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APL2007 : Visual and Creative Practice Research Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Loes Veldpaus
  • Lecturer: Dr Abigail Schoneboom
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


1 – To introduce visual, creative practice, and social research, as well as the key stages of the research process such as research design and question development for example.
2 – To develop an understanding of qualitative research through social, visual, and creative practice methods.
3 – To develop an understanding of a range of visual, social, and creative practice methods for collecting and analysing data, and have opportunities for practicing these skills.
4 – The research skills and techniques learned in this module will act as a foundation for the individual dissertation undertaken in Stage 3, with some time given for the outline development of each student’s individual project.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will introduce the students to a range of qualitative research methods and analysis techniques, with opportunities for reflection throughout the module and assignments. It introduces different types of research approaches (Social, Visual and Creative Practice) from which the students will choose for their individual dissertation studies undertaken in stage 3. It will also introduce them to key stages of the research process such as research question development and research design.

1. Understanding academic social, visual, and creative practice research
2. Designing a research project generating a research topic, question, and aims.
3. Framing the research within the context of existing work - literature review, state of the art, state of the practice.
4. Understanding the research context (ethics and field sites)
5. Exploring research methods
•       Exploring research methods (Semi-structured/unstructured interviews and focus groups, Ethnographic approaches (visual and sensory), Participant observation and visual methods, Mapping informing research.
•       Textual and visual analysis (thematic analysis, discourse analysis and content analysis)
•       Creative practice research, research through design (Participatory design / Design activism / Sensory intervention / Fictional novel)
6. Preparing your own research proposal

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion172:0072:00Preparation for two assessments.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00Library workshop Writing Skills Workshop InDesign Workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture92:0018:00Lectures. PIP, but can revert to online/synchronous teaching
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching92:0018:00Workshops, methods, research proposal development, academic skills. PIP.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities113:0033:00preparing for lecture and workshop
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study155:0055:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module is designed to introduce research skills and knowledge and skills through a combination of lectures and workshops, so that students gain an understanding of research processes and research methods.

Should the public health situation not allow for present in person teaching, the core content will be delivered through pre-recorded content and synchronous sessions, including weekly live online module talks, tutorials and drop-ins. The pre-recorded lecture materials will be complemented by learning activities as well as synchronous Q&A sessions.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M301,000 word illustrated essay (in the form of a magazine), reflecting on one of the methods presented in the module
Research proposal2A703,000 word illustrated research proposal for independent dissertation studies including ethics and risk approvals.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The magazine spread will:
1) reflect on the use and appropriateness of a visual or creative practice research method applied to a research situation/topic drawing from one of the seminar session
2) It will include evidence of literature and practice review.
3) It will reflect on the relation between method and research topic.

The research proposal will outline the students’ proposed independent dissertation study. Students are expected to draw on skills learnt about the visual and creative practice research process and apply it to a topic of their own interest which they wish to take forward for their dissertation study in stage 3. The proposal will explore why the topic is important, possible research questions to answer, brief literature and practice review and sources, and potential visual or creative practice methods of data collection and analysis they may use in addressing their research question.

Reading Lists