FA6013 - Critical Research Project

What will I learn on this module?

The module gives you the opportunity to identify, investigate and plan a self-determined, critical research project, culminating in a 5000-word written report.

With consideration of the key issues that will inform and shape the fashion industry in years to come, you will identify and propose a challenging Fashion Communication research project that is a mature, realistic response to the contemporary design world. You will demonstrate a contextual understanding of personal practice in relation to broader cultural socio-economic and political contexts.

Establishing a relevant field and question that relates to the wider fashion industry, you will undertake in-depth research using primary and secondary methodologies to inform a written research report that evidences your critical and cultural subject awareness. You will display evidence of critical thinking in the development of arguments, analysis and debate, expressed through oral and written communication.

Your research topic may reflect your career goals and ambitions, and will be agreed through regular supervision, formative critiques and presentations, personal project plans and peer discussions.

How will I learn on this module?

Learning and teaching strategies on Fashion Communication encourage you to acquire a flexible and imaginative approach to problem solving through enquiry-based learning. You will become an active participant in your learning, integrating creative practice with academic and intellectual skills.

The extended studio (X-Studio) environment is integral to this process, encouraging individual intellectual freedom and a creative collaborative community. The X-Studio embraces our physical studios and making workshops as well as our virtual spaces to create a flexible and rich environment that is responsive to your learning needs.

This dedicated approach has been developed over many years of continuous teaching innovation, research and industry collaboration. It has created a supportive extended studio culture that encourages you to learn flexibly, dynamically blending your learning and University experience between physical and digital interactions both in real-time and online at your own pace.

This extended studio culture not only helps you to become a more confident autonomous learner but also prepares you for a dynamic design industry in which an extended studio philosophy is current practice.

Lecturers with industry experience and supporting research will guide you through the module, developing your understanding of professional standards and practice. You are encouraged to advance your visual literacy and to be aware of current issues and debates. Working in groups, you learn to be flexible and collaborative, to identify and redefine problems in a creative way and focus on solutions that are both relevant and empathetic.

Traditional, new and emerging technologies are used both in the delivery and realisation of outcomes, and you will learn to present your work and ideas using a range of media and communication tools to a variety of audiences in different situations.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

• You will be supported through your research project by a Mentor who will advise on research methods and the development of your project
• Project briefs are introduced via briefing sessions, where the task is fully explored by both staff and students
• Live projects with industry and regional, national and international external partners extend the practical study of the subject area within an industrial context, where possible. They are also designed to support student confidence in their ability to handle professional practice within the creative industries
• Students experience a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods and course work is largely project based
• Modules are delivered through a combination of delivery modes, with guided and independent learning
• Additional study skills materials and workshops are available through Skills Plus at https://library.northumbria.ac.uk/skillsplus/ and Linkedin Learning
• Students are expected to maintain a project plan and are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning
• English language support is provided for international students
• Student Central provide specialist support with personal issues including; DSSR (Disabled Student Support Recommendations) statements; PECs (Personal Extenuating Circumstances) and LAs (Late Approved submission) processes
• University student services offer specialist support e.g. financial, disability, mental health, international student support etc
• eLP includes all relevant documentation and learning material, e.g. module briefs, lecture content, video demonstrations, reading lists and weekly tasks, together with meeting spaces, discussion boards and notices
• Visiting professionals support relevant and current practice where possible

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: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Analyse your findings from your research material and apply critical analysis to the development of arguments, analysis and debate

2. Demonstrate your engagement with forms of analysis, argument and debate, expressed through an appropriate command of oral, written and other forms of communication.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Intellectually engage with a range of appropriate research materials, techniques and analytical tools to enable the undertaking of an original and relevant research project

Personal Values Attributes
4. Show an understanding of professional and responsible design in the context of your practice as evidenced through project planning

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment:

5000 word written research report (with supporting appendix) (1, 2, 3, 4) 100%





Module abstract

In this module you will identify, investigate and plan a self-determined critical research project on a topic of your own choice. What are the key issues that will inform and shape the fashion industry in years to come? What keeps you awake at night and fires your thoughts by day?

With regular tutorial guidance from a dedicated mentor and discussion with your peers, you will read, research and reflect on the information you gather from primary and secondary sources. You will be rigorous and focused in your research, finding the most up to date source material and interviewing key players in your field. Sessions on research methods, interviewing, ethics and project structure will help you to develop your research and writing skills.

Your research will be written up in a 5000-word report showing a rich understanding of your subject, contemporary cultural awareness, critical analysis and sophisticated ability to discuss and communicate your findings.

Course info

UCAS Code WP29

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of face to face and online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy
Admissions Complaints Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/complaints