Photography 3: Contextual Studies | Body of Work

Course Level: 3 (HE6) | HE Credits: 80 | Approx. Duration: 24 months at 8hrs/week

When you get to this final level of study, it is essential to view all three Open courses as a cohesive programme of study. You have four years in total, as a maximum, to complete this entire level, but in practice most students will spend two or three years bringing their final work to a conclusion and ready for assessment. In fact you will enrol on the first two Open courses (Contextual Studies and Body of Work) at the same time, and study them in parallel, since your learning on the first Open course will inform the second and visa versa. The big advantage of studying in this way is that you will have two different tutors for each of these Open courses, giving you a rich breadth of perspective as you study. If you live outside of the UK, please call the office on 0044 1226 730495 to make payment The final Open course, Sustaining your Practice, is about getting your work out in the public domain in a professional way. It makes sense to embark on this once you are well underway on the first two Open courses. This will normally be mid way or two thirds of the way through your study of the first two Open courses. You will have a third tutor to support you through this final Open course. You must submit the first two (Contextual Studies and Body of Work) for assessment at the same time, and may submit Sustaining your Practice for formal assessment at a later point OR alongside the first two.

Contextual studies

In this Open course you will undertake research and study that will enable you to gain comprehensive knowledge of your photographic field. You will build a theoretical framework to contextualise your creative practice and the portfolio that you develop in Major Project: body of work. You will analyse and evaluate a range of learning resources and translate abstract concepts into a coherent dissertation-style essay of appropriate academic standards. You will engage in critical photographic discourse, explore conceptual dimensions of your discipline and articulate ideas and information comprehensibly. You will be encouraged to apply your own criteria of judgement and exhibit appropriate self-appraisal with minimal supervision. This Open course will inform your creative photographic practice in Major Project: body of work, which in turn will also feed into this course. A significant overlap between this Open course and Major Project: body of work is therefore desirable.

Major Project: Body of Work

This course represents the culmination of the applied knowledge and photographic skills that you learnt on the BA (Hons) pathway at the OCA. You will drive the negotiations with your tutor and other relevant parties that will lead to the proposal and subsequent production of your Major Project. Your tutor will provide guidance and advice so that you are able to develop a body of work that exhibits accomplished visual and technical skills and demonstrates detailed knowledge of your chosen photographic field. This body of work will be the practical component of your Major Project, which also has a critical studies element that you will develop in the course Major Project: contextual studies. In this Open course you will be encouraged to develop a great degree of autonomy and, in conjunction with your tutor, critique your work in progress and evaluate it against your desired outcomes. You will translate complex and abstract ideas and concepts developed in Major Project: contextual studies and integrate them effectively in visual narratives that communicate your intention. On completion of your body of work you will develop appropriate solutions for publishing and disseminating it within the framework of Professional Practice. This Open course will inform your critical studies in Major Project: contextual studies, which in turn will also feed into this Open course. A significant overlap between this Open course and Major Project: contextual studies is therefore desirable.

Aims

The Contextual Studies course aims to:

  • A1 offer support to develop your ideas and produce a critique that provides a theoretical framework for your portfolio of work.
  • A2 help you gain comprehensive knowledge as well as critical and contextual understanding of the photographic field of your choice.
  • A3 consolidate your critical, analytical and reflective skills so that you can articulate abstract concepts into coherent written information.
  • A4 build your confidence in applying information management skills and appropriate technology to produce a written critique of high academic standard.

The Major Project: Body of Work course aims to:

  • A1 support you to produce convincing and sophisticated visual products independently.
  • A2 point you to research techniques and resources so that you can situate your own work within a wider photographic context.
  • A3 further develop your skills to transform abstract concepts into narratives and integrate them in your work.
  • A4 extend your critical, evaluative and reflective skills.
  • A5 build your confidence in using negotiation, management and communication skills

Outcomes

On successful completion of the Contextual Studies course you will be expected to have:

  • LO1 undertaken research and study demonstrating comprehensive knowledge of your area of specialisation and built a theoretical framework for your creative practice (A1)
  • LO2 synthesised and articulated your critical, contextual and conceptual knowledge and understanding into a coherent critique of advanced academic standard (A2)
  • LO3 applied your own criteria of judgement, reviewed, criticised and taken responsibility your own work with minimum guidance (A3)
  • LO4 selected and applied information management skills and use appropriate technology in the production of an accomplished critique with minimal supervision (A4)

On successful completion of the Major Project: Body of Work course you will be able to:

  • LO1 produced convincing visual products that communicate your intentions, using accomplished techniques in complex and unfamiliar environments, with minimal supervision from your tutor (A1)
  • LO2 gained comprehensive knowledge of your area of specialisation and be able to situate your own work within a larger context of practice in your field (A2)
  • LO3 transformed abstract concepts and ideas into rich narratives and integrate them in your images (A3)
  • LO4 critically reviewed your own work and evaluate it against desired outcomes (A4).
  • LO5 developed management, leadership and communication skills and have deployed them during the negotiation and production of the final body of work with your tutor and third parties (A5).

Course content

Contextual Studies

  • Negotiated learning that will lead to the production of a 1000 word written proposal, accompanied by relevant bibliographic resources, that outlines the aims and scope of a dissertation-style essay.
  • Development of a 5,000-word essay based on the above proposal.
  • Strategies for sourcing and researching relevant learning materials.
  • Conventions for writing academic essays.
  • Solutions for the delivery and dissemination of your dissertation-style essay

 

Major Project: Body of Work

  • Negotiated learning and photographic practice on a topic or topics of your choice.
  • Strategies for developing and translating your ideas and interests into a final portfolio of work.
  • Reflexive practice, consolidation of your personal photographic voice.
  • Project development using a range of resources and learning materials researched for this course as well as the course Major Project: contextual studies.
  • Professional solutions for the delivery of your final body of work within the framework of the level 3 course Professional Practice