AH5010 - Cultural Theory for Graphic Designers

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will be introduced to key themes and issues in Graphic Design. Through a dedicated lecture programme, you will examine the ways in which Graphic Design constantly changes, to both reflect and inform its wider cultural, social, economic and theoretical context. Supporting seminars explore the meanings, values and ethics of graphic design through the analysis of case studies of current practice in areas relevant to the students' individual programme pathways: Branding, Typography and Image-Making. In doing so it enhances your understanding of the theoretical questions which were introduced at level 4, and delivers key learning outcomes of: broadening and deepening students' appreciation of issues, concepts and theories in graphic design; enabling you to identify and evaluate relevant information within both delivered content and independent study; facilitating your development of independent study skills; and developing appropriate skills of academic presentation and the communication of ideas. Through developing analytical, critical, and theoretical skills, this module will enhance your studio practice and help prepare you for the extended individual research project at level 6.

How will I learn on this module?

‘Research and Critical Approaches to Graphic Design’ is taught through illustrated weekly lectures supported by seminars. Your participation in seminars will help you to develop and communicate your ideas. Each session will involve presentations by the tutor to establish key terms of reference, followed by group discussion of the issues raised. Hands-on workshops will help you to develop study skills relevant to graphic design practice, including archival research, fieldwork, visual analysis and presentation skills. Directed learning and reading will encourage independent research, visual analysis of graphic design and critical reflection on design theory and practice. You will be supported in the skills of academic essay writing though the use of formative and summative learning and through the use of Turnitin.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Academic support will be provided through seminars, individual tutorials and use of the eLearning Portal;

• Seminars and tutorials will give you the opportunity to identify and discuss assessment criteria, both at the planning stage and as you engage with tasks. Tutorials will offer you support with any specific issues or concerns.
• Sample student work will be provided via the eLearning Portal to guide you in your preparation.
• Study skills sessions will ensure good practice for everyone following the module.
• Formative feedback will be ongoing in group learning sessions.
• Written feedback will be provided upon assignment submission within 20 working days according to university policy.

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:
• Demonstrate knowledge of a range of issues in Graphic Design (1);
• Analyse and engage with key issues and debates in Design (1).
• Identify and engage with theoretical concepts relevant to the culture of design (2).
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Identify and evaluate relevant information in independent reading and accurately acknowledge sources located in and informed by current critical debate (1/2).
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Demonstrate independent study skills such as time management and IT Skills (1,2,3).

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be carried out through seminar discussion and group tutorials.

You will be assessed through Assessment Portfolio (100%) of assignments, which show your critical reflection and analysis of concepts raised throughout this module and on studio practice being carried out in parallel modules. A key part of this portfolio will be your preparatory research proposal for the individual research project to be undertaken at level 6.

Feedback on the formal summative assessment will be provided in writing within 20 working days of the portfolio submission.


AH4010 History and Influences of Graphic Design



Module abstract

‘Critical Approaches to Graphic Design’ develops your awareness and understanding of key themes and issues in Graphic Design. The lecture programme will examine the ways in which Graphic Design constantly changes and how it reflects and informs its wider cultural context. Supporting seminars explore the meanings, theories, values and ethics of Graphic Design through the analysis of case studies relevant to your chosen pathway: Branding, Typography and Image-Making. You will also improve your skills of independent study; and develop appropriate skills of academic presentation and the communication of ideas. Building these analytical, critical, and theoretical skills in this module will help enhance your studio practice, it will also prepare you for the extended individual research project at level 6.

Course info

UCAS Code W210

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 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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