module specification

FA5006 - Methods and Enquiry 1 (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Methods and Enquiry 1
Module level Intermediate (05)
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 70%   Methods and Enquiry
Coursework 30%   Reflection and Evaluation
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

The FA5006 Methods and Enquiry 1 studio practice module consists of thematic workshops and group-initiated projects in an art or photography studio practice setting. These provide an opportunity for group work, research and collaboration, including work with outside agencies where appropriate, as well as for individual art or photographic practice.  In investigating method and enquiry in practice, 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 art or photography.

The FA5006 Methods and Enquiry 1 module is delivered holistically in Level 5 with the FA5P01 Project Work 2 module. The module is shared by, serves and sustains the Honours awards in the BA Fine Art, BA Fashion Photography, BA Painting and BA Photography courses, delivered in a seamless and integral relationship with the work of other core modules in the level. Allied to Critical and Contextual Studies modules, the intention is for FA5006 Methods and Enquiry 1 to inform approaches to the Dissertation in the later (Honours) Level 6.

The module aims to enable students to develop key skills and knowledge in critical thinking as well as in the concepts and principles of art and photography. The module also aims to provide students with information about method and enquiry for later recall in the application of critical thinking for the building of the conceptual and contextual boundaries within which they then create and make their own work. This element of the curriculum also aims to develop the key Art & Design skill of making strong, decisive judgements about practice through regular reflection on and evaluation of learning, as well as the general transferable skill of collaborating well with others in a group on a collective objective.

Prior learning requirements

Completion and pass (120 credits) of previous level.


At the beginning of the module, its aims and key concepts will be outlined to all students.

Sessions will be dedicated to each student positioning and critically evaluating their own practice within wider critical and professional contexts, and constructing and using a method or approach in enquiry, as applied to their own individual work (Learning Outcomes 1, 2 and 3). At regular points throughout the module, students will be required to document learning successes and failures and to reflect on these (Learning Outcome 4).

Students will be supported in addressing the Learning Outcomes through a combination of talks, lectures, workshops, seminars, group crits and tutorials.

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 (and to 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 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

On completing the module, students should be able to:
1. demonstrate the ability to outline and expand a critical contextual framework for practice.
2. critically evaluate the application of research methods including experimentation and research applied to the making of a project
3. consider multiple contexts and different audiences relevant to practice;
4. connect learning experience to improvement of future performance by critical thinking in reflection and evaluation;

Assessment strategy

FA5006 001 (70%)
Formative Submission:
A review of coursework in semester 1. 
(LO1, LO2 & LO3)

Summative Submission:
Submission of journals and supporting materials.
(LO1, LO2 & LO3)

FA5006 002 (30%)
Summative Submission:
Students will submit regular critical reflections and evaluations throughout the year connecting learning experience to improvement of future performance.


Precise requirements for submissions will be established in set or self-set project briefs each year

Summative assessment takes place at the end of the module. Written feedback addresses the strengths and areas for development 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 and enquiry
• Quality of analysis and interpretation
• Knowledge of and relevance to Fine Art or Photography
• Quality of communication and presentation
• Appropriate use of problem solving, testing and experimentation
• Management of own learning and personal professional development


Core Textbooks:
Bate, D. (2009) Photography (The Key Concepts), London: Berg
Grant, K. (2017) All about Process: The Theory and Discourse of Modern Artistic Labor, Pennsylvania: Penn State University Press

Additional Textbooks:
Elkins, J (ed.) (2012) What Do Artists Know?, (Vol 3,The Stone Art Theory Institutes), Pennsylvania: Penn State University Press
Philips, S. (2017) Artists Working from Life, London: Royal Academy of Arts
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

Journal of Visual Art Practice, Taylor and Francis Group, Abingdon
Photography and Culture, Taylor and Francis Group, Abingdon

Electronic Databases:
Art Abstracts, EBSCO