module specification

FA7045 - Sustainable Practice (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Sustainable Practice
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 200
161 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Two case studies of 1200 words each
Coursework 50%   Presentation of creative identity via published web portfolio or negotiated equivalent
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Monday Afternoon
Autumn semester City Monday Afternoon

Module summary

FA7045 Sustainable Practice offers MFA students an opportunity for wider peer group interaction and collaboration. The module provides students with the opportunity to:

• acquire agility and adaptability with a core underlying personal philosophy;
• diversify or draw upon their practice to generate professional opportunities;
• work towards establishing and communicating a sustainable characteristic, asset or legacy that enables them to sustain their practice after degree award;
• explore themes and practices that are complimentary to their main area of study and/ or investigate a specific aspect of their field of practice in more depth.

Studio themes will be proposed by the course at the start of each year.

The main aim of the module is to enable students to make important connections between their own area of practice, wider concerns that cut across subject disciplines and audience or market.

Students will be able to study alongside their peers on related courses and engage in productive discussion, debate and at times collaboration. 

The module aims to:

• enable students to develop characteristics, legacies or assets to carry forward, enabling and sustaining a career in practice;
• develop students’ critical awareness and understanding of contexts and practices from a range of backgrounds in relation to a specific theme;
• provide students with a thematic context from which they can deepen their understanding of their practice as a cultural construct.


Initially, the theme will be presented and interrogated through talks, off site visits/screenings, case studies and seminar discussions. Peer group interaction will engage students as a research group in further study of the theme. LO2,LO3

As the module develops, students will take the lead in establishing and consolidating a published website, one that showcases and sustains their career and practice at work in relation to the theme. LO1

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 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 successful completion of the module, the student will be able to:

1. construct a personal approach to the presentation, communication and dissemination of their practice and its underlying principles;
2. critically appraise art, photography or design concepts and media within a given social, commercial, cultural and interdisciplinary framework;
3. clearly formulate and express the critical framework of ideas supporting an art or design proposal through appropriate models of representation or written argument.

Assessment strategy

The final summative assessment will be based upon the submission of two assessment items, both to specifically address the learning outcomes of the module:

Two analytical case studies, conducted through appropriate research methods, of the construction and publication or dissemination of the public creative identity of relevant artists/ designers/ studio practices (or other by agreement).

A presentation of the student’s emerging creative identity via a published web portfolio or negotiated equivalent, featuring a portfolio of own practice.

The assessment will be based upon the following criteria:

• appropriate use of research methods;
• quality of analysis and interpretation;
• subject knowledge and relevance;
• quality of communication and presentation;
• appropriate technical competence;
• effective use of collaborative or independent working strategies.


The key shared text for art or design students is:

Crouch, C. (2015), An Introduction to Sustainability and Aesthetics, Brown Walker

Reading and resources for art or photography students include:

Farr, I. (ed.) (2012) Memory, Whitechapel Art Gallery
Johnstone, S. (2008) The Everyday, Whitechapel Art Gallery

Reading and resources for design students include:

Sagar, J. (2013), The Design Career Handbook, Future
Caddick, R. (2011) Communicating the User Experience: A Practical Guide for Creating Useful UX Documentation, John Wiley
Allen, J. (2012) Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences, Smashing Magazine Book Series
Knowles, D. (2018) , Kogan Page
Pipes, A. (2011) How to Design Websites, Portfolio Skills, Laurence King