Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Critical Commentary in Practice-Based Research
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Critical commentary at current stage of practice  Essay on evolving focus of critical commentary as a meta-reflexive critical inquiry. 2500 Words  100%
Supplementary Assessment Critical commentary at current stage of practice  Essay on evolving focus of critical commentary as a meta-reflexive critical inquiry. 2500 Words  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

To identify and apply a logical commentary structure – where there are critical expectations but no fixed structural guidelines – that informs a formal, critical relationship between creative practice and academic inquiry.

To engage with a reflexive written dialogue between a situated own-personal practice and the wider practice-based and research communities.

To build a focused or dispersed critical literature and bibliography that informs own practice in terms of practices it can inform and practices it can be informed by.

To modify and apply styles of writing that objectively, neutrally and formally account for an embodied personal practice.

Brief description

This workshop-based module engages with researchers working with creative-practice as their main mode of doctoral research. Through a sharing of creative project ideas, we will identify whether participants' research has specific precedents and contemporaries in how they plan to approach and structure the critical commentary. This will reflect any advice identified via publications or department in negotiating ongoing "search for a form" and the "fragmented attempts" (Barthes, 2011) that very often accompany the task of accounting for creative work based on its own internal logic. By creating a throughline on the specific focus of a project's expected contributions to knowledge in its field, participants will gain a clear perspective on the formal processes and individuality of voice that are required for a successful critical commentary


To engage creative practitioners in an early dialogue over the wide range of possibilities that emerge as experiential, reflexive responses to the requirements of writing a critical commentary. Through this participants will be prepared to reflect on the methodologies, methods and practices they are designing and using in an appropriately formal, reflexive and critically incisive way.


A series of 10 two hour workshops:
1. Sharing your own practice and what your practice is informed by.
2. Does your practice have precedents and contemporaries?
3. How have others accounted for their practice. What kind of departmental advice is available? The parallel nature of the critical commentary as a work of conceptual art, as a meta-commentary to the actual work of art (vs. a critical studies thesis, i.e. your art work as primary reference, as opposed to external primary references in a critical studies thesis).
4. “The search for a form” and “fragmented attempts” (Barthes). Internal and external logic of practice-based research as a non-creative exercise. Can structures be systematically applied, or is every response completely unique?
5. Exploring ways in which a defined creative practice can inform a subject methodology.
6. Critical approaches to open writing inquiry.
7. The throughline as reflexive and ekphrastic voice-under to critical argument.
8. Modes of representation and voice.
9. Modes of delivery.
10. Situating, framing and extending contribution to research as an evolving guiding principle.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Adaptability and resilience Identification of possibilities within own practice and working towards early development that can develop momentum in the writing process and which can be shared with supervisors for early consideration of appropriacy.
Co-ordinating with others Discussion of interests, choices and possibilities in a group workshop context.
Creative Problem Solving As a creative exercise in itself, the critical commentary is a challenging piece of work to conceptualise and develop.
Critical and analytical thinking To maintain a reflexive commentary over 20,000 - 40,000 words, significant focus will be placed on how participants' own practice reflects subject-based histories and contexts, methodologies and methods, working practice. In will focus on how the field influences the researchers' practices and how the researchers' practices inform the field, towards an early statement of expected contributions to knowledge.
Digital capability This will vary according to participants' research projects, but is likely to involve some level of digital design and presentation of research documents and delivery. It will advise or seek advice on digital publication of media where required.
Professional communication Beyond the academic communication required for the workshops and development of critical commentaries, the discussions will address ways of presenting to public and conference audiences as a mode of public engagement.
Real world sense Participants will be able to locate their work in and across specific subject areas. They will consider contributions their research may make to knowledge and explore extensions of their work beyond the immediate scope for the study. Some of this will be included in the assignment.
Reflection This is a central feature of a reflexive approach to writing, whether in the final critical reflection, or the meta-reflexive commentary which may show a wider range of options, possibilities and challenges to be resolved.
Subject Specific Skills Participants will develop and write about their own subject-specific skills in the assignment. These are not developed or taught within the module, but brought, shared and developed by participants.


This module is at CQFW Level 7