module specification

AA3002 - Techniques (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Techniques
Module level Foundation (03)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
108 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
192 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio
Running in 2023/24

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

Module summary

The Techniques module introduces a wide range of materials, methods, techniques and processes to produce work in a broad sense. It is closely aligned with the Project module to develop a working knowledge of the potential and limitations of selected media, materials and techniques in the development of project work. Responsible attitudes aligned to ethical and professional contexts are applied and considered in relation to imaginative experimentation and exploitation for innovation.

Techniques explores approaches to the skills-based, technical aspects of creative practice in relation having, developing and resolving ideas through processes towards media/material outcomes. It concerns the quality of making, considerations of care, appropriateness and endeavour. It encourages recognition of the intrinsic formal and structural qualities of different media as essential elements in visual/aural communication. The module involves a series of learning experiences that introduce and develop many of the key skills and techniques needed for a range of making practices across various subject areas; the outcomes are in the context of and further developed in close relation with the Project module.

The Techniques module links the analysis and evaluation of technical quantitative properties with qualitative aesthetic discernment and judgment and introduces a common vocabulary, technical/professional language, core skills and reference models.

It introduces safe and appropriate studio/workshop/site practice.

Prior learning requirements

AA3001 Projects (co requisite)
Available for Study Abroad? NO


The syllabus covers basic skills in various subject-areas; providing an overview of current practice through a range of methods, materials and approaches. It is responsive to issues of sustainability, recycling, and the ethical uses of materials and/ or media. The Techniques module is closely aligned to the Project module that delivers the context and purpose for making.

Drawing studies:
Observing and recording; thinking and describing; generating and developing ideas; expressing the factual, ephemeral and the technical. (LO1, LO2)
Two dimensional studies: marking, painting, printmaking, collage, typography; composition. (LO1, LO2)
Three dimensional studies: cast, shape or sculpt; modelling, assemblage, composition. (LO1, LO2)
Media studies: photography, film, sound, animation. (LO1, LO2)
Workshops: processes and practices. (LO1, LO4)
Group/Individual presentations: review, reflect and critique. (LO3, LO4)
Presenting techniques in a portfolio of work: Documentation, layout/presentation. (LO3, LO4)

In stage 1 there are short, diverse and intensive technical task-based classes in a range of different contexts related to subject area practices.
In stage 2 there are short introductory projects that refer to subject areas and further specialism or broadening of experience.
In stage 3 the development of technical skill and familiarity with material informs choices of a subject area focussed longer, self-defined and managed project.

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, are regularly scrutinised and will be annually reviewed to ensure an ongoing 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 asks students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and proactively make recommendations to themselves for further 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 through the year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their personal ambitions.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, students will be able to:

1) acquire and develop technical skills for use in relation to different media, materials, technologies, processes, equipment and contexts; including health and safety requirements;
2) identify, explore and evaluate relations between the technical, functional, conceptual and aesthetic aspects of their own and others’ work;
3) describe, document and present the transformative stages of their own work in a clear and organised form;
4) acquire and develop a common vocabulary, core skills, methods and reference models and apply these in specific technical and creative contexts.

Assessment strategy

From 23/34 students will receive a PASS/FAIL assessment ONLY.
Assessment for the Techniques module involves the submission of one component as part of an assessment exhibition; Portfolio/exhibition (100%, week 28). Assessment reflects work undertaken across the module in response to teaching, learning and activities detailed within the module booklet. Learning outcomes are assessed within the Portfolio. Students must receive a pass overall.

The focus of the module is the development of effective practical skills, techniques and the use of materials. The Portfolio includes: preparatory worksheets presenting descriptions of process using text, image and diagrams i.e. the stages of making, material choices, tests, iterations, sets and series of resolved outcomes in relation to a range of subject areas and towards a specialism.

Formative feedback (written and/or oral) is continually provided during ‘set’ activities and group discussions; and for presentations and tutorials. These provide opportunities to reflect on progress and discuss strategies for developing skills/ discipline knowledge. The formative feedback is advice and guidance; specifying developmental action to improve quality and/or quantity of coursework.

Summative assessment reflects engagement with the module throughout; ongoing individual studentship is formatively reviewed and structured support for self-directed study given. The portfolio for assessment consists of a developing synthesis of techniques with the project work and a reflective commentary.