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Masters Degrees (Design Research)

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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. Read more

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.

Design Research Innovation Labs (DRIL)

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.

What you'll study

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.

Design Research Innovation Laboratory (DRIL)

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.

Duration and workload

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.

Community

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.

Careers

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.



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The MDes Graphic Design course gives you the opportunity to extend your portfolio and move your creative work into new spaces and career directions. Read more

The MDes Graphic Design course gives you the opportunity to extend your portfolio and move your creative work into new spaces and career directions.

We see design thinking as being at the heart of design innovation. As a designer, learning to manage complex ideas can be the key to finding solutions and developing strategies for clients that can be applied across a range of disciplines as a creative, manager, entrepreneur or design business owner.

The course will challenge you to build upon your communication and design research skills and apply these to successful problem-solving at a master’s level. You will explore contemporary issues in graphic design whilst gaining insights into global trends and dialogues in design by crossing genres and disciplines. The UK produces world-class designers who are sought after internationally – our MDes Graphic Design course sets out to help you realise your ambitions in a global context that takes you from the day-to-day to a global exploration of the discipline. Allowing you the time to evaluate your career and set its direction with the insights and critical reflection now demanded of graphic design in the 21st Century.

If you are an undergraduate wanting to progress your studies – or a professional designer looking to enhance your career outside of the daily routine – our approach to spatial, visual, kinesthetic and active learning will help develop your approach to design and the world around you.

Modules

  • Design Process                                            
  • Design Research Methods                               
  • Design Citizenship                                          
  • Design Studio                                                 
  • Design Management                                       
  • Applied Creativity                                           
  • Masters Thesis or Major Research Project     

From 2018 the course will be part of the newly established Design Centre at Park Campus, giving students the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary setting with animators, advertisers, film, fashion, Media and computing students with space and time to work with professional practitioners, pracademics, academics and researchers from a variety of disciplines.

Design Process

This module allows students to gain a holistic appreciation of the strategic dimensions of design. Built on relevant theoretical perspectives, the module focuses on contemporary design process models and frameworks that take into consideration not only the designer, and the client, but also the target audience, and the wider socio-cultural context. Knowledge acquired is integrated in the development of an effective plan of action, and the compilation of the creative brief. The module encourages a methodical research-informed approach to design practice, bridging academic literature and professional practice, and aiming to equip students with a comprehensive appreciation of the process of design.

Design Citizenship

This module encourages students to develop a critical view to current socio-cultural and political debates relevant to design practice. The module consists of a series of pre-recorded or live presentations, followed by active learning sessions. The topics will be decided on a yearly basis and in accordance with contemporary developments within design research and practice. The schedule will be tailored based on the research interests of staff and students.This module aims to assist students in:

  • Developing an interdisciplinary outward-looking understanding of design research and practice;
  • Reflecting on current social, cultural, economic, and political themes and their relationship to design research and practice;
  • Analysing real life problems and producing critical responses.

Design Studio

This module draws together the work completed so far on the Masters providing students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned within the context of real world design agencies and their clients. The unit will commence with a taught element comprising preparation and master class opportunities, students look to work with clients and design briefs for up to two weeks, they will then have the opportunity to reflect on and present their view on their employability and future in the global design sector in the form of a career plan.By the end of the module, students will be able to draw on real world experience, (and if work experience is not appropriate) case studies, to start to develop their professional careers, capitalise on networking opportunities and evaluate and plan their own career trajectories.

Design Management

The design industry in the UK alone is worth over £3bn a year  and forms one part of an increasingly important part of the economy ‘the creative industries’. The design industry is changing rapidly and this has led to it facing some common strategic issues. This module is set within this ‘big picture’ context.

The module seeks to explore central issues concerning the management of a design agency in a contemporary, therefore global setting. It looks at how agencies as ‘manufacturers of creativity’ are currently managed and why this is so. It seeks to uncover and explore the inherent tensions of managing both creative processes and organisations primarily concerned with relationships (clients and consumers). Finally, it considers strategic leadership in terms of potential future ways of enacting design management, in a changing and highly competitive marketplace.

Masters Thesis or Major Research Project

  • This module allows students to combine the knowledge acquired during Semester 1 and 2 in order to produce an independent design research thesis that demonstrates their capacity as critical design researchers and practitioners. During the length of the module, specialist staff (allocated Masters supervisors) will guide and support each student with their project through one-to-one tutorials.

(The research undertaken during the Masters Thesis module could later be used as the basis for an MPhil or PhD proposal).

Study style

Learn through practical experience, with staff and industry professionals, work with design thinking theory in supporting lectures and workshops. Explore design management scenarios, global trends, ethics, gender and sustainability. You will be working through a range of project and research-based assignments with a professional focus on your future career aspirations.

Careers

  • Creative director
  • Creative strategist
  • Design consultant
  • Design strategist
  • Educator
  • Research consultant
  • PhD Researcher


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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. Read more

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.



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The Inter-disciplinary Urban Design MRes is a faculty-wide one-year research degree designed to allow students to tailor their own learning to their background and future aspirations. Read more

The Inter-disciplinary Urban Design MRes is a faculty-wide one-year research degree designed to allow students to tailor their own learning to their background and future aspirations. Students can construct their study in an inter-disciplinary manner, enabling them to explore urban design as a critical arena for advanced research and practice.

About this degree

This programme provides an interdisciplinary space in which students can examine the challenges of urban design from comparative disciplinary perspectives; students are exposed to the latest cutting-edge urban design research and teaching at the UCL Bartlett and are offered the opportunity to conduct a substantial piece of individual urban design research, receiving training in methodologies appropriate to the conduct of urban design and urban scale research.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (totalling 105 credits), and either a 15,000-word dissertation or a 10,000-word disssertation and a research-based design proposal (75 credits).

Core modules

  • Inter-disciplinary Urban Design - this module draws from a range of named feeder modules from across The Bartlett and across UCL (see below)
  • Urban Investigations - this module explores cutting-edge research and research techniques in urban design

Feeder modules

  • Adaptable Cities
  • Architectural Phenomena
  • Cities, Space & Power
  • Creative Cities
  • Design as a Knowledge-Based Process
  • Design and Real Estate
  • Detailed Urban Design
  • Embodied and Embedded Technologies, Cities as Interface
  • Environmental Masterplanning
  • From Strategic Vision to Urban Plan
  • Geographic Information Systems and Science
  • London, Aspects of Change
  • Participatory Process: Building for Development
  • Public Space & the City
  • Social Dimensions of Sustainability
  • Spatial Modelling and Simulation
  • Spatial Cultures
  • Spatial Justice
  • Strategic Urban Design
  • Theorising Practices: Architecture, Art & Urbanism

Dissertation/research project

All students undertake an independent urban design research project culminating in either a dissertation of 15,000 words or a 10,000-word dissertation and a research-based design proposal.

Teaching and learning

Methods of delivery will vary (because of the flexible nature of the programme) but a typical student might encounter studio teaching, formal lectures, analytical modelling, small-group tutorials and discussion, formal presentations, and site visits. Student performance is assessed through individual and group work, essays, and project work.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Inter-disciplinary Urban Design MRes

Careers

The programme opens up a range of future opportunities for participants along two primary paths:

  • It provides an opportunity for students seeking to further their professional careers, to specialise in urban design and, within that broad arena, to engage deeply with a particular research agenda of direct relevance to their future professional practice
  • For students seeking a research or academic career, the MRes provides the ideal training for a PhD and eventually an academic or other research position.

The first cohort of students on this programme graduated in 2015. A significant proportion - approximately 50% - are embarking on PhD studies, while others are developing their professional careers in a range of research, institutional or professional settings.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Architect, GR Designs
  • Architectural Consultant, Space Syntax
  • Assistant Planning Manager, Hubei United Investment Group Co. Ltd. and studying MRes Inter-desciplinary Urban Design, UCL

Employability

The programme is globally unique and will give students an important employment edge in allowing them to tailor their studies to their own individual circumstances, building on existing strengths or extending their knowledge. It will deliver a research training in urban design whilst also helping to build a unique and first-class portfolio of work in which the student, rather than syllabus, is the driving force.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Bartlett brings together literally dozens of scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.

This MRes is a faculty-wide programme, and students are able to access perhaps the largest global concentration of urban design related researchers and professional expertise.

The programme has a simple and highly flexible structure, designed to allow students to tailor their learning both to their own background, and how they wish to specialise in the future.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Bartlett School of Planning

81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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This unique international, multi-disciplinary course will develop design managers and leaders as catalysts for strategic innovation and change. Read more

About the course

This unique international, multi-disciplinary course will develop design managers and leaders as catalysts for strategic innovation and change.

The programme comprises compulsory modules of theoretical and analytical topics in areas such as innovation, creativity, team-working and leadership. Special features include analytical design exercises, multimedia educational material, research methods, case studies, design audits and international placements.

The aim of the course is to create closer links between design and industry and to widen the horizons of design management students, enabling you to make informed reference to the world beyond design – to users, the market, new technology, economics, politics, law and the global environment.

Aims

All organisations use design, but few master its use strategically. This course provides the skills and knowledge to students wishing to enter this exciting and rewarding field of endeavour.

This innovative course was one of the first Master’s programmes - globally - that sought to explain the relationship between innovation and design and the importance of applying a strategic approach using design thinking, design methods and process.

Today we remain a unique course internationally and attract students from all over the world, from different creative and design backgrounds, both with one purpose…to become masters of design strategy.

By the time you graduate you will be equipped to:

apply thinking, design methods and process to identify opportunities for innovation and drive changes in commercial, public and/or no-for-profit organisations
explore how strategic design could be used to deliver a whole spectrum of innovation ranging from an innovative business model right through to new products/services
show expertise in your chosen specialism in exciting fields, such as social innovation
critically evaluate the relationship of design, creativity, innovation and enabling technologies
demonstrate personal initiative in addressing challenging issues relevant to industry and other organisations and /or the design profession.

Course Content

The balanced combination of critical examination and rigorous academic research and creativity is a unique characteristic of our Design Strategy and Innovation MA programme at Brunel. You will do a three-phase programme:

Phase One modules: Taught Element (September - December)

Strategic Design Management
Branding Strategy Studies
Innovation Strategy and Management
Design Research

Phase Two Modules: Taught/Tutored (January - April)

Design Innovation Futures: Seminar & Workshop Programme
Design Innovation Research Project 1
Design Innovation Research Project 2

Phase Three Module: Student-led (May - August)

Dissertation

Special Features

'Rich Design' - This is a term we use to describe the many extracurricular activities on offer for Design and Branding students at Brunel.

Brazilian week - We host an annual visit from top Brazilian designers, with joint activities organised with Brunel students. It’s an extremely exciting and rewarding experience for both our students and visitors.

Design consultancies - Many design staff at Brunel are practicing design consultants in their own right, and also work closely with several design consultancies, including Design Bridge. an international brand design agency. This has resulted not only in this company participating in Design Futures, but offering student projects, internships and also graduate employment positions.

Eminent speakers - Every year, our ‘Design Futures’ event offers students the chance to use their research to find design-based solutions to issues facing the world. Design Futures also features eminent guest speakers from all aspects of the design profession, who offer their views on the future of design and its role in meeting global challenges.

Industry and professional focus: London is arguably the most important design and creative capital in the world. Brunel Masters plays a key part in this vibrant landscape. Consequently students leave with a realistic and cutting edge set of skills and knowledge. A world renowned consultancy has praised Brunel design graduates for their ability to ‘hit the ground running’ – meaning they start work understanding modern branding and are able to immediately contribute to strategic thinking within a company.

International flavour: Our MA Design courses draw a truly international mix of students, creating a diverse pool of creative talent at Brunel that attracts employers.

Work Placements

Our students have completed placements and design audits with following major companies and corporations: Grange, Wolff DIms, British Airways, Xerox Europe, HSBC Bank, Black and Decker, IDEG and Hasbro UK.

This might explain why many of our alumni now work for some of the world’s leading consultancies including Saffron, New Edge, Design Bridge, Imagination and Seymour Powell, as well as ‘blue-chip’ companies such as Lenovo, Samsung, British Airways, The Virgin Group, Dyson and HSBC amongst others. Some like Brunel so much they elect to stay on with us for a few more years and study design research for their PhD.

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Great design ideas can change the world. With human and user-centred design at the heart of this internationally regarded Masters programme, you’ll develop research and practice-based design solutions to respond to a demanding industry and rapidly changing society. Read more

Great design ideas can change the world. With human and user-centred design at the heart of this internationally regarded Masters programme, you’ll develop research and practice-based design solutions to respond to a demanding industry and rapidly changing society.

Whether your background is in design or in another discipline, you’ll develop, test and evaluate innovative design solutions in real-life scenarios. You’ll gain first-hand experience of current needs and trends across a range of sectors, and focus on a large-scale design project within one of the specialisms offered (see the ‘Specialisms’ tab).

Taught by diverse staff with internationally recognised profiles in research and practice, you’ll build an interdisciplinary approach to design in a stimulating environment, while being exposed to and involved in cutting-edge research. You’ll gain practical and research skills to prepare you for a wide range of careers.

Specialist facilities

We have plenty of facilities to help you make the most of your time at Leeds. We have an impressive range of resources that you can use to develop your projects.

At the top of our research facilities we have the world’s most sophisticated mobile eye-tracking glasses, which are used to understand how users interact with design (see more information at http://www.tobiipro.com). Other excellent research facilities are our EEG equipment (electroencephalography) to understand how users interact with the world, and our colour analysis/prediction lab.

We also house the M&S Company Archive including documents, advertising, photos, films, clothing and merchandise from throughout Marks & Spencer’s history. ULITA, an archive of international textiles, is also housed on campus and collects, preserves and documents textiles and related areas from around the world. You can make appointments to view items, but it also has an online catalogue where you can explore the major collections.

You’ll also be able to develop your practice in well-equipped studios and purpose-built computer clusters so that you can build your skills on both PC and Mac. There is also a computer-aided design (CAD) suite with access to the latest design software, and some of the latest design technology, such as digital printing, screen printing, 3D printing, and laser cutting.

Course content

In Semester 1 you’ll study a set of compulsory modules that will allow you to develop a range of research, conceptual and practical design skills and tools to lay the foundations for the rest of the programme. You’ll have the chance to learn through case studies, practical exercises and work on briefs encompassing all specialisms offered.

In Semester 2 you’ll have a choice of optional modules that focus on current trends in design practice and research. These optional modules will give you the opportunity to work on live projects from industry and/or live research projects being conducted in the School of Design. You’ll work on group and/or individual projects to explore more specific and advanced skills and tools in your areas of interest.

In Semester 2 you’ll also choose and develop a specialist project in which the tools and skills learnt in Semester 1 are applied. Projects can be developed in a wide range of topics that suit your interests and career ambitions. These include: Branding Design, Digital and Interactive Design, Information Design, Instructional Design, Graphic and Visual Communication Design, Service Design, and Typographic Design.

In Semester 3 you can choose one of two pathways: 1) Continue with your specialist design project, develop it at a professional level and apply it in a real-life context (with suitable users) for evaluation; 2) Produce an independent research dissertation based around a relevant field or topic within the specialisms offered.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

In addition to the compulsory modules listed below, for your final project you will choose to do either: - Design Prototyping and Evaluation (40 credits) or - Design Dissertation (40 credits).

  • Digital Design Practice 20 credits
  • Research Methods for Design 20 credits
  • Design Thinking 20 credits
  • Design Principles and Applications 10 credits
  • Design Research and Integration 40 credits

Optional modules

You will select two modules from the list of optional modules below.

  • Branding Design in Context 15 credits
  • Information and Instructional Design 15 credits
  • Digital and Interactive Design Solutions 15 credits
  • Service Design Innovation 15 credits
  • Graphic and Typographic Design 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Design MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Design MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll be taught and guided by a diverse team of staff who are leaders in their fields, with a wide variety of research interests and years of experience as design practitioners.

We use a range of teaching and learning methods so you can benefit from their expertise. These may include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, group learning and meetings with your tutor or supervisor. However, independent study is crucial to this degree, as it allows you to develop your skills and explore your own ideas.

Assessment

Depending on the modules you choose you’ll be assessed by different methods. They’ll include individual and group projects, project proposals and reports, presentations and reflective reports.

Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with a range of design skills using different media, as well as allowing you to hone your specialist skills in an area of your choice. It will also equip you with advanced skills in research, analysis, teamwork, presentation and communication that will be valuable in a range of careers.

You’ll be well prepared for a career in design practice. You can set up your own freelance business or take up a key position in a design studio, agency or organisation.

You can also work in cross-disciplinary fields applying your design skills to business, marketing, applied psychology, healthcare communication, retail, government, the public or private sector, etc.

Many of our students also choose to continue benefiting from our cutting-edge and frontier research by doing a PhD and following a research and/or academic career.



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This one year full-time MA in Architectural Design is aimed at students who are looking for a rich, engaging and design-focused post-graduate programme, but do not wish to qualify as a UK registered architect. Read more

This one year full-time MA in Architectural Design is aimed at students who are looking for a rich, engaging and design-focused post-graduate programme, but do not wish to qualify as a UK registered architect.

Overview

This one year full-time MA in Architectural Design is aimed at students who are looking for a rich, engaging and design-focused post-graduate programme, but do not wish to qualify as a UK registered architect. It shares many of the design elements of our established MArch (Master of Architecture/ Part 2) programme, but provides greater flexibility in terms of study choices, allowing you to engage with the interests of our research staff. 

In the programme, we will focus on using design-led research to inform your learning and investigation. You will develop your existing design skills by focussing on how design thinking might address current global challenges. This approach offers an intense and lively forum for the exploration and discussion of design issues. This is why we place particular emphasis on using design as a means to conduct research. Researching through design is a creative activity that closely integrates the process of designing with the act of researching, so that they can mutually inform each other. You will explore problems by making and testing design propositions, introducing and developing established knowledge as and when required. Through project work, you will draw on knowledge from many disciplines.

Students will have the options to develop their design thinking in the School’s principal research areas which currently include:

  • Low carbon/energy design and construction
  • Building performance, prediction and evaluation
  • Making/prototyping
  • Materials
  • Sustainable cities
  • Urban regeneration
  • Architectural practice
  • Asian architecture, art and culture
  • Building conservation
  • History and theory of architecture and urbanism
  • User-centred design of the built environment

You will work in small groups called ‘design units’ under the guidance of an experienced tutor and also work independently to develop a research-focussed approach to your studies. This will require you to question and evaluate evidence and think creatively and iteratively. Emphasis will be on individual discovery and personal reflection as a learning process.

Distinctive features

  • Study in one of the top Schools of Architecture in the UK
  • Supported by the School’s award-winning Design Research Unit Wales (DRUw)
  • Learn from notable design-led practitioners; currently more than 50% of our design programmes are delivered by practising architects
  • Perfect for students who prefer a more practical/active approach to learning through our focus on investigation through design
  • Choose from a range of optional modules to supplement your learning in areas of interest to you and develop important skills in design-based research

Structure

This programme is available on a one year full-time basis. You will be based in the Welsh School of Architecture for the duration of the programme.  The taught element of this programme is structured around a 60 credit design module, where you will use techniques of research through design to explore an issue of interest related to one of the School’s design units. This will normally run between October and April and will conclude with a final presentation in front of a panel of reviewers. Your work in the design studio is complimented by a 30 credit module analysing architectural precedent, and a choice of optional study modules.

You will usually start the dissertation element of the programme in May and complete this over the summer. The dissertation is the culmination of your design research throughout the programme. The dissertation usually comprises of a documented design project, accompanied by a 5000 word critical commentary. Support for developing the necessary skills of research through design will be provided during the taught elements of the programme.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.

During your year on the programme, you will focus on developing a design-research agenda, defining and establishing your own position in architectural design. The topics covered are usually structured around thematic studios, or ‘units’ led by design tutors who have expertise and interest in specific areas of research and/ or practice. The themes are often related to areas of research expertise within the School and may be run in conjunction with the units offered on the MArch programme.

You will undertake analysis of architectural precedent within the studio environment and choose 30 credits worth of optional modules, chosen from a list of subjects based on the research interests of the staff in the school. This list is reviewed on an annual basis. You can choose any combination of 10 and 20 credit modules for your option. 

For your dissertation you will work independently using the skills that have been developed during the taught programme to develop a critical research argument through design. This will involve completing a design thesis project. You will be expected to supplement this with a 5000 word critical written commentary.

Career prospects

Whilst many of our graduates will choose to undertake a career within architecture or other built environment professions, the programme provides a large number of transferable skills which will be of benefit across a wide range of professions. The focus on independent, project based learning is welcomed by employers in that it provides graduates with skills in creative thinking, conceptual organisation, critical reflection and taking initiative.



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This Master of Design is new for 2017. A professionally focused program of advanced study in contemporary design practice, the Master of Design course includes specialisations in interaction design, multimedia design and collaborative design. Read more
This Master of Design is new for 2017.

A professionally focused program of advanced study in contemporary design practice, the Master of Design course includes specialisations in interaction design, multimedia design and collaborative design.

You can also take a range of units from across these three to construct an advanced studies in design specialisation. This program is ideal for those keen to enter the expanding fields of professional design engagement, or design practitioners aiming to upgrade their expertise. You’ll be trained in advanced design thinking and processes that’ll equip you to create design solutions that engage experiential, communication, object and spatial contexts.

Visit the website http://www.study.monash/courses/find-a-course/2017/design-f6002?domestic=true

Overview

Please select a specialisation for more details:

- Advanced studies in design
This pathway allows you to construct, with approval, an individual program of study from across interaction design, multimedia design and collaborative design. This enables you to tailor your unit choices while addressing the fundamental principles of advanced design practice and thinking. It’ll inspire you to connect research and practice across the design disciplines, and to become a thoughtful design practitioner. You’ll broaden your knowledge of key design constructs, deepen your professional learning in design areas of interest, and advance your capacity as a design professional.

- Collaborative design
Collaborative design places you conceptually and practically at the intersection of interior, graphic and industrial design practice. The program will set you design challenges involving image, text, products, narratives, systems, ervices, public and private space, materiality and virtuality. You’ll develop independent conceptual and practical design skills alongside an ability to be part of collaborative design processes. You’ll expand your awareness across design disciplines; develop multidisciplinary design expertise; and build broader skills in leadership, professional adaptability and complex project planning.

- Interaction design
The interaction design specialisation develops your skills in the design of contemporary artefacts, products and services that engage with interactive, user-focused technologies and processes. These can include, but aren’t limited to, health and medical equipment, ‘smart’ furniture, educational toys, wearable technologies, information kiosks and transport systems. You’ll use a diverse range of interactive processes, including the application of advanced technologies; electronics and programming; physical and virtual interface manipulation; engineering and material fabrication; and rapid prototyping. The specialisation gives you an understanding of the relationship between interactive activities, products and human behaviour.

- Multimedia design
Multimedia design develops your skills in digital communication environments. This includes: designing for the web; motion and animation; and interactive touchscreen devices and surfaces. Emphasising an advanced knowledge of existing and emerging digital design processes and systems, this specialisation embraces projects of varied scale, from hand-held smart devices to large public interactive screens. It develops your ability to build a communication narrative; use multimedia processes to fill community and business needs; and understand the end-user’s engagement with projects or products such as websites, apps and other screen-based media.

Course Structure

The course comprises 96 points structured into 3 parts:

Part A. Preparatory Studies for Advanced Design (24 points), Part B. Advanced Design Studies (24 points), and Part C. Advanced Design Applications (48 points).

- Students admitted at Entry level 1 complete 96 points, comprising Part A, B & C
- Students admitted at Entry level 2 complete 72 points, comprising Part B & C
- Students admitted at Entry level 3 complete 48 points, comprising Part C

Note: Students eligible for credit for prior studies may elect not to receive the credit and complete one of the higher credit-point options. A zero credit point unit in Art, Design and Architecture Occupational Health and Safety will also be undertaken. This unit is required of all students in the Master of Design and must be undertaken even if credit is obtained for Parts A or B.

Part A: Preparatory studies for advanced design
These studies provide you with the conceptual thinking and technical skill set required for advanced postgraduate study in this area. The studio unit brings together conceptual and technical abilities developed in the other two units.

Part B: Advanced design studies
In these studies you will focus on the application of conceptual thinking and technical skills to advanced design problem solving. You will analyse and create a project outcome based on research, critique, and the application of design processes appropriate to your specialisation. You will also choose a selective unit that will further build capacity in your chosen specialisation.

Part C: Advanced design applications
In these studies you will focus on the application of advanced design problem solving skills at a professional level. You will consolidate skills and practice of design research methodologies and may extend your research trajectory to further study. Part C is also supported by a selective unit to allow you to build capabilities in your chosen specialisation.

In the final semester you will pursue a major design project or participate in a leading industry project. The exegesis unit formalises the research component of Part C. The final semester brings together advanced technical ability, conceptual thinking, entrepreneurial studies and design management in practice.

For more information visit the faculty website - http://www.study.monash/media/links/faculty-websites/design-and-architecture

Find out how to apply here - http://www.study.monash/courses/find-a-course/2017/design-f6002?domestic=true

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The MSc in Integrated Product Design course focuses on the design of innovative products, emphasising the balance between the interest of users, industry and society. Read more

About the course

The MSc in Integrated Product Design course focuses on the design of innovative products, emphasising the balance between the interest of users, industry and society. It covers the whole design process, integrating all aspects relevant to product development, in particular global new product design.

It meets industrial demand by integrating technology, management, aesthetics, environmental sustainability, ergonomics, marketing, business and design methods – to produce highly qualified and sought after designers able to cope with the challenges the global economy presents.

Specifically, the course aims to:

Provide an integrated programme of study across a broad range of knowledge and skills in product/industrial design
Develop design and technology research skills related to the design process through practicing applied research
Develop advanced design skills, enabling graduates to practice as an independent design professional and to further develop design and professional skills in product/industrial design engineering
Nurture scientific rigour as well as creativity to enable graduates to follow a successful career in product/industrial design and assume leadership roles in national and international companies and institutions.

Aims

Students master all aspects of integrated product design advancing their design skills and knowledge by applying systematic state-of-the-art theories and methodologies, and by integrating user, technology and business aspects. This not only opens up dynamic career options, but equips students with a comprehensive skillset to take into the commercial world.

The primary aim of this programme is to provide students with the practical knowledge and transferable skills required to be at the forefront of global product and services design research and development, in either an industrial or academic environment.
Graduates of this MSc will also have the independent learning ability required for both continual professional development and the acquisition of new skills at the highest level.

The course provides an integrated approach and promotes advanced studies in design theory, creativity and aesthetics, innovation methods, advanced design techniques, human factors and applied ergonomics, engineering, material and production science, sustainability and research methods.

Course Content

The first term includes three taught modules worth a total of 45 credits plus one double module of 30 credits which continues into the second term alongside three further modules. The thick module, Professional Design Studio, will include guest lectures, research seminars and group or individual project. The projects can be based on design research or product/industrial design.

The ‘Design Futures’ module will introduce the importance and potential value of future foresight techniques and develop a vision of the future and critically evaluate its implications for design, innovation and enabling technology.

The ‘Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing Techniques’ module will introduce CAD and graphics based design modelling, rendering techniques and tools, product design simulation techniques and tools, rapid prototyping and manufacturing techniques.

For the final four months of the programme (June to September), students can either continue their projects to greater depth as their dissertation project, or undertake a new subject. Students are encouraged to form industrial links as part of this project.

Typical Modules

Sustainable Design
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Awareness
Human Factors in Design
Professional Design Studio
Design and Innovation Futures: Seminar & Workshop
Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing Techniques
Strategic Design Management and Research
Dissertation Project

Assessment

Work in each module is predominantly assessed through practical project assignments including both individual and group work. The dissertation makes up a third of the overall degree and may include a substantial practical design element, but in all cases will be assessed through a final 20,000 word submission.

Special Features

High league table standings: Our courses are among the highest-ranking for Product and Industrial Design in the UK. In all the most recent university guides, as well as in the National Student Survey, Brunel Design is placed in the top four out of all UK Art and Design courses.

High employability: Design graduates enjoy excellent career prospects – see student graduate articles.

Accreditation

Brunel's Integrated Product Design course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED).

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This programme is grounded on the belief that architects should be thinking well beyond the constraints of market forces and the traditional disciplinary limits of the profession, towards forms, technology and spaces for a more sustainable future. Read more
This programme is grounded on the belief that architects should be thinking well beyond the constraints of market forces and the traditional disciplinary limits of the profession, towards forms, technology and spaces for a more sustainable future. This is a student-led programme, and you can have very different experiences within it depending on the choices of studios and courses you make.

Why choose this course?

Founded in 1927, the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes has established an international reputation for the quality of both its research and its teaching. As one of the largest architecture schools in the UK, with around 600 students and 70 staff, it plays a leading role in defining the national, and international, agenda in design education and research. The school enjoys an international reputation in research, in areas ranging from sustainable design to modular buildings and from design for well-being to vernacular architecture.

Staff in the school regularly secure research funding from the UK's research councils and the European Union as well as industry, with an annual research grant income averaging £1m in recent years. This programme provides RIBA/ARB Part 2.

Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

This course in detail

Year 1 - Research into design
This year has a very strong emphasis on acquiring in-depth knowledge of an architecturally important field of study and utilising that knowledge in design. This is achieved by taking one of the six 'design specialisations'.

You choose which design specialisation is best for you. The specialisations on offer are deliberately highly diverse to cater for the changing nature of the profession in practice. This course produces graduates for the global market and as such requires a high level of commitment from staff and students.

The design specialisations are:
-Advanced Architectural Design
-International Architectural Regeneration and Development
-Development and Emergency Practice
-Sustainable Building: Performance and Design
-Research-led Design
-Urban Design.

Each of the research specialisations offers teaching from experts within that subject area, and links, through teaching focus and staff, to the five research clusters that are an invaluable resource within the School of architecture.

The five research clusters keep the specialisations at the cutting edge in terms of a global agenda. They are, in general terms, environmental design, technology, development and emergency practice, humanities and architectural design.

Each of the design specialisations include a design project or projects, to which you will apply your detailed learning.

In addition to the design specialisation the first year will, through the Research Philosophy for Design module, widen your thinking in terms of what constitutes research, test your critical thinking and improved your analytical abilities. All of these are essential tools and their enhancement will place you in a stronger position to undertake the design studio in the second year.

Your ability to represent your ideas in a coherent and focused manner is the remit for the Representation module. This module will identify your strengths and build up your weaknesses, both in terms of visual and verbal communication methods. You will be able to dedicate time to fine-tuning techniques or building from basics in sketching, model making, 2D and 3D CAD. Your presentation of methods and actual practice will enable you to build confidence in verbal communication skills.

The Management, Practice and Law module in year one looks at the landscapes within which these issues are being informed. This module is taught by practising architects who have first-hand experience of the issues under discussion. Through a series of workshops you will work on topics that are essential to the practice of architecture. Management, practice and law is part of the design delivery of the programme and you will be expected to approach the coursework from a design position. This module asks that you approach this subject with a very different mind-set than the traditional position.

Due to the diverse and preparative basis of this year it is compulsory for all students to pass all compulsory components of the Research into Design year in order to be progress to the Design and Technology year.

Year 2 - Design and technology
This year is structured to enable you to synthesise a broad range of complex cultural, aesthetic, research and technical factors, and design-specialisation learning, into your major design project and portfolio.

The year is spent participating in one of six design studios. All studios have control over their own programme of projects, and each has a different view of architectural culture and promotes different design methods. The design studios are taught by some of the brightest designers and tutors in the country and consequently their programmes demand high levels of creative and intellectual endeavour from you, as well as high levels of productivity. Their aim is to raise your design thinking, skills and production to the highest possible standard.

All six units present their projects for the year in the induction session and you are asked to select all six in order of preference. This system is to allow for an even distribution of students across all six units. Most students are allocated to their first choice of studio although there is no guarantee of a particular design unit - normally at worst you are allocated your second choice.

During the design and technology year, your design work must develop into technically ambitious architecture and be the subject of your compulsory Advanced Technology for Design module. This module designs through technology and fully complements and parallels your work in the design studio. There is a very strong emphasis here upon the creative possibilities for architectural technology. We ask for an open and experimental approach to technology, but also a clear understanding of its context and aims.

The staff delivering the teaching in the design studio unit and the Advanced Technology for Design module are made up from academics and practitioners. This energetic mix will challenge you to think about design and technology in a new manner, building confidence in ability, enabling deep thinking, and aiding you to define a personal design spirit.

Sitting alongside the design and technology is the second Management, Practice and Law module. This module builds on the learning and skills from the first year module and prepares you for stepping back into practice. As in the first year module this is learning is delivered by practicing architects. Through focus groups with architectural practices, this module figures in the skills that are seen as highly desirable for the ARB part 2 graduate to have when seeking employment.

Throughout the two years of the programme there will be interim reviews. This offers an opportunity to receive feedback from outside of your design studio or design specialisation. We have strong links with practice and architectural institutions and can attract the most able people to sit on our reviews.

This is a programme that aims to give you the skills for international practice.

As our courses are reviewed regularly, modules may vary from those listed here.

Teaching and learning

The unique nature of the Applied Design in Architecture offers you the opportunity to select an individual pathway that will create a distinctive graduate profile that is unique to you alone.

The ability to choose modules from within design specialisations offers you the prospect of defining your own position. You will find that you are being taught with, in most cases, direct entry master's students from countries around the world.

This aspect is complemented by the Year 2 design studio where you will engage with a distinctive agenda and experience a diversity of design specialisation thinking from students within your unit.

Self-directed learning is highly supported by staff in the School of Architecture. Personal choice engenders motivation and a high level of commitment, and the programme has been designed to embrace this aspect whilst clearly building on skills, thinking, application and design production to achieve a final portfolio of the highest standard.

Careers and professional development

The modules Management Practice, and Law 1 and 2, include guidance on the necessary professional skills that are required both for ARB Part 2 and for preparation in commencing ARB Part 3. The design studio generates a portfolio of work that not only demonstrates the learning for ARB Part 2 but also written, research and visual skills. The design portfolio is intended as the vehicle for students to synthesise all facets of their learning in order to seek practice employment.

In addition the school maintains a jobs wall that advertises vacancies locally, nationally and internationally.

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Explore the design of products through physical and virtual modelling. Develop creative skills, technical knowledge and apply design thinking to a range of projects. Read more
Explore the design of products through physical and virtual modelling. Develop creative skills, technical knowledge and apply design thinking to a range of projects.

This course explores new and emerging methods for rapid prototyping, digital crafts and the repatriation of manufacture.

You’ll use old and new technologies for the virtual and physical modelling and testing of design ideas. With highly creative projects you’ll employ design prototyping and fabrication methods for various scales of production, critically informed by design research methods.

You’ll have the opportunity to shape your own ideas, concepts and theories through a self-directed major project, informed by design research and critical enquiry.

See the website http://www.napier.ac.uk/en/Courses/MA--MDes-Product-Design-Prototyping-Postgraduate-FullTime

What you'll learn

Research led and critically informed, this course encourages a process of re-thinking the form and function of prevailing design practice. Through applied research you’ll engage with speculative design provocations that test ideas through motifs, messages, signs, symbols and interventions.

In specialist prototyping modules you’ll develop specific skills and knowledge in CNC milling, laser cutting, 3D printing, digital crafts and Arduino (electronic prototyping), which will inform and enable highly developed 3D outcomes in your self-directed major project.

Collaboration with practitioners from other areas is encouraged.

You have the option of taking an MA or MDes award, depending on whether you complete a dissertation or design project report in your final trimester.

We have a strong studio culture supported by our multidisciplinary staff team of academics and industry based practitioners. You’ll develop creative, professional, strategic and contextual knowledge and skills and apply design thinking to a range of creative outcomes.

Modules

• Design Research Methods
• Sketching in Hardware & Software
• 3D Prototyping
• Design Management
• Major Design Project
• For MDes Degree - Design Project Report
• For MA Degree - Design Dissertation

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Careers

The repatriation of manufacture is a key theme in promoting the creative economy of Scotland and Europe. The UK is a global leader in the design industry and many of our graduates have gone on to work in leading design consultancies or have set up their own businesses.

With a physical and digital/online portfolio demonstrating industry-ready skills, graduates can apply for design jobs, freelance work or establish entrepreneurial ventures.

You may also continue to study to MPhil or PhD level.

How to apply

http://www.napier.ac.uk/study-with-us/postgraduate/how-to-apply

SAAS Funding

Nothing should get in the way of furthering your education. Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) awards funding for postgraduate courses, and could provide the help you need to continue your studies. Find out more: http://www.napier.ac.uk/study-with-us/postgraduate/fees-and-funding/saas-funded-courses

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Develop your existing knowledge and experience as a designer, exploiting our significant research expertise to enhance your own design and research skills to a new level. Read more

Develop your existing knowledge and experience as a designer, exploiting our significant research expertise to enhance your own design and research skills to a new level.

We place emphasis on personal research, giving you the chance to develop your own interests and ideas in a challenging and supportive environment. Our aim is to help you to become a creative, imaginative and versatile packaging designer who can operate independently or as a member of a design team.

You can work alongside our packaging design consultancy, Design Futures, and with researchers from other design areas. We also have contacts with leading design agencies and design organisations and encourage you to work collaboratively with them.

There are opportunities to participate in study trips and visits to design conferences and debates.

Project-based course

You choose your own project content and this is supported by lectures and seminars dealing with professional practice issues and reviewing your progress. You also take part in regular group and individual tutorials.

Your final major project is the culmination of your research and studio-based design practice. It demonstrates that you can deal with difficult contemporary questions and take a leading role as a design professional.

Research-led expertise

We are one of the oldest established art and design institutions in the UK, renowned for producing internationally recognised research. Your projects are supported by lecturers who are packaging design specialists.

Vibrant and supportive learning environment

During the course you regularly take part in constructive critical debates about your own work and that of your peers. You need to communicate your research, ideas and designs in ways that are appropriate to professional leadership.

You study alongside MA and MFA Design students for part of your course and benefit from a vibrant, international, collaborative and supportive postgraduate environment.

Excellent facilities and creative resources

You have access to a huge range of creative resources to experiment and engage with including • 3D printing for rapid prototyping • state-of-the-art hardware and software • photography studios • a creative media centre • a gallery • well-equipped workshops.

You also have access to our award-winning learning centre featuring a specialist art, design and media library and extensive online resources.

MA and MFA study

MA and MFA students complete the same modules during the course except that MFA students complete an extra project module. The MFA project encourages you to develop professional skills that help you to identify, instigate, and deliver projects with external partners, such as communities, galleries or businesses. You find a project partner, agree a brief and then deliver the project to a professional standard.

We are normally asked to shortlist applicants before recommending a small number to apply. If this happens, we consider your interview, portfolio of work, academic qualifications and learning aims. We aim to pick people whose abilities and aims are relevant for the company and who are most likely to be successful in a competitive interview.

This course is part of the Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA), an amazing, diverse community of makers – where staff, students and partners work as equals to deliver real innovation and creativity. SIA opened in 1843 and is one of the UK's oldest Art and Design Schools. We have recently moved into the Head Post Office, a redesigned Grade II listed building. It includes state-of-the-art workshops which provide you with a unique studio-based learning environment in the heart of the creative community.

Course structure

FULL-TIME

Semester one

• project 1 • theory supporting practice

Semester two

• project 2 • negotiated project

Semester three

• major project

Semester four – MFA students only

• MFA project

PART-TIME

Semester one (year 1)

• theory supporting practice • negotiated project

Semester two (year 2)

• project 1 • project 2

Semester three (year 3)

• major project

Semester four – MFA students only (year 4)

• MFA project

Assessment

Assessment and feedback are vital parts of the learning process in creative disciplines. Most assessment is through individual project work which combines research and creative practice. Assessment calls for both excellent creative work and well-documented research.

Employability

Packaging is a huge worldwide industry with excellent job opportunities for talented people. At postgraduate level, packaging design presents you with a range of career opportunities including branding, advertising and product development where the ability to originate fresh thinking is paramount.

An increasing number of our design graduates are undertaking more advanced further study through research degrees (PhD) in our Art and Design Research Centre, which has a leading position in the advancement of creative practice in design. Working on a research degree in our Art and Design Research Centre provides the opportunity to become one of a team dedicated to the advancement of creative practice within packaging design.



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Study interaction design at an advanced level and explore new approaches to design creating dynamic proposals that respond to the needs of our rapidly changing society. Read more

Study interaction design at an advanced level and explore new approaches to design creating dynamic proposals that respond to the needs of our rapidly changing society.

At Sheffield Institute of Arts interaction design is cross-disciplinary and investigates human-technological futures via design related interactions that lie between the digital and the physical. Using a practice based approach you explore the designing of interactive digital products, environments services and systems.

Interaction design is most often studied by graduates from a variety of backgrounds including • interaction design • digital media • fine art • product design • graphic design • furniture design • architecture • computer science. Your projects are supported by lecturers who are design specialists, researchers and practitioners. Modules are supported by lecturers who are design specialists in areas as diverse as • exhibition design • HCI • medical products • materials development • design thinking • social design • design anthropology.

During the course you work with experts in other departments as well as outside of the University.

As a postgraduate design student you join an established network of creative people that encourage and support you to drive your studies to the next level. Our postgraduate framework of design courses has been designed to allow you to come together with students from different disciplines, backgrounds and cultures to share teaching and learning experiences and explore your creative identities through dialogue and practice.

The primary intention of the programme is to allow you to achieve your personal employment ambitions, whether as a design professional in the creative industries, or in related areas such as marketing or research. You are also well placed to go onto further study at PhD level.

Employability

The course has a strong vocational focus to prepare, encourage and develop your confidence for employment.

The MA/MFA programme has a strong relationship with the University’s Art and Design Research Centre (ADRC), who take an active part in engaging MA Design students in research, knowledge transfer and live projects. You are also encouraged to seek industrial sponsors or collaborators for your individual project work and are given advice and support in doing this. This long established link with our Research Department supports a continuing tradition of graduates from the MA/MFA working as research assistants and/or continuing their studies to PhD.

If you are a part-time student in relevant employment or on sabbatical, you have the opportunity to plan course projects based in your workplace and relevant to your own and your employer's aims. This brings real-world experience to the course. You may go on to work as a professionally employed designer or design manager, work independently as a designer/producer or work as a researcher in design or new product development. You may also wish to go into teaching design in further and higher education.

Project-based course

You choose your own project content and this is supported by lectures and seminars dealing with professional practice issues and reviewing your progress. You also take part in regular group and individual tutorials.

Your final major project is the culmination of your research and studio-based design practice. It demonstrates that you can deal with difficult contemporary questions and take a leading role as a design professional.

Research-led expertise

We are one of the oldest established art and design institutions in the UK, renowned for producing internationally recognised research. Your projects are supported by lecturers who are design specialists in areas as diverse as medical products, materials development, furniture and sustainability.

Vibrant and supportive learning environment

During the course you regularly take part in constructive critical debates about your own work and that of your peers. You need to communicate your research, ideas and designs in ways that are appropriate to professional leadership.

You study alongside MA and MFA Design students for part of your course and benefit from a vibrant, international, collaborative and supportive postgraduate environment.

Excellent facilities and creative resources

You have access to a huge range of creative resources to experiment and engage with including • 3D printing for rapid prototyping • state-of-the-art hardware and software • photography studios • a creative media centre • a gallery • well-equipped workshops.

You also have access to our award-winning learning centre featuring a specialist art, design and media library and extensive online resources.

MA and MFA study

MA and MFA students complete the same modules during the course except that MFA students complete an extra project module. The MFA project encourages you to develop professional skills that help you to identify, instigate, and deliver projects with external partners, such as communities, galleries or businesses. You find a project partner, agree a brief and then deliver the project to a professional standard.

This course is part of the Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA), an amazing, diverse community of makers – where staff, students and partners work as equals to deliver real innovation and creativity. SIA opened in 1843 and is one of the UK's oldest Art and Design Schools. We have recently moved into the Head Post Office, a redesigned Grade II listed building. It includes state-of-the-art workshops which provide you with a unique studio-based learning environment in the heart of the creative community.

Course structure

FULL-TIME STRUCTURE

Semester one

• project 1 • theory supporting practice

Semester two

• project 2 • negotiated project

Semester three

• major project

Semester four – MFA students only

• MFA project

PART-TIME STRUCTURE

Semester one (year 1)

• theory supporting practice • negotiated project

Semester two (year 2)

• project 1 • project 2

Semester three (year 3)

• major project

Semester four – MFA students only (year 4)

• MFA project

Assessment

Assessment and feedback are vital parts of the learning process in creative disciplines. Most assessment is through individual project work which combines research and creative practice. Assessment calls for both excellent creative work and well-documented research. 

Employability

As a graduate from this course you might become a • creative technologist • experiential marketer • interaction designer • artist • designer • maker • product designer • design researcher • interface designer • systems designer • UX designer • design academic • PhD student.



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This MA prepares students from design and other creative disciplines to apply their knowledge and skills in the branding domain. Read more

About the course

This MA prepares students from design and other creative disciplines to apply their knowledge and skills in the branding domain.

The course develops your high-level skills and creative thinking, helping you learn how to clearly communicate strategies for successful brand building, futures forecasting and change management.

During the course you will also gain valuable industry insight from design and branding professionals who are part of Brunel’s extensive network of industry contacts. You will complete an individual design project, supported by personal supervision, and complete a final year dissertation on your specialist subject of choice.

Aims

All organisations use design, but few master its use strategically. This course provides the skills and knowledge to students wishing to enter this exciting and rewarding field of endeavour.

We were one of the first Masters programmes, globally, that sought to explain the relationship between branding and design and the importance of applying a strategic approach using design thinking, design methods and process. Today we remain a unique course internationally and attract students from all over the world, from different creative and design backgrounds, both with one purpose - to become masters of design strategy.

By the time you graduate you will be equipped to:

effectively apply design to create and deliver innovative brand propositions
creatively communicate brand values and deliver brand experiencein engaging and meaningful ways through a combination of tangible and intangle design
demonstrate expertise in your chosen specialism in exciting fields, such as branding for the collaborative economy
critically evaluate the roles and potential benefits of design in brand strategies
show personal initiative in addressing challenging issues that are relevant to the design industry.

Course Content

The balanced combination of critical examination and rigorous academic research and creativity is a unique characteristic of Brunel's MA programme. You will do a three-phase programme:

Phase One Modules: Taught Element (September - December)

Strategic Design Management
Branding Strategy Studies
Innovation Strategy and Management
Design Research

Phase Two Modules: Taught/Tutored (January - April)

Design and Branding Futures: Seminar & Workshop Programme
Design and Branding Research Project 1
Design and Branding Research Project 2

Phase Three Module: Student-led (May - August)

Design Dissertation

Special Features

Brazilian week - We host an annual visit from top Brazilian designers, with joint activities organised with Brunel students. It’s an extremely exciting and rewarding experience for both our students and visitors.

Eminent speakers - Every year, our ‘Design Futures’ event offers students the chance to use their research to find design-based solutions to issues facing the world. Design Futures also features eminent guest speakers from all aspects of the design profession, who offer their views on the future of design and its role in meeting global challenges.

Industry and professional focus: London is arguably the most important design and creative capital in the world. Brunel Masters plays a key part in this vibrant landscape. Consequently students leave with a realistic and cutting edge set of skills and knowledge. A world renowned consultancy has praised Brunel design graduates for their ability to ‘hit the ground running’ – meaning they start work understanding modern branding and are able to immediately contribute to strategic thinking within a company.

International flavour: Our MA Design courses draw a truly international mix of students, creating a diverse pool of creative talent at Brunel that attracts employers.

Employability

The MA Design courses at Brunel have established links with industry. Every year the MA Team run a Design Futures module, which gives students a chance to explore future trends and scenarios, and to use research in order to find design-based solutions to issues facing the world.

As part of this initiative they invite eminent guest speakers from all aspects of the design profession to come to Brunel and give the students their views of the future, and the role that design will play in meeting global challenges. Speakers in recent years have included Sir Terence Conran, Sir George Cox, Lord Michael Bichard and Wally Olins, to name a few.

The MA Design staff also work closely with several branding and innovation consultancies, for instance, Design Bridge, NewEdge and Jane Wentworth Associates. The course also has a good relationship with trade association organisations such as Design Business Association (DBA). Working closely with these organisations has resulted in student projects, internships/work placements and also graduate employment positions.

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The Master of Design (MDes) is about design that matters. Master of Design students are focused, high-level problem-solvers. They conduct purposeful advanced design research that connects with people well beyond the university. . Read more

The Master of Design (MDes) is about design that matters. Master of Design students are focused, high-level problem-solvers. They conduct purposeful advanced design research that connects with people well beyond the university. 

The Massey MDes is particularly suited to externally-connected projects, whether commercial, governmental, cultural or community based. Your project need not necessarily have industry funding and an orthodox design brief (although there are scholarships available for such research); you might be developing a design solution for a non-profit or working with a range of external people. 

MDes students are expected to produce innovative and responsive design work that is thoroughly grounded in research methodologies and expertly realised. We aim to facilitate design projects that make a significant contribution to research-driven innovation and support sustainable economic growth. 

How will I benefit?

The Massey MDes offers:

  • an advanced design research qualification with a targeted outcome, often of direct application to industry or another external stakeholder
  • strong connections outside the university, whether in business, public or non-profit sector
  • supervision by staff who are leading design researchers and practitioners
  • individual studio space configured to suit your needs
  • comprehensive technical expertise and facilities, including an industry-scale green screen studio, Australasia’s first Fab Lab, industry-standard workshops, digital imaging facilities, darkrooms and high-end computer facilities.

Curriculum

The Master of Design consists of the design thesis. You will complete a supervised programme of focused design research and present your results (for example product prototype) with an accompanying written component. 

Scholarships are available for some projects.

Schedule and application deadlines

The MDes runs for 12 months from whenever you start. There are three intakes: February; June; September. Application deadlines are: November 15 (for February); June 15 (for July); August 15 (for September). Funded projects may start at other times of the year if necessary.

It is recommended that international students apply at least three months before their start date. Late applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Where can I go from here?

Massey MDes students rapidly develop excellent analytical skills. You must identify what the problem is, where the opportunities lie, and develop practical - even elegant - solutions, within tight timeframes. The real-world pragmatism, critical thinking and strong technical skills you develop will set you up for diverse careers. 

MDes graduate career destinations

Many graduates start their own businesses and have gone on to win high profile awards and commissions. MDes graduates also work as:

  • web designer for a large overseas institution
  • director of a major NZ health care product manufacturer
  • creative director for art agencies and museums
  • technical development consultant
  • design intern in fashion and industrial design companies
  • publishing
  • secondary school art and design teacher. 


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