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COVID-19 – Latest MDX updates and FAQs
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Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries

Welcome to ACI

We are a creative community, led by practitioners in the creative industries, who inspire and challenge our students in a friendly, inclusive and practice-led environment.

We have made a variety of changes across our programmes and subjects but one of the main changes was to the opening hours of  the Grove building. Following students' feedback in the Programme Voice Groups we launched a detailed pilot monitoring usage patterns in Grove B. This was done over two full years and in partnership with our Estates team and MDXSU. Based on the results, we were able to extend opening hours!

All the Grove buildings (other than high risk facilities), will now remain open until midnight on weekdays and for extended hours at weekends. We have also adjusted the morning opening to a slightly later start, reflecting patterns of demand.

Additionally, vending machines have been installed for hot and cold drinks, healthy snacks and chocolate and crisps in Grove A, B and C. This is to ensure that refreshments are available beyond the opening hours of the Grove Atrium cafe.

  • Design

Weave studios

The weave studios were reorganised by the Weave Tutor and Technician to enable more use by our students.

BA Fashion Visual Cultures

The academic team organised "Transformations", a one day symposium at the Degree Show in June, for graduating students to present their research projects.

Alongside students who had been selected for the catwalk show, more fashion students were represented at the press event through a display of their portfolios and some installations by selected students.

BA Interiors

Our two Interiors programmes have reorganised the delivery of skills to more fully integrate studio practice and spatial cultures contextual studies into teaching.

BA Fashion Communication and Styling

This course has introduced reflective writing workshops in the first year, pre-dissertation and pre-final portfolio ‘concept generation’ sessions in the second year and ‘theory/practice’ workshops in the third year.

  • Media

BA Digital Media

We're beginning to improve the turnaround time for individual feedback and marks on coursework.

BA Advertising, PR and Branding

Response to COVID-19

We have worked hard to ensure students have received a pedagogic experience that was as close as possible to pre-COVID-19 norms.

To this end, we have maintained effective and consistent communication with students, modifying and extending deadlines, offering many opportunities for changing circumstances, as well as arranging 1:1 meetings with students so they feel supported and encouraged during this time.

Assessments

We will being implementing Assignment Templates across the degree; offering a unified style and cover sheet, as well as consistent stipulations around fonts, spacing and world count.

Students will also be given more opportunities to conduct formative assessments where they can receive feedback on their work.

Career options

We will continue to offer and expand our suite of employability options including Experience Days, field trips and guest speakers across all modules.

BA English

More help with work placements

We’re able to offer employment opportunities to students within the university (such as Student Ambassadors) and externally (including English homework helpers at Unitas Youth Zone).

Work and volunteering opportunities are posted on the course’s My Learning page and recent graduates successfully applied for a number of these roles (in politics and at NGOs).

We arranged in-class ‘Get Involved!’ workshops with Student Liaison Assistants and Employability officers and are including subject-specific employability/careers events with Alumni during Experience week.

More seminars

Third year students asked for more seminars (in addition to their timetabled classes) and a series of additional research and practice seminars were organised. These seminars were designed with the intention of introducing students to current research in the field, and providing a space where students and staff could discuss and interact, helping to build the staff-student learning community.

  • BA Film

    Greater diversity in the films in the screening programme

    We will now be looking for any patterns in the cohort that can be useful to reflect students’ own experiences/backgrounds. We’ve also mapped a week by week cohort experience for all of the team to cross reference materials and check the EDI credentials of our curriculum.

    More cameras

    Feedback showed that there were not enough cameras to hire. We have now bought five additional camera kits which will be available for booking soon. This will give students of both Television Production and Film access to 11 high-end cameras.

  • MA Film

    Technical inductions

    Students come onto the course with a variety of technical skills and experience. A suite of technical inductions were arranged during welcome week to give students more technical learning so they can start with confidence and from a position of equitable knowledge.

    A baseline survey has also been introduced to understand students' technical understanding to inform the practical and technical learning on the programme beyond this induction process.

    Lecturers have been in touch with students, offering tutorials, email responses to queries and uploading examples of previous student work to compensate for the lack of face to face tutorials.

    Classes will be more interactive, and ‘guided rather than taught’.

BA TV Production

More social events

Students wanted to host events that combined the three year groups so they could share practices and get to know each other. Cross-year events such as MDX Now and Movember were undertaken with positive feedback and a speed-dating event early in the academic year is planned.

More cameras

Feedback showed that there were not enough cameras to hire. We have now bought five additional camera kits which will be available for booking soon. This will give students of both Television Production and Film access to 11 high-end cameras.

  • Performing Arts

  • MSc Arts Management

    More guidance for work placements

    Students will now be able to access more guidance sessions to help prepare for their  work placements.

  • MSc Media Management

    Request books with specialisms

    With an LSS representative, a process was agreed for students to request books in the library to assist with their modules and/or dissertation specialisms.

    Programme Leaders will look into possibility of redesigning course schedule to balance assessments into Terms 1 and 2 after students raised that Term 2 has more.

    LET will be putting on sessions that focus on student language skills for students’ assignments.

    Students had concerns re how group work will work now everyone is remote learning - The programme team will continue to look into ways of grouping students.

BA Dance courses

Students’ views formed an important part of the 2018-19 Review of undergraduate programmes. As a direct result, improvisation and urban/hybrid styles are now part of the core dance technique programme.

Students requested greater clarity in the grading of practical dance technique classes. Staff developed an assessment rubric for practical work and involved students in a successful pilot during 2018-19. The rubric has now been fully adopted.

Students requested more opportunities to work with external artists, resulting in a new ‘Tangerine’ series of open sessions that included visits from notable choreographers.

Programme Team are organising Unihub Induction Refresher session for students.

Music courses

MA Classical Music Business

There will be more focus on the topics of tax and insurance in classical music during key modules.

More recording facilities

Students required additional recording / production facilities which has resulted in a successful bid to the University for a new recording studio.

BA Music Business and BA Arts Management

Students from these courses wanted more career development support. We have introduced an Employability Tutor role from within the staff team, increased employability sessions and expanded the industry-focused Year 3 field trip to include all students.

BA Theatre Arts

Students requested a wider variety of skills classes and a programme to assist was piloted in 2018-19. As a result of positive feedback, the format has since been incorporated into the revised undergraduate programmes.

  • Visual Arts

BA Visual Effects

Studying from home

We're working to support students who don't have access to computer and technology at home.

We're also exploring how  Discord, an online chat platform which received positive feedback from students, can be incorporated into the current learning and teaching plan.

Food on campus

We've put forward student requests for further microwaves on campus.

Guidance to understand contextual study

We have worked across the academic team to raise awareness and deepen students’ understanding of the relevance of contextual study for individual subjects.

More 6x6 cameras

We have now bought more 6x6 cameras for students to use.

More web-design and career focused workshops

We have implemented further web-design and explicit career-planning workshops, particularly third-year tutorials.

BA/BSc Games Design

We are planning to upload assessment requirements onto UniHub, as well as sending it to students via email.

We're also looking at ways of changing the delivery of teaching to be more focused on producing larger projects that use technologies meaning assessments and practices will be more practical and linked to industry and future careers.

BA Animation

Processing concerns and comments

We’ve undertaken a reorganisation of our department to ensure a more responsive and effective operation in terms of getting student concerns processed.

Student wellbeing

We’re embedding student wellbeing into every module, and strive to make this the central focus of the design of our teaching and learning.

Commuting and assessments

We’re looking at ways to address the concerns of commuting students by designing modules and assessment briefs that don’t affect those who travel long distances to get to our campus.

New spaces for stop-motion filming

The Grove building has added for a new space for this specialised technique.

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