Block Teaching in Art and Design: Pedagogy and the Student Experience

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This paper explores art and design pedagogical structure within the specific context of the BA (Hons) Photography degree course at Solent University, Southampton. The course has a unique structure at Level 4 (Year 1), the design of which is distinct from the university’s other degree courses. The course was granted an exemption from Solent University’s regulations for its ‘Curriculum Review’ project between 2017-2019 whereby every degree course was rewritten and revalidated to align with a more centralised curriculum framework. 78 courses were revalidated in the year 2018-19 and 82 courses in 2019-20. This article will review the context, delivery and efficacy of the BA (Hons) Photography’s Level 4 curriculum which is founded upon an adaptation of a ‘block’ curriculum structure. As such, this paper will contribute towards redressing what Susan Orr and Alison Shreeve identify as a ‘scarcity of research in art and design higher education pedagogy’ (2018a: 3) by focussing upon curriculum structure – something which is perhaps an even scarcer pedagogical subcategory.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArt, Design & Communication in Higher Education
Publication statusSubmitted - Oct 2020


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