module specification

FA5001 - Studio Practice 4 Themes (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Studio Practice 4 Themes
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 300
120 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
180 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Project work Research, Documentation and Evaluation
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Monday Afternoon
Year City Monday Morning

Module summary

FA5001 Studio Practice 4: Themes is comprised of thematic workshops, case studies and/or group initiated projects.  These provide an opportunity for group work, research and collaboration, including work with outside agencies, as well as individual practice.  In investigating the given themes, the module will reflect upon trends in current practice as well as historical models. Case studies and seminar sessions with practitioners are intended to encourage engagement with and understanding of the character, institutional and professional practices of Fine Art and/or Photography.

The module is delivered in integral relationship with the work of the other core modules in the level. Allied to CCS modules, it is intended that FA5001 Studio Practice 4: Themes informs approaches to the Dissertation in the (Honours) Level 6.

Prior learning requirements

Pass & Complete Preceding Level

Module aims

The module aims are to:

  • Facilitate research, development and realisation of a project (conception, planning, production, presentation)
  • Encourage a professional awareness of the institutional and professional contexts of Fine Art and/or Photographic practice.
  • Enable students to establish links with the professional world related to their practice and develop effective practical understanding of the management of a project.
  • Select appropriate vehicles for its development and realisation and locating it within the context of current practice and theoretical debate.


Indicative Content:
• Outline of Module: Themes, Aims, Key Concepts
• Guided Independent Studies
• Project aims, research, experimentation and documentation
• Reflection, Formative assessment
• Structured Feedback & Guidance
• Project proposals and development
• Research Presentations/group critique
• Development and consolidation of project work
• Project and critical commentary

Learning and teaching

Group tuition will be supported by peer group critique, seminars, lectures and tutorials. Students will be required to keep a documentary record of the development of the project including tasks undertaken and the outcomes. There are a range of learning and teaching methods employed including:

Peer review and critiques encourage students to analyse, critically evaluate, engage with their own work and the work of others, and develop communication skills.

Student presentations support students to interrogate their own approaches, develop presentation skills and also provide a platform for debate and engagement in the wider spheres of art and culture.

Short projects and workshops introduce a range of genres in relation to contemporary photographic practice, support students to both test out approaches and consider their conceptual implications.

Access to technical facilities that enables students to test out and produce work.

In addition, students are encouraged to make maximum use of the resources available to them in terms of the IT provision, both within the Faculty and the library. Blended Learning /weblearn includes the provision of course and module information on the web, lecture notes, feedback, and blogs are used to enhance independent learning.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module, students should be able to:

  1. Negotiate and interact effectively with others, employing team work skills;
  2. Situate their practice within wider professional contexts;
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of contemporary and historical practices, theories and debates relevant to the theme;
  4. Analyse, evaluate and reflect upon their work in relation to the chosen theme;
  5. Demonstrate an ability to organise and manage their own learning and practice.

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed upon the project work, with documentation recording the development and realisation of the work made.

The assessment strategy includes formative assessments throughout the Level, with tutorial feedback designed to encourage and help students to develop and improve their work. These will inform the student of their progress through the course. An interim review offers a specific opportunity to reflect on the work in relation to the module’s learning outcomes and this together with finished project work and supporting material will inform the assessment panel at the summative assessment at the end of the Level.

Students will evaluate their own learning on the module using the criteria given and also write a short critical appraisal (summary statement) of their work. This will provide the basis for discussion at the assessment feedback session after the formal coursework assessment has taken place.

Summative assessment takes place at the end of the module. Written feedback addresses the strengths and weaknesses of individual presentations in relation to the grading criteria.

Work will be assessed against the learning outcomes in relation to the following criteria:
  • Appropriate use of research methods
  • Quality of analysis and interpretation
  • Subject knowledge and relevance
  • Quality of communication and presentation
  • Appropriate use of problem solving, testing and experimentation
  • Management of own learning and personal professional development



Fine Art:
Foster, H. (2002) Design & Crime, Verso.
Harrison, C. Wood, P., (Ed.) (2002) Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas, Blackwell.
Harrison, C. Wood, P., (Ed.) (2003) Art of the Twentieth Century, Yale University Press.
Hobsbawm, E. (1998) Interesting Times: A Twentieth Century Life, Penguin/Allen Lane.
Virilio, P. (2000) Art & Fear, Continuum.

Bate, D. (2009) Photography (Key Concepts) London: Berg
Bright, S. (2010) Autoportrait: The Self Portrait in Contemporary Portrait London: Thames and Hudson
Bull, S. (2009) Photography London: Routledge
Cotton, C. (2009) The Photograph as Contemporary Art London: Thames and Hudson
Howarth, S. (2011) Street Photography Now London: Thames and Hudson
Martineau, P. (2010) Still Life in Photography J. Paul Getty Museum
Shinkle, E. (2012) Fashion as Photograph: Viewing and Reviewing Images of Fashion London: I B Tauris
Soutter, L. (2013) Why Art Photography London: Routledge
Stallabrass, J. (2013) Documentary London: Whitechapel Books
Wells, L. (2011) Senses of Place: European Landscape Photography Prestel