NUA emphasises learning and discovery through studio and workshop practice, critical reflection and experimentation with ideas, processes and materials. Other learning and teaching methods include lectures, individual and group tutorials, placements and work-related learning, alongside technical demonstrations, exhibition practice and other presentations of students' work.
Students' progress is assessed in a number of ways. All courses provide clear information about the work required for assessment, and the criteria which are used in assessment. Courses make considerable use of group critiques where students present their work for discussion. Courses also use self-evaluation and peer evaluation to complement the assessment of work by tutors. Students come into contact with a wide range of staff, all of them committed to supporting learning. As well as academic staff, these include staff in technical workshops, the Library and Careers Service, and Student Support.
Independent learning complements and builds upon the teaching you receive on your course. Key aspects of learning develop through the acquisition of research skills, the generation and development of ideas, and independent study. Learning Agreements are used by courses to support independent study and to enable students to focus, direct and negotiate their individual pathway through the course.
All NUA courses offer students opportunities to undertake periods of work placement in order to reinforce their professional development and awareness. Other types of work-related learning emphasised by courses include: guest lectures or workshops led by visiting artists and designers; 'live' projects or commissions for external clients; mentoring by practising artists and designers; and projects which simulate professional practice in the creative sectors. In addition, students are encouraged to participate in regional and national competitions for artists and designers such as the Starpack Packaging Awards and Design & Art Direction Awards, often achieving significant success.
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