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Postgraduate Certificate in Research Skills: Art & Design programme (CRS)

Course overview

The Postgraduate Certificate in Research Skills: Art & Design programme (CRS) offers a detailed and comprehensive introduction to the range of methods, strategies and debates which can apply to art and design research. It is built around the four elements of (1) methods, (2) critical thinking, (3) ethics, and (4) project design. The programme is ideal for artists and designers who want to develop a research proposal based on their practice.

Course content

As an artist or a designer, there are many reasons for wanting to conduct research. You might have a question or interest relating to art and design practice or theory which you want to explore, and it is something which you are passionate about. Or you want to develop your practice in relation to a particular interest or question, with the result that you not only make a contribution to the field but also find your practice transformed by the discussion that accompanies research. Or you simply want to become familiar with and have experience of a range of research methods and critical thinking skills.

CRS covers the ‘who, what, why and how’ of research in art and design. It works with your research interest and shows how it can be developed into a formal research degree proposal. You will become familiar with a range of methods, be guided in conducting a critical visual and literature review, have relevant ethical considerations identified and explored, and be shown how to combine these elements in a formal research degree proposal.

CRS is included as part of Cardiff School of Art and Design’s MA (Art & Design), MPhil and PhD programmes. It can also be taken as a stand-alone programme in preparation for writing a research application. It is taught over two intensive weekends in October and November in Cardiff, with one-to-one tutorials available from October to January. The fee for the stand-alone programme is one third of the fee for one year on a full-time research degree programme.

Course documents

certficate in research skillsCRS is made up of one 60 credit module, ART7002 Research Skills. Click here to download the module brief. It contains details of the module’s delivery pattern, coursework requirements, assessment criteria and seminar dates and times.

CRS Programme HandbookClick here to download the CRS Programme Handbook. It provides an introduction to CRS and sets out key points of academic, regulatory and practical information. In addition, it includes:

• Details of the course’s aim, outcomes, and learning and teaching methods
• A guide to PDP writing
• An essay writing and presentation guide
• A guide to referencing
• Exemplar research proposals
• A manuscript presentation checklist.

Key Facts

Campus: Llandaff in the brand new Cardiff School of Art and Design building
School: Cardiff School of Art & Design
Course Length: One Semester, from October to January.
Entry Requirements: Students will normally have achieved a first class or second class upper division first degree (1st or 2.1 degree classification) in an appropriate subject, and/or equivalent professional standing or experience in a Fine Art discipline (based upon assessed Accredited Prior Learning or assessed Accredited Prior Experiental Learning), or a discipline associated with their programme of study.

In addition those students for whom English is not their first language are required to have IELTS or have achieved a specified equivalent qualification standard. All such applicants are required to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 based upon specific minimum sub-test scores of: Reading: 6.0; Writing: 6.0, Speaking: 6.0, Listening: 6.5.
We also recognise the value of prior learning and experience within related fields. This is based upon either demonstrable evidence of assessed learning outcomes with equivalence, or equivalent experience where students “have learned in similarly ambitious ways”. Such claims must be approved at the time of enrolment.


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Cardiff School of Art & Design is home to 1200 students, united by ambition and a true passion for creative enquiry. We are makers and thinkers in the fields of fine art, design, architecture and a range of craft practices. We have workshops and studios that ensure our students can operate as professionals from the moment they start their studies.

Why choose CSAD? Read three big reasons here.

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