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 programme 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.
There are few machines and other mechanical systems which do not include rotating components. This course provides you with training in the area of complex machine system design, from concept to final product, and undertaking extensive monitoring of rotating machinery.
The MSc in Design of Rotating Machines comprises nine compulsory taught modules, a group project and an individual research project.
The course seeks to provide each student with a range of management, communication, team work and research techniques skills besides the development of technical proficiency in a number of key areas which are relevant for rotating equipment engineers.
The MSc in Design of Rotating Machines is a high quality mechanical engineering course. The syllabus and teaching style has been shaped by feedback from industrial partners and former students for over thirty years. Industry has exciting opportunities for well-trained engineers capable of combining technical insight, design and analysis skills, and a practical problem-solving attitude. Typical class intakes include students from a wide range of nationalities and experience levels, from experienced practicing engineers (typically part-time students) to recent graduates.
This course is also available on a part-time basis enabling engineers with ambition to combine studying alongside full-time employment. The student will work within his/her own company and will address a company problem, guided by both academic and industrial supervisors, and making use of our facilities and expertise where appropriate.
This MSc degree is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
The taught programme for the Design of Rotating Machines postgraduate course is generally delivered from October to March and comprises nine compulsory taught modules. The modules are delivered over one to two weeks of intensive delivery with the later part of the course being free from structured teaching to allow time for more independent learning and reflection.
The group project which is undertaken between March and May, enables students to put the analytical and numerical skills and knowledge developed during the course taught modules into practice in an applied context while gaining transferable skills in project management, teamwork and independent research.
The aim of the group project is to provide students with direct experience of addressing an industrially relevant problem which requires a team-based multidisciplinary solution.
The group project requires students to work as part of a team, carrying out their share of the group technical work and performing team member roles, project management, delivering technical presentations and exploiting the range of expertise of the individual members of the group.
Industrial involvement will often be an ingredient of the group project thereby enabling the students to acquire first-hand experience of working within real life challenging situations and interacting with a practicing engineer.
Part-time students can either participate in the group project, attending group meetings through remote web conferencing applications or produce an individual dissertation on a theme selected by agreement with the Course Director.
The group project assessment is performed through a group poster presentation which enables students to develop valuable presentation skills and handle questions about complex technical issues in a competent and professional manner, and through a written group technical report.
Individual research projects are designed to raise your practical experience to a level comparable to that of a professional engineer. Therefore, the projects deal with real industrial design problems and topics of current research interest within the field. Project topics may also be suggested by sponsors and undertaken in-house if the work is related to the sponsoring company’s activities. You will be assigned an individual project supervisor with whom you will have regular meetings during the course of research. The individual research project topic is generally selected during November from when preparation work can begin. The majority of the project work is completed between May and August.
Taught modules 40%, Group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), Individual Research Project 40%.
To help students in finding and securing appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.
Graduates have found employment in the £30bn rotating machinery industries encompassing aerospace, automotive, engineering design, manufacturing, power generation, mechanical integrity and health monitoring, propulsion, and transmission engineering sectors. Part-time students progress their career path as a direct result of enhancing their technical competence and enrich their employer’s competitive advantage.
The depth and breadth of the course equips graduates with knowledge and skills to tackle one of the demanding challenge of securing our future energy resource.Graduates of the course can also be recruited in other upstream and downstream positions. Their knowledge can also be applied to petrochemical, process and power industries.
Graduates of the course haven taken up a range of professions including:
This course is subject to final approval.
Intelligent and autonomous systems are increasingly important in all areas of human life and activity from medicine and space exploration to agriculture and entertainment.
Understanding and developing autonomous systems involves a range of skills and knowledge including designing interactive systems with both human and machine elements, and modelling and building systems that can sense and learn.
Machine learning is at the heart of autonomous and intelligent systems, including computer vision and robotics. It also underpins the recent developments in data analytics across many fields.
You will learn to use new knowledge to solve complex machine learning and autonomous systems problems. You’ll develop a range of skills including the theory of machine learning, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems design and engineering, and the implications for humans of interacting more and more with intelligent and autonomous systems.
You will be taught by academics from the Department of Computer Science with expertise in machine learning, autonomous systems, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction. This course has been designed in collaboration with the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering who offer expertise in robotics.
You will study in a research-led department with a supportive postgraduate community. You’ll learn in our bespoke computer laboratory and be exposed to the latest ideas and technology. The department has strong links to industry both nationally and internationally.
With machine learning and autonomous systems forming an essential part of a number of key industries, our MSc graduates will be highly sought after by employers.
You’ll gain the knowledge and transferable skills for a career in a wide range of industries, or for further study at PhD level. Graduates from the department have gone on to work in a wide variety of sectors, including IT consultancy, software development, banking and education.
The Critical Writing in Art & Design MA programme in the School of Humanities provides unique opportunities for postgraduate students to develop high-level writing, research and analytical skills in the setting of one of the world’s most dynamic art schools. Combining workshop models of teaching and learning, and ‘live’ projects with leading arts organisations, the MA provides the skills required for a successful career in the arts or a research degree. For 2017/8, we are introducing some exciting new areas of specialisation within the programme.
The programme is committed to the idea that writing – of all kinds – is a creative practice that requires imagination as well as good literary skills and expert knowledge. Students on the MA are presented with many opportunities to develop and apply the skills required by various writing formats from the review and catalogue essay, to fiction and other forms of speculation. The unique structure of the programme allows for specialisation and the freedom to explore novel approaches to writing.
The Critical Writing in Art & Design programme combines lectures, specialist writing workshops and ‘crits’ as well as live projects with external partners. Previous partners have included the Royal Opera House, Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge and Turner Contemporary in Margate. Recognising that the media is undergoing considerable change, the MA also offers opportunities to work with professionals working print and online publishing, broadcasting and podcasting. Students on the programme enjoy opportunities to share classes and to work on shared projects with other students across the RCA including our sister programme, the Critical Practice pathway in the Contemporary Art Practice programme in the School of Fine Art.
Founded in 2010, the Critical Writing in Art & Design programme will launch a set of new specialisms in autumn 2017: Publishing and New Media; Creative Writing; and Art Theory. Students follow a shared, core programme as well as their chosen specialism. This will enable students to develop focused and expert skills within the RCA’s new 15-month MA framework. The specialisms allow a close focus on the particular needs of individual students, delivered through small group seminar teaching and one-to-one tutorials.
Graduates of the Critical Writing in Art & Design programme have published their MA work as books for publishers around the world including MIT Press, China Machine Press, and Zero Books. Others write regularly for the art press (including titles such as Art Monthly, Frieze and Eye Magazine). Some graduates of the programme have gone on to doctoral study at the University of Oxford, the University of Manchester and Goldsmiths. Others work in editorial positions in art and design magazines, or as curators and programmers in galleries and museums and other arts organisations in Europe, China and North America.
Critical Writing in Art & Design students have a strong track record of producing ‘live’ publications with the support of the programme. These include the Albertopolis Companion produced by the graduating class of 2015 or ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine 1950–1978, an anthology from 2014. Other live projects include Of and For Turner Contemporary, a series of texts exploring a remarkable building on the Kent coast. Students on the programme are encouraged to publish their writing on a dedicated Critical Writing in Art & Design website during their studies.
From 2017, the programme is primarily located in the RCA's newest facilities in White City.