Module code: DMA1011

Module Overview

This module gets incoming students up to speed across a range of 2D digital media. Students are introduced to photography with high-end dSLR cameras, being taught the key aspects of image composition, as well as getting the most out of the shutter speed, aperture and ISO controls.


Although most students will have some familiarity with image editing, they are taken back to first principles, gaining an understanding of layers, selection techniques and so on, before being introduced to more advanced techniques such as masking, paths and adjustment layers. Having gained expertise with a bitmap image editor, students are introduced to vector illustration with an industry standard application. Although tricky at first, once the controls are mastered this type of program allows students to easily create and edit crisp artwork, patterns, typography and more.


Finally, students are introduced to animating a scene using a timeline.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

O'DELL Matthew (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: W210

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Shutter vs aperture

  • Colour

  • Lighting

  • Types of lenses

  • File formats, forms of compression

  • Subject vs camera movement

  • Still image editing

  • Differences between Raster and vector imaging

  • Drawing tools

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their understanding of production techniques and compositional skills while also encouraging students to experiment and work continually through the semester (rather than attempting to create work just before deadlines.)

As a first year module, the weighting of the final assessment provides students time to come to terms practice-based assessment procedures, which may be different from what they have experienced previously. The module is assessed entirely through coursework to allow students to focus on assessments in other modules during the exam period.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework – Weekly homework assignments (20%)

  • Coursework - Creative Project (30%)

  • Coursework - Creative Project (50%)

The weekly assignments cover each of the techniques presented in class and build toward the creative projects . These are intended to help students develop and apply their practice throughout the entire semester.

Formative assessment and feedback

Continuous oral assessment is given through timetabled group critiques and individual tutorials. Immediate oral feedback is given on works-in-progress presented during class and in tutorials. In addition, the module includes the following formative feedback:

  • Formative Coursework - Creative Project (0%). This assessment introduces students to SurreyLearn and the practice-based assessment procedures they will encounter throughout the course. This assessment will be formatively marked and written feedback will be provided to prepare the students for their summative assessments

  • The module includes weekly assignments covering the production skills required for each of the briefs. Students present their response to these assignments each week and receive direct oral feedback from the course tutor as well as other students.

  • During the 2 seminar sessions held the week prior to submission of assessed works, students are given individualised technical support and immediate feedback on their works in progress.


Module aims

  • • Introduce students to stills cameras
  • • Introduce students to image editing
  • • Introduce students to editing techniques and styles
  • • Explain file formats and compression
  • • Introduce ideas concerning process and critical thinking necessary for creative endeavour

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Generate ideas, concepts, and creative projects in response to set briefs C
002 Select, test and make appropriate use of software, processes and environments K
003 Demonstrate competence with digital photography and graphics technologies K
004 Deliver and accept positive criticism of their own work, and the work of others KC
005 Understanding the health and safety considerations of digital media arts disciplines and adopting appropriate working practices PT
006 Studying independently, setting goals, managing workloads and meeting deadlines PT
007 Presenting ideas and work to audiences in a range of situations PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 117

Lecture Hours: 33

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Develop technical skills in ways that facilitate creative independence and an ability to continue learning processes outside the classroom through the use of online tutorials, books, etc. Providing an overview of digital and media arts production techniques and pipelines

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures and demonstrations 

  • Tutorials and open-ended tasks 

  • Group critique

These lectures, seminars and group critiques are organised into 3 sections (still photo, image manipulation and vector artwork creation) to:

  • introduce techniques

  • Give students in-class experience with the techniques

  • Attempt the techniques independently

  • Provide techique-specific technical feedback

Sessions are taught in small groups in bespoke labs. Cameras are supplied by the DMM Equipment Store; lab computers are equipped with suitable editing software. Students may also use their own equipment as desired. 

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.