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MDES101 MA DESIGN STAGE 1

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES
ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS

 MDES101

MA DESIGN STAGE 1

INTRODUCTION

This module has two integrated strands:

               

                Part A (Studio Practice) and

                Part B (Design Theory)

 

Both strands should be explored together to create a set of coherent work. See Appendix 1 for Studio and Theory Schedule.

 

This Stage One module requires you to formulate a programme of study, which serves as the basis for your MA. Achieving this will involve exploring both THEORETCIAL and PRACTICAL approaches to your work. Through experimentation and analysis of academic and visual research, you should begin to identify the key issue or hypothesize a design question that is appropriate to your study at MA level.

 

This experience encourages you to promote and develop original ideas, creative thinking and innovative practice; based on your own individual perspective, passion and aspirations within the field of Design and relevant studies.

 

You would need to participate in high levels of visual and theoretical research, which will enable you to explore connections between your specialist media discipline and the broadly-based context of design.

 

Debating and questioning your own personal philosophy, methodology and research will also encourage challenges and relevance to contemporary practices and the needs of the creative industry.

 

Whatever your discipline, your MA should deepen your knowledge of key issues in the theory and practice of design by investigating historical precedents, contemporary practice and potential future development.

 

You should also use this opportunity to home in on your technical skills and to develop an individual approach to design through the exploration of traditional processes, new technology and other approaches.

 

Cultural, social, political, economic, environmental and technological issues are also key factors and influences for your research. Exploring the interconnections of different contexts will help you to formulate different ideas and concepts for your work.

 

The above aims should be referred to regularly throughout the programme and should serve to guide you in how to approach study at this level.

 

The ethos and approaches for your MA should be intense, rigorous and challenging. In the Masters’ Degree, it is likely that the innovation in your approach, the depth of your investigation and the development of your design philosophy is as much a key to your success, as the final practical outcomes.

 

CONTENT

This stage of the MA is negotiated in terms of content. In consultation with your tutors, you are required to produce two assessable outcomes:

 

1.             Research Journal (research, experimentation and ideas development) 60%

2.             MA Proposed Programme of Study (1750 to 2250 words)                         40%

 

 

This stage of work may be seen to have a discrete self–contained purpose and outcome, or it may be seen as the initial stage of a longer–term body of work, which is to be built upon at stages 2 and 3 of the programme. However, it should not be seen as open ended. You must be clear with your module aims and objectives. The main criteria are that it should be innovative in terms of ideas and processes, challenging in terms of skills, informative in terms of product(s) and assessable in terms of the learning outcomes listed in the module descriptor (see below)

 

 

 

 

PART A – PRACTICE

 

Throughout the MA, you are required to show evidence of their working process leading to their final outcome. During Stage One, you will be developing your ideas for your MA. You might begin with a broad theme and through research and experimentation begin to narrow down your focus. As a result, by the end of Stage One, you should have established your research question with achievable aims and objectives.

 

As such, you are required to show evidence of their research, working process and development via a Research Journal and to be able to articulate their rationales through a Programme of Study.  

 

 

1. RESEARCH JOURNAL (This is worth 60% of the overall module grade)

 

A module journal is a record of the factual, visual and theoretical research, which underpins the final outcome(s). This could be in the form of a visual diary, a notebook, sketch book, analysis of data, scrap book, ideas book, portfolio of work, series of drawings or experiments, pre–production work, prototypes or any other forms that you feel is appropriate. However, although the Module Journal is a personal document of your research, it should nevertheless be decipherable by your colleagues and tutors. Hence, it should be produced in a coherent and chronological manner suitable for your area of study.

 

The format and quantity of the Research Journal should be relevant to the topic that you are engaged in. This could be presented entirely in a digital format or it could be a bound document, or it could be a database, a website or a blog, or it could be a combination of all these. As expected on the MA, you will have different topics, and it is therefore crucial that you consult with your programme leader on a regular basis to determine the precise detail of what you need to produce for your module Research Journal.

 

 

Ultimately, it should reflect at least 540 hours of work.

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