Course Details

Course Information Package

Course Unit CodeMFA503
Course Unit DetailsMA Fine Art: Contemporary Art Practices (Required Courses) -
Number of ECTS credits allocated4
Learning Outcomes of the course unitBy the end of the course, the students should be able to:
  1. Identify their central research question (CRQ).
  2. Situate their research question in the relevant literature(s).
  3. Formulate a theoretically-interesting argument.
  4. Select an appropriate method or methods best suited for addressing the CRQ.
  5. Apply the method(s) to the students’ research project.
  6. Identify the relevant “universe” of cases and units of analysis (UOA).
  7. Assess the empirical support for the students’ argument.
  8. Prepare an executable research plan.
  9. Prepare and conduct an interview in order to collect information during the research process.
  10. Utilize, prepare and implement techniques for the exploratory and the standardised interview.
  11. Prepare and conduct interviews through the distribution of Questionnaires in order to collect information during the research process.
  12. Understand and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the open and closed questions, wording of questions and the dos and don’ts of questionnaires.
  13. Negotiate and initiate a self derived research project.
  14. Formulate a research project proposal.
Mode of DeliveryFace-to-face
Recommended optional program componentsNONE
Course Contents • Introduction to research. Proposal Format Handout. What is research? Mapping our ideas: Research Topic. Research questions and goals. Ideas for a small pilot study/questions/goals. Pilot study format discussion. The Art of Wring a Proposal
• Defining types of research: Qualitative, Quantitative and mixed methods. Interviewing and Survey Research. Methods, Design & Supporting Literature. Ethics/irbs and validity.
• Case study and action research. Archival Research. Art practice as research. Editing and crossing off Extract abstract. Discussion and analysis of recent research projects. Discussion and analysis of Pilot Study Draft issues. Critical and analytical competencies appropriate to postgraduate level study, enabling self organisation, project management and communication skills
• Creative research. MA Proposal Formulation, Presentation and Submission. Discourse and Network Analysis. Analyzing Data and Writing up Results. Establishment of techniques of research and enquiry to create and interpret knowledge. Range of methods and skills appropriate to both design research and design practice
Recommended and/or required reading:
    No specific textbook required
  • Laurel, B (Ed). Design Research: Methods and Perspectives. Cambridge MA, MIT Press, 2003
  • Cooper and Press, The Design Experience, the role of design and designers in the 21st Century, Ashgate, 2003
  • Karen Holtzblatt, Jessamyn Burns Wendell, Shelley Wood, Rapid Contextual Design : A How-to Guide to Key Techniques for User-Centered Design, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers 2004.
  • Lidwell, W et al, Universal Principles of Design. Rockport Publishers, 2003
  • Wisker, Gina, The postgraduate research handbook: succeed with your MA, MPhil, EdD and PhD, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008
Planned learning activities and teaching methods This course includes lectures addressing the principles of design research, the different types of research methods and the development of new design knowledge. Additionally there are seminars to support the development of practical research skills. An art and design project will be the vehicle for the student to apply their knowledge and understanding of research principles into practice. In negotiation with the tutor, students will agree a suitable research question related to the project and they will then be expected to develop an appropriate research proposal. This will be supported throughout the module by lectures, seminars and group tutorials.
Assessment methods and criteria
MA Project proposal40%
Pilot/Case study10%
Reading reflections20%
Annotated bibliography APA style10%
Class participation/Activities10%
Language of instructionEnglish
Work placement(s)NO

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