You are on page 1of 12

BA Art & Design

Executive Summary

Revision 1
December 2007
Executive summary

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the BA Art & Design
programme and the learning outcomes that a student might reasonably be expected to achieve.
Detailed information on the specific learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and
assessment methods is presented in the full Programme Specification document.

1 Programme Data

Programme title BA Art & Design

Final award BA Art & Design, Ordinary degree

Intermediate award(s) CertHE, DipHE

Delivery mode full-time and part-time

Teaching institution Forth Valley College of FE and HE

Awarding body Open University

reference points QAA Subject benchmarks – Art & Design
SCQF Scottish Credit Qualification Framework, level 9

Date of revision April 2008

1.1 Reason for revision

This programme is wholly revised in response to the changes made to the current Scottish
HNC/Ds in Art and Design, which are direct progression routes to the BA. The level, scope and
duration of academic activity has been designed to equate to the existing programme whilst,
taking into account the level of these feeder programmes. The re-validation offers the opportunity
to review the current programme which since its conception has successfully grown in maturity,
commensurate with other Scottish awards. Details of the current award and its history are
outlined in the re-validation Critical Analysis document.

2 Programme aim
The BA Art & Design aims to provide the student with the opportunity to develop an
understanding of the multi-disciplinary practice of art and design, while acquiring entrepreneurial
attitudes pertinent to the changing needs of creative practice. In detail, the programme aims to:

 Offer students the opportunity to study art and design in an interdisciplinary context
 Provide an appropriate learning environment for the support of the students learning activities
and personal development
 Promote the students personal and academic development through individual creative activity
 Develop the student’s open, critical and contextual thinking
 Build personal development skills through reflective practice
 Develop knowledge and understanding of research skill and methodologies
 Enable students to develop a range of transferable skills
 Encourage and promote the principle of lifelong learning
2.1 Programme outcomes
The programme outcomes are commensurate with, and are supported by the standards set out
by the QAA Subject Benchmarking for Art & Design. The following table indicates where students
can demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, attributes and skills.

Objective QAA Benchmark *

Demonstrate academic rigour and intellectual  employ both convergent and divergent
problem solving through sustained practice thinking in the processes of observation,
led activity, using techniques such as investigation, speculative enquiry,
research, testing, analysis and synthesis. visualisation and/or making (4.3)

Identify relevant research topics and use  source, navigate, select, retrieve, evaluate,
research strategies to formulate appropriate manipulate and manage information from a
findings variety of sources (4.4.5)

Analyse, evaluate and understand social,  apply, consolidate and extend their learning
historical, political and environmental in different contextual frameworks and
considerations for application of practice situations, both within and beyond the field
of art and design (4.2)

 work will be informed and include the

significance of the works of other
practitioners (4.3)

 the critical and contextual dimensions of

the student's discipline(s) in particular, and
of art and design in general, for example
the business, cultural, economic,
environmental, ethical, global, historical,
political, societal, and/or theoretical
contexts (4.3)

 the artist's or designer's relationship with

audiences, clients, markets, users,
consumers, and/or participants (4.3)

Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of  articulate and synthesise their knowledge

a selected, vocational, specialist area of art and understanding, attributes and skills in
and design practice effective ways in the contexts of creative
practice, employment, further study,
research and self-fulfillment (4.2)

 develop ideas through to material

outcomes, for example images, artifacts,
products, systems and processes, or texts
Articulate and evaluate ideas and design  articulate ideas and information
proposals to audiences through visual, comprehensibly in visual, oral and written
written and oral presentations through a forms (4.4.4)
variety of communication and presentation
techniques  present ideas and work to audiences in a
range of situations (4.4.4)
Understand the nature and functioning of  interact effectively with others, for example
groups and interact effectively to demonstrate through collaboration, collective endeavor
resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skills and negotiation (4.4.3)
within an interdisciplinary art and design team
 apply resourcefulness and entrepreneurial
skills to support their own practice, and/or
the practice of others (4.3)
Originate expressive visual communication  select and employ communication and
through effective use of media, tools and new information technologies (4.4.5)
technologies pertinent to the chosen area of
art and design practice  work will be informed by the implications
and potential for their discipline(s)
presented by the key developments in
current and emerging media and
technologies, and in interdisciplinary
approaches to contemporary practice in art
and design (4.3)

Initiate and develop through personal practice  generate ideas, concepts, proposals,
imaginative, innovative and creative solutions solutions or arguments independently
in response to set briefs and/or self-initiated and/or collaboratively in response to set
activity briefs and/or as self-initiated activity (4.3)

 select, test and make appropriate use of

materials, processes and environments

 employ materials, media, techniques,

methods, technologies and tools
associated with the discipline(s) studied
with skill and imagination whilst observing
good working practices (4.3)

 understand the relationship between the

aesthetic and utilitarian dimensions (form
and function) (4.3)

 manage and make appropriate use of the

interaction between intention, process,
outcome, context, and the methods of
dissemination (4.3)

 the artist's or designer's relationship with

audiences, clients, markets, users,
consumers, and/or participants (4.3)

Apply planning and time management skills  study independently, set goals, manage
which are efficient, adaptable and effective in their own workloads and meet deadlines
response to activities and deadlines (4.4.1)

 anticipate and accommodate change, and

work within contexts of ambiguity,
uncertainty, and unfamiliarity (4.4.1)
Undertake critical self evaluations to enable  identify personal strengths and needs
personal, academic and vocational self (4.4.2)
 analyse information and experiences,
formulate independent judgements, and
articulate reasoned arguments through
reflection, review and evaluation (4.4.2)

* QAA Subject benchmarks 2000, Art & Design

3 Programme structure
Outlined below is the module structure for each academic year. Semesters run for two 16 week
blocks, sequentially. Because of the nature of the programme, all subjects are compulsory
although an elective element within Self Initiated Project, first year; Minor Project, second year;
and Portfolio, third year has been devised to allow students to identify and pursue personal
direction through self selected study. This applies the principals of PDP and contributes wholly to
the student’s portfolio. Personal Development Planning where integrated into specific modules or
as stand alone modules, is highlighted below.

3.1 Year One

Certificate in HE
Credits: 15 compulsory
SCOTCAT points: 120

Module Credit Taught Compuls. Block/

value hours Elective Semester
Creative Skills 3 108 comp 1
Creative Digital Skills 2 72 comp 1
Visual Literacy and the Aesthetics 1 36 comp 1
Contextual Studies * 1 36 comp 1
Personal Development Planning 1 36 comp 1
Creative Concepts 2 72 comp 2
Applied Creative Skills 2 72 comp 2
Self Initiated Project 3 72 comp/elect 2
Total 15 540

* Component elements delivered and assessed through VLE

3.1.1 Year Two

Diploma in HE
Credits: 14 compulsory + 1 elective
SCOTCAT points: 120

Module Credit Taught Compuls. Block/

value hours Elective Semester
Digital Arts Practice (validated – BA Media & Comm) 2.5 90 comp 1
Research and Contextual Studies * 3 108 comp 1
Creative Practice 3 108 comp 1 and 2
Minor Project ** 2 72 comp/elect 2
Major Project *** 4.5 162 comp 2
Total 15 540

* Includes PDP
** Includes elective element
*** Includes team working skills
3.1.2 Year Three

BA Art & Design

Credits: 15 compulsory
SCOTCAT points: 120

UNITS Credit Taught Compuls. Block/

value hours Elective Semester
Case Study 3 108 + com 1
Industry Based Projects 4 108 + com 1
Graduate Professional Development * 1 36 com 1
Portfolio 7 144 + Com/elect 2
Total 15 510

* Includes PDP
+ Supported by tutorial and seminars

3.2 Key skills development

Skills development is assessed using generic measurements and processes, which cover both
practical and theoretical elements. Detailed information is in the main Programme Specification
document, however the following statements highlight the specific key skills pertinent to this
programme and the table indicates where these skills appear, and the means by which they are

 Critical analysis and comparison of contextual issues

 Considered reflection of research
 Synthesis of ideas and processes
 In-depth level of evaluation

Year One
Module Skills Assessed by
Creative Skills Investigation of 2D & 3D Student generated folio of
medium & skills practical work

Creative Digital Skills Research; practical Student generated

application; evaluation workbook (500 words
Visual Literacy and the Aesthetics Critical and analytical 1000 word written critical
methodologies evaluation. 10 minute
Visual/oral presentation
Contextual Studies Research and analysis Logbook(500 words
annotation) 2500 essay
and formal 10 minute
visual/oral presentation
Personal Development Planning Self analysis; personal 1000 word written action
planning and time plan and review
management; reflection

Creative Concepts Research; analysis; Student generated folio of

conceptual thinking; practical work; 10 minute
synthesis; use of a range of oral & visual presentation;
tools & media 1000 word written self

Applied Creative Skills Practical application and Student generated folio of

synthesis of creative media practical work

Self Initiated Project Formulation; PDP; research Student generated folio of

and analysis; conceptual practical work - project
development; presentation; based and specified
reflection written material 1000
Students will complete a weekly reflection using traditional or online diary / web log
comprising minimum 100 words per week.

Year Two
Module Skills Assessed by
Digital Arts Practice Research; analysis; Digital portfolio of
synthesis candidate generated
material including practical
project & specified written
material 1500 words
Research and Contextual Studies Research; analysis; 3000 word written study

Creative Practice Research; analysis; Student generated folio of

synthesis; critical reflection practical work; 5 – 10
minute oral & visual
Minor Project Research; formulation; Student generated folio of
project planning; application practical work; oral &
of practical & creative skills visual presentation; self
presentation; personal evaluation & specified
evaluation written material 500 –
1000 words

Major Project Deep, broad research; In depth practice led

formulation; application of personal project;
practical & creative skills; collaborative presentation;
team working; presentation; evaluation & specified
reflection written material 500 –
1000 words
Students will complete a weekly reflection using traditional or online diary / web log
comprising minimum 100 words per week.

Year Three
Module Skills Assessed by
Contextual and Professional Study Research; investigation; Sustained written, visual
analysis; formulation of brief and oral output equivalent
to 5000 words or a 50
minute documentary
Professional Projects Analysis; reflection; Agreed practical project(s);
synthesis; evaluation visual and oral
Graduate Professional Development Self analysis; personal CV or equivalent &
planning graduation plan
1000 words
Portfolio Self evaluation; planning; Project strategy; portfolio
creative practical processes; of creative work; visual
presentation display; 30 – 40 minute
oral viva examination
Students will complete a weekly reflection using traditional or online diary / web log
comprising minimum 100 words per week.
3.3 On-line delivery
It is not intended that this programme be delivered either on-line or on a distance learning basis,
as would some OU programms. However supported on-line learning, where students have their
own e-mail address, is an integral element and will be facilitated through the college Virtual
Learning Environment. The college’s VLE operates at a variety of levels, catering for a broad
range of learning approaches and styles across a diversity of programmes and levels offered.

It is intended that the VLE be used at BA programme level, where considerable investment is
currently being made in the development of targeted local learning repositories incorporating
blogs, wikis and on-line materials. Thus encouraging tutor to student and peer to peer learning.

4 Academic progression
On successful completion of the BA Art & Design, graduates may articulate onto further academic
study at the following levels:

BA Hons

4.1 Career opportunities

This practice based programme reflects the contemporary working practices of the creative
industries and explores new and innovative ways of working between the disciplines of art and
design. It responds to the professional reality of art and design and has been revised in direct
response to the new feeder Scottish HN frameworks in Art and Design. Examples of employment
are - self employed maker; curatorship; design practitioner in digital arts, graphic communication;
exhibition design; project management; textile artist/designer; site specific artist/designer.

5 Modules
Because practitioners move between different patterns of work, unrestricted by material or
approach, the programme modules are designed to test the relevance of art and design,
preparing students to respond creatively and flexibly within a range of professional situations, to
the needs of industry. Appendix 1, contains first draft module descriptors for all three years of the
programme. Below is a synopsis of each module.

5.1 Module synopses

5.1.1 First Year

This module is designed to introduce students to traditional and contemporary 2D and 3D skills
within art and design through a series of workshops and the making of experimental pieces.
Lectures, demonstrations and student research will allow creative development whilst allowing
application in both professional design and fine art practice.


This unit will encourage the development of creative skills in the use of computer based design
methods. Students will be introduced to a range of cross platform industry standard software
applications. Each student will be encouraged through project work and self experience to
explore and utilise operating systems and software applications to produce creative design


Students will develop through practice, research discourse and analysis, skills in the recognition
of principals of visual literacy and aesthetics. Visits to art galleries, sites of significant design or
architectural innovation would be the preferred medium of observation of art and design. Critique,
discourse and analysis will facilitate application of principals of visual literacy and aesthetics to



This module is intended to provide students with the necessary skills to enable them to take
responsibility for their own learning and development. Personal development planning will
encourage the student to reflect on their learning, performance and achievement. Students will
produce a personal action plan, to include personal, education and career development.




Thorough personal analysis and personal development planning, students will formulate and
complete a practical project, which satisfies a self-initiated brief. Students will provide a folio of
practical and theoretical work, which evidences their project activity; they will also present their
findings to peers and undertake reflection upon their learning activities

5.1.2 Second Year

DIGITAL ARTS PRACTICE – previously validated



In response to a personally researched and agreed self initiated brief, students will plan,
undertake and disseminate a practice based project which reflects an area of personal interest or
specialism. Students (with agreement) may use this module to organise an industry, placement,
exchange student, community based project. Assessment will be via submission of a portfolio of
candidate generated practical and theoretical material.

Through a personal, substantial, practice based project , students will carry out broad and deep
research to synthesise a creative output through individual activity. Collectively students will
undertake team-based activity to make a collaborative public output of individual projects.
Assessment will be made through a portfolio of practical and theoretical evidence supported by
public output and logbook activity (blog / wiki).

5.1.3 Third Year

The module will be closely linked with projects currently run in the community or industry, and be,
wherever possible; client based; live commissions; or competitions. This module is intended to
provide the student with the opportunity to apply their knowledge, understanding and creative
skills developed over the previous year to professional or industry standard brief(s). Emphasis
will be placed on the student producing realisable and professional creative solutions within the
context of the students own vocational subject area. Through this module students will develop
and apply resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skills to support their own practice. Briefs set will
be realistic and reflective of professional practise or industry standards in terms of timescale,
client input, budgets, specification and where applicable, vocational subject area relevant

6 Assessment
Detailed information on assessment and grading are in the Programme specification.

6.1 Student self appraisal

As above

6.2 Guidelines for assessment grading

As above
Appendix 1

Module descriptors