module specification

MD4002 - Media Skills and Practice 1 (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Media Skills and Practice 1
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Workbook (equivalent in research, development and realization to 3000 word assignment)
Running in 2020/21

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

Module summary

This module introduces the skills, tools and methods that form the foundations for future practice as an animator, filmmaker or music technologist.
Students learn through engagement in a series of practical projects designed to gradually develop relevant skills in the student’s chosen area of specialisation. At the end of this module the student will have completed a workbook that contains a mini-portfolio of assignments and a narrative of the working practices they have engaged with.  The workbook/portfolio is designed to be a window on the process and will also document the student’s practice in MD4001 Creative Studio Practice 1.
Central to the module will be an exploration of the overlap between technology, creativity and self-reflective critical practice.
This module is studied alongside and in integral relationship with MD4001 Creative Studio Practice 1. In addition, the module introduces four areas of development, the career dossier, career plan, show reel, and exhibition skills that run throughout the course.

The module aims are:
• To provide students with key skills and knowledge in media practice.
• To develop students’ knowledge of the processes of their practice.
• To develop students’ ability to describe working processes and to present work-in-progress for different audiences.
• To develop students’ ability to be analytical, reflective and critical.
• To introduce career-planning skills and documentation.


The syllabus is organised to meet the needs of different groups of students and to offer choice. This may vary in composition from year to year, but initially the groups correspond to the course titles that comprise Media Practice and Music Technology.

Indicative groups and syllabus:

Rotoscoping  LO1, LO2,
Principles of animation  LO3, LO4,
Storyboarding and animatics  LO5, LO6

Film and Broadcast:
Sound mixing and EQ  LO1, LO2,
Computer based editing  LO3, LO4
Basic CD/DVD authoring  LO5, LO6

Music Technology and Production:
Music and sound production; Music for Film  LO1, LO2,
Sound Signal Processing/Synthesis  LO3, LO4
Sound Design  LO5, LO6

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The learning and teaching strategy for this module and other atelier modules is to place the emphasis on learning through practice. Students are taught how to be responsible for their own learning and will be expected to be in the studio throughout the week. Lecturers will be available for consultation and for a schedule of progressive tutorials and feedback.
Teaching methods will also include lectures, seminars, demonstrations, workshops and group tutorials.
The atelier modules encourage and combine learning from the teacher, learning from others in the class and thirdly, learning through experience.
Students can also learn from each other by engaging with the same conceptual problems in different subject areas, in the same or neighbouring studios and at the same time.
With the Atelier method, we have an intensive introduction and briefing period of 2 or 3 weeks at the start of the project. This would set up the critical space and the scope of the project and would introduce working practices.
The two atelier modules at each level are part of an integrated approach to learning and can be seen as a pair. In this module, the main assessment item is the workbook. In the other atelier module, taken at the same time, the main assessment item is the assignment or set of assignments. Thus, the two modules sup-port and inform each other: product and process.
The career-planning activities will be an opportunity for the student to learn about their possible career paths.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate:

LO1. A basic level of skills and understanding of practice (Animation, Film & Broadcast, Music Technology).
LO2. A basic level of understanding and knowledge of working practices.
LO3. The ability to describe their work in appropriate ways, and for different audiences (for example, colleagues, makers, clients).
LO4. A basic level of analytical, reflective and critical skills and awareness. For example, by being able to write a self- reflective account of their work.
LO5. The ability to research and make a career plan.
LO6. The skills, knowledge and understanding to exhibit their work so that its worth is accessible to an audience of internal and external stakeholders.

Assessment strategy

The strategy is to increase the power and effectiveness of assessment by simplifying and reducing the number of assessment items. Then, each assessment item is broken into stages so that regular formative and developmental feedback can be given.
Another advantage of a portfolio approach to assessment is that tracking is clear and simple and so we can ensure that all learning outcomes are assessed.
The portfolio will consist of a maximum of four prescribed pieces of work each with specific assessment criteria relating to the module's learning outcomes (section 12), these may be written work (essays, reports), practical exercises, or presentations, as determined by the requirements of the studio / subject discipline in which the module is being taught. Regular formative assessment will be used to provide diagnostic feedback and to support students to learn, change and improve.
The assessment in different modules will be coordinated and integrated, so that learning outcomes for each module are assessed separately and, also, learning from one module is transferred to other modules.
The assessment load complies with the Subject assessment tariffs.
Assessment will be based on 100% individual coursework.
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 use of problem solving, testing and experimentation
• Management of own learning and personal professional development.


Each student group will have access to online resources, including Weblearn and Google groups. These are seen as forums for sharing information, discussion and learning.
In addition, module booklets will direct students to reading material that supports and broadens learning for particular groups and particular projects.