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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Postgraduate Course: Dissertation (Design Cultures) (40 credits) (DESI11075)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course will support you to undertake a significant independent practice-based dissertation. You are expected to develop informed, innovative, and purposive research that identifies key ideas, theories, and practices at the forefront of your discipline and to use these to inform and critically evaluate your own practice in a fully contextualised way. The dissertation should demonstrate an integrated approach to research and practice and should coherently communicate the rationale behind the work developed during your taught postgraduate studies and how it can be situated in broader design cultures and their contexts in a manner consistent with academic standards and conventions.
Course description This course aims to:

- Support you to undertake a significant independent practice-based research project.
- Support you to develop a reflexive approach to your practice.
- Enable you to develop rigorous and integrated research skills through the identification of key themes, theories and methods pertinent to your practice.
- Support you to advance your skills of critical analysis and evaluation to enable you to investigate how your work can be situated in broader design cultures and their contexts.
- Develop your skills in communicating your research and practice in an informed and authoritative manner.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 3, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 382 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework - 12,000-word dissertation, which is assessed against the three learning outcomes. All three learning outcomes are equally weighted.
Feedback Feedback / forward will be communicated throughout the course in the form of group and individual tutorials. During these sessions students will be required to present their ongoing research which will receive oral feedback.
There will be two formal formative assessment points designed to support the final summative submission. These are: one oral presentation of the research proposal, objectives and plan which will receive oral feedback; and one written submission of draft sections, via Learn, which will receive written feedback and indicative grades.
Students are required to reflect upon their feedback throughout the course and maintain a diary of intended action points in response.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Evidence through rigorous research and selection of appropriate techniques of enquiry a critical understanding of relevant ideas, theories, and practices at the forefront of your discipline and which underpin and sustain your own practice.
  2. Critically analyse your own practice evaluating how it engages with developments at the forefront of your discipline and how it is situated within broader design cultures and their contexts so as to come to creative responses to problems and issues.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to manage, structure and communicate complex ideas and findings in a synthesized and extended scholarly manner.
Reading List
Clarke, M. (2007) Verbalising the Visual: Translating Art and Design into Words. Lausanne; Worthing: AVA Academia.
Cross, N. (2006) Designerly Ways of Knowing. London: Springer.
Crouch, C. and Pearce, J. (2012) Doing Research in Design. London: Berg Publishers.
Lees-Mafei, G. (2011) Writing Design: Words and Objects. London: Berg Publishers.
Madsen, D. (1992) Successful dissertations and theses: a guide to graduate student research from proposal to completion. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Smith, H and Roger Dean (eds.). (2009) Practice-led research, research-led practice in the creative arts. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Graduates of the University will be able to create new knowledge and opportunities for learning through the process of research and enquiry. For students taking the Dissertation course this can be understood in terms of the following:

To be able to plan and undertake research on the basis of rigorous and independent thought, taking into account ethical and professional issues.

To be able to identify, define and analyse problems and where relevant come to creative solutions.

To search for, evaluate and use information to develop your knowledge and understanding.
To be an independent learner who takes responsibility for your own learning, and are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement.
To have the confidence to make decisions based on your understandings and demonstrate intellectual autonomy.

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
Graduates of the University will be able to work independently and sustainably, in a way that is informed by openness, curiosity and a desire to meet new challenges. Graduates of this course will be able to demonstrate their ability to:
- be creative and imaginative thinkers
- be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
- be intellectually curious and able to sustain intellectual interest

Graduates of the University will recognise and value communication as the tool for negotiating and creating new understanding, collaborating with others, and furthering their own learning. Graduates of this course will be able to demonstrate their ability to:
- further their own learning through effective use of the full range of communication approaches

Personal Effectiveness
Graduates of the University will be able to effect change and be responsive to the situations and environments in which they operate. Graduates of this course will be able to demonstrate their ability to:
- have the confidence to make decisions based on their understandings and their personal and intellectual autonomy
- be able to create and harness opportunities
Additional Class Delivery Information The Dissertation course is delivered through a mixture of lectures, small group tutorials and individual tutorials. Students are expected to prepare work for each contact point, with instructions relating to this listed on the course LEARN pages. Students are also expected to actively engage in tutorials, which also provide an opportunity for peer learning and feedback.
Course organiserDr Nichola Dobson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5713
Course secretaryDr Eadaoin Lynch
Tel: (0131 6)51 5740
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