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Module UXS-3300:
Towards Professional Practice

Module Facts

Run by School of Music, Drama and Performance

40 Credits or 20 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Ms Wanda Zyborska

Overall aims and purpose

The principal aim of the first Honours course module, is to provide you with the sound intellectual and practical base which will nurture the progression of your work through to the particular demands of the Degree exhibition at the conclusion of Module 3. Therefore, most of the teaching and much of the learning will take place in the group studio, commencing with several reflective sessions in which you will be able to propose your Learning Plans (with advice from tutors). The Learning Plan should form a bridge between Levels 5 and 6 and will outline a rational programme of study which, while identifying attainable objectives specific to the conclusion of this module, will also anticipate the continuity and longer term aims appropriate to the final Degree assessment. The length of the module, 20 weeks, allows for diversification and experimentation and this should be part of you work plan. The studio sessions will concentrate on individual practice and its evaluation through group criticisms, seminars and individual tutorials. This will be reflected in your Journal. Visiting lecturers will be introduced at strategic points and you will be expected to maintain a regular programme of exhibition visits including those recommended by tutors. Studio practice includes practical work for which you should plan, individual tutorials and a short tutor or student led seminar. In addition the online environment will be explored and you will be encouraged to maintain an online presence in the form of a blog or wiki using Blackboard or an appropriate outside tool.

The weekly studio sessions (studio practice) will concentrate on individual practice and its evaluation through group criticisms, individual tutorials and a short tutor or student led seminar as appropriate. It is important that you do plan work that can be achieved during the sessions as part of your time management and work plan. Tutors will monitor practical work during these sessions as part of the assessment. Again, it is a module requirement that all your work made during the module in the studio and at home must be reviewed by tutors prior to the assessment day to enable formative opinion to develop.

Your developing Journal should reflect all of the above, along with a focussed engagement with the wider world of contemporary art, relevant artists and art movements, critical thinking and other related sources of information and research material. You will be expected to maintain a regular programme of exhibition visits including those recommended by tutors. If you include downloaded or copied information you are required through critical evaluation to identify the reason for its inclusion. You should also begin to plan your essay for module 2 and may find the essay plan pro forma useful to focus your thinking and planning. In any case you should complete a first draft for the essay (500 words) for assessment. Your essay topic must be agreed with the teaching team. As part of the module assessment, you will present a written personal evaluation of your progress as measured against the aims documented in your Learning Plan.

Course content

At this stage of student’s studies, their independence of creative thinking is taking shape and the emphasis of the course is to develop this process. The direction of study for the individual student is self determined and the appropriate research for their work should be broad and diverse in its enquiry. Contemporary art practice is very much concerned with diversification of subject matter and methodology and students should feel able and well equipped to take on this challenge. We are looking for students to develop their ideas, critical arguments and general knowledge of contemporary Fine Art with appropriate levels of research, evidenced in their journals and practical work.

Assessment Criteria


D– to D+: Threshold: To achieve this, you will have completed the Learning Outcomes to the lowest acceptable Level of competence in visual work and supporting studies. However, there will be little evidence of personal initiative or developing ambition.


C– to C+: Good: Here there will be evidence of competence throughout, growing ambition and good levels of achievement towards some but not all Learning Outcomes.

B– to B+: Very Good: Here there will be high levels of achievement towards most but not necessarily all of the Learning Outcomes. There will be clear and substantial evidence of self-motivation and a developing grasp of subject-specific and transferable skills.


A– to A: Excellent To achieve this, you will have demonstrated considerable self-motivation and a firm grasp of each of the Learning Outcomes. Visual work and supporting studies will be strongly related and will display developing organisational, research and presentational skills.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an increasing ability to devise and articulate a personal programme of study at this Level

  2. Demonstrate organisational and study skills appropriate to the above programme

  3. Show that they have developed further critical, evaluative and communication skills

  4. Show that they have developed further the practical, technical and research skills appropriate to this Level and to the chosen direction of study

  5. Show that they have further developed presentational skills in the context of group criticism and assessment.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Portfolio 70
Journal 30

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Group Project

Group Criticisms (10 x 1 hour)

Private study 280

Seminars (10 x 1 hour)


Individual Tutorials (20 x 4 hour)

Practical classes and workshops

Practical instruction (10 x 1 hour)


Lectures (10 x 1 hour)


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: