Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Access

Undergraduate Course: Access Art and Design 1 (AACE07005)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryAccess Art and Design 1 is an intensive and stimulating course that will enable students to create an individually-tailored portfolio for entry to the wide variety of degree programmes in art and design. With drawing as its foundation, the course aims to give students the confidence, passion and commitment to pursue their chosen degree pathway, whilst preparing students for progression to successful study of Access Art and Design 2. The course is project-driven with practical workshops that enable students to expand upon basic skills to experiment with materials, digital engagement and 2d/3d ideas relating to the students' expanding knowledge of contemporary art/design and cultural issues.
Course description 1) Academic Description

This course is offered as part of the Access Programme (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences). The Access Programme aims to prepare students for undergraduate study by introducing them to a range of essential skills and encouraging them to employ these
skills in a confident and flexible way.

Semester 1 courses are designed to foster those skills which are broadly transferable within their respective disciplinary areas and are designed to prepare students for progression to semester 2.

This, semester 1 course will provide an inclusive, supportive, stimulating and creative environment in which students are supported to create strong portfolios suitable for entry to the wide variety of art and design degree programmes (for example, Art, Intermedia Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Fine Art, Animation, Fashion, Film & Television, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Jewellery & Silversmithing, Performance Costume, Product Design, Textiles, etc.).

The core focus of Access Art and Design 1 is in skills development and portfolio preparation, supporting each student to demonstrate their artistic ability and potential in relation to their chosen degree pathways. Students will be encouraged to identify their potential degree pathways at an early stage of the course so that their learning can be tailored effectively towards individual outcomes and tailored portfolios. In line with a student's application to ECA and the 'portfolio assessment criteria' (which can also be used to map on to other institutions submission applications) four key areas will be blended into the learning journey: enquiry and visual research; idea development and material/technical exploration; critical judgement, reflection and resolution; and contextual awareness.

The course will include core skills-development workshops in a range of drawing and 2d/3d skills and techniques, visual recording, mixed-media experimentation and confidence building, digital engagement, and portfolio presentation along with enrichment activities to support progression. Work will be focussed around a themed project/ live brief which is designed to enable students to engage with, and demonstrate independent creative exploration and underpin their creative output and skills development.

2) Course Content

The course is designed around portfolio requirements for entry to degree courses in art and design.

Each of the twelve practical studio sessions includes tutor input on a range of issues and approaches within contemporary art and design. These sessions are designed to stimulate the students' work and provide greater depth to their portfolios.

Evidence of drawing enquiry and visual research is a core requirement of all art and design degrees, so both primary observational and experimental 2d and 3d drawing forms the first half of Art and Design 1, through observation and photography in journals, sketchbooks and developing mixed-media work, along with emotive exploration. Students will be directed towards specific degree course preparation and additional digital training if this is required for progression. Thereafter the course is project-based, encouraging students to develop interest in ideas and engage with themes relating to their practical work, undertaking independent research and practice-led enquiry.

The class project/live brief provides a broad theme around which students can structure work for their application portfolio, supported through individual and group tutorials and critiques. Students will be encouraged to become reflective thinkers and engage with digital learning, though the expansion of creative ideas between classes and weekly submission of individual digital portfolios.

3) Student Learning Experience

Students will typically learn through weekly studio-based and site- specific practical enquiry in a creative and supportive environment. Learning will be supported by short seminars of contemporary art/ design and cultural issues, in order to strengthen theoretical engagement with their practice. The seminars will take place weekly before each practical session. Whilst the course is structured towards the broad needs for all programmes of continued study, students will be encouraged to be reflective learners, and to work towards their chosen pathways through independent research, and journal and portfolio development.

Students will submit five formative pieces of work linked to the learning outcomes for the course, in the form of physical and digital portfolios, along with one short presentation on their planned project work.

Constructive feedback (both verbal and written) will be provided by the course tutor. Students will be encouraged to consider feedback and to respond to this in future work.

No grades will be provided for individual pieces of work, but an overall indicative course grade will be given at the end of semester based upon participation, coursework and response to feedback.

In addition to support and feedback at course level, all students on the Access Programme will engage via an online learning journal, where they will be prompted to reflect on their learning experience, feedback and progress and will receive personalised guidance and support from their Personal Tutor.

Students will also participate in a range of cultural and social engagement activities which are intended to complement their studies, increase cultural capital, encourage engagement with peers and communities, and build a sense of belonging.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  10
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 38, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 60 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Five formative assignments linked to the learning outcomes for the course and focussed on developing student's visual research skills and supporting and steering portfolios for entry to degree courses. These formative assignments will take the forms described below. Each feeds into an overall indicative grade which will be given at the end of the course.
Formative assessment 1: Introducing the purpose of the sketchbook and ways of using it effectively to gather visual research - comprising visual information gathering and experimental drawing (week 3) (LO.1)
This submission should consist of around 10 pages of sketchbook work which demonstrate selected approaches to experimental drawing and collage which have been discussed in class, and a range of visual research which begins to demonstrate the student's visual interests. The submission will be viewed in person in the studio [or via a digital submission]
Formative assessment 2: Research, context and ideas - comprising visual information gathering, sketchbook and idea generation. (LO.1)
This submission should consist of around a further 15 pages of sketchbook work which demonstrate a range of visual research which demonstrate the student's visual interests and which draws upon a -range of appropriate approaches to image-making, including collage, experimental drawing, mixed media approaches. The submission will be viewed in person in the studio [or via a digital submission]
Formative assessment 3: Practice, skills and techniques - visual presentations to the student group, demonstrating practical work in progress and proposed direction for resolved work. (week 7) (LO.1; LO.2) The submission will be presented live to the class group [or in an on-line presentation].
This submission should consist of a short digital presentation of around 5 slides in which the student illustrates their intended project starting points, research strategies and material experiments, and contextual and artist influences.
Formative assessment 4 and 5: Selection, presentation and reflection - preparation of a first and second draft of a digital mini-portfolio for student's selected degree courses. (LO.3)
These submissions should consist of digital submissions of intended portfolio content divided into research and development material, resolved work and context/influences. These submissions will be uploaded digitally to Learn for assessment.
No grades will be provided for individual pieces of work but an overall indicative course grade will be given based upon coursework and response to feedback.
Students will be deemed to have passed the course with an indicative grade awarded (grade D or above) if they satisfy the Formative Assessment elements, in line with the course Learning Outcomes based on the ECA marking scheme.
Feedback Students will receive informal ongoing peer and tutor feedback in class, as well as verbal and written tutor feedback in response to assignments and group crits.

Students will also be prompted to reflect on feedback via the online learning journal and will be provided with personalised guidance and support from their Personal Tutor.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Research, context and ideas: Demonstrate the development of personal visual ideas which are appropriate to the student's developing portfolio, through sketchbook work and other visual and contextual research
  2. Practice, skills and techniques: Demonstrate the deployment of a range of materials and techniques, through experimentation and critical thinking, which are appropriate to the student's developing portfolio
  3. Selection, presentation and reflection: Demonstrate appropriate judgement in selecting, editing and presenting a body of work as a portfolio for the student's planned art and design degree discipline.
Reading List
You are not expected to purchase these titles, but you should become familiar with the content of the majority through the duration of the course.


Bergstrom, B., 2008. Essentials of Visual Communication. London: Lawrence King Pub.
Manco, T., 2014. Big Art Small Art. London: Thames & Hudson.
Madoff, S. H., 2009. Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century). Massachusetts: MIT Press
Perrella, L., 2004. Artists Journals and Sketchbooks: Exploring and Creating Personal Pages. Gloucester, Mass.: Quarry Books.
Rothman, J., 2011. Drawn in: A Peak into the Inspiring Sketchbooks of 44 Fine Artists, Illustrators, Graphic Designers and Cartoonists. Beverly, MA: Quarry Books.
Vesters, C., 2009. Now is the Time: Art & Theory in the 21st Century. Rotterdam: NAI.
White, K., 2014. 101 Things to Learn in Art School. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Prior to the course, you may wish to purchase and consult:

Stobart, J., 2011. Extraordinary Sketchbooks. A&C Black Publishers. (approximately £20.00)

Prior to the course, you may also wish to consult:

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Employability awareness will be enhanced through the development of skills on the Access Programme. The holistic nature of the skills included in the programme design will enhance students' readiness to develop both graduate attributes and the social and cultural capital that will enable them to make the most of their undergraduate studies. Those with alternative exit routes will be able to draw on the skills inculcated in the Access Programme for future employment or study.
KeywordsArt,Design,Intermedia,Painting,Photography,Sculpture,Fine Art,Animation,Fashion,Film,Television
Course organiserMr Robbie Bushe
Course secretaryMs Kameliya Skerleva
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information