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

Undergraduate Course: Understanding Contemporary Art: Developing Personal Practice (LLLA07186)

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
SummaryOver an extended period of study this course will introduce contemporary art practice and develop research, studio and professional practice.
Course description Academic Description
The course will introduce students to elements of modern and contemporary art theory such as Modernism and postmodernism, develop an understanding of research methods such as visual research, evolve a personal art practice through a combination of projects including, field trips, collaborative practice and will cultivate elements of professional practice including group discussions and a curated exhibition.

Outline of Content
The course teaching is typically delivered over weekly class sessions of around 3 hours each and totaling 30 hours. Alternatively, the course can be delivered more intensely or as a block if required.
Over the class sessions the course will cover:
Introduction to aspects of visual culture such as Modernism and postmodernism
Visual research drawing through sketchbooks and/or written journals
Understanding research methodologies and how they translate into contemporary art practice
Developing appropriate personal research strategies
Demonstrate an ability to undertake critical and appropriate self-directed research
Planning, development and fulfillment of personal projects
Exploring contemporary approaches to art through critical engagement
Contextual understanding of modern and contemporary art through gallery visits
Develop a capacity to expand critical and self-reflective practice through participation in group discussion
Understanding of professional practice and participation in exhibition of work

The Learning Experience
The teaching will be based and delivered in specialist art and design studios or workshops and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration. Over the course, students¿ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor. Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

For work required to be undertaken after the class hours are complete, the course tutor will set students a ¿directed study plan¿ which can be undertaken without the need for specialist workshops or access to models.

Directed study will include research into a range of suggested artists and their associated movements to engender a contextual awareness. Students are expected to demonstrate how their research has informed their work through annotated sketchbooks, a visual digital journal and practical outcomes.
The Directed Study Plan will include preparing evidence of research and practical work to form an appropriate presentation for assessment.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Unless otherwise stated, all students on this short course pay a published course fee per enrolment.
In addition to the learning and teaching resources and content, this fee also includes;

In addition to the course fee, students are expected to provide the following list of indicate tools, materials and equipment
Sketchbook and/or journal
Drawing materials such as pencils, charcoal, ink etc.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Research, context and ideas (33.3%) Demonstrate a range of personal research strategies, showing a critical understanding off, and engagement with modern and contemporary art practices through contextual and personal research.
  2. Practice, skills and techniques (33.3%) Show an appropriate use of personal research enquiry, strategies and processes to communicate visual ideas, evidencing a meaningful understanding of contemporary art practices, which relates to a personal and relevant context.
  3. Selection, presentation and reflection (33.3%) Evidence an understanding of exhibiting work in a context, communicating ideas to a wider audience and showing independent judgment in the documentation and presentation of research, selection and editing of visual images.
Learning Resources
Suggested Reading
HATHERLY, O. (2009), Militant Modernism, Zero Books

SULLIVAN, G. (2010), Art Practice as Research, Inquiry in Visual Arts, SAGE Publications
EDWARDS, E. & WOOD, P. (2013), Art & Visual Culture 1850 - 2010: Modernity to Globalisation, Tate Publishing

BOULLTA, K. (2008), Belonging and Globalisation: Critical Essays in Contemporary Art and Culture, SAQI

THOMPSON, N. (2012), Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011, MIT Press

SMITH, T. (2009), What is Contemporary Art? University of Chicago Press

MEYER, R. (2013), What Was Contemporary Art? MIT Press

Journal and periodicals

Web sources

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Self-reflexive criticism, implement research methodologies, collaborative practice, self-directed study, studio practice, critical context, curating, installation skills
KeywordsContemporary art,self-reflective,critical,visual research,collaboration,studio practice
Course organiserMr Oliver Reed
Course secretaryMs Kameliya Skerleva
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
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