Critical and Contextual Studies introduces a range of cultural and contextual practices and is diagnostic in helping students to identify areas of reading, writing, information gathering and research in relation to their abilities, needs and aspirations.
At foundation level the intention is to prepare students for critical and theoretical work in Higher Education. The focus of the Critical and Contextual Studies module is on concepts of criticality and analysis, and the ability to ask questions and find answers; specifically, those bearing on architecture, art, design and media in the broad sense and to the conventional means to present these.
This is assessed through three projects:
This consists of three elements: ‘Compare and Contrast’, where two items from the Tate modern are discussed in terms of similarities and differences of form, structure, medium content; ‘Fine/applied Art’ where two items from the V&A are assessed and categorised according to aesthetics and utility; and an evaluative reflection on the students learning so far.
Word and Image
This project allows students to consider the imagery of a photohgrapher or filmmaker in three specific examples (chosen by the student) in terms of its semiotic content, while adding a fourth image to bring these into relief.
Students produce a final written essay on a subject of their choice, applying critical and analytical approaches developed over the year.