VA4013 - Positions in Practice

What will I learn on this module?

This module will introduce you to the idea of an artistic position – you will come to understand how artists map an identity for themselves through specialisation in practice and the specifics of their contextual interests. Building on the research skills developed in semester 1, you will begin your own journey in developing an artistic position by beginning to work through and identify your specific areas of practical and contextual interest.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a blend of practical and traditional academic teaching. The studio briefs will be constructive and offer you experiential learning opportunities to test and apply the skills you will be expected to develop.

You will have the opportunity to direct your art making through areas of visual material enquiry:

• 2D making (e.g. painting, drawing, printmaking, photography)
• 3D making (e.g. sculpture, assemblage, installation)
• 4D (e.g. video, sound, performance)

Theory will be integrated into the briefs to support the development of your studio practice by exploring a range of broad themes (e.g. memory, time, nature, abstraction, the political) and how artists engage with these themes in specific ways. You will be expected to expand your learning, by conducting independent research to help identify and develop your own thematic interests

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You are supported by an academic team, which teaches you across the various modules and a personal tutor to aid your wellbeing and provide general support. Your learning is mapped out for you in a series of briefs given to you during the semester. You are provided guidance notes and key dates for the semester to help you organise and plan your time. Teaching materials, notices and guidance are made available to you through our online electronic learning portal. This is accessible online both on campus and externally. You will have a University email that we contact you through, and all teaching schedules are published in your online timetable. To support you we provide you with on-going formative feedback through the teaching contact. You have twenty-four-hour access to the University Library.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Demonstrate informed connections between your individual interests and creative research that are relevant to contemporary art.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Evidence emerging creative research skills including accessing high quality material and evaluation of critical voices.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
3. Evidence curiosity for the subject of your work.

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment:
1. Completion of live group presentation, 30%
2. Submission of annotated documentation, 20%
3. Submission of completed artwork, 50%

Summative Assessment Feedback:
You will receive verbal feedback from your Studio Tutor within seven days of the submission deadline. Feedback is individual and provided in the context of the assessment criteria given to you at the start of the semester in the module guide. Written feedback on your submission is delivered within 20 working days via the eLearning Portal.

Formative Feedback:
To prepare you successfully to undertake the summative assessment(s) on this module, formative assessments will be set by the module team. These may take the form of in-class tasks or projects, developmental activities undertaken between classes, or learning exercises/activities set over a longer period. Feedback (written and/or oral) will be provided to help you learn from, reflect on, and develop in light of these formative assessments.

The assessment task tests all of the MLOs.





Module abstract

What ideas or subjects do I respond to and how do I draw them into my work? How do artists use specific materials, images or information that provide a way to open up dialogues with particular subjects? This module offers you the opportunity to identify and explore the subject in your work, the mediums and materials you want to work with and how you might begin to establish your own artistic identity through them.

Course info

UCAS Code W105

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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