Design Informatics combines Data Science with Design Thinking in a context of critical enquiry and speculation. We build a value-aware, reflective practice at the interface between data and society by combining theory and research with an open-ended process of making and hacking.
Human activity is being constantly shaped by the flow of data and the intelligences that process it, moving towards an algorithmically mediated society. Design Informatics asks how we can create products and services within this world, that learn and evolve, that are contextualised and humane. Beyond that, it asks questions about what things we should create, speculating about the different futures we might be building and the values behind them.
The central premise is that data is a medium for design: by shaping data, we shape the world around us. Data Science provides the groundwork for this, with Design Thinking underpinning reflective research through design. You will use this in working with the internet of things and physical computing, machine learning, speech and language technology, usable privacy and security, data ethics, blockchain technologies. You will connect technology with society, health, architecture, fashion, bio-design, craft, finance, tourism, and a host of other real world contexts, through case studies, individual, and collaborative projects. You will understand user experience in the wider socio-cultural context, through an agile programme of hacking, making and materialising new products and services.
Please be aware that the structure of the programme may change.
Throughout the programme, you will be working both individually and in teams of designers and computer scientists. Everyone will have to write code during the course, and everyone will have to make physical objects. Several courses, including the dissertation, will involve presenting the artefact, product, service, or interactive experience that you have created to the general public in a show.
In the first year, you will study:
In Design with Data and Design Informatics Project, you are likely to work with an external partner, such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Amazon, Edinburgh City Council, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh or the National Museum of Scotland.
MSc and MA students then undertake a dissertation in the summer before graduation.
MFA and Advanced MSc students take a summer placement with a relevant digital organisation then return for a second year of study, comprising:
Elective courses are drawn from the Masters Programmes of the School of Informatics, Edinburgh College of Art, and Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences. Courses are typically 10 or 20 credits.
This degree will put you at the cutting edge of the intersection between data science, design, and information technology, opening a host of opportunities in working with companies, charities, and the public sector. We encourage entrepreneurship. For those who wish to stay in academia, the course provides a solid foundation for a PhD in related areas.
This programme is professionally accredited by the Landscape Institute and provides you with professionally focused landscape architectural skills.
We offer the only professional, degree-level programmes in landscape architecture in Scotland and they are some of the best delivered worldwide.
This programme focuses on landscape architectural design and is taught by a range of project types and contexts, concerned with building a sustainable future for the landscape we inhabit.
Landscape architecture is a discipline that focuses on intervention in the landscape through the activities of design, planning and management. Landscape is defined as outdoor spaces, environments and relationships between people and places. Landscape Architecture is concerned with landscapes of all types, both urban and rural and at all scales from the garden to the region. It is distinguished by its position at the interface of art and design and the physical, natural and social sciences.
The programme benefits from the studio-based learning typical of an art college environment. Contextual subjects are delivered from within Landscape Architecture and from the wider University community. Uniquely, plants and horticulture are taught at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). The programme therefore benefits from the intimate small scale nature of ECA and the wider worldwide reputation of the University and RBGE.
Edinburgh itself is a unique and exciting centre for study, with many of the issues at the heart of the profession on hand. Within a short distance, the relatively undeveloped areas of the Scottish Highlands and the Borders illustrate different problems, opportunities and solutions. However, the programme is international in outlook with graduating courses currently sited in Poland, Estonia and France.
The programme has a long and excellent relationship with employers worldwide and contributes to professional practice by its links with public bodies and other agencies.
The programme focuses on four landscape portfolio courses, which contain a variety of design options you can choose from based on factors such as previous experience or personal interest. These are set on real sites with real issues, with differing scales and complexity, and with stakeholders actively informing the process.
The courses become increasingly complex and self-directed as the programme progresses and they are supported via aligned contextual and technological courses. The programme culminates in a major design project you select and develop with support from staff.
Our graduates are hugely in demand. Currently, almost all of our graduates gain rewarding employment very soon after graduation. Some go on to study research-led degrees (PhD). Many become leaders in their field worldwide.