and challenges encountered. LO1,LO2,LO3,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 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 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. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and practice-focused learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able to engage and challenge the intellectual and professional environment of their discipline, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

1. design, manage and evaluate a sophisticated and rigorous research and design process to achieve an ambitious, convincing, evidence-led postgraduate level design project;
2. effectively deploy a range of well-founded and well-defended design research and development skills and methods;
3. prove their ability to negotiate highly complex problems and situations, to engage in both speculative and well-grounded design processes, and to generate valid, applicable and innovative outcomes;
4. communicate their individual identity and approach as a designer, their discipline-specific abilities and their professional attributes in an effective and convincing manner through appropriate presentational techniques.

Assessment strategy

Project Report

An evidence-based critical report (2500 words) of the progress and outcomes of the major project, with conclusions and recommendations to self and others for future action. Evidence of exposure of the outcomes to the audience intended and collation of responses, with proposals for further development, will be rewarded.

Professional Practice

Portfolio of practice, suitable for exhibition, to include:

• summary of identification of ‘problem’ or ‘territory’ for research and development
• summary of research with rationales
• narrative of design development
(the above may be presented in any suitable form: written, visual, moving image, artefactual, or other)

• outcomes
• professional presentation


Bibliographies will be individually constructed.