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Faculty Handbook Archive

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2016-17. The current handbook year is 2017-18

Department: Education

EDUC1491: Gallery 101: Designing the Art Exhibition

Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2016/17 Module Cap 20 Location Durham


  • EDUC1011 or EDUC1441


  • EDUC1011 or EDUC1441

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • N/A


  • To extend art historical learning gained during the study of EDUC 1011/EDUC 1441/EDUC2331/EDUC 2371 and EDUC 2391
  • To encourage critical thinking in the arts
  • To develop visual communication skills
  • To develop professional skills in relation to exhibition organisation and design
  • To engage with virtual environments modelled on existing gallery spaces
  • To enhance IT skills


  • Gallery 101 invites the students to develop their knowledge and understanding of art history, as well as their presentation and educational skills by designing a virtual art exhibition. Gallery 101 is a level 1 module that acts as an ‘extension module’ to either EDUC 1011 Beauty and the Beast, or EDUC 1441 Introduction to Modern Art. Students must therefore possess a relevant pre-requisite before taking this module or be taking a relevant co-requisite alongside it.
  • The module will invite the students to design a virtual exhibition that elucidates one aspect of the taught programme delivered on EDUC 1011 or EDUC 1441. The student will focus their exhibition project either upon an artist, a group, a style, a theme or a critical idea selected from the taught programme. The focus that the student chooses will not repeat that selected for any summative assignment submitted for the pre or co-requisite modules. The exhibition theme that is chosen must be ‘problematised’: the student must design an argument in relation to the subject in hand. The exhibition idea will spring from this basis. This is the purpose of any exhibition. A good exhibition is one that negotiates an argument or a particular view through the choice of exhibits and through their ‘hang’ (i.e. through the relationships established between the exhibits by the way they are placed in relation to one another in the gallery space). In other words the student is invited to negotiate an argument, not through words on paper, but through artistic images.
  • In order to complete the task the students are provided with a virtual gallery space in which to hang and arrange exhibits. They will have to take account of lighting, security, layout of rooms and use of space. This aspect of the module involves a problem-based learning approach that demands elegant and creative solutions to the disjuncture between what the student wants to do in theory and what is possible in practice. The virtual gallery space will either be based on a real gallery space, an alternative exhibition space, or a digital space.
  • In addition to designing the virtual exhibition the student is also required to design publicity materials. These include a poster and an exhibition leaflet which identifies the works on display and discusses their significance in relation to the overall theme of the show. These will be presented as summative assessment in hard copy format along with a research log that the student submits as a record of their exhibition preparation.
  • The module possesses a strong vocational aspect to it and prepares the student for entry to existing modules or a work placement in a gallery or museum.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will develop and extend their art historical learning
  • Students will appreciate the role of critical discourse in relation to the visual arts
  • Students will learn about the theory of exhibition organisation and design
  • Students will gain knowledge of issues related to access and Health and Safety
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will develop skills of visual analysis and synthesis
  • Students will learn how to negotiate arguments through the use of visual images
  • Students will develop vocational skills
  • Students will learn about Graphic design through the Production of a poster and leaflet
Key Skills:
  • Students will improve research skills
  • Students will develop skills of critical and conceptual thinking
  • Students will expand their communication and organisational skills
  • Students will enhance their problem-solving skills
  • Students will improve their competency in using IT skills

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module will be taught by a two hour seminar every week where we will consider specific aspects of exhibition design, e.g. presenting arguments through images, conservation of exhibits, display, security, access, poster design, publicity and outreach as well as the practices, debates, themes and issues that have acted as determinants.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminar 1 Weekly 2 hour 26
Logistic Workshop 1 once 2 hours 2
Student led workshops 3 Epiphany Term 2 hours 6
Field visit to exhibition 1 once 4 hours 4
Individual Online tutorial support 2 Periodical 1 hour 2
Task completion Ongoing 160
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Virtual Exhibition NA 40% Yes
Poster and Leaflet NA 20% Yes
Research Log NA 20% Yes
Proposal NA 20% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Students will write a review of an actual exhibition that they have visited from the point of view of its design and layout.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University