AD3042 - Critical Cultural Encounters

What will I learn on this module?

This interdisciplinary module will enable you to synthesise learning from across the programme locating practices of film, media, theatre and performance, and fine art within wider artistic, cultural, and geopolitical contexts and current debates. On this module, you will develop and utilise a broad range of key skills for university. These will include demonstrations of cogent academic prose, accurate academic citation, research skills, independent learning, oral presentation, and teamwork. The module fosters employability through enabling you to develop foundational knowledge in transferable skills such as time management, IT skills, critical thinking, and evaluation.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn on the module through a stimulating programme of lectures, seminars, and encounters with cultures, products and organisations. Your learning will build core academic skills through formative exploration individually and in groups to support you as a Foundation student. The module design emphasises collaborative peer learning experiences as well as individual study. Lectures will introduce topics and ideas while seminars and discussion groups provide an opportunity to develop, explore and consolidate learning, including honing written and verbal communication skills. You will be required to make positive contributions to the learning experience, by preparing for class by undertaking (where appropriate) reading or viewing activities as directed by tutors. Bi-weekly encounters with a cultural product or organisation (for example: theatre production, film, new media coverage of an event, social media performances, gallery viewing, visit to a museum) will extend your knowledge base and enable you to apply your evolving understanding of key concepts, issues, and approaches to the examples of practice you encounter. At key points in the module, there will be information and advice given in lectures and seminars relating to the skills required for assessment preparation such as presentation skills, essay structure, research processes, citation of sources and use of quotations, academic language, etc. In addition to learning during contact hours with the module tutors, you will undertake the directed learning of the preparatory activities as well as independent learning. Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and research, the consolidation of session materials and the completion of the assessment. Sessions will be delivered by the module team to ensure you benefit from their particular expertise across a range of disciplines.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Essential information and resources including details of sessions, lecture learning materials, reading lists, and assessment briefs and criteria are made available on the module Blackboard site (e-learning portal). The module will incorporate assessment preparation discussion, with advice on how to approach the tasks. The module tutors will be available in taught sessions, as well as in feedback and consultation hours and by email, to discuss any queries or concerns you have about how to excel academically on the module. Moreover, feedback on formative work and the first summative assessments will also serve as ‘feed forward’, giving guidance on how to improve during the module. In addition, you have a designated Personal Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Personal Guidance Tutor’s role includes:
• monitoring your ongoing academic progress
• helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development
• directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus)

You are advised to see your Personal Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress.

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 and Understanding
MLO 1 Demonstrate an awareness of critical thinking in relation to subject and object of study

Intellectual / Professional Skills and Abilities
MLO 2 Demonstrate academic skills of written prose, citation, oral presentation, and independent research.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
MLO 3 Demonstrate a capacity for curiosity and cultural engagement
MLO 4 Appreciate the relevance of arts and culture to current and historical, ethical and ideological debates

How will I be assessed?

You will be supported with feedback through formative (i.e. informal) tasks within the module seminars to prepare for the summative (i.e. formal) assessment for the module.


The group presentation (ten minutes; 50% weighting) takes the form of a review of a cultural encounter (eg. play, exhibition, film etc). You also submit evidence of research materials and a short reflection on your contribution to the task (up to 400 words). Through the task you will demonstrate an awareness of critical thinking (MLO1), skills of research, reflection and presentation (MLO2), a capacity for curiosity (MLO3) and an appreciation of the relevance of arts and culture to current social debates (ML04).

The individual essay (1500 words; 50% weighting) is an individual written review of an appropriate cultural object (e.g. film, journalism, play, artwork; may not be the same as in assessment 1). Through the task you will demonstrate an awareness of critical thinking (MLO1), skills of research, citation, reflection and presentation (MLO2), a capacity for curiosity and cultural engagement (MLO3) and an appreciation of the relevance of arts and culture to current social debates (MLO4)





Module abstract

This experiential module is designed to enable you to develop as a critically engaged, self-sufficient, curious learner though engaging in a series of encounters with current practice in the fields of film, media, theatre and performance, and fine art. The module will comprise weekly lectures with a bi-weekly rotation of an encounter with a cultural product or organisation (for example: theatre production, film, new media coverage of an event, social media performances, gallery viewing, visit to a museum) and a seminar critically reflecting on that encounter in relation to key reading. You will cultivate key skills for university (research, teamwork and collaboration, synthesising ideas, project management, communication and debate etc). The module will be assessed via a group presentation and an individual essay.

Course info

UCAS Code P325

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time followed by a further 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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