DE7005 - Design Practice 2 : Experimentation

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will address the on-going aims of your PDP through practical experimentation guided by action research methods and supported by your tutors and fellow students.

• You will learn to formulate design project and practice actions that enable you to engage with the aims of your PDP.
• You will further investigate your chosen research topic using advanced primary and secondary research using appropriate research methods.?
• You will analyse your research findings to grow a further understanding in the area of specialism outlined in your PDP.
• You will articulate theoretical principles and related practice in respect of personal and professional development.
• You will learn to develop theoretical constructs to guide your practice and through practice you will re-inform and develop your theoretical understanding.
• You will develop your ability to present design solutions to a professional, highly creative standard pertinent to your research focus and field of practice.
• You will learn to clearly communicate and present concepts, ideas and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences using appropriate media.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through the School of Design’s extended studio approach (X-Studio) that embraces our physical studios and making workshops as well as our virtual spaces to create a flexible and rich environment that is responsive to our learners’ needs.

This dedicated approach has been developed over many years of continuous teaching innovation, research and industry collaboration. It has created a supportive extended studio culture that encourages our students to learn flexibly, dynamically blending their learning and University experience between physical and digital interactions both in real-time and online at their own pace.

We believe that this extended studio culture not only helps our students to become more confident autonomous learners but also prepares them for a dynamic design industry in which an extended studio philosophy is current practice.

In Design Practice 2 you will learn through engagement with the aims and aspirations of your PDP in the context of your design practice work. This gives you the freedom to develop your mastery of a particular field of design though structured practice and project work and supported by a community of practice and experts in the field. You will execute a body of work in drawing, photography and artefacts that make a portfolio of work that begins to articulate your engagement with and your development of your PDP identified in module DE7004 from semester 1.

The learning for this module will be studio and workshop based in order to develop relevant design outcomes. Through tutorial support and studio-based feedback, you will be expected to take responsibility for your own creative development for this self-directed project. Formative feedback will be given throughout the module in studio sessions with peer evaluation forming an important activity in discussions on developing materials, processes and technologies.

You will maintain your PDP (Personal Development Plan) to aid your own creative development and learning.
Supportive research informed modules (DE7001 Design Thinking and DE7002 Design Process) will aid your continued Research, Research Practice (Research Through Design) and understanding of Business Models and Enterprise that help contextualise where your design practice sits in a social and commercial environment.

Your continued collaboration within the University and externally with research communities, professional networks and communities of practice aligned with the aims of your PDP will enable you to implement design work with social and commercial relevance.. This is a module requirement that will enable you to implement design work into the commercial environment by seeking meaningful professional collaborations or, as an alternative, to enter a design competition of your choice. The action research processes you apply will enable you to develop as a reflective practitioner, building the confidence to move into, or return to, the workplace with greater impact.

This learning will help you to identify the most appropriate fields of knowledge, methods, technologies and processes to advance your design practice mastery in your final semester of study (DE7003).

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by academic experts who will facilitate discussion in one to one tutorials and group critiques around your chosen subject of inquiry in scheduled timetabled sessions and directed study. These formal conversations are opportunities to receive immediate feedback on on-going work and to act on that feedback.

You will keep a record of this feedback as part of your PDP and action research based recording templates in order to progress your work to enhance your skills and intellectual understanding to develop your experimental project work. Your portfolio of work undertaken in the module will also document your reflective thought processes and show iteration and idea development.

You will be part of a community of practice that will provide a topic ‘hub’ for peer discussion.

You will be involved in reflective practice, which is inherent to the practice of the School.

The School has introduced the roles of the Professor/Reader/Fellow with the purpose of integrating research with teaching. The Masters programme curriculum has been developed to capitalise on the extensive, active and well defined research emphasis of the School and channel this expertise into the Masters Programmes. Your alignment with particular research experts, PGR students and communities of practice will be guided by the aims of your PDP, where appropriate your module tutor will support you to access research projects and build networks to relevant to your field of study.

Further formal academic support is provided via information posted on E-Learning Portal. Where appropriate, students may also be directed to engage with Study Skills +, or other resources offered through the University Student Support Services such as Dyslexia Support.

The Library is open 24 hours a day and E-Learning Portal houses all your module documents including your timetable. These services can be accessed on a range of devices.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding (KU):
1. Develop the focus and detail of a PDP that describes the student’s objectives for independent project research and the application of practical and design methodologies.
2. Apply new knowledge and concept models to design project research with cognisance of dialogue with design communities.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities (IPSA):
1. Compile a portfolio of visual and text based research and development (including work to enter a design competition or work developed through an external project collaboration) that communicates your ongoing process, evaluation and reflection

Personal Values Attributes (PVA):
1. Evidence originality, creativity, innovation and an holistic approach in practical project development.
2. Articulate the purpose of your project research and through investigative and developmental dialogue justify its contextual value.
3. Reflect on existing skills and capabilities and plan your research-goal based on your strengths and limitations.

How will I be assessed?

Regular seminars and tutorials provide a forum for on-going dialogue and formative assessment. This cumulative formative feedback will help you to prepare a portfolio of design work that demonstrates engagement with and development of the student’s Personal Development Plan as first articulated in module DE7004.
This should include:

• A summary of your own work and the theoretical and practical context for that work.
• A summary of the way your PDP has developed through semesters 1 and 2.
• A description of the research you have carried out and the networks and communities of practice you have engaged with.
• Diary of Reflective Practice structured in accordance with your action research process model (developed in DE7002)
• Evidence of peer review, collaboration and coaching.
• Reference to key research and a design portfolio showing your recent practice work.





Module abstract

Design Practice 2 provides the platform from which you engage directly with your unique subject specialism, which you will have already begun to articulate in your PDP last semester. The module provides the opportunity to gain feedback on your progress from specialist academics and practitioners and craft the focus and detail of your own particular design direction.

Design Practice 2 is supported by research informed modules in Design Thinking DE7001 and Design Process DE7002 which will help underpin your practice in the context of established design knowledge.

It is expected that you will produce investigative, creative and original design project and practice work that will push boundaries and current research and establish your presence at the forefront of future thinking within your chosen specialism. ?Your reflection upon your experiences through the programme of study will help demonstrate your creative, analytical and intellectual ability to enable you to articulate your own unique blend of design capabilities.

Learning will be studio and workshop based supported through tutorial guidance in addition to directed and independent learning.
Assessment is through a design portfolio of 2D and 3D design work along with evidence of your learning journey through engagement and development of your PDP.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy