module specification

FA7047 - Project Development (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Project Development
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 40
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 400
81 hours Guided independent study
319 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Portfolio of reflective writing (MAbP) Project Proposal (2000 words) (MFA)
Coursework 80%   Project Development Work (MAbP & MFA)
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

The main focus of this module is the development of personal practice that establishes the basis for the student’s output in their major project, which will be developed into a substantial body of work including, if appropriate, for public presentation.

Through the thematic context set by the studios (Master of Fine Arts (MFA)) or individual student (MA by Project (MAbP)) at the start of the year, students will be expected to propose and test out a range of propositions to identify and develop their practice. They will explore approaches to work through technical and conceptual explorations, contextualising their practice in group presentations, seminars and discussions. Students will be encouraged to participate in outward facing activities, such as, exhibitions, blogs, workshops and live projects, which will enable them to understand through direct experience some of the complexities of the social and cultural functions related to their field of study.

Students will be encouraged to understand their work in the contexts of contemporary networks and opportunities for a presentation and reception of research and practice outcomes. The development undertaken in this module will make use of the learning achieved in the concurrent (or prior for part-time students), module ‘Research for Practice’ (MFA) or ‘Research Methods in Art, Architecture and Design’ (MAbP).

The strategic aim of the module is to provide students with the opportunity to develop their personal practice, focusing on testing, development and planning.

The module aims to:

• develop students’ practice and enable them to question conventions and set their own agendas as artists or designers;
• encourage dialogue, exchange, experimentation, heuristic learning and professional practice;
• encourage a proactive approach to finding opportunities for and organising live projects and events;
• support students to identify their ambitions and enable them to develop skills and ideas required to complete a significant research project, exhibition work or design proposal;
• prepare students with the necessary self-reflective skills to tackle the challenges and demands of a contemporary practice;
• develop students’ ability to reflect on process and contextualise practice in writing (MAbP)
• encourage experimentation in form of reflective writing (MAbP);
• provide students with an educational framework from which they can explore and understand the social, ethical and sustainable responsibilities associated with their developing practice;
• prepare students fully for the conduct of the following major project module.


The module involves students in testing self-originated proposals and propositions that establish the language and territory of their practice in the context of the studio’s themes (MFA) or individual project proposal (for MAbP students).

Students will be encouraged to explore wide-ranging and complex territories and will use their own work, alongside key examples as case studies, to discuss and interrogate their field of interest.

Throughout the module, each student will identify and test specific approaches to making work, developing a bespoke set of skills and technical applications relevant to their particular research and practice concerns. Students will evaluate and analyse their developing practice through discussion and presentation of their work in a range of contexts.

Students will be encouraged to develop a proactive approach to project working, exhibition, publication and other forms of dissemination in order to directly test and develop work in progress and consider strategies for future successful professional practice.

MFA students will complete the module with a viable and approved Project Proposal for the following major project module. 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 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. interpret and evaluate (as appropriate) art, architecture, photography, design or any creative practice from a range of critical perspectives, taking into account the cultural and socio-economical contexts of their distribution and mediated consumption, including of their own work;
2. propose from inception to completion projects at a postgraduate level, demonstrating an advanced and professional creative response to challenging and complex self-set and/or external art, design or other creative practice problems;
3. present advanced understanding and apply an individual response to mediated issues of social responsibility attaching to creative practice;
4. independently plan and effectively manage learning and project development to completion and presentation.

Assessment strategy

Project Development Work (MAbP and MFA)
which will demonstrate through appropriate modes of documentation:
• a body of visual and related contextual material
demonstrating systematic collection and collation of primary and secondary data relevant to the field of research;
• documentation of practice working methods and showing a well informed
research methodology through the systematic application of a set of techniques for problem analysis, data gathering and analysis;
• presentation of research findings and project brief proposals to professional
exhibition standard;
• critical self-evaluation of project management and completion;
• identification of a specific field of research and practice for the major project.

Portfolio of reflective writing (MAbP)
which will demonstrate:
• ability to reflect on and analyse in writing processes, the working methods, and outcomes of the Project Development Work, and carried out at a point that can allow review and if necessary redirection of the project;
• appropriate situating of Project Development Work in theoretical and conceptual frameworks;
• experimentation in voice, register and form of writing;
• demonstration of appropriate scholarly conventions.

Project Proposal (MFA)
Students will be expected to present their practice, together with a project proposal and development plan (2000 words).

Work for all components will be assessed against the learning outcomes in relation to the following criteria::

• subject knowledge and relevance
• quality of communication and presentation
• appropriate technical competence
• appropriate use of problem solving, testing and experimentation
• management of own learning and personal professional development
• effective collaborative and/or independent working methods



Texts will be recommended on an individual basis as appropriate. Students will be expected to read widely in and around their subject area and to keep up with current specialist journals and exhibitions.

Key shared texts for all students are:
Barrett E. and Bolt B. (ed.) (2007) Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Inquiry, London: I.B. Tauris

Berkun, S. (2005) The Art of Project Management, O'Reilly Media: Farnham
Britton, A. (2014) Seeing Things: collected writing on art, craft and design. London: Occasional Papers
Petry, M. (2012) The Art of Not Making: The New Artist / Artisan Relationship, Thames and Hudson, London
Hughes, R. (2006) ‘The poetics of practice-based research writing’, The Journal of Architecture, 11:3, 283-301
Stiles, K. and Selz, P. (eds) (1996) Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: a source book of artists’ writings, London: University of California Press

Reading and resources for design students include:

Inns, T. (ed.), (2010) Designing for the 21st century: interdisciplinary methods and findings, : Ashgate, Farnham ; Gower , Burlington, VT
Fraser, M. (ed.) (2013) Design Research in Architecture: An Overview, London: Routledge

Reading and resources for art students include:

Bickers, P. and Wilson, A. (ed.) (2007) Talking Art: Interviews with Artists Since 1976, London: Art Monthly; Ridinghouse
McKenzie, N. (2013) The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox, Creatives and Business LLC, Denver  Arts Co
uncil Web Site with links to major galleries,  British Council information on funding policies and projects they have supported,  Biographies of contemporary artists artists newsletter website with opportunities and advice for artists. The complete archive of artlaw articles published by Art Monthly public/contextual art project commissioning agency, UK listings for exhibitions and projects artist run studio space  Institute of International Visual Arts

Reading and resources for Photography students includes:
Barrett, T., (2011). Criticizing Photographs, New York: McGraw Hill Publishing
Gilroy, P., Hall, S., (2008) Black Britain: A Photographic History, London: Saqi Books
Warner Marien, M., (2012)  Photography: A Cultural History, (Oxford History of Art) New York: Cambridge University Press
Warner Marien, M., (2011) Photography and its Critics: Cultural History 1839-1900, New York: Cambridge University Press
Ritchen, F., (2009) After Photography, NY and London: W.W. Norton and Co Photography and the Archive Research Centre Cultural Identity and Human rights The Postgraduate Photography Research Network Picture Research Association:,