module specification

FA7049 - Experimentation and Practice (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Experimentation and 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 100%   Project Work and Project Report
Running in 2024/25

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

Module summary

This module forms the significant and vital bedrock for the main project work within the course. It requires students to undertake critically self-assessed study that is normally studio-based, from which their later work will develop. It is expected that the work at this stage will form a coherent enquiry that is inventive, reflexive and that engages with relevant contexts and theories of practice as identified by the evolving research project.

This module aims to:

• facilitate a sustained and focused exploration of key aspects of students’ agreed programmes of work, thus furthering exploration of and experimentation with research methods and strategies for planning, acting, observing and reflecting;

• allow students to sustain and progress an agreed area of research that demonstrates a capacity to reflect upon, analyse and assess their methods and processes;

• facilitate exploration and experimentation in relation to the agreed project in practical, analytical, and reflective modes and to modify the project as appropriate.


The module is concerned with the student developing their individual projects. Individual and group tutorials generate the content of discussion.

Seminar discussions will address key concepts relating to experimentation such as ideas of testing vs experimentation, chance, the productive nature of ‘failure’, and iterative, analytical and reflexive modes of working. 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 this module students will be able to:

1). show evidence of sustained development of an agreed brief;

2). demonstrate through the research journal, notes and photographic records etc, enhanced strategic skills of organisation, experimentation, reflection and analysis;

3). produce for assessment, project work that shows practitioner skills in relation to practical and theoretical understanding;

4). report and communicate the progress of their research.


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.

Diaz, E. (2015) The Experimenters: Chance and Design at Black Mountain College, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Le Feuvre, L. (2010) Failure (Documents of Contemporary Art), London: MIT /Whitechapel
Iversen, M. (2010) Chance (Documents of Contemporary Art), London: MIT /Whitechapel
Korn, P. (2015) Why We Make Things and Why it Matters: The Education of a Craftsman, London: Penguin
Van Leewun, S. and Unger, M. (2017) Jewellery Matters, Rotterdam: Nai
Malone, M. (2009) Chance Aesthetics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Mitchell, M. and Tang, B. (2017) Loose Fit City: The Contribution of Bottom-Up Architecture to Urban Design and Planning, London: Routledge
Pegley, O. (2007) ‘Capturing and Analysing own design activity’, Design Studies, Vol 28, No. 5, September
Schon, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner. How Professionals Think in Action, Basic Books

Sennett, R. (2009) The Craftsman, London: Penguin