VA7038 - Art Worlds

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will be challenged and supported to expand your understanding of the different “worlds” and settings in which your practice operates. There are many different “art worlds”: local/national/global, public sector/private, community-based, educational, virtual, self-organised/independent. Developing your practice involves carefully situating your practice in relation to such worlds and/or devising novel scenes through self-organised practices of “world-making”: building connections and creating anew the terms of a sustainable art practice.

The module provides an opportunity to evolve your practice in relation to its social, professional and cultural contexts. Presentation strategies will be arrived at through the production of artwork(s), the identification and exploration of different contexts, audiences and modes of dissemination. You will be supported in developing ways of working that understand production and reception as interconnected; where processes of doing, making, experimentation, presentation, dialogue and exchange continuously inform each other.

You will evidence your development of a situated practice through a ‘folio’ of works. The form of this folio will be determined by you in relation to questions of dissemination and reception investigated over the semester. Your folio will also act as a platform to describe your ideas and practice outwardly to other external parties, as such it will assist in establishing professional networks relevant to your future career. This module continues your engagement with the Baltic Research Exchange, further developing enterprise skills that will enable you to build a career as a self-supporting practitioner.

How will I learn on this module?

In this module, the academic teaching takes a number of forms, each designed to support you in your learning and to enable you to enhance your work and action with your peers to build a learning environment that is safe, collaborative and outward-facing. Much of the academic teaching in this module is selected, enabling you to build your pathway through the specialist research-led teaching offered by the academic team. Seminars reveal current themes and discourses, academic workshops focus on applied learning through instruction and rehearsal, and group crits foreground peer-based discussion, negotiation and critical reflection. Your learning in these sessions is collective and cross-cohort, supporting you to establish strong peer links and maximise the collective resource of your peers group. Tutorials with members of the academic team provide you with ongoing focused feedback on your work and practice, while external visits connect you with networks, collaborators, sites, venues and resources.

Central to your learning on this module is the provision of collective and flexible studio space, which you are encouraged to organise, curate and develop with your peer group.

Technical teaching in this module can be selected through specialist areas of photography, print, construction, casting and fabrication, video, sound and digital imaging.

This module will contribute to enhancing your professional development in responding to the Baltic Research Exchange, working towards new understandings of how you creatively and professionally represent your research processes and production.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You are supported through ongoing formative academic feedback concerning work in progress through tutorials, group tutorials and group critiques. Your studio tutor provides you with regular assessment of your progress and supports you in working towards both the module aims, assessment briefs, and your own person goals. Written feedback at the end of the module supports your academic progress by assisting your reflection and awareness towards your achievements and potential as a learner.
Pastoral support is available through your guidance tutor who can assist you and help you to access all relevant sources of academic and non-academic support through the University’s Student Central. MFA academics work closely with the University disability advisers to ensure those students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties are fully supported. Additional bookable and drop in study skills support is available through the Northumbria Skills Plus Programme at the City Campus Library and via My Northumbria. In line with the University’s equal opportunities statement, all students that are confirmed with a disability are given every support to enable them to meet their full potential on the course. Meetings with the Module and Programme Leads offer the opportunity to discuss course and related matters. All MFA academics can be contacted via email and have regular in-person consultation and feedback office hours.

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:
To contextualise developments in practice through appropriate and informed contemporary art and cultural research.
To produce a range of practical outputs that employ effective intellectual and technical strategies, addressing dissemination and public engagement.
To evidence synergies of theory and practice, through form, content and context, in the development of research themes, and the production and delivery of practical outputs.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
To evidence effective organisational skills in relation to writing, project planning, contextual research, and time?management.
To demonstrate self-motivation, risk-taking, criticality, and independence of thinking in the development of a situated research-informed practice.
To evidence enterprise skills in researching, exploring and evaluating options for professional career development, and routes to build identity and viability in an artistic marketplace or workforce.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
Develop an awareness of Ethics requirements for final projects

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment
On completion of the module assessment is summative. You are asked to demonstrate the development of your studio practice through the presentation of a significant body of ambitious practice-based research evidencing clear decision-making in relation to a sustainable studio practice and through the digital documentation of the ‘offsite’ component, an understanding of appropriate contexts for the public output of your art. (100% weighting) (MLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
The submission comprises a folio of works presented in a format suited to?the critical, aesthetic and intellectual context for your ideas and practices. It should evidence how you are adapting and engaging with questions of dissemination and reception. This Folio must contain a word document of no more than 3500 words describing the provenance of your research activities in relation to contemporary modes of art production, timely discussions within your field and showing a sound knowledge of exhibition site and publics.
It includes your response to the live brief of the Baltic Research Exchange outlining its influence on your professional development of 1000 words (MLO 6).??
Assessment weighting:?100%


VA7036, VA7037 or equivalent



Module abstract

Art Worlds challenges and supports you in expanding your understanding of the different settings in which your practice operates. There are many different “art worlds”: local/national/global, public sector/private, community-based, educational, virtual, self-organised/independent. Developing your practice involves carefully situating your practice in relation to such worlds and/or devising novel scenes through self-organised practices of “world-making”: building connections and creating anew the terms of a sustainable art practice.
In developing artwork(s) within this module, important questions will be asked of who might constitute an audience for the work, how the work might be ‘framed’ via textual material, social media activities and different communities, alongside choices regarding how and where the work is intended to come to fruition. The positioning of your work in relation to a range of social, cultural, political and technical discourses will inform your explorations.

Course info

Credits 60

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2021

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 online and face to face teaching due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

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.

Students will be required to attend campus as far as restrictions allow. Contact time will increase as restrictions ease, or decrease, potentially to a full online offer, should restrictions increase.

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


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