FA6017 - Fashion Dissertation

What will I learn on this module?

This module provides an opportunity for final-year students to develop a critical, informed position in relation to theoretical and contextual issues surrounding design practice. By writing a 6,000-word Design Report (dissertation), you will articulate your knowledge of a particular subject and demonstrate your skills in research, critical thinking and using advanced analytical techniques to present an argument in written form. These are skills that will benefit you in your professional career and/or in postgraduate study. The subject will usually be related to your design specialism, but you are free to examine any viable subject within the broad field of visual and material culture. In most cases, the subject will be based on a research proposal that you will produce at Level 5. You will be supported by an assigned academic supervisor, with whom you will discuss work in progress.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is taught through a combination of introductory guidance lectures to consolidate the Design Report preparation lessons you received at Level 5, one-to-one tutorials and independent study. Online Q&A sessions will also be offered at appropriate points in January to answer any last-minute questions you may have. By these means, you will learn how to research effectively and how to address academic and professional concerns relating to design or visual and material culture. Each student should discuss your work in progress periodically with your assigned supervisor. A draft of one chapter should be submitted to your supervisor for formative feedback.

You will be encouraged and guided:
1. To develop appropriate methodologies enabling you to interpret, analyse and elucidate information gathered through research.
2. To select and organise appropriate material, ideas and interpretations into a coherent piece of work formally arranged as a report.
3. To demonstrate evidence of critical reflection, understanding and engagement with design in context.
4. To communicate a cogent and convincing argument.
5. To work in an ethical way and with integrity.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

This is a student-led project and it is your responsibility to complete it. Students will be supported by three guidance lectures at the start of Semester 1. These will consolidate the Design Report preparation lessons you received at Level 5 and equip you to undertake your research confidently and independently. The lecture PowerPoints will be made available via Blackboard, enabling you to refer to them throughout the semester. They will cover issues such as:
• What is a Design Report?
• Refining your subject and identifying critical issues
• Developing a research question
• Research methods
• How to obtain ethical approval
• Using theory and critical concepts
• Structure, writing and referencing
• What to expect from supervision
• Planning and time management
• How to request an extension

Following this general guidance, you will proceed with individual learning and specialised guidance through a series of three half-hour tutorials with your appointed supervisor. It is important to show work in progress, since the supervisor's most effective help will consist of comments on an actual written draft. Each student should submit a draft of one chapter, as well as a brief outline showing the overall structure of your Design Report. Feedback will aim to help you acquire a critical perspective on your own work and thus help you to think constructively. Sample Design Reports are available via the eLearning Portal (Blackboard) to help you understand the key requirements.

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: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Identify, review and critically discuss design related topics in manner as evidenced through your ability to undertake a comprehensive research project
• Demonstrate your ability to appropriately deploy techniques of enquiry, analysis and synthesis to a comprehensive research project

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Intellectually engage with a range of appropriate research materials, techniques and analytical tools to enable the undertaking of a comprehensive research project

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Engage autonomously in your studies, requiring minimal supervision to achieve outcomes.
• Demonstrate ability to communicate at a professional level through written skills.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be conducted through:

Formative assessment will be undertaken through individual tutorials in Semester 1. Attendance at tutorials will be monitored and it is vital that you attend all three.
Summative assessment will be by written submission of a 6,000-word Design Report (dissertation) (100%).





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code W230

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years with placement

Department Northumbria School of Design

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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