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FIN8001 : Dissertation Subject Development

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Richard Talbot
  • Lecturer: Dr Christian Mieves, Miss Irene Brown
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
Semester 3 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 15.0


This module encourages the exploration of a variety of approaches to writing about visual art. It develops skills in research, critical debate and written argument relative to a specific negotiated topic. It is an introduction to the variety of knowledge and skills required for the research, structuring and writing of the Stage 2 Dissertation.

Outline Of Syllabus

Research — an introduction to identifying appropriate material, and the effective use of resources to establish a context for the topic.

Critical Analysis — an introduction to the the interpretation of material, the identification and development of an argument and the critical/theoretical assessment of material.

Presentation — an introduction to the structuring and organisation of material, the use of coherent language appropriate to the topic, the use of illustrative, supportive material (visual or textual). Format - introduction, chapters, conclusion, bibliography and notes.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Completion of essay and contextual/literature review
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:157:30Seminars. PIP/SYNC
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities23:006:00Reading example dissertations
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities85:0040:00Written assignments.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:304:30Dissertation structure, Zotero, Word, referencing. PIP/SYNC
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1811:00198:00Independent research
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision31:003:00Individual tutorials. PIP/SYNC
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introduction to module. PIP/SYNC
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will explore a variety of approaches to writing about visual art through a programme of seminars and workshops across the semesters 1 and 2. Regular individual tutorials and written feedback on assignments will enable students to develop strategies for researching their proposed topic and to develop a detailed outline for their proposed dissertation in Year 2.

Scheduled leaching and learning activities such as workshops, individual tutorials and small group teaching will be conducted present in person (or synchronous online if made necessary by Covid-19 restrictions). Where scheduled leaching and learning activities are delivered via non-synchronous online sessions they will be followed by a synchronous on-line drop-in Q&A session.

Teaching methods may be liable to adjustment in response to changes to Government and University advice in relation to Covid-19 restrictions.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A501500-word essay: Self-reflective, critical review, focused on practice. Pass/Fail
Essay3A502000-word contextual/literature review + bibliography. Pass/Fail
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment Component 1 – requires the written articulation of a self reflective, critical review that identifies and interrogates key aspects of the student’s concepts and methodologies in relation to their own art practice.

Assessment Component 2 - requires the written articulation of a contextual review in relation to these key aspects, concepts and methodologies, allowing the student to contextualise their own practice within a wider field. This should be accompanied by an applicable and detailed Bibliography.

Each assessment component is weighted as 50% of the overall assessment requirement for this module. Both components must be successfully completed to Pass the module.

Each can be submitted online as required.

Reading Lists