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The University of Southampton

ARTD6063 Visual Culture

Module Overview

This module is one of the common Option modules that can be taken by students from all of the MA programmes. Whilst the learning outcomes are the same no matter which of the programmes you are following, it is likely that your output from this module will reflect the media and approaches of your programme’s disciplines and subject areas. This module is liable to bring together students from all the programmes and pathways giving you the opportunity to engage with analysis of your own and others’ ideas in a challenging and creative environment.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• enable you to make relationship between visual culture and critical thinking and artistic/design practice • develop critical thinking about your research in relation to a variety of contexts within visual culture. • explore and critically reflect on your work and ideas in relation to relevant issues and critical discussions • establish methodologies and ways of working to advance your work and ideas

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • an ability to construct an informed rationale for placing your work and ideas in a clearly explained context
  • techniques applicable to your own research
  • learning resources and study skills to support your research
  • a personal critical position
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • reflect critically on your own practice in relation to the work and ideas of others
  • question and articulate concepts of contemporary design practice
  • critically advance your ideas
  • analyse your own work and derive ways of advancing your ideas
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • write and present research ideas in cogent forms
  • engage constructively in dialogue and debate about your own and others’ practice, ideas and contexts
  • apply methods of search and retrieval of electronic and text based information


This option module offers students various approaches to contemporary cultural theory and practice, with the intention of drawing attention to the many different but related debates currently affecting art and design and its interpretation. It is intended that this approach will assist students in their search for material pertinent to their own practice and areas of study whilst also extending their knowledge and understanding of the wider cultural contexts. They will engage with concepts so as to challenge and advance their thinking and ideas, present their ideas in a seminars and develop an essay which will deepen and advance their engagement with their programmes.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

In terms of learning, students will be expected, over the course of the module, to identify, analyse, and collate, a wide range of material in order to ensure that they have a thorough understanding of contemporary visual cultural theory and art and design practice. Students will also need to identify a more specific area of interest that will provide an essay by the end of the module. Teaching methods include • student-led seminar discussion • lectures • tutor-led seminars • library information skills session Learning activities include • peer-group learning In this module learning and teaching activities focus on helping you to make relationships between recent and current critical thinking and the practice of established artists and designers and, where relevant, your own artistic/design practice. Feedback on your progress and development will be given through seminars. Informal feedback in seminar situations will provide opportunities for peer group learning, self-evaluation and discussion of current issues in contemporary art and design and visual culture. These sessions additionally allow you to develop your understanding of your ideas, help you to recognise and evaluate your analytical, critical, practical and transferable skills. Assessment for this course will a 4000 word illustrated essay developing upon your own independent research in a topic arising from your own practice or issues related to your practice.

Independent Study176
Total study time200





MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  (4000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  (4000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  (4000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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