AD3020 - Nature and Technologies

What will I learn on this module?

Our interaction with nature and the environment and a need to capture and understand these experiences has informed the production of a range of creative arts practices (landscape painting/site specific performance/multi-media installation). Likewise artists have always had an interest in the natural sciences and have an increasing concern about the trajectory of change given the rapid developments in modern technologies in the last century.
This module will introduce you to contemporary concepts and creative studio production processes related to the theme of Nature and Technology. You will learn about new digital methodologies of production and be able to discern between appropriate use of low tech or high tech production processes in the making of work and the development of your practice.
Workshops will enable you to learn more about new media technology and how it may be applied to your scholarly and studio interests.
Creative practitioners often look to the sciences to develop new directions in their own practice. In this module you will also be asked to examine the concept of evolution and how this is aligned to your own creative practice; the germination of an idea, fermentation and final output/product.
You will learn to understand the value of being a student in a university that has a wide variety of academic resources available to enable you to develop your knowledge and creative practice (geo-sciences/life and chemical sciences/earth and space research)
Working in a team you will further learn from each other’s practices and creative interventions through experimentation, making, discussion and evaluation.
Following semester 1 you will learn how to use your summative feedback to develop a greater understanding of student centred learning building a more personal artistic position in advance of the final ‘Identity‘ module

How will I learn on this module?

Through directed and self-directed approaches around a range of studio and workshop practices you will produce a portfolio of work that interrogates an aspect of nature and leads to the production of a final output.
Academic staff from across the department will give presentations on their research interests linked to the arts and sciences and outline the evolution process of projects through a number of diverse case studies.
Study visits will introduce you to the Tyne and Wear Natural History archive at the Hancock Museum and our Conservation of Art and Life Sciences laboratories.
Technical staff will deliver a number of demonstrations in analogue and digital processes in lighting, image capture and sound production. The module encourages you to apply speculative science/pseudo science research activity to produce new imaginings about the natural world and to learn how to use appropriate methodologies to investigate and articulate your ideas. You will do this both individually and collectively in small groups.
You will be given formative feedback on the progress of your work to support your development towards a final output which along with your research material will inform a final assessment at the end of semester 2.

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 succeed 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.
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 demonstrate an understanding of Nature and Technologies as a subject in historical and contemporary art practice

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. To develop skills to align appropriate use of traditional or new technologies in the production of work

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
3. A cultural awareness of the significance of nature and the sciences and their relationship with the arts

How will I be assessed?

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

Summative Assessment
Portfolio submission of research and a final presentation of artwork output responding to the theme of Nature and Technologies (MLO 2), that is culturally located (MLO3) as a subject in historical and contemporary arts practice (MLO1). Portfolio submission and evidence/documentation of workshop based activities are linked to induction and development of technical skills.


Art and the City AD3018
The Body AD3017


Identity AD 3019
Arts Portfolio: Skills for University AD3021

Module abstract

The subject of Nature continues to have currency across the visual and performing arts disciplines. The advance in new technologies, especially through digital media highlights new methodologies about how we see and explain the natural world.
This module positions you in a university culture that is research rich in a number of arts and science disciplines and provides you with skills and knowledge that will allow you to discern about what processes are best engaged in shaping your own evolution as a student of the arts.
The multi-disciplinary nature of the module activities will promote enterprise and innovation in your thinking and creative attitude, and build confidence in your ability to work with others beyond your own specific subject specialism.

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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