The School of Design offers a practice-based MRes pathway built on the wide range of our design research exploring the space between society and technology supported by expertise spanning Innovation Design Engineering, Global Innovation Design, Design Products, Healthcare Design, Service Design, Vehicle Design and Intelligent Mobility.
The pathway welcomes a broad approach to design research and encourages experimentation in practice-based methods supported by experienced researchers. Approaches can range from User Centred Design, Ethnographic, Anthropological, Action Research, Participatory Design Research, Cybernetics, Grounded Theory, to Transformation Design, Speculative, and Critical Design. We encourage diverse candidates who want to focus on commercial research, to prepare for doctoral studies and a future career in academic research or use the programme for career change to develop new skills and identify new research interests. Students will be introduced to relevant design research tools, methods, methodologies, theories and epistemologies aimed at supporting the development of a personal research approach. Applicants to the MRes Design pathway will benefit from an advanced practice-based design research culture and enjoy the freedom and autonomy that a self-directed research journey allows.
The School of Design has a long history of design research that can be traced back to Bruce Archer and the NHS hospital bed design in the 1960s through to today’s researchers who are internationally engaged in a broad range of areas from intelligent mobility through to citizen science, the future of making, socio-cultural design, experimental design, design for safety, design policy, service design and artificial intelligence and robotics as well as providing strategic advice to government and agencies. Recent commercial research funding partners have included Huawei, Tata, Airbus, Microsoft, and Intel amongst others with grant-maintained funding from the AHRC, EPSRC and the Lloyds Register Foundation.
We also have an excellent set of visiting experts and a global network of research collaborators that we draw on in our integrated School-wide research culture. These also bring strong synergies with the other RCA Schools and expertise areas including the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design combined with a strong local set of collaborations with the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Design Museum and Imperial College London with whom we share three of our master’s programmes.The pathway encourages experimentation in practice-based research, supported by experienced researchers working on both commercial and grant maintained projects across the School’s major research themes, in areas including mobility, healthcare and the future of making. The training we provide through designing research and researching through design will be suitable for both commercial and academic careers as a stand-alone qualification and act as an accelerator to prepare for doctoral studies.
The School has an excellent set of commercial partners and a global network of research collaborators that we draw on in our integrated School-wide research culture. These also bring strong synergies and collaborations with the other RCA Schools and expertise areas including the Helen Hamlyn Centre and Sustain. Commercial research projects include working with Huawei, Tata, Airbus, Microsoft and Intel amongst others. We also have a strong local network that includes collaborations with the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Design Museum and Imperial College London, with whom we share two of our masters programmes. Applicants to the MRes Design pathway will benefit from an advanced practice-based design research culture and enjoy the freedom and autonomy of a self-directed research journey.
Get the specialist skills and knowledge you need to be a successful professional in the design industry. In this three-trimester programme, you'll learn the art of bringing ideas to life—from conception to design to construction.
Choose one of three majors—Industrial Design, Media Design, and Culture+Context Design—in this industry-focused, professional qualification with the School of Design. Assess new technologies and investigate the social, cultural, environmental and economic implications of design on our world.
Through a combination of coursework and supervised research you'll gain a greater understanding of the process of creating value through design.
You'll do much of your work in the Design Research Innovation Laboratory (DRIL), giving you a stimulating and supportive environment for inspiration and discovery. Choose a research group with DRIL that fits with your current knowledge and career goals, and your intended thesis or research portfolio topic.
Work with commercial and cultural organisations on applied research projects, build your communication and collaboration skills and get ready for an exciting career in design.
In the first trimester you'll study the 30-point Research Methods course. Examine a variety of design research techniques to help inform and guide your thesis project. Gain the skills you need to identify a design research topic, frame a research question, define the scope and develop your proposal.
You'll further develop your knowledge and expertise in design research in the second trimester. You'll join a Design Research Innovation Laboratory (DRIL) and nominate a supervisor so you can begin your 90-point thesis. You'll also complete one 400-level, 30-point course in your major subject area while continuing to work on your thesis project within your DRIL.
In the third trimester you'll focus on completing your design research thesis project with the guidance and support of your DRIL stream coordinators and supervisor.
DRIL research groups receive support from government, industry and external grants. They produce a range of commercially viable solutions that contribute to the advancement of design research.
You'll choose from one of five research groups within DRIL:
Through DRIL you'll work closely with staff, students and industry collaborators on research projects that address a wide range of contemporary design challenges.
The MDI can be completed in three trimesters of full-time study or in six trimesters if you are studying part time. It usually takes full-time students between 13 and 18 months to complete.
If you are studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working.
Postgraduate study at Victoria will help you build valuable relationships and networks with peers, university staff and future colleagues.
You'll have opportunities to attend events, seminars, workshops and social functions. The Postgraduate Students' Association can give you information on study at Victoria and provides a voice for you on campus.
You'll be ready for a career in many design-oriented fields within the public and private sectors. You might work as an industrial, interior or product designer, an art director, visual effects artist, jeweller, exhibition designer, digital animator or a web designer.
Because you'll gain a broad range of skills during your studies, you'll also be able to find opportunities for careers beyond the mainstream profession.
Our MA Graphic Design course has been structured to promote the role of designers as skilled professional communicators, and firmly embed a culture of research and problem solving into creative practice.
Our course, taught at UCA Epsom, aims to promote specialism and mastery in your own unique area of graphic design - which you'll identify and develop with us on this MA. Enabling you to produce meaningful outcomes from informed research is a top priority.
Using the extensive industry links brought by our course staff, you'll be encouraged to foster connections with industry partners within your area of specialism. With the help of visiting lecturers, industry experts and live briefs, you'll gain real-life experience of the design industry. And emphasis will be placed on how to present both yourself and your design work in a professional arena.
The industry orientation of this course is concerned with exploring graphic design languages in all their facets. You'll enhance your understanding of the aesthetic and commercial value of your work, and accrue professional experience which will add innovation to your practice.
On this course you'll taught through a range of lectures, workshops, tutorials, live pitches and presentations. We also place a strong emphasis on independent research.
You'll benefit from well-established industry links with corporate, media, cultural and creative organisations.
Our course has links with:
-Pearlfisher (design group)
We also have regular guest lecturers and recent guests have included:
-Richard Williams - Founder of Williams Murray Hamm
-Tim Perkins - Group Director of Design Bridge
-Philip Carter - Founder of Carter Wong Tomlin
-Helen Healy - Picture Editor for the Guardian newspaper.
MA Graphic Design alumni go on to work in a diverse variety of exciting careers. Employment opportunities include:
-Web or interactive design
-Freelance design or illustration
Visit our Postgraduate Virtual Media Space to find out more about our courses, see what it's like to study at UCA and gain access to our campus virtual tours.
Our MA Product Design course provides a conceptual process and context for the development of creative and innovative products. This includes the study of socio-cultural and economic issues, new technologies and creative visual language in relation to your practice.
As a student on our course, you'll undertake individual research projects using an integrated product design process. You'll also develop and communicate design solutions which align with design criteria and respond to broader issues such as lifestyles, markets or the information economy.
On this course you'll benefit from seminar sessions with visiting professional product designers. They'll provide critical feedback to advance your design concepts to prototype stage, in order to ready them for final exhibition and commercial manufacture.
You'll also have seminar sessions with visiting professional product designers, who provide critical feedback to advance your design concepts to prototype stage, ready for final exhibition and commercial manufacture.
The Centre for Sustainable Design is based at our Farnham campus, too. This research centre facilitates discussion and research on eco-design, and broader sustainability considerations, in product and service development.
Our range of industry contacts include:
-Industrial Design Consultancy
-TheAlloy (product and interaction consultants)
-IDEO (design consultants)
And recent guest lecturers include:
-John Gertsakis, product ecology
-Stuart Heron, Design Director.
Our course will equip you with a host of valuable and transferable skills. Graduate opportunities exist within:
-Product design practice
-Independent design studios
-Specialist design consultancies
-Design teams in manufacturing industry
-Service design sectors.
Visit our Postgraduate Virtual Media Space to find out more about our courses, see what it's like to study at UCA and gain access to our campus virtual tours.
MA Design Future Society is an 18-month programme, leading to a joint award with Mannheim University of Applied Sciences. The programme includes study at both universities. If you start the programme at Leeds your first semester will be at Leeds, your second semester will be at Mannheim and then you will return to Leeds for your third semester.
All students registered on the programme may apply for Erasmus+ funding which will contribute to travel and living expenses during the five month exchange. The School of Design and Leeds University’s International Office and Language Centre will provide support for applications for funding, visas and pre-sessional language tuition.
This future orientated programme provides opportunities to integrate research from philosophy, social science and digital technology with design thinking in addressing social issues; realigning design as a discipline with social and cultural value. You will be encouraged to employ design as a catalyst for change; articulating new perceptions, developing appropriate strategies and implementing future-oriented solutions, which affect our society, culture and economy.
Traditionally designers applied their skills post problem identification – we will address that imbalance by positioning the designer at the point of problem identification and need analysis, extending the function and purpose of design beyond fulfilling commercial objectives by developing new and relevant products and implementing sustainable solutions for public, private and third sectors. This unique educational experience embraces collaboration, teamwork and internationalism and we encourage applications from all disciplines.
At the School of Design and Fakultät für Gestaltung, Mannheim University of Applied Sciences you will be able to develop your practice in well-equipped studios and purpose-built computer clusters so you can build your skills on both PC and Mac. There are computer-aided design (CAD) suites with access to the latest design software and some of the latest design technology, such as digital printing and laser cutting facilities, and colour analysis/prediction labs, eye-tracking technology and digital photography.
At Leeds there is also an impressive range of resources you can use for research. We house the M&S Company Archive including documents, advertising, photos, films, clothing and merchandise from throughout Marks & Spencer’s history, offering a fascinating insight into the changing nature of our culture over time.
Fundamentally multi-disciplinary and collaborative, course content encourages innovation and autonomy in response to set briefs and self initiated study supported by expertise in research, strategic thinking and practical implementation of communication design. Traditional academic study in the form of essays, literature reviews and reports, combines with social projects requiring, empathy, team working, concept realisation and execution. Students are required to provide evidence of effective decision-making, objective self-reflection and critical evaluation through visual and oral presentations, critiques, reflective logs and reports, visual diaries, poster presentations and portfolio development.
In the first semester students undertake theoretical and practical study in integrated media, semiotics, philosophy, sociology and research methodology in order to identify and manage complex social issues and communicate insights and design proposals by effectively employing advocacy skills and presentation techniques. Team work and collaboration are essential to the successful generation and implementation of creative solutions, therefore students are required, within this context, to demonstrate independent judgement, decision-making and personal responsibility.
In Semester 2 there is a five-month exchange programme to Mannheim which involves the application of design thinking within a different cultural environment through independent and group social projects; presenting significant challenges in comprehension, interpretation, empathy and communication. Students are encouraged to develop entrepreneurial attitudes in seeking opportunities for collaboration; contributing to professional development by operating in new areas of influence and articulating complex information into a coherent creative proposal.
In the third semester you will return from Mannheim and the programme concludes with a major research dissertation or innovation project, independently conceived and managed, demonstrating abilities in research, holistic understanding and applying contemporary knowledge to solving future problems. The knowledge, skills and qualities acquired through this postgraduate programme are transferable for employment in a variety of sectors.
Year one compulsory modules
Year two optional modules
Lectures, seminars, tutorials, creative and technical workshops, creative studio sessions, group learning, group critiques and peer assessment. There will be an emphasis on social and situated learning where dialogue, reflection, intuition, critical analysis and judgement are exercised within the context of group learning and group assignments, supported by utilising social media networks and content sharing to connect students from both institutions.
By employing social media and digital technology we aim to develop a user-centric information infrastructure and self-organisational system of information sharing in order to encourage the following:
You’ll also be assessed by a variety of methods. Your own creative work will be assessed via portfolios and projects, reports, presentations and literature reviews. Formal examinations do not contribute to assessment. Full details of assessment for each module can be found via the programme catalogue.
Employment opportunities are broad and varied as there is growing demand for communication professionals with social enterprise skills in design and innovation with a clear focus on social and cultural interaction and collaboration. Therefore employment prospects extend beyond the traditional agency model into research, strategy and planning roles within a broad range of companies and organisations. In addition graduates could also consider academic research and take advantage of the significant number of calls for research proposals that currently identify social need.
5 month Erasmus+ funded exchange at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences.