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Research Methods curriculum for practice-based postgraduate courses

Abstract: This case study explores the development of effective and appropriate research methods for students working in ‘practice-based’ postgraduate programmes.  The ‘methodology’ module currently being piloted in the MA Research programme at UWE explicitly addresses the nature of ‘practice-based research’ and invites students to engage with a series of exercises, set tasks, seminars and presentations designed to support the development of a framework for practice-based research.

Research methods modules being offered at postgraduate level must be explicit in helping students to develop a methodology that links visual research, textual analysis and contextual knowledge to the development of practice. The dialogue between these components is central to the methodology being proposed in this study. The case study describes the methodology at the same time as monitoring and evaluating the outcome.

Author Information: Amanda Wood is currently Associate Dean (Academic) at the University of the West of England, Bristol. For the past 12 years she has been involved in academic development and has written courses and modules for a broad range of AMD subject disciplines including Graphic Design, Animation, Photography, Book Arts, Drawing and Applied Arts and more recently research modules for practice-based postgraduate awards.  Amanda is a member of GLAD (Group for Learning in Art and Design) and is currently working on the development of a ‘New Route PhD’ programme for Art and Design. This practice-based PhD includes taught modules and professional skills development as part of its overarching provision and is currently being offered by a consortium of Universities across the UK.

Date: April 2003

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