module specification

FA7045 - Sustainable Practice (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Sustainable Practice
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 200
161 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Two case studies of 1200 words each
Coursework 50%   Presentation of creative identity via published web portfolio or negotiated equivalent
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Monday Afternoon

Module summary

Sustainable Practice will offer MFA and MA by Project students an opportunity for wider peer group interaction and collaboration. The module provides students with the opportunity to:

  • acquire agility and adaptability with a core underlying personal philosophy
  • diversify or draw upon their practice to generate professional opportunities
  • work towards establishing and communicating a sustainable characteristic, asset or legacy that enables them to sustain their practice after degree award
  • explore themes and practices that are complimentary to their main area of study and/ or investigate a specific aspect of their field of practice in more depth.

Studio themes will be proposed by the course at the start of each year.

Module aims

The main aim of the module is to enable students to make important connections between their own area of practice, wider concerns that cut across subject disciplines and audience or market.

Students will be able to study alongside their peers on related courses and engage in productive discussion, debate and at times collaboration. 

The module aims to:

  • Enable students to develop characteristics, legacies or assets to carry forward, enabling and sustaining a career in practice
  • Develop students’ critical awareness and understanding of contexts and practices from a range of backgrounds in relation to a specific theme
  • Provide students with a thematic context from which they can deepen their understanding of their practice as a cultural construct


Initially, the theme will be presented and interrogated through talks, off site visits/screenings, case studies and seminar discussions. Peer group interaction will engage students as a research group in further study of the theme.

As the module develops, students will take the lead in establishing and consolidating an published website, one that showcases and sustains their career and practice at work in relation to the theme.

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:

Website design classes – to support students in the design and population of a published website with text and image content relating to the student’s art or design practice

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.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, the student will be able to:

  1. Construct a personal approach to the presentation, communication and dissemination of their practice and its underlying principles
  2. Critically appraise art, photography or design concepts and media within a given social, commercial, cultural and interdisciplinary framework
  3. Clearly formulate and express the critical framework of ideas supporting an art or design proposal through appropriate models of representation or written argument

Assessment strategy

The final summative assessment will be based upon the submission of two assessment items, both to specifically address the learning outcomes of the module:

Two analytical case studies, conducted through appropriate research methods, of the construction and publication or dissemination of the public creative identity of relevant artists/ designers/ studio practices (or other by agreement).

A presentation of the student’s emerging creative identity via a published web portfolio or negotiated equivalent, featuring a portfolio of own practice.

The assessment will be based upon 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
  • Effective use of collaborative or independent working strategies


The key shared text for art or design students is:

Crouch, C. (2015), An Introduction to Sustainability and Aesthetics, Brown Walker: Florida

Reading and resources for art or photography students include:

Farr, I. (ed) (2012) Memory, Whitechapel Art Gallery
Johnstone, S. (2008) The Everyday, Whitechapel Art Gallery

Reading and resources for design students include:

Sagar, J. (2013), The Design Career Handbook, Future, Bath
Caddick, R. Communicating the User Experience: A Practical Guide for Creating Useful UX Documentation
Allen, J. Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences Smashing Magazine Book Series
Digital Branding: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Strategy, Tactics and Measurement
Pipes, A. How to Design Websites, Portfolio Skills