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.
Our MA Interior Design course enables you to develop an individual approach to spatial design within a stimulating, creative and supportive environment.
This degree provides you with a launchpad to potential higher level interior design careers within a diverse range of subjects. These include museum and exhibition design, design for film, television and digital games and brand interpretation for retail, leisure or promotional events.
An emphasis on ecological issues and processes is also a prominent aspect of this course, and underpins all aspects of the course.
You'll explore your area of interest to an advanced level, through establishing new spatial paradigms that build on your existing knowledge. Our course, at UCA Canterbury, combines theoretical and practical skills, and encourages engagement with industry at all levels.
In-depth research into design processes and technologies, along with related work placement opportunities, will prepare you for new career directions. Your project work will be supported by ongoing staff research into sustainability, architecture, design-related digital technologies, experiential environments and brand communication.
You'll be taught through tutorials, seminars, self-directed study in relation to your project proposal, work-in-progress reviews and visits or references to sites of local and international interest.
Part-time students are normally taught on a Tuesday but sometimes field trips, study visits or other events take place on other days of the week. You should check before enrolling if you have concerns about the days your course will be taught on.
We've got extensive contacts across the range of interior design disciplines. Live projects, research analysis and feasibility studies will draw on our wide range of contacts and associations.
Connections include specialists in the related fields of audio-visual technologies, lighting design and interactive design.
Recent guest lecturers have included:
-David Callcott, CADA Design, retail and leisure design consultants (London and Hyderabad, India)
-Emma Vane, Production Designer for Atonement, the Harry Potter series, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Captain America: The First Avenger
-Finlay White, ModCell, sustainable construction
-Mick Pearce, award-winning international architect (Title: Bio-mimicry and the 3rd industrial revolution)
-Phil Hughes, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, museum and exhibition designers (London, New York, Beijing)
-Uwe R. Brückner, Atelier Brückner, exhibition design (Stuttgart, Germany).
Career opportunities exist within design or architectural consultancies in retail, leisure, exhibition, office, hotel, residential and cruise ship design, as well as in the fields of design management, interior or film-set design.
Our course has a strong ecological focus with opportunities for engaging with both the theoretical and practical aspects of real-world sustainability.
Visit our Postgraduate Virtual Media Space to find out more about our courses, see what it's like to study at UCA and gain access to our campus virtual tours.
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.