Datascapes: Data and the Web

Module summary

Module code: COMP1600
Level: 5
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Design
Module Coordinator(s): David Waterworth



Working in the context of the data explosion generated by digital technologies, this course informs and supports students in developing theoretical concepts relating to the collection, collation and visual communication of information, applying these concepts to practical outcomes through web-based media. The course provides a supported introduction to self-directed study, by coming to grips with the process of planning and developing projects through to completion. The course also aims to increase competency and understanding both in managing data and the production and use of digital media.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 Understand how digital information is gathered, stored and represented
2 Understand key issues and themes related to archive and data practices
3 Employ the relevant design principles for the visual communication of data
4 Plan and research independent projects
5 Use on-line media as a communicative tool
6 Present a complete project portfolio with on line and archive-based outputs.

Indicative content

Embarking with an examination of the idea of the archive, the course will in look at the key issues involved in the selection, classification and management of data drawing links between these processes and the processes of visual communication. Students will develop their own digital archives; relationships between the information held therein and the way this is accessed and navigated will be explored through graphic means, leading to a web design project in the second term. Students will be supported through this and given a basic introduction to proprietary web design tools

Teaching and learning activity

Lectures will be used for the presentation of the main concepts and theories. Use will be made of museum and gallery visits for the exploration of relevant media and contexts. These will be accompanied by workshops to demonstrate and develop key technical skills and to support the development of ongoing projects. Seminars will support discussion of key themes and also the presentation of student projects. At the end of term 1, students will present their proposals for web-based projects to be carried out in the second term. In turn, the resulting final projects will be exhibited during the examination period.


Presentation - 40% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Outline Details - The student will present a functional project archive in a directed area of study, relevant to the course aims. They will also present an info-graphic of the project and use this material to make a proposal for a web-based project in Term 2.

Exhibition - 60% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Outline Details - The student will exhibit a working web-based project using and expanding on the material they presented at the end of term 1.

Students are not required to pass all elements of summative assessment in order to pass the course.

Formative Assessment:
Workshops with feedback component
Group crit. sessions
Lab-based tasks in web-design software