TY2DT-Design thinking

Module Provider: Typography
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Rick Poynor

Email: r.e.poynor@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
An introduction to the ideas and discussions that surround and underpin contemporary design practice.


This module aims to introduce students to contemporary issues in graphic design by encouraging critical reading and discussion, and to inform their designing by broadening their view of what constitutes design as a professional activity. The module reinforces the Department's view of design as an analytical, rational, evidence-based activity and aims to educate graphic designers to be literate and able to think for themselves. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students should be able to:

- identify and describe key concepts in graphic design theory and history

- respond critically to texts on design

- evaluate the relevance and validity of research studies and other writing

- make connections between theory, history, and practice

- assemble and organise material and articulate clearly and concisely in oral and written forms 

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Each delivery of the module will typically contain four themes. Example themes include:

- history for graphic designers 

- critical writing for graphic designers

- graphic design theory and reflective practice 

- graphic design and society

- the development of the role of the designer

- understanding and accommodating the user

- sustainability in design 

- inclusive design 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is divided into topics, typically three. Each topic typically consists of a combination of plenary sessions, discussion groups or workshops to explore topics in more depth, and student-led seminar presentations of short seminar papers.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 6 6
Seminars 24 24
Guided independent study 70 70
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Project output other than dissertation 20
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Individual and collaborative forms of assessment are used. Students will prepare and deliver one fifteen-minute seminar presentation, with a handout of approximately 1000–1500 words, in either the Autumn or Spring term (30% of the module mark). They will write one essay of approximately 2500 words (50% of the module mark). They will also be assessed on their contribution to discussion groups, seminars or workshops (20%). 

Formative assessment methods:

The discussion groups and workshops form a foundation to inform the seminar presentations and the essay

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Any individual item of coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of not less than 40%, otherwise it must be resubmitted by an August/September date to be notified.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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