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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Creative Arts

Undergraduate Course: Art Practice: Applying Research Methods (LLLA08008)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores practical research methods in an Art practice, encouraging exploration and experimentation to develop a student's personal visual language. Through studio-based one to one teaching, and consisting of short projects, field trips, workshops and talks, students will deepen and broaden their engagement between their ideas and studio practice.
Course description 1) Academic Description

Artists working today engage in many diverse forms of research, which are deeply embedded in their art practice and increasingly many artists are now undertaking practice-based doctoral studies. This course is designed to act as an introduction to how to establish and develop fundamentally self-directed, strategies for research that will deepen and strengthen the engagement of the student's art practice with subject areas of personal interest.

The course is primarily intended for those part-time students who have had some previous foundation in an Arts based discipline or have completed and taken courses for credit and are now seeking to focus and deepen engagement with their art practice. Primarily the course explores visual research methodologies whilst the studio-based teaching will encourage students to develop their own abilities to research independently.

Research as an integral component of art practice has the possibility of making innovative and imaginative connections with form and content. The results can take the form of visual representations that work towards developing the artist's own ideas and communicate these ideas to a wider audience in the form of artistic work so that they're an integral part of the artistic research process.

Students studying on full-time courses within the University of Edinburgh can take this credit course, but this cannot be used or counted towards any degree they are studying.

2) Outline Content

Based both in the studio and the field, the course will be based on a series of short projects involving visual, contextual and personal research created outside the studio and leading to the development of studio-based work. It will introduce research methods such as gathering and organizing research material and developing that material into project-based work together with recognizing experimentation with Process as a form of practice-based research.

Students will be encouraged to engage with other artists, historical and contemporary, and other disciplines to broaden their awareness and where appropriate, visiting practitioners will engage with the students. Students will work individually and undertake a collaborative project to develop their communication and research skills. This will be reinforced by group discussion and critiques, and the work produced individually and collaboratively will form part of each student's summative assessment submission.

The practical results arising from the projects need not take the form of finished artwork but should rather be seen as informing the process of what can be developed in the longer term in this way contributing to expanding students' art practice.

Simple research tasks such as using a library effectively will be encompassed in addition to undertaking research drawing, object-based research, identifying and collating contextual material that is of interest to the student.

3) Student Learning Experience

The course will mainly consist of short projects based on personal research, encouraging exploration and experimentation to develop the student's personal visual language.

This will be supported by organized visits to exhibitions allowing for discussion and interaction with contemporary art. Talks and workshops with visiting artists will be used to widen the students learning experience and give practical encouragement to their personal development.

In addition to formal assessments, regular group critiques will allow for a shared experience and enable the students to communicate their ideas visually and verbally to their peers.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Students should provide basic drawing materials comprising of:
Sketchbook - A sketchbook will be a vital piece of equipment for students to work in, whatever size of the sketchbook it should be convenient to carry especially for research 'in the field'.
Basic Drawing Materials, such as Graphite stick or graphite pencil, charcoal pencil, charcoal, putty rubber.
These materials should cost around 15
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Evidence a variety of research methodologies supported by contextual investigations, for example artists, art movements and some relevant theoretical engagement.
  2. Develop personal research strategies, processes and skills evidencing experimental and more resolved works.
  3. Demonstrate research and knowledge presented through an individual body of work expressed through development from personal research.
Reading List
Barrett, E. & Bolt, B. Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry, I B Tauris & Co Ltd, 2010

Leavy, P. Method Meets Art: Arts-Based Research Practice, Guilford Press, 2008

Robson, C. Real World Research, Blackwell, 1993

Nelson, R. Practice as Research in the Arts, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Demonstrate an ability to undertake a variety of research methods.
Understand the relevance of personal research methodologies for the development of self-directed practice.
Develop a capacity to expand critical and self-reflective research practice.
Work with others in a constructive and cooperative way.
Recognize experimentation with 'process' as a form of practice-based research.
Contextual understanding of modern and contemporary art.
Course organiserMr Oliver Reed
Course secretaryMr Benjamin McNab
Tel: (0131 6)51 4832
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