University of Chester

Programme Specification
Visual Communication through Digital Media BA (Hons) (Single Honours)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Arts (Single Honours)

Visual Communication through Digital Media

Visual Communication through Digital Media (University College Isle of Man)

University of Chester

University College Isle of Man

University College Isle of Man

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years

7 Years

Annual - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Art and Design

Art & Design


Art & Design

Tuesday 24th June 2014

The aims of the programme are to provide students with:

  • A well resourced and stimulating, Visual Communication and Digital Media curriculum that develops the practical and intellectual skills necessary to enter the creative industry as enterprising, confident practitioners or undertake post-graduate study. 
  • Challenges that encourage development of a nexus of creative, problem solving skills and strategies and individual methodology based on investigation, analysis and synthesis leading to a body of professional work.
  • Opportunities leading to the application of creative and intellectual skills and employing materials and processes as appropriate in the solution of visual communication problems for identified audiences. 
  • Confidence when working independently and collaboratively as team members. 
  • Research and study skills and understanding of the work’s context as the foundation of creative practice or post-graduate study. 
  • The ability to see their visual communication experiences as personally expressive as well considering client or audience perspectives.
  • Appropriate conditions to engage within, and contribute to, a creative community of reflective practice alongside the ability to function as autonomous learners.


Working from studio briefs and through a programme of progressive practical experimentation and theoretical investigation, students will develop, record and adopt personal strategies for creative working. Through producing and reflecting upon their own creative outcomes they will establish the basis of a personal creative identity. They will further go out from the studio to begin to connect with and come to an understanding of the wider creative industries and artistic communities. Students will research, record and evaluate theory and the work of relevant establish visual communicators and industry practitioners as a support to their own thinking and production. Students will be supported as they develop confidence and the capacity to innovate and communicate their personal creative practice and relevant problem solving methodologies.

FHEQ Level 4:

  • Demonstrate an ability to investigate and generate personal creative strategies in response to studio briefs; (AR4701)
  • Develop a multidisciplinary combination of specialist skills; (AR4702 & AR4709)
  • Begin the development of an individual visual language; (AR4710)
  • Make initial connections with creative communities outside the studio; (AR4703)
  • Support studio work with contextual and cultural research. (AR4701, AR4702, AR4703, AR4704, AR4709 & AR4710)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Generate sophisticated strategies; (AR5710) 
  • Critical evaluation of personal visual communication practice; (AR5709)
  • Investigate a commercial context for their creative practice; (AR5702 & AR5703) 
  • Develop appropriate strategies to achieve their academic personal and professional aspirations; (AR5707, AR5710, AR5711)  
  • Generate sophisticated and personal visual communication work; (AR5709) 
  • Support studio work with contextual and cultural research. (AR5704) 

FHEQ Level 6:

  • Investigate, define and refine a personal line of enquiry and develop a series of self initiated projects; (AR6704) 
  • Generate sophisticated, appropriate and focused art work; (AR6705) 
  • Develop professional skills and knowledge to present authentic artwork. (AR6705)

Students will also be able to interpret, analyse and reflect on contextual and theoretical information as a means of providing a research base to inform and develop theory and practice responses and arguments.

FHEQ Level 4:

  • Support studio work with contextual and cultural research. (AR4704)

FHEQ Level 5:

  • Research, broaden and demonstrate understanding of the context and theories related to contemporary art practice. (AR5704)

FHEQ Level 6:

  • Consolidate theoretical and contextual understanding of practice to present a clearly structured, critical project with sound argument. (AR6703) 

Cognitive skills are exercised and developed throughout the programme primarily through the students intellectual investigation and communication of their own concerns and interests that relate to, and are explored and expressed in their visual communication work. Student’s articulation of their thinking and the critical judgments inherent in their creative processes will be expected at every stage and in a range of situations, including written work and prepared contributions, tutorials, seminars, simulated and real professional presentations and practical crit sessions. Students will demonstrate abilities to engage with new and challenging concepts, points of view and creative outcomes. Students will experiment with and develop relevant creative, convergent and divergent thinking skills. They will recognise the importance of making lateral non-logical connections across disparate concepts and material to suggest unexpected solutions to visual communication problems. Increasingly students will show that they can assimilate and synthesise new intellectual influences within their ongoing creative processes. Theory modules establish a thread of historical and contemporary criticism and debate across the three years of the award.

FHEQ Level 4

  • Experiment with a broad range of thinking and practical processes for problem solving; (AR4701 & AR4709)                  
  • Demonstrate confidence in using experimental approaches and intellectual enquiry; (AR4702)
  • Critically reflect upon own process, work and potential for ongoing creative development; (AR4701 & AR4704)
  • Demonstrate critical analysis and organization of contextual understanding; (AR4704)  
  • Apply digital skills within conceptual and narrative contexts. Demonstrate an understanding of naming conventions, protocols, ethical guidelines and specifications. Reflect upon individual learning; (AR4709)
  • Demonstrate design methodology leading to visual communication. Provide evidence of synthesising ideas and materials to solve problems through visual forms. Record and reflect upon their own learning. (AR4710)

FHEQ Level 5:

  • Construct and undertake a meaningful collaborative brief. Articulate and evidence increased understanding of the prerequisites of collaborative practice; (AR5702)
  • Confidently undertake primary and secondary research. Articulate contemporary theoretical understanding in relation to their own work. Structure a reasoned argument. Produce a critical output that adheres to academic conventions. (AR5704)
  • Write a statement of intent reflecting individual perspectives for new work. Provide evidence of competency in subject related conceptual skills, techniques, methods and processes; (AR5709)
  • Undertake a critical and enquiring design process to create solutions to identified problems. Evaluate own performance and articulate increased confidence in managing the learning experience. (AR5707)


FHEQ Level 6:

  • Synthesise their intellectual understanding into a statement of intent. Evidence confident methodological investigation. Articulate their underlying practice philosophy; (AR6704)
  • Devise and undertake a challenging programme of creative work. Confidently defend their practice; (AR6705)
  • Undertake in-depth research into a chosen subject from a range of relevant primary and secondary sources. Consolidate theoretical and contextual understanding of practice. Present a clearly structured, critical project with a progressive, articulate, sound argument. Apply conventions of academic writing. (AR6703)


The development and employment of Practical and Professional Skills are intrinsic to all levels of the award. From the basics of good time management and respect for deadlines to virtually independent working at level 6, students will be expected to work within an increasingly demanding framework of professional demands. Students will maintain a professional profile and establish their connectedness within the creative community. They will develop their work, both individually and collaboratively within the demands of an entrepreneurial module and at level 6 will undertake all of the professional requirements of publication and application to post graduate progression.

Students will acquire and expand a repertoire of personally relevant practical and technological skills with which to explore and enlarge the scope of their visual communication work. With growing independence and confidence students will achieve appropriate levels of skill in the handling of materials, techniques, processes and media in the expression of their ideas within visual communication contexts. They will research, organise and make use of textual and contextual information within both theoretical and practical situations. Students will employ, develop and refine visual, verbal and written communication and presentation skills to communicate their ideas and the content of their work successfully.

FHEQ Level 4:

  • Resourcefulness, problem solving and lateral thinking; (AR4701, AR4702, AR4703, AR4709, AR4710)
  • Practical, technological and material processing skills; (AR4701, AR4702, AR4709 & AR4710)
  • Research presentation and reflection skills; (AR4701, AR4702, AR4703, AR4704, AR4709, AR4710)
  • Identify and develop relationships and audiences by establishing contacts, networks and markets for own creative skills and products. (AR4703) 

FHEQ Level 5:

  • Construct and undertake a meaningful collaborative brief that demonstrates the ability to communicate within professional contexts; (AR5702)                     
  • Demonstrate an entrepreneurial and creative approach to the visual production of innovative artwork appropriate for the identified cultural economic contexts. Evidence awareness of the professional and ethical dimensions of creative practice. Function effectively within a professional context. Project a cultural product in real or simulated formats; (AR5703) 
  • Provide evidence of competency in subject related conceptual skills, techniques, methods and processes. Confidently apply appropriate working methodologies. Create resolved work in response to negotiated intentions. Organise time and resources to effectively achieve intended outcomes; (AR5709)
  • Demonstrate competence in problem solving processes for identified contexts. Develop ideas through to outcomes making confident use of materials and processes. Provide evidence of self management and organization to achieve identified aims; (AR5710)

FHEQ Level 6:

  • Evidence a confident methodological investigation whilst developing a mature creative practice; (AR6704)
  • Confidently self direct learning, organize time and resources to devise and undertake a challenging programme of creative work that shows a high level of understanding of their creative practice. Design an appropriate short term career plan and present creative outputs in an appropriate public form. (AR6705)

This programme recognises the importance of well-developed communication skills and at every stage students will be required to use and progressively develop and refine their verbal, written and visual communication skills. The continuous demands of regular tutorial discussion, group seminars, making formal and professional presentations, the production of journal and blogs, evaluation, reflection and academic writing will establish a progressive developmental experience towards sophisticated levels of communication.

At levels 5 and 6 students will demonstrate that with tutorial support they have the ability to produce a significant piece of academic writing from independently produced rigorous research and critically analysis. The clear expression of knowledge, argument, ideas and opinion at a sophisticated level is indicative of these higher levels.

FHEQ Level 4:

  • Establish contacts and networks that facilitate involvement in external creative work. Develop professional creative relationships. Select and employ appropriate verbal, visual and contextual means of presentation; (AR4703) 
  • Present reasoned argument. (AR4704) 

FHEQ Level 5:

  • Construct and undertake a meaningful collaborative brief. Demonstrate the ability to communicate within professional contexts. Articulate and evidence increased understanding of the prerequisites of collaborative practice; (AR5702) 
  • Function effectively within a professional context; (AR5703) 
  • Articulate contemporary theoretical understanding in relation to their own work. Structure a reasoned argument. Produce a critical output that adheres to academic conventions; (AR5704) 
  • Reflect confidently on their practice and clearly articulate their understanding; (AR5709) 
  • Write a statement of intent reflecting individual perspectives for new work. (AR5709)

FHEQ Level 6:

  • Synthesise their intellectual understanding into a statement; (AR6704) 
  • Confidently defend their practice; (AR6705) 
  • Present a clearly structured, critical project with a progressive, articulate, sound argument. (AR6703) 

The Visual Communication through Digital Media programme runs over three academic years. Criteria for progression through Levels 4, 5 and 6 relate to programme aims, stated intended learning outcomes and module outcomes, and the accumulation of appropriate credits. A full time student would normally be registered for modules amounting to 120 credits in total for each of the three years of study. Individuals can negotiate part-time attendance appropriate to individual circumstances.

Mandatory core modules and elective modules enable the development of generic and subject-specific knowledge, skills and understanding. Module outcomes support staged internal progression.

This course is written in awareness of a paradigm shift in our visual culture brought about by the continuous development of digital technologies. It accepts the resulting blurring of old boundaries and the erosion of traditional parameters and understands that this new reality of fast moving flux results in the continuous development of new creative skills and processes, new speculative definitions and new understanding and insights.

The programme will engage students variously in ‘real world,’ imaginative, immersive, group and dynamic project work aimed at developing the practical and intelligent creation of cultural products, a broad skills set and an entrepreneurial spirit to set up creative enterprises and forge routes into industry, research or post-graduate education.

The structure of the programme allows students to investigate and to develop their individual ideas, interests, strengths and personal artistic aspirations though the acquisition of traditional, technical, innovative, intellectual and communication skills through merging and adapting artistic processes and technologies.

The main features of the programme at Levels 4 and 5 is the provision of modules concerned with the acquisition and development of skills in a range of media, the development of creative strategies within problem solving contexts, collaborative working and development of individual methodologies. The programme is devised to foster autonomy of practice and independent reflective learning. Studio modules are delivered simultaneously with a continuous investigation of relevant theory and related professional practice to ensure acquisition of appropriate skills to facilitate possible vocational or educational opportunities on graduation.

The curriculum is designed to support students in developing and progressively applying practical expertise in the realisation of creative ideas with increasing awareness of audience, to place their work in meaningful and relevant contexts and make objective appraisals of the value of their learning.

At Level 6, students will work with greater autonomy to negotiate their own projects and a personal career plan ultimately realising work of publication quality. Through the integration and manipulation of diverse traditional materials and digital technologies, in an interrelated and non-hierarchical way, students will apply the capacities of self-motivation, intellectual curiosity, speculative enquiry, imagination, and divergent thinking skills. Understanding the interactive relationship between media and processes these students will, through the creative and imaginative exploitation of these insights, invest their ideas and originality in the conception, production, promotion and dissemination of new and refined products that communicate within problem solving contexts.

Supporting modules continue to promote visual and contextual research, consolidating student understanding of the critical, cultural and /or artistic context surrounding studio practice.

Throughout all levels the holistic, integrated delivery of this programme, developing a personal creative identity, team-working, entrepreneurship and networking will allow the development of professional insights that will greatly enhance students’ employability or focus their abilities to start up their own creative enterprises and apply themselves within the Island culture and economy and beyond. Consideration of audiences, opportunities and clients is present at each level of the course.

The programme is flexible, with an underlying philosophy of self-directed learning that will be managed and supervised through a negotiated student learning agreement and tutorial guidance.

The programme is devised so that studio modules are delivered simultaneously with a continuous investigation of relevant theory, related professional practice, collaborative working and the development of creative strategies.

More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module can be found in the study module guide and course handbook.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
AR4701 4 Strategies for Creativity 20 Comp
AR4702 4 Creative Identity 20 Comp
AR4703 4 Getting Connected 20 Comp
AR4704 4 Context and Culture 20 Comp
AR4709 4 Digital Environment 20 Comp
AR4710 4 Developing Production Skills 20 Comp
AR5702 5 Collaborative Practice 20 Comp
AR5703 5 Entrepreneurship 20 Comp
AR5704 5 Theory and Practice 20 Comp
AR5707 5 Directed Practice in Styling and Imaging 20 Optional
AR5709 5 Negotiated Practice in Visual Communication 40 Comp
AR5710 5 Directed Practice in Visual Communication 20 Optional
AR6703 6 Theoretical Practice 20 Comp
AR6704 6 Defining the Product and Processes 40 Comp
AR6705 6 Realisation and Publication in Visual Communication 60 Comp

Level 4 - 120 credits - Certificate of Higher Education

Level 5 - 240 credits (including 120 credits at level 4) - Diploma of Higher Education

Level 6 - 360 credits (including 240 credits at levels 4 and 5) - BA Honours Degree

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, an Extended Diploma in a related art, design and media subject, Access to HE in Art and Design. Mature students with previous art-related experience will be considered.

Students applying directly from A-level will be considered. Admission is by interview, and portfolio evidence, which demonstrates student potential and capability to undertake assignments and develop individual professional practice. A subsequent Foundation Diploma in Art and Design may be recommended as a condition.

Applications to Level 6 of the programme are assessed on an individual basis, although it is expected that applicants will normally have completed an appropriate HND with unit grades of Merit and Distinction levels. Admission is by interview, negotiation of preliminary learning agreement and portfolio evidence, which demonstrates student potential and capability to undertake assignments and develop individual professional practice.

Mature students applying for the part time route will be considered. A pre-requisite will be that they have studied part time or full time on the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design of equivalent of a minimum of one year and are currently following an artistic practice.

UCAS tariff points: 112 for 2017 entry (new UCAS Tariff) or equivalent. GCSE: a good profile, including English Language, minimum grade C.

All applicants must submit a comprehensive portfolio at interview of art, design/media work. Students are selected by assessing the contents of a portfolio of work that should convey a measure of creative, practical skill and intellectual/enthusiastic engagement in the practice of art, design and/or media.

This BA (Hons) programme of study has been written in close reference to the principles, standards and philosophies of the QAA Art and Design in Higher Education benchmarking document of 2008 and the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications Level Descriptors, and the skillset National Occupational Standards for both Photo Imaging and for Interactive Media. 

Graduates will accumulate a body of work that will demonstrate excellence in these areas and meet the threshold standards required to demonstrate eligibility for this award of an honours degree in Visual Communication through Digital Media. 

The National Benchmark Statement for Art & Design provides the reference point, which will enable us to measure and develop a diverse and innovative programme:

  • Present evidence that demonstrates some ability to generate ideas independently and/or collaboratively in response to set briefs and/or as self-initiated activity
  • Demonstrate proficiency in observation, investigation, enquiry, visualisation and/or creative output
  • Develop ideas through to outcomes that confirm the students’ ability to select and use materials, processes and environments
  • Make connections between intention, process, outcome, context, and methods of dissemination.

Also referenced is the development of graduating students’ relationship to professional practice within the discipline

  • The broad critical and contextual dimensions of the student's discipline(s)
  • The issues which arise from the artist's or designer's relationship with audiences, clients, markets, users, consumers, and/or participants
  • Major developments in current and emerging media and technologies in their discipline(s)
  • The significance of the work of other practitioners in their discipline(s).

Subject specific skills and generic, transferable skills are also referenced:

  • At the threshold standard, an honours degree in art and design confirms that the holder has acquired technical knowledge and practical skills. The student will be able to use materials, media, techniques, methods, technologies and tools associated with the discipline(s) studied, and will be familiar with good working practices.

On graduating with an honours degree in art and design at the threshold level, students will have demonstrated that they have some ability to:

  • Exercise self-management skills in managing their workloads and meeting deadlines
  • Accommodate change and uncertainty
  • Analyse information and experiences, and formulate reasoned arguments
  • Benefit from the critical judgements of others and recognise their personal strengths and needs
  • Apply interpersonal and social skills to interact with others
  • Communicate ideas and information in visual, oral and written forms
  • Present ideas and work to their audiences
  • Apply information skills to navigate, retrieve, and manage information from a variety of sources
  • Select and employ communication and information technologies.

The programme team recognises the variety of learning styles within groups of learners and within the subject of Visual Communication and Digital Media. The need to provide a clear, transparent and equitable student-centred course of study that allows for the development of individual approaches to creativity and the individual acquisition of professionally relevant skills is a key concern for the team.

The needs of part-time students (as far as is practicable) will be taken into account with reference to the University of Chester’s Widening Access and Participation Strategy. In order to accommodate part-time students, personal schedules can be negotiated on an individual basis as appropriate.

Mandatory core modules and elective modules enable the development of generic and subject-specific knowledge, skills and understanding. Module outcomes support staged internal progression.

Designated module leaders set assignments and co-ordinate the range of teaching and learning activities. Practical modules will variously consist of timetabled individual and group tutorials, workshop sessions, critiques, demonstrations, individual/group presentations, peer review, research projects and fieldtrips to museums and galleries, as well as self-directed learning and studio production time. Simulated and live briefs will complement set and negotiated projects.

Module descriptors detail the allocation of hours to modules across the programme and make explicit the expected commitment through self-directed learning.

Delivery progresses from tightly structured formal teaching methods in Level 4, to facilitating independent and self-directed productive learning in Levels 5 and 6. Individual learning plans, tutorial forms, self-assessment and assessment feedback and feed-forward will enable students to become increasingly autonomous. Peer-to-peer learning will be cultivated and students will be expected to contribute fully to the community of learners and the development of a studio culture.

The majority of the modules have an emphasis on both individual and collaborative practice. Students will learn new skills and strategies leading to a body of mature, creative work, by trying, testing and critical reflection.

Module aims, assessable learning outcomes, teaching methods, independent study guidelines, and assessment deadlines are discussed to ensure understanding. Further support and guidance will be provided through individual tutorials, group critiques and seminars. The personal tutor role is vital in maintaining supportive student-tutor relationships. Tutors encourage and challenge students to critically reflect upon their learning and progress.

Lectures and seminars relating to theoretical, contextual and professional aspects of the subject will run simultaneously to practical work. Students will be required to undertake primary and secondary research, make industry connections and independently visit galleries, workshops and exhibitions. They will be supported in developing appropriate means to articulate critical understanding of the contexts within which their own creative work will be situated and become visually literate through actively engaging with contemporary culture. This process will be evidenced within logbooks and through the production of written folios and presentations.

There is a range of facilities in Learning Resources including books, journals and DVDs and learning support.

The programme team have designed this programme to include modules that focus on entrepreneurship and professional practice through posing creative problems and fostering enterprise leading to development of work, attributes and knowledge pre-requisite to employability. The programme’s insistence from the outset is that students establish connections with potential partners and employers and make themselves aware of business and creative openings on the Island and beyond.

The effectiveness of teaching and learning is monitored through discussion, team meetings student feedback and module review.

This programme will be based in open-plan and adaptable studio space comprising The Market Hall, a signature building in the centre of Douglas, located in what is becoming the ‘culture quarter’ of the capital in close proximity to existing media businesses. This will encourage students’ awareness of audiences and public interaction. There are also plans to establish an exhibition space and incubator units as part of this. The Market Hall will provide not only a learning environment, but also function as a forum where ideas can be shared with the Island’s wider artistic community and its general public.

This insistence on looking outwards as well as of inwards sets the context of modules dedicated to immersive specialist specific, technical content and practice that will provide the student with the opportunity to gain the particular skills and knowledge of their intended career, or for access to study at Masters level.


Assessment Strategy and Methods

Assessment strategies within the programme reflect guidelines in the QAA Codes of Practice for Assessment. Both formative and summative assessment is key components of the learning process for students on the programme. The proposed formative and summative assessments are designed to facilitate both students' and tutors' monitoring of progress. In addition, they will provide opportunities for students to understand and reflect upon their achievements.

Assessment will be in accordance with the University of Chester’s policies and procedures. This includes attendance procedures, extensions, and applications for mitigating circumstances, deferrals and academic malpractice. Students on the programme will be assessed according to their ability to demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes of the modules and thus the generic outcomes of the overall programme. A holistic approach to assessing knowledge and understanding acquired through theory and practice is applied.

Summative and formative assessment occurs throughout Levels 4 to 6, through documented tutorials, presentations and clearly stated assessment points. All staff participate in assessment to ensure parity and equity through cross marking. Students receive written and verbal feedback. In some modules peer- to-peer assessment will also occur.

Assessment will comprise coursework produced for each module and this could be in the form of logbooks, sketchbooks, written assignments, contextual journals, artwork in many formats, portfolios, and dissertations.  

Formative academic assessment will be made during each module and will provide feedback to individual students about their progress towards achieving the intended learning outcomes for the module.

Summative academic assessment will be by folio and studio presentation/review, at the end of each module and against the specified assessment criteria and learning outcomes.

A clear statement of achievement or failure in respect of an individual student’s performance will be provided.

Throughout the course students will be required to critically review and evaluate their own progress and to identify areas for further individual development. They will be expected to be able to demonstrate an increasing level of responsibility for initiating and planning their own individual learning, in negotiation with tutors, throughout the course. The quality and rigour of individual review and self-assessment of progress are evidenced through reflective statements, tutorial reports and statements for assessment.

Knowledge and Understanding and Cognitive skills are assessed through individual tutorials, log books, reflective journals, extended critical study, written and student presentations and evidence of individual intellectual rigour in practical work.

Practical and professional skills are assessed through evidence of a body of practical work presented at key specified points, individual tutorials, the learning agreement, the statement of intent, log books, reflective statements, blogs, digital outcomes and the extended critical study.

Transferable skills are assessed through tutorials and seminars, evidence of student performance through practical work and self-evaluation and achievement of the learning outcomes specified in each module.

The outcome of the summative assessment will lead to the calculation of final marks that are ratified at assessment board meetings and used to determine progression through levels of the programme.


At the end of the three year, full time, Visual Communication through Digital Media Honours programme students will be able to articulate and synthesise their knowledge and understanding, attributes and skills in effective ways in the contexts of creative practice, employment, further study, research and self-fulfilment. They will further be able to apply, consolidate and extend their learning in different contextual frameworks and situations, both within and beyond the field of art and design.

Subject-specific knowledge and understanding, attributes and skills

Graduates' achievements will be evidenced in a body of work, which demonstrates the graduate's ability to:

  • generate ideas, concepts, proposals, solutions or arguments independently and/or collaboratively in response to set briefs and/or as self-initiated activity
  • employ both convergent and divergent thinking in the processes of observation, investigation, speculative enquiry, visualisation and/or making
  • select, test and make appropriate use of materials, processes and environments
  • develop ideas through to outcomes, for example images, artefacts, environments, 
products, systems and processes, or texts
  • manage and make appropriate use of the interaction between intention, process, outcome, context, and the methods of dissemination
  • be resourceful and entrepreneurial.

Graduates in art and design will have developed skills in communication and expression through visual and plastic forms and typically, will be able to use visual languages to investigate, analyse, interpret, develop and articulate ideas and information. Their work will be informed by and will inform professional practice in their discipline(s), including:

  • the critical, contextual, historical, conceptual and ethical dimensions of the student's discipline in particular, and art and design in general
  • the artist's or designer's relationship with audiences, clients, markets, users, consumers, participants, co-workers and co-creators
  • the implications and potential for their discipline(s) presented by the key developments in current and emerging media and technologies, and in interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary practice in art and design.

An honours degree in an art and design discipline also confirms that the holder has acquired relevant technical knowledge and practical skills, and will be able to employ materials, media, techniques, methods, technologies and tools associated with the discipline(s) studied with skill and imagination while observing good working practices, and professional/legal responsibilities relating to the subject.

Generic knowledge and understanding, attributes and skills

These are integrated into the subject curriculum and have applications in a wide range of contexts. Graduates will have demonstrated the following:

Self-management - students will have the ability to:

  • study independently, set goals, manage their own workloads and meet deadlines
  • anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity.

Critical engagement - students will have the ability to:

  • analyse information and experiences, formulate independent judgements, and articulate reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation
  • source and research relevant material, assimilating and articulating relevant findings
  • formulate reasoned responses to the critical judgements of others
  • identify personal strengths and needs, and reflect on personal development.

Group/team working and social skills - students will have the ability to interact effectively with others, for example through collaboration, collective endeavour and negotiation.

Skills in communication and presentation - students be able to:

  • articulate ideas and information comprehensibly in visual, oral and written forms
  • present ideas and work to audiences in a range of situations
  • use the views of others in the development or enhancement of their work.

Information skills - students will have the ability to:

  • source, navigate, select, retrieve, evaluate, manipulate and manage 
information from a variety of sources
  • select and employ communication and information technologies .

Personal qualities - students will have an enthusiasm for enquiry into their discipline and the motivation to sustain it.

The IOMCF&HE has a flexible admissions policy, and encourages applications from mature students and from groups historically under-represented in higher education. The general policy is to look for a good level of literacy, together with proven interest and/or experience in an appropriate subject.

The IOMCF&HE is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms: through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious and spiritual beliefs, gender identity and sexual orientation. The College is committed to widening access to higher education and to meeting the needs of all learners, recognising and encouraging their individuality and diversity.

The IOMCF&HE has considerable experience in successfully addressing the practical and learning needs of a wide range of students. These include mature students, those entering education with a non-standard academic background and those with a wide range of disabilities.

Within an ethically aware and professional environment, the programme team acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of inquiry and scholarly expression and recognise the different needs within a diverse group and take necessary steps to ensure that the services are provided in a way that meets these needs as far as possible.

Equality and diversity issues are embedded and addressed in all departmental modules.

Induction for new students:

A one week induction period will be provided. Sessions typically encompass familiarisation with the structure of the programme and introductory lectures and/or practical workshops. Students will be made familiar with life as an undergraduate and offered guidance on study skills, managing finances and time. Students will have library induction sessions, and will be able to meet and discuss any concerns with programme area tutors and other key College staff.

Personal academic tutors:

All students on degree programmes will be allocated a personal academic tutor and students are required to see their personal tutor regularly and particularly during the first year. This personal tutor will usually remain with the student throughout their studies, providing advice on academic development and progress. He or she is there to assist with both academic and non-academic matters.

Academic/learning support:

In addition to the personal tutorial system, where necessary, students will be directed to the Academic Support Centre for advice and guidance.

Although students will receive written feedback on their work, they may also make an appointment to see the relevant lecturer regarding any work submitted.

“The Department of Education and Children (DEC) is committed to inclusive education. Whatever the pattern or severity of difficulties, a dyslexic student will be supported in mainstream classes, alongside his/her non-dyslexic peers, so that s/he has access to a broad and balanced curriculum”. DEC Dyslexia Policy. Sept 2012.

The Isle of Man College offers a screening service for those students thought to be at risk of dyslexia and on-going support for those students who have dyslexia.

Programme Information and College/University Regulations:

Students will have access to a student handbook detailing the structure of the programme and relevant information concerning the College/University's regulations. All such information is widely available through Moodle and Google Docs.

Careers Advice:

A generic careers advice service is accessed through College Student Services including links to the University of Chester employability resources. Students studying on the programme will benefit from both the operational and academic experience of staff and guest lecturers with regard to employability.


The department has very strong links with numerous employer organisations, Isle of Man National Government bodies, the Arts Council, Manx National Heritage, Manx Heritage Foundation, Manx Arts Development, Department of Education and Children and Department for Economic Development. These organisations are utilised in a number of ways ranging from advisory networks, working groups, guest speakers, placement and research opportunities for students and site visits.

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