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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

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
§ 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 § employ both convergent and divergent

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

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

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

§ 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 § articulate and synthesise their

of a selected, vocational, specialist area of knowledge and understanding, attributes
art and design practice and skills in 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 (4.3)
Articulate and evaluate ideas and design § articulate ideas and information
proposals to audiences through visual, comprehensibly in visual, oral and
written and oral presentations through a written 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
groups and interact effectively to example through collaboration,
demonstrate resourcefulness and collective endeavor and negotiation
entrepreneurial skills within an (4.4.3)
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 information technologies (4.4.5)
new 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

Initiate and develop through personal § generate ideas, concepts, proposals,

practice imaginative, innovative and solutions or arguments independently
creative solutions in response to set briefs and/or collaboratively in response to set
and/or self-initiated activity briefs and/or as self-initiated activity

§ select, test and make appropriate use

of materials, processes and
environments (4.3)

§ 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 § study independently, set goals,

skills which are efficient, adaptable and manage their own workloads and meet
effective in 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 § identify personal strengths and needs

enable personal, academic and vocational (4.4.2)
self -development.
§ 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 2.5 90 comp 1
Media & Comm)
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 assessed.

§ 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 Critical and analytical 1000 word written critical
Aesthetics 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
tools & media presentation;
1000 word written self
Applied Creative Skills Practical application and Student generated folio of
synthesis of creative 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
synthesis; critical of practical work; 5 – 10
reflection minute oral & visual
Minor Project Research; formulation; Student generated folio
project planning; of practical work; oral &
application of practical & visual presentation; self
creative skills evaluation & specified
presentation; personal written material 500 –
evaluation 1000 words

Major Project Deep, broad research; In depth practice led

formulation; application of personal project;
practical & creative skills; collaborative
team working; presentation; evaluation
presentation; reflection & specified written
material 500 – 1000
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 Research; investigation; Sustained written, visual
Study analysis; formulation of and oral output
brief equivalent to 5000 words
or a 50 minute
Professional Projects Analysis; reflection; Agreed practical
synthesis; evaluation project(s); visual and oral
Graduate Professional Self analysis; personal CV or equivalent &
Development planning graduation plan
1000 words
Portfolio Self evaluation; planning; Project strategy; portfolio
creative practical of creative work; visual
processes; 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

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

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
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 solutions.


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 practice.



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 regulations.

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