module specification

DN7P20 - Project: Enacting the Commons (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Project: Enacting the Commons
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 600
12 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
588 hours Guided independent study
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 (Spring and Summer) City Thursday Evening

Module summary

This module supports staff in the public, third and community sectors to acquire more agency in the delivery or support of highly impactful public projects, programmes and services.

The module builds on the analysis work as well as knowledge of theory and practice that you will have gained from modules DN7026, DN7027 and DN7028. This module can be also taken as a stand-alone module provided that there is a clear project, service, or programme ready for development. This project module supports you to develop your own rigorous and site-specific project (artefact or service) with a key focus on real application, delivery and impact. The project will be required to be live in its nature and embedded in a genuine context. This context can be neighbourhoods, systems, services, policies, institutions, practices, or public initiatives.

The module will develop your skills to co-produce your project, to identify obstacles and risks and how to challenge and design for these obstacles and risks. Feedback and tutorial support, which will enable you to design solutions that are innovative and system changing, will be made available to you through a series of workshops. This module supports you holistically to focus on the practical, ethical and empowering delivery of policy.


The module involves mentoring to support the creation of delivery of proposals. You will be encouraged to explore wide-ranging themes that traverse the discourse of the commons. Throughout the module, you will identify and test specific approaches appropriate to your project that will be developed with support of tutors. This proposed project will be scrutinised by peers in informal debates and public presentations to test its strengths, weaknesses, risks, vulnerability to criticism and ultimate success and impact. (LO1-6)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will use a series of design teaching strategies.

You will be asked to be mindful of the contexts they embed themselves in, to learn from the situations within which they act, as much as what they learn from their peers and tutors. This is an established pedagogy of ‘situated learning’. You will become part of a community of learners through this module, be it citizens, other students or those with decision-making power or professionals.

Peer reviews

You will use an ‘action-centric’ design process, which is essential for engaging in projects within a live context. This process enables you to be agile in your decisions and reflections. The teaching pedagogy has been developed for over a decade and ensures best practice whilst engaged with communities in situations.

Public student presentations

You will interrogate your own practice and develop presentation skills appropriate to your unique project and its character. The public nature of the presentations will provide a platform for debate and engagement in the wider world.

Self-directed study

You will be encouraged to engage with personal development planning to enable you to reflect on, plan and review your personal development as an ongoing process.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, to the standard expected at Level 7, you will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
1. understand how to develop and apply creative solutions to address scarcity of resources through the design of projects, services and programs;

Cognitive Intellectual Abilities
2. critically assess the role of artefacts, services and projects in design thinking and the discourse of the commons;

Transferable Skills
3. apply models of social engagement to empower and give agency to users;

4. negotiate and mediate in live contexts;

Subject-Specific Practical Skills

5. develop a live project, service or program that has been collaboratively and collectively produced from inception to completion;

Professionalism and Values

6. analyse power structures inherent within projects and develop solutions to deal with issues of power inequality.