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The University of Southampton

ARTD1102 Contemporary Issues in Practice (Dalian)

Module Overview

This module is one of the common core modules taken by all students on the University of Southampton undergraduate programmes taught at Dalian Polytechnic University. The module aims to widen your understanding of the international context of contemporary issues which may impact on your subject area.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • a range of underlying concepts associated within your subject;
  • implications surrounding the interaction between practice and theory;
  • a range of influential contemporary artists and or designers relevant to your work and subject;
  • methods of critical reflection on external influences that inform your subject.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • evaluate perspectives on relationships between context, theory and practice, especially their relation to your subject;
  • consider and develop a standpoint in relation to debates about what is happening in art and design today;
  • develop and sustain an argument.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • write an essay using a clear, coherent structure;
  • apply some key principles of time-management;
  • present and communicate an argument.


Contemporary Issues in Practice is a core Part One (Year Two) module. It has been designed to facilitate your development of thinking skills necessary for the critical development of well-informed contemporary art and design. The perspectives provided by this module widen awareness of diversity within art and design and in the subject disciplines. In this module, you will explore how practice is informed by context and theory and varies between cultures.. In lectures, seminars designed to assist your thinking and writing skills, you will look critically at art and design objects and events through a variety of methods. Major concepts and key positions will be discussed to evaluate the relevance and significance of differing perspectives in art and design, and you will apply them accordingly to your programme of study. Through this work you are encouraged to explore how current developments in art and design can inform your own programme-specific work. Lectures will be used to convey representations and information on the contemporary scene of art and design. Seminars and group discussions will allow more detailed examination of particular themes and sources. You will be encouraged to attend a free study visit at cultural sites within Dalian, Equivalent alternatives will be provided in the event of students not being able to participate in the visit. You will be encouraged to access international and national sources to gain a wider perspective of the art and design context relevant to your programme of study.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Lectures • Writing workshops • module briefings • seminars • study visit Learning activities include: • lectures • module briefings • seminars • group discussion • group critiques • writing workshops • peer group learning • study visit • self-assessment Relationship between the teaching, learning and assessment methods and the planned learning outcomes: In this module learning and teaching activities focus on helping you to investigate, question and analyse the nature of contemporary art and design contexts, its theory and how this influences discipline-specific practice, including your own. Feedback on your progress and development will be given by group discussions and seminars. Informal feedback will provide opportunities for peer group learning and self-evaluation. The summative assessment will be by way of an illustrated 2,000-word essay. This module’s learning and teaching methods are designed to help you broaden your understanding and explore practical creative possibilities. By studying independently you will learn how to manage your time effectively outside the taught sessions.

Follow-up work20
Completion of assessment task40
External visits2
Preparation for scheduled sessions30
Wider reading or practice30
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Kocur (Z) & Leung (S). Eds. (2004). Theory in contemporary art: from 1985 to the present. 

Wood P edited by Harrison C (1992). Art in theory 1900-2000: an anthology of changing ideas. 

Benhabib Sevla (1992). Situating the self: gender, community and postmodernism in contemporary ethics. 

McEvilley t (1996). Capacity: history, the world, and the self in contemporary art criticism. 

Carroll D, Ed (1990). The States of theory: history, art and critical discourse. 

Marí B and Schaeffer Jean-Marie Eds (1998). Think art: theory and practice in the art of today. 

Danto, Arthur C (1998). The wake of art: criticism, philosophy, and the ends of taste. 



Essay proposal


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  ( words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  ( words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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