Visual Literacies | Abertay University

Visual Literacies


This module will focus on developing the student’s observational and creative skills, building their visual language and introducing an awareness of learning through making. Within a cultural context the student will consider the conceptual, technical and aesthetic elements at play in creating both traditional and digital imagery, reflecting on contemporary and historical arts practice.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with the foundation knowledge and skills needed to understand, apply and communicate, within a cultural context, the conceptual, technical and aesthetic factors used within traditional and digital visualisation.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Explore, analyse and discuss the principals of visual arts, understanding and applying appropriate language within traditional and digital mediums.

2.  Apply and develop this knowledge through practical making, experimenting with traditional techniques and digital mediums to demonstrate understanding of research-led practice.

3.  Communicate conceptual knowledge and practical techniques through critical making in both physical and virtual domains.

Indicative Content

1 Context

Discuss and explore the impact of digital art in contemporary popular culture and art.

2 Context

Discuss and explore the impact of historical visual arts practice on contemporary culture and art.

3 Context

Discuss the principals of research-led practice and the impact of learning through making.

4 Content

Practice traditional life drawing/observational skills, in relation to form and composition, proportion and measuring, media and technique, structure and anatomy, and developing a visual language.

5 Content

Analysis and practice the technical and aesthetic factors central to the creation of digital imagery and how they can be used to challenge the traditional concepts of image making.

6 Content

Explore visual perception and the use of visual cues to engage, articulate and communicate ideas through imagery.

7 Execution

Analyse and interpret a project brief and generate relevant creative explorations and solutions which communicate your findings, supported by sketchbook evidence of research.

8 Execution

Discuss and apply presentation techniques.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Students will be supported by a combination of 12 x 3 hour slots. Weekly this will typically be either a 1-hour lecture followed by 2-hour studio practice, or by a 3-hour studio based activity. Students will be provided with practical assignments that will inform the development of this portfolio over the course of the semester.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 6
Tutorial/Seminar 0
Supervised Practical Activity 30
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 80
Independent 84

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2017/18 , and may be subject to change for future years.