Design Contexts | Abertay University

Design Contexts


The module is concerned with the contexts of design across a range of creative fields, and challenges students to investigate design history, the role of the designer, along with emergent design practices.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with the ability to explore the wider discipline of design through understanding design standards, ethics, affordances and the significance of diversity and accessibility.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Demonstrate an awareness of the historical contexts of design.

2.  Describe and analyse the techniques and processes of design.

3.  Explain the role of human capability, ethics, aesthetics, commercial factors and novelty.

Indicative Content

1 Design History

Design movements, manifestos, key designers.

2 Design Principles

Visual and artistic elements, balance and harmony, form and function.

3 The Design Process

Identifying the stages and elements of design practice, facilitating good design.

4 Design Beyond Games

Design in other contexts, i.e architecture, urban design, product design, service design etc.

5 Diversity

Social and physical influences on design, cultural awareness, stereotypes and tropes.

6 Accessibility

Understanding the user’s needs, designing for inclusion.

7 Design Practice

Design methods, prototyping, evaluating and analysing.

8 Design Futures

Emerging styles, technologies and audiences.

9 Ethics

Understanding and constructing a system of moral principles in design.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Students will participate in a series of lectures and seminars. Readings cover the core content of the module, highlighting the core knowledge and theory of design and design processes. The seminar sessions will focus on topic exploration, class discussions, small creative tasks, and other exercises that may feed into the portfolio of evidence.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 88
Independent 88

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 2018/19 , and may be subject to change for future years.