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  1. 1. UNIVERSITY OF WALES, NEWPORT PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION BA (Hons) Interactive Media Newport School of Art, Media & Design Programme Overview The BA (Hons) Interactive Media is an innovative course that has developed from the long tradition and practice of multimedia at Newport. You will explore and develop your ideas across a wide range of media including digital video, sound and music, motion graphics, photography, animation and 3D. You will gain an understanding of the creative potentials of contemporary interactive media distribution such as; DVD, interactive TV, 3G mobile, web, IPTV, installations and performance based work. As well as technical training in industry standard software, you will be exposed to a vibrant intellectual culture and theory programme where issues relevant to your chosen practice will be debated and explored. Employers require more than a simple ability to operate software packages, therefore this course focuses upon strong creative design outcomes. Programme Aims The BA (Hons) Interactive Media course aims to: 1. equip students with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed to work with a wide range of Interactive Media systems commonly used within the Interactive Media industry; 2. facilitate the growth of transferable skills in personal and social contexts with reference to communication, self-management, problem solving, time management and the complex inter-personal relations which characterise the „real world‟; 3. develops students‟ awareness of professional contexts and outcomes for work in Interactive Media industry, and develops the interdisciplinary flexibility to deal with future professional environments; 4. encourages students to relate their own work and that studied within the course to a critical and theoretical context; 5. develops students‟ creativity within a cross-disciplinary framework that takes full advantage of the courses and research clusters surrounding the programme; 6. allow students to play a critical and creative role in shaping the future of a constantly changing medium at the forefront of technological change and development. Learning Outcomes At each level, students will be expected to have demonstrated the following: 1. Research – the ability to select and use research in a creative, independent and appropriate manner and to analyse and draw conclusions from research for future work. 2. Creative synthesis – the ability to generate and develop ideas, concepts, proposals, solutions or arguments that demonstrate creative and intellectual enquiry and risk taking, taking appropriate account of users, audience, clients or producers. 3. Visualisation – the ability to use visual analysis as a work process and to employ visual elements intelligently, appropriately and creatively in their work.
  2. 2. 4. Production – the ability to select and use appropriate making or manufacturing techniques, with an understanding of the potential of new technologies. 5. Reflection – the ability to evaluate independently their own work and that of others with the aim of improving and developing their own practice. 6. Contextualisation – the ability to locate their own work within the wider context of art, media and design practice, including the historical, theoretical, critical, professional, cultural, environmental and technological. 7. Communication – the ability to communicate effectively in an oral, written and visual form, adapting to target audiences and circumstances. 8. Organisation – the ability to identify targets, organise resources, manage workloads and meet deadlines in order to achieve intended goals. 9. Learning to learn – the ability to carry out independent learning as a basis for academic study, lifelong learning and for personal professional development. 10. Working with others – the ability to work productively with others in a group, accepting responsibility for achieving a defined goal. Benchmarks and Reference Points The design of the BA (Hons) Interactive Media has been informed by the QAA Art & Design Subject Benchmark Statement, the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications and the relevant occupational standards outlined by Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries. Learning and Teaching Strategies The strategy derives from the aims and learning outcomes of the programme. Its guiding principles are that the learning and teaching programme should be both stimulating and demanding and should reflect the following: 1. A progressive development from a base of knowledge and understanding to its application and integration in increasingly complex and professional context. 2. A progressive extension and refinement of student competencies with an increasing relative emphasis on intellectual/conceptual skills applied in a creative design context and a continued concern with personal skills. 3. The integration of personal (transferable) skills development within the advertising and design environment. 4. A development of student responsibility for and independence in their own learning. The BA (Hons) Interactive Media is comprised of supported learning, with time for directed and independent study. Each module makes explicit the balance of time specified for each activity in order that teaching resources can be clearly monitored, and this information is clearly summarised at the front of each Module syllabus. Modules will normally be delivered and supported by the following means: 1. Personal tutorials will be used to provide specific one to one project and pastoral support. 2. Group critiques will be used to improve students‟ communication and presentation skills as well acting as a forum for students to develop their critical analysis skills. 3. Technical workshops will provide students with relevant application and programming knowledge to be able to complete their project. 4. Design lectures will be used to explore the design process as well as specific design aspects like the use of grids, typography and colour. 5. Site visits are invaluable for maintaining contact with contemporary industrial and creative practice in the field of Interactive Media.
  3. 3. 6. The MLE online learning resource will be used to facilitate and enhance current teaching practices and link students to the Study Skills Portal and other University resources. Assessment Strategies The unique character of established and well-developed assessment practice wiithin Newport School of Art, Media and Design is that it is holistic, interactive and comprehensive. At regular interval throughout the module, students are formatively assessed through the presentation of their work at critique sessions, during which they may be asked to explain and justify their work and to demonstrate the process of experiment, thinking and research by which they came to this point. Other students are normally present and are invited to contribute to the discussion. Individual project outcomes will not be given a separate summative assessment, and they will not be individually weighted within the final assessment of the portfolio of work. Attention and support will be given for the preparation and presentation of the portfolio for the module assessment. Project outcomes will be summatively assessed in accordance with the qualification descriptions outlined in the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. Failure of this module would normally require resubmission of the portfolio of work. Programme Structure and Requirements, Levels, Modules, Credits and Awards The delivery of the programme is divided into Part One (comprising Level 4) and Part Two (comprising Level 5 and Level 6). Students who use the end of Level 4 as an exit opportunity achieve the award of the Certificate in Higher Education and students who use the end of Level 5 as an exit opportunity achieve the award of the Diploma in Higher Education. In confirming the final award of a BA (Hons) Degree it is only those grades achieved in Part Two of the programme that determine the award. The weighting of the award is equally distributed at 50% for Level 5 and 50% for Level 6. To be eligible for a final award, students must also have satisfactorily completed each level of the degree by gaining the minimum number of credits required at Levels 4, 5 and 6. Support for Students and their Learning – University Level The University provides support for all students for Library and Information Services Careers Student Support Support for Students and their Learning – School and Programme Level The School fully embraces a reflective and pro-active „learning to learn‟ culture for its student cohort. This includes Personal Development Planning (PDP) at its heart. PDP is integrated into the programme through meetings with personal tutors held to discuss overall progress, identify student support needs and recognise and record student achievements and
  4. 4. strengths. The construction of a Progress File is combined with preparation of a showreel, portfolio or other appropriate record of student achievement that will be of real use to the student as he or she moves to a post-degree destination. The School recognises that the intention of PDP is to support student learning and development, and it is therefore fully integrated into systems of pastoral and academic support that have been successful over many years. Compulsory meetings with personal tutors are held at key points throughout the degree: Transferable skills are embedded in the programme content and assessment elements may include practical/technical workshops, tutor-led and student-centred seminars, screenings, essays, practical film projects, screenwriting projects presentations and the subject programme. The institutional „My Learning Essentials‟ (MLE) interactive learning resource is also utilised by programmes, and includes key documents such as handbooks and study guides. The following strategies for learning support can also include: 1. Lectures and seminars are be used to introduce the ideas underpinning the module and to set and discuss projects. 2. Workshop sessions introduce practical skills and an awareness of production methodologies 3. Group tutorials can be used for discussion, development and critique of individual ideas and strategies. 4. Studio sessions can be used to develop communication skills and design ideas. 5. Critiques will be used for the presentation and discussion of work be students and for formative feedback NOTE: Some assessment can be delivered in the medium of Welsh. For details contact the University Information Centre Criteria for Admission to the Programme Typical Offer: 200-300 UCAS points Art Foundation: merit profile BTEC National Diploma: merit/distinction profile Applications from mature students are actively encouraged and the University takes into account not only formal qualifications but also other personal qualities, skills, knowledge and experience. Indicators of Quality and Standards - University Level Excellent results in the National Students Survey, 2005: University of Wales, Newport achieved the highest possible outcome in a 2004 Institutional Audit conducted by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education: Quality Assurance systems given strong endorsement in two audits of overseas provision by the Quality Assurance Agency:
  5. 5. Top in Wales for enterprise education (KEF ranking 2002). Excellent graduate employment record. Excellent record on participation in higher education: 98% of students come from state schools; 48% of part-time students have no previous education qualification. Secretary of State for Wales, April 2002: Paul Murphy said: “University of Wales, Newport should be justifiably proud of the accolades it has collected over the past year in recognition of outstanding performance in teaching, research and business support.” University of Wales, Newport was granted taught degree awarding powers in its own right in 1996 by the Privy Council after a rigorous evaluation process. All degrees are validated by University of Wales. Higher National Diplomas and Certificates are validated by BTEC for whom University of Wales, Newport is a Licensed Centre. National standards are assured by external examiners. Indicators of Quality and Standards – School and Programme Level Standards and quality are given the highest priority, and are monitored and evaluated in accordance with the university‟s Regulations and Procedures. The main processes involved are described below. Quality Assurances Processes Programme Team Meetings Programme Teams meet before the start of the session and then several times during the year, as and when required. Such meetings deal with various aspects of Programme provision, including the following: 1. On-going monitoring of the programme, including responding to student feedback 2. Review of student attendance and performance following mid-sessional reviews 3. Review of recruitment in relation to targets and drop-out rates 4. Consideration and modification of Programme marketing strategies 5. Implementation of the action agenda produced in the annual (AME) Programme Report. Issues highlighted at Team meetings are then taken forward to the Department Board. Department Board The Department Board consists of representatives from all Programmes that make up the Department, and meets three times a year. It is responsible for consideration of major issues arising from Examination Boards, external examiner reports and employer and student feedback (usually given by student representatives at the meetings). The record of these meetings, including actions, is passed on to the School Quality Assurance & Enhancement Committee (SQAEC).
  6. 6. School Quality Assurance & Enhancement Committee The Newport School of Art, Media & Design SQAEC members meet three times a year, and considers all matters relating to quality assurance and enhancement in the School. The committee then reports to the institutional Academic Standards Committee with a record of procedures and actions. The committee includes student representation, which the School sees as a crucial element in ensuring a student voice in week-to-week life. Student comments are noted as they are presented and given action priority. A more formal mechanism for securing student feedback on the programme may be via a student questionnaire issued in the tenth week of each semester. Such feedback is presented to the SQAEC and the School Executive for discussion. Decisions are fed back to the student group informally by way of the student representative present at the meeting, and formally by minutes of meetings. This process, and its results, are considered as part of Annual Monitoring and Review (AME) Report, which covers the following areas: 1. Executive Summary 2. Actions/Progress 3. Review of External Examiners' Reports 4. Detailed Evaluation 5. Statistical Analysis 6. Evaluation of the Process Completed AME reports are submitted to the School Executive. This group discusses and agrees a commentary prepared by the Dean of School, which is forwarded to the SQAEC for consideration and approval. The School SQAEC is the most senior School management group. Reports are then submitted to the Academic Standards Committee, which in turn prepares a report for the Academic Board. Date at Which the Programme Specification Was Written or Revised April 2006 Student Contract All students will be required, as a condition of enrolment, to abide by and submit to the procedures of the University‟s disciplinary rules and regulations, as amended from time to time. A copy of the current disciplinary rules and regulations is available, on request, from the University Information Centre. The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver courses in accordance with the descriptions set out in the prospectus. However, the University does not provide education to UK undergraduates on a commercial basis. It is also very largely dependent upon charitable and public funds, which the University has to manage in a way that is efficient and cost- effective, in the context of the provision of a diverse range of courses to a large number of students. The University therefore: 1. reserves the right to make variations to the contents or methods of delivery to courses, to discontinue courses and to merge or combine courses, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. If the University discontinues any course, it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course; 2. cannot accept responsibility and expressly excludes liability, for damage to students‟ property, transfer of computer viruses to students‟ equipment or liability for breach of contract.