Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Portfolio: Development
Academic Year
Available semesters 1 and 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion

Brief description

The module is an interface between your BA degree scheme experience and the first Exhibition of the MA degree scheme. The module provides a context for the initial development of Fine Art practice. You pursue an agreed programme of self-initiated, research-based study in Fine Art under tutorial supervision. The resultant portfolio should demonstrate that a student has extended their previous experience and practice, defined a specific subject matter, research problem, or field of action, and acquired and refined knowledge of technical, stylistic, theoretical, and historical frameworks relevant to their work. It should also manifest an enhanced capacity to be productive and experimental, and to work at an appropriate and consistent pace within a prescribed timeframe. In tutorials and seminars, you should demonstrate confidence in justifying and articulating your practice, and cognisance of relevant criteria in order to make discriminating judgements about your work. In these ways, the module is conceived as a means of instilling standards and strategies of professional practice.


The module aims to:
A. enable the student to develop a portfolio of work over an extended period of time that demonstrates a creative, productive, and imaginative interpretation of subject matter, the acquisition and refinement of appropriate technical and technological dexterity and stylistic sophistication, and an cognizance of appropriate conceptual, theoretical, and historical frameworks.
B. enable the student to develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of work to this end in consultation with a supervisor, a programme that defines a specific research problem and which is responsive to external directives and the internal dynamics of the work
C. challenge the student to experiment, test hypotheses, and broaden and extend their field of action, and articulate verbally the criteria by which their work is made and assessed
D. develop a body of work as a foundation for ARM0460 Exhibition 1
E. develop the student’s capacity to communicate orally and critically about


Portfolio is understood as a) a body of related course work that is not primarily intended for exhibition but, nevertheless, accessible for external audit. The quantity of work is not stipulated. Of greater importance is the quality of conception and execution. However, the portfolio should reflect an intensity and commitment to work identifiable with the hours assigned for practicals and reading. The work should personal, individual, systematic, experimental, boundary-challenging response to subject matter; and b) accompanied by evidence of a self-directed reading program. The reading programme must genuinely inform your understanding of the historical and contemporary contexts for your work, and how your work relates to such. The module involves experimentation: understood as the act of testing hypotheses and making trial of conjecture. It may involve following hunches, making mistakes, being audacious, imitating an existing technique or style with the view of learning from it, and discovering the limits of medium, supports, tools, and methods. Most important is that you develop an experimental attitude, and learn from the outcomes of your experiment (in order to avoid or repeat such outcomes). These approaches are not peculiar to this module but underline all critical artistic activity. The module simply makes you very self-conscious of these approaches, so that you may improve them. Ultimately, quality is the paramount consideration. No amount of self-awareness, conceptualisation, and good working methodology will make up for deficiencies in the artwork.

Tutorial 1 (Weeks 1-2) Stage 1: Defining the area of study in terms of subject matter, materials, skills, approach (stylistic and/or theoretical), and relevant sources. Tutorial 2 (Weeks 3-4) Stage 2: Testing and development of the above and, if appropriate, devising alternative subject matter and operational strategies. Tutorial 3 (Weeks 5-7) Stage 3: Development of the successful subject matter and operational strategies. Tutorial 4 (Weeks 8-10) Stage 4: Consolidation of the successful subject matter and operational strategies. Tutorial 5 (Week 11) Stage 5: Consolidation of the successful subject matter and operational strategies, and reflection on achievement.

VACATION Stage 6: Implementation of outcome of reflection and preparation of portfolio for presentation.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Improving own Learning and Performance
Information Technology
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving
Research skills
Subject Specific Skills 1. 1 produce a body of work to a prescribed deadline and a standard of excellence in conception and execution comparable with the professional practice in Fine Art (Aims: A, B) 2 work in a strategic, rationale, informed, and self-determined manner 3 identify and pursue an appropriate field of action and specify a research problem (Aims: B, C) 4 discern and a strand of related and qualitative work for immediate, future development (Aim: D) 5 discuss their work through academic discussion (in the context of tutorials and seminars) in relation to appropriate theoretical, practical, and historical contexts (Aim: E) etc
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 7