AD3018 - Art and the City

What will I learn on this module?

This module will introduce you to contemporary concepts and creative studio production processes related to the theme of Arts and the City.
You will learn to develop and produce a range of experimental collaborative and individual artworks under the direction of academic staff from across subject disciplines. Through directed and self-directed approaches around a range of studio and workshop practices you will produce a portfolio of work that offers an exploration of the inter-relationship between the city that we see and the city that we imagine.
Arts and the city are intertwined, and this module gives you an opportunity to develop your own arts practice through observation and interrogation of the cultural life, activities and artefacts of a real city.
Through arts practices, students will consider the role of arts within the environments of the city, developing knowledge on how arts can explore, reflect, enhance and critique the city and its citizens.
The module will consider the location and impact of arts and culture in introducing the relationship between artist and spectator/audience/public.
The module will also introduce you to the distinctive environment and culture that has shaped Newcastle and Gateshead and how Tyneside has evolved into an international centre for the arts. Consequently this Semester 1 module will help locate you in a studio culture for the first time and complement the learning activities around interpretation of form and function linked to the Body module.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will focus on the potential offered by the Northumbria University campus studios being located in the centre of the extended city of Newcastle/Gateshead and the learning opportunities with our partners in the cultural and creative industries (BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Tyneside Cinema, Live Theatre, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums).
Students will make creative responses to visits and observations through their own research, and through encounter with artists and the arts and cultural centres and activities in the city. This may include galleries, theatres, studios and other locations. You will be assessed on your abilities to express a response to the city through your own arts practices and related analysis and reflection.
You will be taught through structured teaching activities including lecture, demonstration, studio and workshop activity. Site visits and study activity will enable you to understand the importance of primary research from source. Seminar discussions will introduce other concepts about how artists from across the creative spectrum have been inspired by the City thematic. This will inform your own learning and enable you to use the studio back in the University as a place of creative experimentation and production.
You will be given formative feedback on your work to support your development towards a final output which along with your research material will form a final assessment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through guided studio and workshop activity by your academic tutors and technical support staff.
The module handbook provides details of sessions, reading lists and assessment criteria. Teaching and learning materials are made available on the e-learning portal. The module tutors will be available in taught sessions, as well as in feedback and consultation hours and on email, to discuss any queries or concerns you have about how to excel academically on the module. Moreover, feedback on formative work and the first summative assessments will also serve as ‘feed forward’, giving guidance on how to improve during the module. Given that this is one of the first studio based modules to be completed you will be guided through how assessment impacts on your learning.
In addition, you have a designated Personal Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Personal Guidance Tutor’s role includes:

• monitoring your ongoing academic progress
• helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development
• directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus)

You are advised to see your Personal Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress.

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. Be able to show an understanding of the inter-relationship between arts, culture and the environments of the city

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Demonstrate a growing knowledge of arts practices and techniques

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
3. Show awareness of arts and cultural issues in relation to a wider social context

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment
Formative feedback is provided as an integral part of teaching and learning sessions

Summative Assessment
Portfolio submission and presentation of artwork. Evidence/documentation of thematic research around the City (MLO1 and 3) and of developing a personal approach to studio culture (MLO2).




The Body AD3017
Arts Portfolio:Skills for University AD3021

Module abstract

The module presents you with the opportunity to explore the inter-relationship of art and the city through your own arts practices, building on and extending your studio experience. You will be introduced to arts and culture in the wider context of the city and experience the specific arts related resources linked to the thriving art culture in Newcastle and Gateshead. This experience is further enriched by exisiting partnerships between Northumbria University and the city’s cultural/arts organisations and artists. Reflection on this rich and vital relationship will support you to set your own practice in context.

Course info

UCAS Code W150

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years Full Time or 5 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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