Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 3 seminars and 1 tutorial group
Other Use of art objects from the Collections to stimulate discussion in seminars.
Workload Breakdown Taught sessions - 10 hours Preparation for seminars - 5 hours General Reading -10 hours Research and writing for the 1500 word essay - 50 hours Visual Diary - 25 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1500 word illustrated essay on an aspect of the University collections. Focusing on an aspect of the collections, the student will need to address the history and content of the collections (learning outcome 1), but will probably specialize in one area. Research for the essay will require the ability to effectively search the collections (2). As a formal written essay, academic writing is assessed (3) as well as the ability to analyse and argue in response to specific art works in the collection (4). Visual Diary - specifically comparing art objects of the University collections to similar objects in other collections and galleries. The visual diary will be a self-directed project collating the student's experience of art objects viewed during the module but also extending their understanding of those objects by investigating other collections either by actual visits to galleries and exhibitions or by searches of websites (5). This process will also address learning outcomes 1 and 4. 
Supplementary Assessment As above, different artworks discussed. 

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate an understanding of the history and content of the collections of the School of Art Museum and the Ceramic Collection and Archive.

Research the collections by effective use of the web-based databases and other indexing systems.

Evidence skills in formal academic writing by written submission.

Demonstrate an ability to analyse and argue in response to given art works.
Apply their experience of the University collections to the wider museum environment.


This module is designed to introduce first year students to the School of Art collections and the idea of using primary source material in research. It focuses on the history and content of the School of Art collections, features hands-on learning experiences with art objects, and involves the development of specific ICT skills in relation to the use of the Collection. An additional, non-assessed, aim of the module is to provide students with a collective opportunity to produce a permanent, edited output for the Museum website. Contributions will be sought from other staff and postgraduate students who have researched aspects of the collections.

Brief description

This module provides an opportunity to examine in detail the School of Art's extensive collections of fine and decorative art, enabling students to make more effective use of these collections in their research throughout their degree. Delivery will be through seminars and lectures centred on varied aspects of the collections, wherever possible involving a hands-on experience of art objects. It will also provide an opportunity to actively participate in research on the collections (including an edited, web-based output) and will thereby be especially useful to Art History students.


6 hours of lectures and 4 hours of seminars drawn from the following:

The History of the Collections (3 lectures and 1 seminar)

  1. Introduction: the history and changing purposes of the collections with an explanation of the Museum's websites and databases
  2. The George Powell Bequest (lecture)
  3. Prints and Pots: Sidney Greenslade's acquisitions of the 1920s and 30s (seminar)
  4. Contemporary Ceramics: forming an international collection (lecture)
Writing Skills Workshop and Tutorials (2 seminars)

  1. An opportunity to explore methods of writing in relation to art objects from the Collection
  2. Indiviual tutorials combined with a group activity, the latter aimed at creating a negotiated, non-assessed, edited ouput for the Museum website on a specific subject
Research Case Studies (3 lectures and 1 seminar)

4 sessions based on research of various aspects of the Collection currently chosen from the following but mindful that new topics will emerge in the future:

  1. Postgraduate Research: an opportunity for a postgraduate student to deliver a session on a subject they have researched from the collections. Topics could currently include the 'Drawings of Tommaso Minardi' and 'The Secretive World of Francis Rudloph' (lecture or seminar)
  2. The Private Press books of Gregynog (lecture)
  3. The Colour Woodcut in Britain from Mabel Royds to Rigby Graham (lecture)
  4. Collecting Cultures: ethnography and curios from across the seas (lecture or seminar)
  5. 20th century Italian or German photography (lecture)
  6. Focus on one of the important artist's collections held at the School of Art (seminar or lecture).

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Unlikely to be relevant.
Communication Varied learning activities will be used within seminars responsive to different learning styles enabling students to engage with art objects. These will include group tasks and will aim to create a relaxed learning environment within which debate can be stimulated. Students will also need to negotiate with museum staff during their research.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will have the chance to reflect on their learning by using the visual diary which will become a permanent record of their performance.
Information Technology Students will need to familiarize themselves with the Museum website and database as well as effectively searching other collections. Also use of Blackboard.
Personal Development and Career planning The module, and particularly the assessments, provides students with experience of the day-to-day running of a particular museum but also helps them to recognize the importance of education and public awareness within museum policy generally.
Problem solving Writing workshops provide an opportunity for students to negotiate written content responsive to the needs of a web audience.
Research skills The essay requires the student to effectively research the Museum archives, collections websites, databases and index card systems as well as using the Hugh Owen Library and possibly the National Library. The aim is to introduce these facilities to first years to assist their research in further modules.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Group work within seminars and workshops but assessments will remain individual.


This module is at CQFW Level 4