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Module UXS-2200:
Visual Languages and Purpose

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Ms Wanda Zyborska

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of this first core module in the HE Diploma in Fine Art is to guide students through an investigation of differing approaches to the development of visual languages and the pursuit of a personal vision, both in student’s own work and through the study of contemporary and historical example. Practical studio sessions will be initiated by tutors through a series of introductory lectures and seminars, preceded where appropriate with a session brief. Group criticisms will also take place toward the end of the module. During this module students will establish a personal direction of study and students are encouraged to choose student’s own subject matter – although this should always be discussed with tutors.

Students will be encouraged to investigate the breadth of opportunities available to students outside the studio situation, and to recognise that fine art practice is an increasingly wide field, both in technical and philosophical terms. Such issues will be addressed in both group and individual tutorials. In this respect also, all students will be guided towards relevant exhibitions and publications, and where appropriate visiting lecturers may be introduced to the programme.

Therefore, students will be required to visit exhibitions and galleries as directed by the tutors and contribute formally to the debate generated by these visits. In addition students will be required to access texts and writings for discussion and comment in tutorial, seminars and written critical responses in student’s journal.

During the module each student will receive at least one documented personal tutorial which will be part pastoral, part critical. However, tutors will remain available in both these capacities throughout. In addition students will receive tutorial and written feedback on student’s journal and therefore it is important that student’s journal is available for review on the timetabled sessions.

Tutors will set one topic to be addressed as an essay (between 1500 and 3000 words) to be included as part of the journal. Topics may address issues surrounding current exhibitions or contemporary debate and will be identified therefore at an appropriate point in the module. Whilst introducing academic convention the course allows for a flexible approach to the task.

Assessment will be carried out by an appropriate team including tutors, course leaders, the coordinator and consultant as available. Unlike the Core Certificate and level 4 modules throughout the diploma course each module carries a mark and grade.

Course content

This module of the Diploma course in Fine Art provides an opportunity for students to investigate differing approaches to the development of visual language and a personal vision. Students are encouraged to choose their own subject matter on discussion with tutors.

Studio sessions will include introductory lectures and seminars on different aspects of fine art practice through a critical study of historical and contemporary examples.

Assessment Criteria


D– to D+: Threshold : This indicates that you have met most of the learning outcomes described, thus demonstrating competence.


C– to C+ : Good: Indicates competence in all learning outcomes with evidence of clear promise and/or achievement in some elements of the module.

B– to B+: Very Good: You are able to demonstrate high Levels of commitment and achievement in most if not all aspects of the module.


A– to A: Excellent: There will be ample evidence of excellence in most if not all aspects of the module.

Learning outcomes

  1. The ability to engage in informed critical debate appropriate to the demands of the module and to the developing direction of study

  2. At the conclusion of this module students should be able to demonstrate: A developing sense of purpose and direction of study

  3. Evidence of related exploration of structure and visual language in either 2- or 3-dimensional media or any combination of media.

  4. Evidence of related visual and/or documentary research

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Portfolio 70
Journal 30

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Individual Tutorials (15 x 4 hour)

Group Project

Group Criticisms (5 x 1 hour)

Private study 210

Seminars (10 x 1 hour)


Lectures (5 x 1 hour)

Practical classes and workshops

Practical instruction (10 x 1 hour)


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: