Core Module Information
Module title: Design Studies 2: Design Research

SCQF level: 09:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: DES09144
Module leader: Peter Buwert
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Art Design and Photography


Description of module content:

Following directly on from the Design Studies 1 module (which explores foundations for critical inquiry and thinking about design) Design Studies 2 digs deeper into design research methods. These are the practical matters of the ways in which designers can discover and develop useful knowledge about design, for design, and through design.
You will explore, adopt and use a wide range of research methods that are appropriate for contemporary design practice. You will develop and refine skills in employing various techniques, methods and strategies of design research in the collection, analysis and presentation of data, and the critical interpretation of this in relation to contemporary design practice. You will develop abilities to describe, explain and evaluate these research processes in a range of media including visually, textually and verbally. You will work on a range of individual and group design projects, which will require you to identify, analyse, use and reflect on your choice of particular design research methods.
This module will prepare and equip you with the skills to conduct thoughtful, critical, useful research to support, inform and improve your design practice.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Identify and evaluate appropriate methods for research inquiry in design contexts
LO2: Apply appropriate methods to collect, process and present qualitative data as part of design research inquiry
LO3: Analyse, interpret and evaluate gathered research data and present reasonable conclusions
LO4: Demonstrate reflexive awareness of the researcher’s position within and effect on the research process
LO5: Critically reflect on the evolving nature and role of research within design contexts

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Peter Buwert
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning within this module is organised around a student-centred approach which allows a degree of personalisation in choosing the specific content to be explored as you develop the skills to demonstrate achievement of the intended learning outcomes (LOs1-5).
Tutor led lectures and workshops will provide structured presentation of key theoretical concepts, texts and case-studies (LOs1,2). You will meet in peer-led seminar groups to collectively discuss, debate and analyse these ideas and examples (LOs2,3,4). You will present your analyses, discuss, and receive formative feedback from peers and tutors. This may take the form of verbal, visual or textual presentations (LOs3,4).
You will work individually and in groups to develop design research projects which test and explore the theoretical ideas presented for consideration in class and through reading material (LOs4,5).
Progress on project work will be presented in class to receive formative feedback and assessment on learning. Project work will form the basis of a portfolio submitted for summative assessment (LOs1-5). The student-centred portfolio submission format allows for personalisation in learning throughout the module as you will be encouraged to develop your own areas of interest to explore and critically reflect upon. Portfolios will be assessed based on their overall demonstration of achievement of module learning outcomes, rather than solely on pre-specified attributes of individual tasks.

Formative Assessment:
Formative feedback is provided throughout the module in class from peers and tutors during regular group discussions and presentations. Formative assessment will take place at midway points during scheduled learning activities. This will help to direct your learning prior to submission of work for summative assessment. This will take place formally in week 7 and in week 11.

Summative Assessment:
Summative assessment will take place through a single submission of a portfolio of work in week 13. This submission will constitute 100% of your summative module grade. The portfolio will present your account of the tasks you have undertaken throughout the module as you have gained and developed an understanding of design research practice. The student-centred portfolio format allows a degree of personalisation in learning throughout the module as you will be encouraged to select and develop your own areas of interest to explore and critically reflect upon. You will have had opportunities to receive formative assessment and feedback on each task undertaken as part of the module. This provides time to implement changes and improvements based on this feedback prior to submission of the final summative assessment. Tasks included within the portfolio may be presented in any appropriate format. The portfolio will be a substantial body of work of documentation and reflection on design research process. At least one component of the portfolio must be an academically written and referenced essay (2,000 words). Portfolios will be assessed based on their overall demonstration of achievement of module learning outcomes, rather than solely on specific attributes of individual tasks. While choice of specific content can be personalised, the portfolio as a whole must demonstrate a developing knowledge and understanding of key concepts in design research and the relationship between design research and practice. In this way the portfolio submission will allow you to present a personalised account of your engagement and activity throughout the module in order to demonstrate that you have met the LOs 1-5.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Independent Learning Guided independent study 128
Face To Face Lecture 12
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 24
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 36
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Portfolio 100 1,2,3,4,5 13
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
DES09144 Design Studies 2: Research methods