Module Title:Cultural and Critical Studies
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:6
Module Delivered In 4 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: Blended and E-Learning /Lectures /seminars/gallery/museum visits, student presentations and class based learning research activities. Blended learning strategies will entail the use of electronic platforms such as Blackboard to provide on- line learning materials and interactive question and answer sessions. Lectures will outline key issues, artists, art works etc. using audio visual and interactive methods as appropriate. Class discussions/presentations will encourage students to further develop their communication skills. Gallery Visits will also include the international field trip. Student presentations will allow students to clarify in detail a topic that is both student and tutor selected. Finally in support of discussion students will be encouraged to reflect on set reading extracts for each class.
Module Aim: This module in Cultural Studies seeks to introduce essential concepts and practices related to the study of popular culture, and cultural studies generally. It aims to focus upon questions related to culture and ideology, issues of subjectivity and identity formation and the nature of representation and the visual turn in the human sciences generally. An emphasis is placed on the individual development of each student as a self directed learner where assessment is seen as a means of developing a sense of self reflectivity based on course content. Students are expected to attend and participate in all the formal timetabled sessions for the subject. Students are also expected to manage their directed learning and independent study in support of the subject and project aims. Subject aims: To develop the student’s ability to identify the social, cultural, technological and political forces shaping cultural production and consumption in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. • To develop and broaden an understanding of popular culture in all its forms. • To help the student achieve a confidence in understanding and analysing mass entertainment forms. • To introduce the concepts of commodities, mass media and ideology in relation to cultural products. • To concentrate on how our understanding of culture and its reception is shaped by social and technological forces. The assessment of this subject is designed to enable students to demonstrate that they have acquired a broad understanding of key artists, artworks, issues and theories introduced in this subject. The essay will be chosen from a list of tutor set titles and will be submitted each semester. All students will receive individual tutorial support for completing the essay assignment.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of key concepts and practices related to the study of popular culture particularly in relation to questions of ideology and issues surrounding nature of representation through : Knowledge of major theoretical developments and points of view in the relationship between popular culture and multi media Presenting written research detailing the interpretative character of advertising considered as texts.
LO2 Have a good understanding of critical questions and challenges that apply to the fields of popular culture, culture studies and representation through being able to (a) Critically debate current assumptions in Marxist and Semiotic analysis of various contemporary forms of representation at seminars, debates and crits. (b) Be able to critically analyse and formulate research material for essays and class projects.
LO3 Begin to draw connections and comparisons between their own art and design practice and conceptual tendencies and understanding in the area of Cultural Studies critique.
LO4 Be able to demonstrate their comprehension of key subjects in this learning programme through class based question and answer sessions, pop quizes , group discussion and written presentations.
LO5 Be able to identify and use a variety of research skills options including online research and quantitative and qualitative research
LO6 Be able to communicate effectively and clearly through written presentations.
LO7 Be able to present an appropriately researched topic correctly referenced, supported by quotations and bibliography.
LO8 Be able to plan, time-manage and produce project work to specific deadlines
LO9 Be able to apply theory critically when placing their own studio practice in cultural/ historical contexts.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Cultural & Critical Studies
The subject contents of this programme serve as an introduction to the study of popular culture and the mass media through a detailed and chronological overview of a broad selection of cultural studies and sociology debates. The student will be directed towards identifying theories of Ideology, representation and cultural consumption, as well as research paradigms. The programme aims to strengthen the student’s critical awareness while informing and supporting individual concerns in their studio practice. SEMESTER 1: Introduction to concepts paramount to Cultural Studies and popular culture Such as: • Theories of identity, ideology and gender. • Visual culture and theories of perception. • Theories of Mass media representation and cultural consumption. SEMESTER 2: Popular culture, Representation and textual analysis: • Introduction to theories and practice of Ideology critique and semiotic analysis • The Mass Media and Television. • Material culture, representation and the social world.
Assessment Breakdown%
No Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Project Essay 3,000 words typed with illustrations or or a combination of student presentation, class based workbook exercises and essay, for example 80% for the essay and 20% for a presentation and class based workbook exercises. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 100.00 n/a
No Practical
No End of Module Formal Examination

ITCarlow reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Every Week 1.50
Independent Learning Every Week 1.50
Lecture Every Week 1.50
Total Hours 4.50

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CW_HWVCD_D Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications and Design 1 Mandatory
CW_AWART_B Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Art 1 Mandatory
CW_HWVCD_B Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Visual Communications and Design 1 Mandatory
CW_AWART_D Bachelor of Arts in Art 1 Mandatory