Critical and Contextual Studies | Abertay University

Critical and Contextual Studies


This module is designed to enhance students’ ability to set theoretical and critical frameworks to underpin specialist writing within their domain of practice.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with the skills and knowledge to enhance their understanding of their field through theoretical and critical underpinning of their academic writing.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Analyse and interpret professional and published work in relation to research practice

2.  Break academic and creative work into component parts in order to analyse the concerns, methods and context of the chosen work

3.  Apply appropriate critical frameworks to the analysis of issues, academic arguments and/or creative practice

4.  Relate findings of analysis to the motivations behind their own creative practice

Indicative Content

1 Surveys of Literature

Identify and critically analyse existing literature in relation to the chosen area of research practice.

2 Critical Frameworks

Over a number of weeks, critical and theoretical frameworks will be explored in relation to subject specialisation. Students will explore and evaluate the appropriateness of techniques to their own area of interest.

3 Disaggregation as an Analysis Technique

Identify and deconstruct existing artwork(s) interpreting the decisions made by the artist in relation to the context within which the work was made.

4 Identifying the Research Question

Analyse existing academic literature to identify research questions and research methods appropriate to the chosen field of research. Explore these techniques in relation to own project, to uncover possible research questions.

5 The Post Mortem

Identify and apply reflective processes to the dissemination of the findings of the research.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Students will undertake sustained literature research in relation to a chosen query or area of interest. By mid semester students will submit a bibliography of reading and short form research record for feedback in the structured feedback week. Summative assessment will be the dissemination of the findings of literature research in an academic form, with supporting reflective documentation appropriate to the learning outcomes of the module.

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.