VA5009 - Identities

What will I learn on this module?

Through a studio-based approach supplemented with intersectional theory, the students learn about diverse topics, such as race, gender, sexuality, and class in a global context. The module will enable students to establish a deeper understanding of practice by examining how their own and others’ cultural backgrounds affect creative expression. Tutors conduct the teaching and extend their pluralistic artistic and academic positions into pedagogy. The design of the seminars and learning resources instigate dialogue and debate, prompting students to recognise the politics of visual representation and its social implications in different cultural contexts and publics. In addition to encouraging collective and collaborative artistic processes, the students receive support to investigate questions of identity within their studio practice through one-on-one tutorials, where they receive direction for individual artistic and research interests.

How will I learn on this module?

The learning strategies on this module include:

- Seminars
- One-on-one and group studio tutorials
- Presentation of art and research
- Self-directed creative inquiry
- Peer-led discussions
- Excursions, such as to exhibitions or artist studios

Teaching materials may include examination of artwork in museum or gallery settings, archives, readings, film screenings, and more.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You are supported with studio provision and access to specialist technical facilities, materials, and resource areas. Technical facilities include the wood and casting workshops, the print studio, the Mac lab and digital print facility, and the darkrooms and digital photographic studios. You have access to specialist materials in all workshop areas, and our resource areas include equipment stores, galleries, and project spaces. You have twenty-four-hour access to the university library.

You are supported by an academic team, which teaches you across your various modules, a designated studio tutor to guide you on the development of your study, and a personal tutor to aid your wellbeing and provide general support. Your learning is mapped out for you in a programme guide given to you at the start of the semester that includes guidance notes and key dates for the semester to help you organise and plan your time. Teaching materials, notices and guidance are made available to you through our online electronic learning portal, which is accessible online both on campus and externally. You will have a university email that we contact you through, and all course timetabling is published in your online timetable. To support you we provide you with on-going formative feedback through the teaching you receive, and ask you to write and submit a self-evaluation review reflecting on your own progress against the module learning outcomes.

At the start of the programme, you will receive induction, which includes training and instruction in health and safety, ethics, and safe working practices in the use of the studio, workshops, and resource areas.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. The production of artwork that demonstrates connections between individual interests and creative research.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

2. The evidencing of emerging critical decision-making in relation to research and production.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

3. The development and application of transferable skills linked to self-organisation, art world experiences, and individual curiosity

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment (100%):

You will be tasked with a presentation/exhibition of works evidencing the evolution of your independent studio practice developed throughout the semester, and the production of a supporting research file.

Summative Assessment Feedback:
You will receive verbal feedback from your studio tutor within seven days of the submission deadline. Feedback is individual and provided in the context of the assessment criteria given to you at the start of the semester in the module guide. Written feedback is delivered within 20 working days via the eLearning Portal.

Formative Assessment:
To prepare you successfully to undertake the summative assessment(s) on this module, formative assessments will be set by the module team. These may take the form of in-class tasks or projects, developmental activities undertaken between classes, or learning exercises/activities set over a longer period. Feedback (written and/or oral) will be provided to help you learn from, reflect on, and develop in light of these formative assessments.

MLOs: The components test all MLOs.





Module abstract

Identities have long informed creative thought and processes. Artists today draw on various political and social positionalities to address complex and critical issues through contemporary art. With an emphasis on intersectional and global perspectives, this module examines questions of identity construction and representation through, but not limited to, race, gender, sexuality, and class. Teaching methods include seminars, one-on-one tutorials, exhibition visits, and access to learning resources that encourage students to contextualise and situate their practice and theoretical enquiries in response to current discourses in the field. Challenging historical and dominant narratives of identity that have often framed diverse people and communities based on colonial or nationalist agendas, the students are encouraged to dialogically engage in individual and collaborative studio investigations that trouble hegemonic ideologies and forefront the margins.

Course info

UCAS Code W105

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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