Illustration 3: Research

Illustration 3: Research

Duration: 15 months at 10hrs/week

Price: £1170

Run by: Enquiries
at OCA

0800 731 2116

This course is taught online

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About the Course

This unit builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired in previous levels of the Open course and represents an opportunity to synthesise theory and practice through a self-initiated extended written project and a substantial visual research project.

For visual communicators, understanding visual language and having your own voice within it is important in being able to communicate effectively, respond to challenges creatively, and helps to define your practice. In consultation with your tutor you will devise a project that focuses on areas of interest from both a practical and critical perspective.

You will produce an extended written project of 3,500 words alongside a substantial body of supporting, exploratory and investigative visual work. The extended written project may take the form of a traditional essay researching a specific and relevant topic, investigate an aspect of the design process and generate primary-sourced data exploring this, investigate a more specific career orientated area or focus on your working methods and influences in the context of contemporary visual communication practice.

The unit will develop your research skills by exploring research methodologies, primary and secondary research, undertaking written and visual research; exploring approaches to documenting research and integrating visual research and outcomes; support your understanding of critical frameworks by identifying a range of appropriate theoretical and critical frameworks; outlining and signposting major ideas, theories and debates around visual communication practices; and help to develop your ability to document and present your ideas through academic writing skills; identifying sources and analysing appropriate source material; developing analytical and evaluative skills, presenting the extended written project and the visual research and outcomes.

This unit encourages a high degree of self-motivation and autonomy. The assignments will provide a structure to support students’ proposals, research process, writing and presentation, and the learning log will be used to support the development of visual self-reflection, academic enquiry, and evaluation.

The Open College of the Arts is a non-profit educational charity offering arts education through open and flexible distance learning methods. You will receive support from a one-to-one tutor who is also an arts practitioner and you will become part of a thriving UK and international student community.

All of our part time distance learning Open degrees are awarded by the University for the Creative Arts (UCA). We have an exceptional range of part-time Open courses at Higher Education level in painting, drawing, photography, music, illustration, graphic design, creative writing, textiles, sculpture, printmaking, art history and film.

Visit the website via the link above for more details or get in touch with our team!

If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.



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Course Start Dates

Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.


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  • Accessible by public transport
  • Disabled access
  • Qualification offered