2.1 Reflective Practice

Unit Title Reflective Practice
Unit Code MA 2.1
Location N/A
Level & Credit M 30 credits
When taught Year 2
Duration One year P/T
Learning hours 300 hours
Date first approved 01/07/10
Date of this version 01/06/10


This unit provides an opportunity to develop the project plan established in the Exploratory Project MA 1.4 and achieve a body of resolved work in a chosen area of investigation which demonstrates a synthesis of knowledge, invention, skill and experience, and shows developmental progression.  You are expected to sustain an in-depth enquiry, demonstrating a critical engagement with the subject and with its contextual frameworks, and a discriminating grasp of pertinent practical and conceptual methodologies.  You are also expected to engage in research, using the knowledge you have gained from earlier research and demonstrate through documentation that your practice is thoroughly founded in research.

In this unit you will work independently towards a presentation of a body of studio work. This will function as a coherent articulation in material form of salient issues of content, skills and theory identified and developed through previous units. The role of the unit is for you to have a continuous period of studio time, in order to allow full concentration on a body of studio work.

You are required to carry out research into an area of personal interest and provide evidence of critical engagement with your subject through support material including a full bibliography. The Study programme gives you the opportunity to develop an area of personal interest and to negotiate your own programme of study.

You will identify a keen interest that builds on units MA 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 and a particular set of techniques and ideas that you have not been able to fully explore in depth.  This unit offers you the opportunity to research, explore and develop this potential through an in-depth personal study that will enable you to develop your visual vocabulary and practice in a self-initiated project.  The content of the unit should not overlap with your project for the final project. This unit is intended to allow you to identify and realise more advanced objectives than those already realised within a particular completed unit.


The aims of this Unit are to:

A1     realise the project plan devised in Exploratory Project MA 1.4;
A2     produce a coherent body of artwork that can be resolved in the Final Project MA 2.2;
A3      demonstrate in-depth methodological skills and knowledge of contextual practice towards MA level.


On completion of this Unit you will be able to demonstrate:

LO1   a sophisticated strategy that builds on a previous body of work showing mature synthesis between technical craft and conceptual acumen;
LO2   reflective research in a consistent body of practice including how you have addressed weaknesses;
LO3   the critical and conceptual contexts for your practice including a specific range of artists, practices and movements;
LO4   an ability to work independently and critically in pursuit of your stated aims including how your work will lead to the MA 2.2.


Teaching and Learning is through self-study with support from a tutor at a distance who will provide written and verbal feedback. You will be given unit materials, assigned a tutor, and learn through engagement with projects that lead up to assignments that consolidate learning undertaken in the unit. Tutors normally engage with you via phone and email and are sent work to review. You will work on a series of projects and reflect regularly on your work through keeping a learning log, as well as logging research findings and practical notes. You will be required to engage with your peers using OCA’s online forums.


A body of work, including practical work, sketchbooks, a research journal and a 500 word artist statement that contextualises your practice You will be assessed in relation to the learning objectives, your participation in online forums, and by the learning outcomes of the unit.


You will be assessed on your;

Knowledge of contexts, concepts, and methods specifically

demonstrate coherent and sophisticated levels of practice informed by discourse, research and an assimilation and a synthesis of ideas (LO1);

Understanding through the application of knowledge , specifically

demonstrate an understanding of your practice in terms of both skills, intention and resolution (LO2);

have thoroughly demonstrated your understanding of the relationship of theory, research and practice to your work (LO3);

Application of professional skills, specifically

work both independently and as part of a team developing strategies towards a learning plan for MA 2.2 and demonstrated a sustained high level of professional practice (LO4).


Kieran, M (2005) Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art, Wiley-Blackwell, UK.
Powell, Earl A  111 (2006) Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art since Pollock (The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts) Princeton University Press

Web references

Much of this will be dependent upon the you’ chosen area of practice (i.e. painting, print, ceramics, photography, etc.), but should include material which demonstrates theoretical contextualisation of your own practice. Additionally, you will demonstrate accomplished use of materials and techniques.

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