Surrey University Stag

CREATIVE MEDIA PRACTICES (II) - 2023/4

Module code: DMAM004

Module Overview

A significant element of the final stage of the Film Animation and Digital Arts master’s programme is the development and production of a substantial final practical project output. This module marks the first phase of this process, during which students are tasked to research, develop, define and formulate the content and form of the creative work they choose to undertake. Depending on the nature of the work, students will be supported in their use of relevant tools and techniques for project planning and specification, including research, material gathering, scriptwriting, design, proposal formulation and project pitching.

The outputs of the module include a creative specification in the form of a project proposal (which can comprise of scripts, story outline, storyboards, design documentation and technical specification); plus a creative portfolio which may include pilot audio visual material and/or prototypes which serve as proofs of concept for the proposed work. Students will work closely with specialist tutors to develop the advanced skills they require in areas such as Cinematography, Animation, Digital Performance, 3D modelling / animation, VFX, Game Design or Machine Learning / Computer Vision.

Students will be encouraged to pitch and share their ideas with their tutors and peers, and to offer and respond to feedback in a collaborative constructive and positive manner. Collaboration with other departments and specialists is encouraged wherever possible.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

O'DELL Matthew (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code:

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 20

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 20

Independent Learning Hours: 250

Seminar Hours: 10

Tutorial Hours: 20

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Not Applicable

Module content

Indicative content includes: 


  • Cinematography

  • Animation

  • Digital Performance

  • 3D modelling / animation

  • VFX

  • Game Design

  • Machine Learning / Computer Vision


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Project proposal and creative portfolio 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The outputs of the module consist of a collection of prototypes and pilot audio-visual materials which serve as proofs of concept for the final master project. In addition, the student provides documentation which demonstrates how the techniques developed may be deployed in their final project work going forwards. This complements their ongoing project proposal and specification work. 

  The summative assessment for this module consists of:

• Coursework, 100%, Practical Portfolio. Specifics depend on your choice of media you will be working in. It could include visual experiments, tests, pre-visualisations, casting, rehearsals, choreography, music brief, crew-recruitment, location finding, prototyping, coding tests, digital resource acquisition, scripts, storyboards, render tests, character art, concept art. 

Formative assessment and feedback

Continuous 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. 

The timing and format of proposals and work-in-progress portfolio work is dependent on the individual details and circumstances of each project. 

Specific formative feedback is provided at an appropriate point approximately midway through the module, dependent on the nature, form and format of the project/proposal in development. 

Module aims

  • Conceive and develop a creative project
  • Identify original sources and subjects with a view to creating a distinctive style and approach through practical exercises and the creation of a test or pilot project.
  • Aid students in the development of the tools required to conceptually frame their practice and help them communicate clearly and critically.
  • Explore media projects in a variety of media and to consider the implications of those projects for their own work.
  • Study and discuss a number of different methods for the critical appraisal and theorization of digital media arts projects across genres
  • Undertaking a wide range of research to help students develop their ideas and skills (viewing, listening, reading, observing, testing of techniques, etc.).
  • Research a potential subject for a project in depth and use that research in writing a project proposal
  • Working alongside specialist tutors, develop the deep skills necessary for the student's Final Masters Project, and future practice

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Articulate the artist's relationship with audiences, clients, markets, users, consumers, participants, co-workers and co-creators K
002 Research, plan and budget a substantial, original, creative media project, presenting the plan orally and through pre-production documentation CPT
003 Utilise production technology to an advanced level to produce a short test or pilot project CK
004 Critically analyse relevant theoretical sources, production processes, forms, techniques and working methods from across a range of contemporary and historical practices and reflectively situate his/her own work in relation to these practices. CK
005 Demonstrate knowledge of legal, institutional, financial, technological and ethical constraints as they affect creative production and distribution and apply these as appropriate to the development of his/her own projects. CK
006 Demonstrate an ability to complete a practical project to set deadlines CK
007 Substantially increase skill level in chosen area(s) KP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Support students in the independent creation of an extended digital media project making use of the critical and production skills which have been developed over the previous semester.

Students will work with one or more specialist tutors, who will assist their process of experimentation with approaches, technologies and workflows, as they develop deep skills in specific areas.

Students will be assisted in their exploration of relevant artworks and existing media from a range of forms, formats and genres to situate and contextualise their own work. Presentation and moderated peer review will be developed as an essential tool for project development.

The course is taught through a combination of presentations by the course tutors, peer review, group critiques, and one-to-one tutorial sessions.

Module content will be delivered through a combination of:


  • Lectures, demos, creative exercises (‘workshops’)

  • Group seminars, presentations, critiques (‘seminars’)

  • Personal tutorials


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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: DMAM004

Other information

N/A

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Film, Animation and Digital Arts MA 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

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 2023/4 academic year.