module specification

FA7P30 - Research Project in Art, Architecture and Design (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Research Project in Art, Architecture and Design
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 600
504 hours Guided independent study
96 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 70%   Project Work
Coursework 30%   Critical and Evaluative Research Report
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies City Thursday Afternoon
Year City To be arranged To be arranged
Summer studies City Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module supports the completion of the research project, commenced in the Research Project Development Module. It builds towards the completion of a body of work for final submission. It is suitable for carrying out practice-based and practice-led research, as well as research involving a range of qualitative and quantitative methods.

This module supports the completion of project work across the final phase of full-time and part-time study. Reflection upon practice and review of the overall direction of project work, research questions, aims and methods are important aspects of this stage of the course. The project will be completed to an appropriate standard and presented in a manner consistent with the project aims, agreed by the appropriate course team and subject supervisor.

Prior learning requirements

FA7025 Research Methods,FA7027 Theoretical Studies for Art, Architecture & Design, FA7045 Sustainable Practice, FA7047 Project Development

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • Enable students to complete a research project within a supportive academic context and research culture;
  • Enable students to present an agreed body of work in order to demonstrate an appropriate level of attainment, professionally and intellectually, which may contribute to continuing professional practice or further studies;
  • Enable students to reflect critically on their practice in order to realise their personal objectives and understand the methods by which they have been achieved;
  • Enable students to demonstrate precision in the use of materials, techniques, and forms;
  • Facilitate critical thinking and analysis to support the realisation of the project and an understanding of its social, cultural, philosophical, and ethical dimensions;
  • Enable students to engage with a range of critical debates and vocabularies applicable to their approved programme of work.


Students will follow their individually negotiated work programmes, following review and feedback from the Developing Project Module and continue to meet regularly with their supervisor(s). The module is concerned with the student completing their individual projects. At subject level, individual and group tutorials continue to support students to refine their work towards a substantial conclusion.

Learning and teaching

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

Peer review encourages students to analyse and critically evaluate and engage with their own work and the work of others and develop advanced communication and presentation skills.

Student presentations support students to interrogate their project and develop presentation skills and also provide a platform for debate and engagement.

Self-directed study is core to the module and used as the basis for tutorial discussion. Students will be encouraged to engage with evaluation as an ongoing process.

Practice-based facilities enable students to test out and produce work in an appropriate medium based on their own project plans.

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

  1. Deliver a sustained, structured and systematic approach to the independent study of an approved programme of work;
  2. Engage effectively with the context of the project using appropriate critical language; providing evidence of awareness of critical debates and issues which relate to the project.

  3. Employ advanced capabilities in articulation, analysis, reflection, project management, and judgement;
  4. Present project work demonstrating an appropriate use of practitioner skills in relation to practical, technical and theoretical understanding in a manner that reflects the proposal and agreed criteria;
  5. Utilise enhanced research and strategic skills of organisation, experimentation, reflection and analysis;
  6. Identify and manage the implications of ethical dilemmas and work pro-actively with others as appropriate to formulate solutions;
  7. Engage confidently in academic and professional communication with others, reporting on action clearly, autonomously, and competently;
  8. Employ effective independent learning strategies required for continuing professional study and/or research at a higher level
  9. Report and communicate the progress of research and present findings in a manner that is appropriate to the nature of the proposal and agreed criteria.

Assessment strategy

Assessment includes a combination of diagnostic, formative and summative methods. Students are expected to participate reflectively in assessment.

Work will be submitted for either formative or summative assessment at the end of every semester in which the student is registered on this module.

Final assessment is based on a submission of completed project work with an accompanying critical and evaluative research report (6-8000 word).

Completed project work: a body of research and/or practice demonstrating the development and completion of the project, with related supporting material such as documentation evidencing the working method.

The Critical and Evaluative Research Report (6-8000 word) will demonstrate the rigour and research sophistication that has been achieved in all aspects of the project. It will act as a guide to the project submission and, convey the research journey. The most significant findings and data collected over the development of the project will be considered, reflected upon, and analysed. Key elements of the project context will be identified critically and analytically, and the relation of the project work to these made apparent. The methods used will be considered and reflected upon and any development of these will be explained. Key theories that pertain to the project will be engaged with critically and analytically.  The questions deemed most significant at the conclusion of the project will be presented in their final form and, the extent to which the methods used were effective or could be further improved will be considered.

Work will be assessed against the learning outcomes in relation to 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
  • 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 identified on an individual basis as appropriate. Students will be expected to read widely in and around their subject and to keep up with current specialist journals, e -resources and exhibitions and/or live events and screenings.

Orna, E. Stevens, G (1995) Managing Information for Research, Buckingham and Philadelphia, Open University Press.
Pegley, O. (2007) ‘Capturing and Analysing own design activity’, Design Studies, Vol 28, No. 5, September.
Biggs, M and Karlsson, H. (ed.) (2010) The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts, London and New York: Routledge.
Schon, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner. How Professionals Think in Action, Basic Books.

Scrivener, S. (2002) ‘Reflection in and on Action and Practice in Creative-Production Doctoral Projects in Art and Design’, Research into Practice: Working Papers in Art and Design [online journal].

Willis, P. (1980) ‘Notes on method’ in Hall, S. et al. (ed.), Culture, Media, Language, Unwin Hyman.
Gray C. and Malins J. (2004) Visualizing Research, Aldershot, Ashgate.

Ritter, R. M. (2002) The Oxford Manual of Style, London, New York, Sydney, Toronto, Oxford University Press.
Leavey, P. (2009) Method meets Art: Arts-based Research Practice, New York and London: The Guilford Press.