structure

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Course struture and rationale

Learning and Teaching

The course is based on a mixed programme of theory and practice. This will be delivered through a combination of lectures, presentations, seminars, workshops, group work, supervision and placements. As well as contact hours on campus, you will be encouraged to undertake independent learning through essential reading, case study preparation, and assignment work. Consultancy projects and guest lectures from industry specialists give you invaluable insights into the professional environment.

Throughout the course, each student will be supported by an individual supervisor. You will also have access to high-quality technical and specialist support, facilities, labs and studios.

In addition to developing practical skills, there is a strong emphasis on developing your professional and interpersonal skills, such as presentation, communication, planning, costing and teamwork. For more details, see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.

Study routes for the Creative Technology MSc

The MSc Creative Technology is currently available as a full time course.

Full-time study

Full-time students study for 60 credits each term. Contact learning includes six classroom hours per week with additional technical workshops, tutorials and project progress meetings during the academic year. Additionally, you will be expected to pursue your own self-directed study. This will be related to both projects and assessment goals, and can be based around your chosen area of interest or expertise.

The full Masters course comprises 180 credits divided into three 60 credits stages: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and Masters. Students work incrementally through the three stages and must pass all modules at each stage in order to progress to the next. Over the course of one year, you will study the following compulsory modules:

Creative Technologies Toolkit (30 Credit Core module, semester 1)

In this 30 Credit module you will learn to design and evaluate creative computing solutions to satisfy design specifications by integrating modern visual, audio and interactive software and hardware technologies. Syllabus outline You will be introduced to a number of technology and design related ideas, topics and techniques including:

Problem formulation, rapid software design, development prototyping methods for the creative technologies Audio and visual processing and programming for creative applications Interaction methods: graphical, tangible and gestural interaction, design and implementation Physical computing including sensor electronics, units and properties Machine learning for creative applications HCI in context: editing/offline, performance and installation Traditional HCI methods; standards, benefits and limitations Interaction mechanisms and programming responses Tailoring interfaces for specific creative technologies purposes Digital manufacturing techniques including 3D design, laser cutting and 3D printing Learning goals On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Create, select and apply software techniques, libraries, data structures, classes and algorithms appropriate for the development of creative technology applications Design, develop, test and evaluate creative computing solutions to satisfy design specifications by integrating modern visual, audio and interactive software and hardware technologies. Recall, discuss, and apply sonic, visual and general human-computer interaction theories and methods within a creative technologies context. Employ digital manufacturing techniques to design, realise and evaluate prototypes. Classify, contrast, employ and rate a range of tools and frameworks relevant to the lifecycle of a collaborative creative technologies project. Assemble and present a portfolio of creative technology projects, demonstrating versatility across a range of platforms, devices, users and contexts. Assessment The assessment will be used to assess learners’ abilities to apply skills and embed theory within practice through the development and communication of creative technology systems. This will require students to assemble and submit a portfolio of diverse creative technologies systems. The demonstration will be used to establish learners’ knowledge and comprehension of the module content, delivered in taught sessions and reinforced through reading materials. Formative assessment will be provided as part of the practical sessions. Individual feedback will be provided on the assignment and demonstration. Assessment criteria will be supplied with the assignment and demonstration specification.

Creative Technologies Research and Practice (30 Credit Core module, semester 2)

In this 30 credit module we develop research questions and manage the life cycle of a creative technologies project that incorporates the design, implementation, deployment and evaluation of a system that addresses academic or industry stakeholder needs.

Syllabus outline

We will cover a number of differing ideas and approaches and you will be introduced to the range of topics including;

  • Epistemology and ontology and the philosophy of knowledge

  • Designing and conducting a creative technologies research project: reviewing, evaluating and managing literature; identifying aims, objectives and milestones; project management; formulating research questions; ethics

  • Stakeholder engagement including requirements analysis, contexts, proposals, intellectual property, milestones, progress meetings, deployment, documentation

  • History of digital art and the creative technologies.

  • Interdisciplinary collaboration.

  • Generative systems and computer art and music.

  • Research methods including: quantitative data analyses and statistical techniques; surveys and questionnaires; qualitative methods, interviews, discourse analysis and focus groups.

  • Communication and dissemination: academic writing, peer review and public speaking.

Learning goals

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

  • Identify, review and communicate research from a range of sources relevant to a specific research domain within the creative technologies.

  • Manage the complete lifecycle of a creative technologies project that incorporates the design, implementation, deployment and evaluation of a system that addresses academic or industry stakeholder needs.

  • Develop and investigate research questions by selecting and applying research methods appropriate to the creative technologies to generate key data and present robust results.

  • Communicate research within the creative technologies in a written and verbal format at a level appropriate for presentation at nationally recognised research events.

    Assessment

    The assignment will document the development of a single piece of creative technologies research and should be presented in the format and style of a research manuscript for a creative technologies conference or journal. This will involve demonstrating an ability to create and document an extended piece of work. The paper will also be presented along with a poster at a controlled poster presentation in the format found at academic conferences. Formative assessment and feedback will be provided as part of the practical sessions. Assessment criteria will be supplied with the assignment and presentation specification.

Creative Technologies Research (15 Credit Core module, semester 1)

In this 15 Credit module you will design and evaluate research strategies and assemble and present a portfolio of research in a theoretical and practical context

Syllabus outline

Indicative areas of study:

  • Problem formulation, design, development and planning for creative research

  • Reading, writing and formulation strategies for creative applications and outputs.

  • Epistemological and trans-disciplinary reasoning

  • Qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation techniques

  • Statistical analysis for creative applications

  • Poster and presentation design and delivery

  • Grant and application processes

  • Qualitative and quantitative research

  • Language, referencing, citation, formatting and submission for formal writing

    Learning goals

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

  • Identify key processes, methods, tools and practices associated with creative technologies research.

  • Design, develop, test and evaluate research strategies in a theoretical and practical context.

  • Recall, discuss, and apply theories and methods of conducting robust domain specific research.

  • Assemble and present a portfolio of research with evidence of evaluation and tangible outputs. (A and B)

    Assessment

    The presentation will be used to establish learners’ knowledge and comprehension of the module content delivered in lectures practical sessions and reinforced through reading materials. The assignment will be used to assess learners’ ability to comprehend an apply research methods in the creative technologies and the communication of such systems.

Digital Connections (15 Credit Core module, semester 2)

In this 15 Credit module we will apply visual design, usability principles and digital sharing strategies to personal creative or technological practice through modern communication channels.

Syllabus outline

Indicative areas of study:

  • The current web environment, clients and servers, browsers, displays, human-web interaction.

  • Tools of the internet HTML, CSS, Javascript. The document object model, WAI ARIA, accessibility and standards orientated design and development.

  • Multiplatform distribution, responsive design, semantic markup, client side and server side processing technologies. workflow and development environments

  • Web design principles and guidelines: usability, accessibility, W3 recommendations, site design guidelines, accessibility and internationalisation.

  • Site design, site purpose, planning, and structure.

  • Page and interface design, navigation and interaction.

  • User navigation control and content contribution, incorporating multimedia elements, creating and maintaining pages with an authoring tool.

  • Designing responsive content for multi-platform distribution.

  • Legibility. Reading and attention. Embedding fonts.

  • Designing for interactivity. Editing. Enriched content: multimedia and hypermedia.

  • Visual design: Design sketches and prototypes. Designing for visual appeal. Observing and critiquing existing sites. Graphic design: the Web palette; GIF, JPEG, PNG.

Learning goals

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

  • Author simple web pages using modern web standards and best practice programming techniques

    Assess the suitability of the target website for different platforms, e.g. mobile, extranet, intranet.

  • Critically evaluate user interface design

  • Recognise and apply visual design and usability principles to a given context and specification

  • Devise, design, assemble and implement a strategies for sharing personal creative or technological practice through modern communication channels

Assessment

The assignment for this module will assess learners’ practical skills in the production and communication of work via digital media. This will involve demonstrating an ability to assemble a portfolio of information rich digital media content.The presentation will be used to establish learners’ knowledge and comprehension of the module theory and content delivered in lectures practical sessions and reinforced through reading materials.

Creative Technology Dissertation (60 Credit Core module, semester 3)

In this major 60 Credit module you will work independently to plan and manage a complex creative technology research project over an extended period of time, and complete it by a given deadline.

Syllabus outline

Students are expected to carry out an in-depth survey of relevant literature to identify a focus for their study that contributes to existing research in the field. The primary research will involve the development of a creative technologies system. The written dissertation should make clear how the primary research was designed and conducted. Discussion of the outcomes of primary research should be clearly related to existing literature. The body of the dissertation should be supplemented by a critical review of key aspects of the research and development processes.

Initially, students will develop a short proposal outlining the problem or opportunity they will be addressing, their proposed solution approach, the research methods they plan to use, and their overall plan. Then they will develop an in-depth proposal for their dissertation.

Learning goals

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

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of a complex and specialised area of knowledge and skills appropriate to the creative technologies domain. (A2)

  • Address an in-depth problem relevant to the creative technologies using arigorous approach involving a non-trivial technology system. (A1, A2)

  • Demonstrate an understanding of current theoretical and methodological approaches to the development of a substantive creative technologies system.

  • Conduct and write up academic research at a level appropriate to Masters credit.

  • Synthesise and critically evaluate data from multiple sources.

  • Evaluate the approach taken in undertaking primary and secondary research

  • Explore and understand the issues of ethics, validity, trustworthiness and reliability in research

  • Work independently to plan and manage a complex computing research project over an extended period of time, and complete it by a given deadline

  • Summarise, organise and convey ideas and succinctly and coherently

Assessment

The research proposal, dissertation report and associated materials will be evaluated in the assessment of the student. The assessment of the report will be both in terms of its content (e.g. whether appropriate and sufficient research has been carried out, whether the design meets its requirements), the expression of its content (e.g. whether it is well-structured, well written, makes appropriate use of diagrams, employs an appropriate citation system).

Elective modules (you must choose two elective modules, each is 15 Credits)

Designing the User Experience (15 Credits)

This module is taught in weekly workshops. Engagement with – and understanding of – the topics is facilitated through practical activities and the opportunity for critical analysis and reflection. You will learn about: The Nature of Interaction Design: User experience;

  • Human characteristics and diversity:

  • Use experience and Usability:

  • User-centred design process and methodologies;

  • Evaluation: goals and methods of evaluation

  • New and emerging interaction paradigms:

Advanced Composition (15 Credits)

You’ll develop skills in contemporary composition enabling you to explore your own creative voice. During the module you will work on a small portfolio of studies as well as preparing a free composition. Specific areas of study may include:

  • Orchestration;

  • 20th-century compositional techniques;

  • Electroacoustic Composition.

Sonic Art (15 Credits)

Sonic art ranges from interactive sound installations to improvised live performances, from computer programming and live coding through to audiovisual practices, circuit bending, analogue plunderphonics and noise compositions. This module will require you to produce a piece of sonic art. The exact nature of this is up to you, the possibilities are quite broad. The piece can be scored, arranged or live improvised. However, it will be expected that the piece explores sound beyond conventional melody, rhythm and harmony. It should also explore and take advantage of technological interventions within sonic processes (such as granular synthesis, convolution, glitch, etc).

Generative Systems Design for audio and video (15 Credits)

Exploring the exciting world of generative systems, applied to design and art in the field of audio, video and design. This module explores a number of foundational computer science methods and techniques, from which artist/designer practitioners can look to real world applications for the developmen of new kind of art and design and musical possibilites.

  • Foundations of generative systems

  • Practical application in art, design, architecture and music

  • Exploring the relationship of artist/designer when working with generative tools