module specification

FA7047 - Project Development (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Project Development
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 40
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 400
81 hours Guided independent study
319 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Project Proposal (2000 words)
Coursework 80%   Presentation of Major Project development work, with related support work and supplementary texts
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
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 that 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’ work will be contextualised in relation to contemporary technologies, networking strategies and practices. 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).

Module aims

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 exhibition work or design proposal
  • Prepare students with the necessary self-reflective skills to tackle the challenges and demands of a contemporary practice
  • 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 out self-originated proposals and propositions that establish the language and territory of their practice in the context of the studio’s themes 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 and entrepreneurial approach to live projects and pop-up exhibitions, in order to directly test out and develop professional strategies discussed in professional practice workshops and seminar sessions.

Students will complete the module with a viable and approved plan for the following major project module.

Learning and teaching

The Learning and Teaching strategy for the module is to base learning upon the student’s evolving work and practice. There are a range of learning and teaching methods employed including:

Live projects- to enable students to develop project management skills, negotiation and collaborative working skills while developing their own approach to working in public contexts.

Peer review and critiques encourage - to analyse, critically evaluate and engage with personal practice and the work of others; to develop advanced communication and presentation skills.

Student presentations, artists’ talks - to support students to interrogate their own practice and develop presentation skills; provide a platform for debate and engagement in the wider spheres of art and culture.

Self-directed study is core to the module and used as the basis for tutorial discussion and critique. Students will be encouraged to engage with personal development planning (PDP) to enable them to reflect on, plan and review their own personal development as an ongoing process.

Access to technical facilities enables students to test out and produce work in an appropriate medium based on their own research plans.

Professional practice sessions support students to develop their entrepreneurial strategies and the skills necessary for practice as professional artists or in the field of arts.

In addition, students are encouraged to make maximum use of the resources available to them in terms of the IT provision, both within the School 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 successful completion of the module, the student will be able to:

  1. Interpret and evaluate art, photography or design from a range of critical perspectives, taking into account the cultural and socio-economical context of their distribution and mediated consumption, including own work
  2. Propose from inception to completion art, photography or design projects at a postgraduate level, demonstrating an advanced and professional creative response to challenging and complex self-set and/or external art, photography or design problems
  3. Present advanced understanding and apply an individual response to mediated issues of social responsibility attaching to art, photography or design
  4. Independently plan and effectively manage learning and project development to completion and presentation

Assessment strategy

Assessment includes a combination of diagnostic, formative and summative methods. Students are expected to participate reflectively in assessment. The summative assessment will be holistic with all components presented together.

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

Work 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


Key shared texts for art or design students are:

Berkun, S (2005) The Art of Project Management, O'Reilly Media: Farnham
Petry, M. (2012), The Art of Not Making: The New Artist / Artisan Relationship, Thames and Hudson, London

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

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. 5th Edition. 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:,,

Relevant publications and journals include:
October; Afterall; Parkett; Art Monthly; Artists Newsletter; Frieze; Activate; Aperture; Source; Photography and Culture; Text and Work; British Journal of Photography etc