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Masters Degrees (Participatory Design)

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Are you dismayed, disturbed and totally disenchanted with what is happening to the only real planetary home we have? So are we. But are you also excited by the opportunities and prospects this opens up for us to create a better, brighter and more beautiful world? So are we. Read more
Are you dismayed, disturbed and totally disenchanted with what is happening to the only real planetary home we have? So are we.

But are you also excited by the opportunities and prospects this opens up for us to create a better, brighter and more beautiful world? So are we.

Then join us in this innovative new postgraduate programme from Schumacher College in collaboration with the School of Architecture, Design and Environment at Plymouth University, the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, the Dartington Hall Trust and surrounding communities.

Ecological Design Thinking

Never has there been a more important time for a new approach for engaging with the challenging situations we face from the local to the global levels. In a rapidly changing dynamic situation, solutions rarely remain optimal for very long and continuous active participation is a necessary ingredient for success. Growing resilience in individuals and communities is the way to keep going despite the continuous change around us.

Our programme in Ecological Design Thinking embraces and explores this complex world of interactions with lively engagement and an optimistic approach. It offers powerful, practical and ecology-centred skills and knowledge to apply to a diverse range of practices from design, education and business to the more specific roles of leadership, management and consultancy.

The Ecological Design Thinking programme is trans-disciplinary, insightful and universal in its application; pragmatic and integrative in its operation. It brings together theoretical and practical discourses on ecologically inspired design, with methods of design thinking that are merged with the latest developments in anthropology, psychology and socio- political economics. It aims to create a novel ground for change makers at the forefront of our transition to sustainable societies.

Ecologically inspired design includes the study of ecological worldviews, systems dynamics and applied complexity theory alongside the philosophies and practices of permaculture and biomimetic design.

Design thinking is a well-established participatory technique grounded in the empathic understanding of the feelings, experiences and emotions of others. It engages people in lively conversations, visually stimulated interactions and playful prototyping. It frames problems as opportunities, forms insights and generates creative and collaborative solutions in complex situations.

The Ecological Design thinking programme aims to provide a nourishing environment for participants by incorporating short-courses led by internationally recognised thinkers, place-making projects in collaboration with the Dartington Hall Trust, the home of Schumacher College, and short placements offered by external partner organisations.

This programme is the fourth radical postgraduate programme developed at Schumacher College and contributes to and enhance the College’s ongoing collaborative inquiry into sustainable living – a live and networked inquiry of practice underway around the world by the College’s 20,000 alumni and others.

Who is this course for?

We would be delighted to receive your application whether you are coming directly from an undergraduate degree, taking time-out to study mid-career or wanting an opportunity to develop your understanding of a practice that is of great importance to all of our futures. We encourage applications from community practitioners and activists as well as planners, educators, architects, politicians and policy makers. You do not necessarily need a first degree in design to apply for this course. You only need to be enthusiastic, resilient and committed.

We are looking for enthusiastic agents of change who are ready to co-design new approaches to the way we live that are socially just and ecologically sustainable. We are looking for those prepared to take risks and stand on the cutting-edge of new practices in this area.

Schumacher College welcomes students from all over the world in a diverse mix of cultural experience and age that allows for rich peer- to- peer learning.

You Will Learn

The foundation of an ecological worldview through subjects such as ecology, deep ecology, systems thinking, complexity science and Gaia theory.
Living systems principles through the philosophy and practice of permaculture design, biophilia and biomimicry.
Creative and process-focused problem solving techniques by applying the methods and principles of design thinking
A multi-perspective appreciation of ethical issues and their implications for the future consequences of redesigning existing systems and creating new ones.
To apply ecological design thinking knowledge and skills to the design of social systems as a part of an emerging new economics
Personal and group enquiry practices to raise awareness of the interdependent relationship between the individual, society and nature and between theory and practice

Co-creative participatory practices and theoretical principles for new approaches to the ecological design process that include a range of stakeholders in the full lifecycle of projects, and you will apply these both in the studio, on the Dartington Hall Estate and in short placements on live projects

Special Features

An interdisciplinary programme integrating design methods with those of ecology and the social sciences.
An integrative design programme rooted in deep ecological understanding and practice and informed by cutting edge thinking in new economic approaches and social dynamics.
A balanced distribution of time and resources on skill-based and cognitive-based knowledge and between practice and theory.
Access to some of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners in design, Gaia theory, complexity, climate science, systems thinking, new economics and social change.
Short courses led by internationally recognised thinkers and researchers.
Short practical placements with a range of partner organisations operating at the leading edge of social innovation.
An immersive, integrative and transformational teaching and learning approach rooted in the principles established by Schumacher College and Dartington Hall, and engaged in a living and working community on and around the Dartington Estate in Devon.

Where you will go?

Ecological Design Thinking can be applied to a wide range of contexts, from the personal to the societal. This programme aims to create a new generation of designers, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, educators, researchers, consultants and activists. Graduates will have the skills and knowledge to work for sustainable change in the public and private sectors as well as in civil society, or to set up their own projects or organisations that will contribute to the transformation of society.

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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.

Degree information

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Wearable Futures is a cross-disciplinary umbrella programme for designers who are interested in the cluster of technologies and experiences that have the human body and its covering as their centre of focus. Read more
Wearable Futures is a cross-disciplinary umbrella programme for designers who are interested in the cluster of technologies and experiences that have the human body and its covering as their centre of focus.

The course offers a holistic environment based on the integration of creative computing, digital craftsmanship and material cultures, while also incorporating the technologies and advances in hardware that are impacting on manufacturing techniques and associated applications. Wearable futures has come about as part of Ravensbourne’s current commitment to become creative leader in the field of wearable applications and body-centric design. Ravensbourne's digital research culture is contributing significantly in this context.

The main conceptual framework for the course will be provided by theories of digital craftsmanship, body-centric technologies and phenomenological readings and speculative philosophy. These will form an important research foundation for building Ravensbourne’s critical reach and will assist in helping you to sift and prioritise the current trends and thought relating to fashion and discussion around the body within data informed spaces. An interdisciplinary field of study will include interaction and experience design (UX), “making” and open source culture, design innovation and applied philosophy. You will be introduced to philosophical trends and these will tie in with your practice and help you to develop a critical view incorporating design fiction and other emerging theories. You will engage with research methods such as participatory, user study and user-centered design.

"One of the exciting things about the design industries today is that boundaries of former categories such as fashion, product or experience design have been broken down" - Alexa Pollman, Subject leader, MA Wearable Futures.

The course is a platform for investigation, dissemination and analysis around contemporary theory and practice in the wearable industries. The course’s core role will be to foster your understanding of this market and to identify latent demand within the commercial sphere and to highlight future applications and directions. The aim will be to help you to influence the decision makers so that wearable solutions will be accepted and meet the cultural and ethical expectations when designing for the human body and the garment-industry. You are expected to consider the cultural and social role inherent to fashion as a part of wearable futures.

Wearable futures students will focus their investigations on the key flashpoints of the body as an interface for what is a symbiotic, physical and digital exchange. As part of the design methodology of the course, you will be asked to develop future scenarios and narratives in order to help you and your clientele to understand the concomitant social, environmental or cultural challenges of designing for a matter as delicate as the human body.

"At the moment we’re still very much in the “task” piece of wearable computing, not in the symbolic “how do we make sense of it” piece. I think in the wearable space we are still bringing all the old metaphors of computation with us and still interpreting them in a somewhat literal way—that they are a smaller smartphone, or a little computer. It will become much more interesting when we let go of that and work out the promise that wearable computing will make to us." Genevieve Bell, Anthropologist at Intel

Get to know the subject leader: Alexa Pollman

- Tell us about yourself

For me, garments are social reactors and I like to challenge the current notion of ‘wear’. I have experienced the industry from different angles: my original profession was in fashion design, but I have also worked as a creative consultant and spent my fair share of time in showrooms, for both – big and small brands.

I completed the Design Interactions Programme at the Royal College of Art, and collaborating with various disciplines has enriched my perspective as a designer.

Luckily, I have been awarded different grants that have allowed me to pursue my own work - Peut-Porter is my design consultancy agency and platform which researches and provides forecasts on wear and fashion. Currently, I am Designer in Residence at the Design Museum London and will have new work on show from September 2015.

- What's your opinion on the current state of wearable futures?

We currently find a variety of opinions on wearables and truthfully spoken, I see a lot of problems occurring with their application. This is why it is important to train specialists who can engage with the topic in a much broader sense than is currently being done by the industry. Our wearable futures students will be asked to be highly innovative but at the same time engage with the cultural and social impacts of body-centric design. We need them to bridge the gap between artisans and material or textile specialists and the tech world.

The fashion system successfully uses technology in many experience-based ways and this seems like a very natural process to me as the narrative, experience-based aspect seems inherent to fashion. Wearable futures will not only produce gadgets and devices, it will help to define our relationship to technology when it enters our personal spheres, it will look at the moral and ethical side of data-capturing as well as its technological possibilities and ask students to research and design future aspects and needs of wear.

- Is this course right for me?

This course will focus on body-centric design – a topic which is currently being explored in a massive range of disciplines. We will ask for an extremely flexible mind, someone who is eager to work with various media and collaborate with science, engineers and artists to create their own definition of wearables.

Studying an MA should allow a student to find his or her very own position, strength and reason to design. Whether their work will have a technological, experiential , future or fashion focus will in the end be very much up to what they have decided to explore in the process. We want students to become ambassadors who understand not only the technological aspects and applications of wear but the medium that they will most closely be working with – the human body.

- Why are you so passionate about this course subject?

I think the course has potential to become a wake-up call – what are we doing to ourselves and our bodies? How much more obsessed with data capturing and monitoring will we become? We can’t ignore the trends and tendencies but we need to discuss and open up the field, get some creative minds together and talk about the cultural meaning of ‘wear’ and how that can work intriguingly when paired with technology.

For me, one of the big pluses of Ravensbourne is the fact that it doesn’t have a ‘traditional’ fashion orientation but instead is very interested in the digital and technological aspects of education. I especially feel that our MA courses have a lot to offer in terms of a general interdisciplinary approach, more so because they take in a small amount of people. Designers need one another to work and explore their role and as the MA’s share the same space, we will surely see a lot of cross overs with the other courses. Also, we have had quite some interest from big industries and I think we will see some exciting collaborations happening here in the future.

Course structure

1. Technology Issues – will ask you to engage and experiment with technologies used in the body-centric design sector. The three provided project briefs will explore such fields as data-capturing, 3D Printing and alternative production methods or sensory technology. You will work with fellow students and develop quick mock-ups to understand the mediums at hand and create wear with a focus on experiences.

2. Business and Innovation – will help you understand the business and innovative practices used in the creative industries. Could your idea become a successful product and how can you find a niche to place yourself in? Wearable Technology is one of the quickest growing markets of the industry and your contribution to the field could have manifold impacts.

3. Concept & Prototyping – will allow you to develop your personal design method and introduce you to an holistic design-strategy. You will be asked to present your concepts employing various media and design speculative, narrative and plausible futures in order to challenge and understand the needs, hopes and dreams related to wearables.

4. The Research Process – will help you to investigate and strengthen your concepts and ideas by teaching you the skills and methods needed to ground you personal project in an academic context.

5. The Major Project – represents the culmination of the design work and the research you conducted in your studies. In this unit, you will forge a specialist project and work self-managed and practice-based, seek advise from specialists outside the college and present your personal take on the future of wearables.

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Product Design at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) centres on the exploration of problem spaces, understanding that much of what designers do is re-define and re-interpret products and their contexts enabling people to lead engaged, productive and meaningful lives. Read more

Product Design at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) centres on the exploration of problem spaces, understanding that much of what designers do is re-define and re-interpret products and their contexts enabling people to lead engaged, productive and meaningful lives.

Product design is a broad discipline, and at the University of Edinburgh we understand our discipline through a ethnomethodological lens. At the heart of our research programme is people; particularly those who currently struggle with existing objects in identified circumstances. We embrace a variety of approaches to people-centred design practice including participatory action research; affective design; design for disruption and inclusive design. The core to our approach is to speculate and build preferred futures, based on design-led evidence constructed through observation and engagement with others. Our aim is to understand the agency of objects and configure intended impacts on communities of people moving through and across various services and systems.

As a student on programme, you will join a vibrant, international community of creative practitioners and researchers. Members of the academic team are involved in a variety of research interests relevant to design production, maintaining strong partnerships with academics from across the University in allied disciplines such as engineering, informatics, anthropology, sociology, health and business.

Programme structure

There are two semesters in your first year, each providing the opportunity to engage three courses: one core requirement, and two elective options from supporting programmes relevant to the ethos of the programme.

Core courses foster exploration and development of ethnomethodological approaches to product design research and development, with a strong emphasis on action research, ethnographic observation, participation and prototyping, driven through a strong iterative approach to practice.

One-year MA degree

If you choose to pursue the one year MA degree, you will engage your dissertation in the summer period following the first year of study, focusing on the development of an individual project which emphasises product theory in context.

Emphasis on the MA degree pathway is to prepare students with interests in design management, policy or direction, or pursuing further academic research programmes such as the PhD.

Two-year MFA degree (Under review for 2018 entry)

Students enrolled on the two year MFA degree demonstrate interest in pursuing a career as autonomous designers, often establishing their own studios of practice.

In Year 2 of the MFA, you will undertake an additional four courses, with a core component in semester 1 entitled "Incubator", which is designed to help develop your skills in researching, developing and delivering a practice-led thesis.

The MFA dissertation takes place in your final semester, and culminates in the presentation of a significant body of work presented in exhibition format, showcasing exceptional skills in making, prototyping and manufacturing of high-quality, proof of concept models which articulate your understanding of theory in practice through artefacts, images and text relevant to people-centred design.

Career opportunities

The professional knowledge, skills and abilities developed on this programme will prepare you for a rewarding career as a product/industrial designer, designer-maker, user-experience designer, user-interface designer, design manager, production manager, or a variety of other related roles within design-related industries.

Our graduates have an excellent track record moving into employment in a variety of sectors following graduation.



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On this course, you will tackle issues central to contemporary design practice – such as design authorship and social engagement – through a process of analysis, experimentation and the implementation of creative ideas. Read more
On this course, you will tackle issues central to contemporary design practice – such as design authorship and social engagement – through a process of analysis, experimentation and the implementation of creative ideas. During your time with us, you will be encouraged to engage creatively with contemporary visual communication issues.

The course places an emphasis on problem setting rather than problem solving, through the development of self-initiated projects and briefs.

Key benefits:

• Open to applicants from a range of backgrounds, including education and industry
• Enhance your skills through creative thinking, research, visualisation, interactivity, social and multi-media
• Future-proof your skill set for developments in the discipline.

Visit the website: http://www.salford.ac.uk/pgt-courses/art-and-design-communication-design

Suitable for

Graduates or professionals from a wide range of creative disciplines wishing to pursue a particular individual line of enquiry via in-depth research, personal practice and business acumen.

Programme details

This course embraces a range and diversity of practices and aims to:

• Develop creative, critical, analytical and intellectual competencies informed by contemporary professional practice.
• Develop an advanced understanding of research methods in general and those of importance to creative practice and industry in particular.
• Enhance your knowledge and understanding of professional and collaborative frameworks
• Provide the opportunity to develop industry experience and understanding through contact by placement, project and/or contact with professional practitioners.

Format

This course uses a range of teaching and learning settings including lectures, seminars/workshops, tutorials, situated learning (such as ‘live’ projects) and independent learning. The combination of these aims is to develop an environment that allows you to progressively take ownership and direction of your learning so that you may develop as independent, life-long learners. This is achieved by including self-directed projects where you will have the opportunity to negotiate your learning and assessment requirements.

Indicative to the course are:

• Formal lectures
• Seminar presentations
• Workshops
• Critical analysis and independent learning.

Award specific learning activities include exercises, team based learning, site visits, visiting professionals, work placements, online activities and critical debates. You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of coursework activities in order to foster active learning through contribution to participatory exercises and through formal and informal presentations of your work.

Semester 1

• Research Methods and Practice
• Specialist Practice

Semester 2

• Creative Contexts
• Practice in Context

Semester 3

• Negotiated Thesis/Major Project

Assessment

Assessment methods used on the course include:

• Practical, oral and written assignments (80%)
• Group presentations (20%)

You will be assessed throughout the course on your:

• Body of work and contextual research: e.g. studio/portfolio/workshop outcomes/ exhibitions
• Reflective journals: log or sketch-book/statement/seminar or other presentation

Career potential

This course will suit you if you want to either progress in an industry you already have experience in, re-skill for a different career path or continue the studies you took as an undergraduate.

Graduates from this course have progressed onto a number of careers within the industry such as design lecturer, freelance designer, graphic designer, researcher and brand manager.

Graduates have gone on to work for companies including: Zyad University Abu Dhabi, University of Salford and Welsh design agency BWA.

How to apply: http://www.salford.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/applying

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Hyper Island's MA in Experience Design has been designed in response to demand from the industry. There is currently a gap between what schools teach and what a designer needs to know. Read more
Hyper Island's MA in Experience Design has been designed in response to demand from the industry. There is currently a gap between what schools teach and what a designer needs to know. How to build products, services, and systems in the real world, that give a great experience.

The role of a designer is shifting. A product today is rarely just physical and consumers expectations are higher than ever. The challenge for designers is to design and deliver meaningful experiences, both online and offline.

The MA in Digital Experience Design will develop your technical, creative and strategic skills as an experience designer to lead the change within this evolving industry.

You will explore experience design and related fields such as service design and interaction design, understanding human behavior, rigorous research, digital technologies and prototyping, project management, business acumen and how to build and lead an effective team.

You will leave us primed for roles across human-centred design such as Experience Designer, Information Architect, Interaction Designer and Service Designer. Within these roles, graduates will be able to design and develop high quality experiences, products and services. You will be able to work across disciplinary, cultural, and geographical boundaries to design innovative solutions to meet user and business needs. Above all, you will be able to operate strategically as an agent of change and have the knowledge, skills, and competence to work at the forefront of this fast-paced industry.

The MA Digital Experience Design represents an alternative option in industry-led learning here in the UK. At Hyper Island, you will be immersed in collaborative and high-energy learning environments that mirror the modern workplace dynamics. We value both professional and personal development and we seek to help you achieve that by supporting you with new methods, tools, and knowledge to develop your abilities. It is a post-graduate Master of Arts degree awarded by Teesside University.

Hyper Island partners with leading companies such as ustwo, Dare, IDEO, Plan, Tobias & Tobias, Google, MTV, Oxfam, Sony Games and Greenpeace, giving you access to the world’s most successful and innovative thinkers.

Following successful completion of the school-based part of the programme (24 weeks), you will progress to an industry research project (18 weeks). This is your chance to put your learning to work in an independent research or professional context and helps you to take the next step in your career. This can take place anywhere in the world.

Hyper Island will help you design your project and apply it within your career domain. To successfully graduate with a Master's degree, you will present the findings from your project using reports, videos and prototypes as appropriate to your chosen problem to examiners from industry, Teesside University and Hyper Island.

What you learn on the programme:

- Digital strategy
- Business modelling
- Working with agile/lean processes
- Emerging and established technologies for creating experiences
- Human-centred design processes
- Idea generation, selection, and development
- Behavioural psychology
- Participatory research tools
- Building balanced teams to meet project requirements
- Global and remote collaboration
- Leadership and group dynamics

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Explore the potential of performance design with this wide-ranging programme. Read more

Explore the potential of performance design with this wide-ranging programme.

You’ll develop an awareness of the performance events and experiences that can be created with the aid of lighting, projection, settings and objects, puppetry, props, costume, sound as well as newer technologies such as digital and pervasive media. You’ll have space to experiment and come up with innovative and creative ideas for performance, while learning more about the theories and concepts that are shaping emergent forms of theatre, art and performance practice.

As you build up your MA portfolio you’ll engage with contemporary performance and arts practices – including immersive and participatory forms of performance, as well as those outside of the theatre – while considering the role they play in their wider social, cultural and economic landscape. This is the only research-orientated programme in the UK tailored towards academic and practical engagement with performance design.

You’ll be based in our purpose-built landmark building [email protected], with two professional-standard and publicly licensed theatres that regularly host works by students and visiting theatre companies. One of these is a technically advanced research facility, and both are fully equipped with the latest technology. A dance studio, dressing rooms and box office are also in the building, and our School includes rehearsal rooms, two black-box studios, costume construction and wardrobe stores, a design studio and scenic workshop, video editing and sound recording suits as well as computer aided design.

But our biggest strength is our links with external organisations, which give you the chance to get outside the theatre and explore performance in different environments. Our partners include Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse, the National Media Museum, Leeds City Council, Red Ladder Theatre Company, Limehouse Productions, Phoenix Dance Theatre, the National Coal Mining Museum for England, HMP New Hall, Blah BlahBlah Theatre Company, the BBC and HMP Wetherby.

Course content

Throughout the programme, you’ll develop an awareness of research methods and approaches in performance and the cultural industries. In Semester One, you’ll also take a core module which introduces you to key concepts, theories and ideas in performance design, exploring ideas such as visuality and the theatre, spectacle, audience experience and multi-sensorial performance.

This foundation will inform the rest of your studies, including your practice. In Semester One you’ll also work with a range of scenographic materials to develop your own creative practice, spending time in practical workshops alongside lectures where you’ll consider current issues and debates in performance design and the role of practice-led research.

In Semester Two you’ll apply all the knowledge and skills you’ve gained to an independent research project, which could be practice-led or a written dissertation on a topic of your choice. You’ll also be able to spend more time on your practice – you’ll have the chance to complete an individual project, or to collaborate with fellow students from across the School, or work on another small-scale research project based on a two-week placement in an external organisation. Alternatively you could choose from optional modules on topics such as audience engagement or debates on culture and place.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project 60 credits
  • Performance Design Praxis 30 credits
  • Critical Concepts in Performance Design 30 credits
  • Research Perspectives (Performance Design) 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Creative Work 30 credits
  • Performance and Collaborative Enterprise 30 credits
  • Critical Debates in Culture and Place 30 credits
  • Enterprise and Consultancy Practice 30 credits
  • Audience Engagement and Impact 30 credits

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

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

Learning and teaching

We use different teaching and learning methods to help you develop your skills and make the most of our tutors’ expertise, including, practicals, seminars, tutorials, lectures and group learning. Independent study is also integral to the programme, since it helps you to form your own ideas and build skills in research and analysis.

Assessment

The assessment methods you experience will vary depending on the module. However, to allow you to develop skills in a range of areas they will include essays, performances, visual documentation, verbal presentations, critical evaluations and reports.

Career opportunities

This programme will give you the knowledge and skills to become an articulate and creative performance design practitioner. This could include; working as a designer or director in theatre, live performance, festivals or the events industry (either within a company or freelance), creating your own performance events or performance company, or working in community arts.

You’ll also gain a range of transferable skills in research, analysis, interpretation and communication, as well as imagination, independence and cultural awareness. This will equip you to work for a variety of roles across the cultural and creative industries, for example, in administration, marketing and management.

Because of the emphasis on research, it’s also good preparation for PhD-level study and teaching.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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The production, reproduction and transformation of urban space via socially, economically, and environmentally just methods presents a complex challenge for professionals. Read more
The production, reproduction and transformation of urban space via socially, economically, and environmentally just methods presents a complex challenge for professionals. This MSc combines cultural, social, economic, political and spatial analysis to recalibrate the urban design project, presenting a holistic response in which informality and marginality are central features.

Degree information

The programme will equip students with a political economy understanding of space; a comprehension of the needs, abilities, aspirations and forms of resistance of urban dwellers; the ability to respond with strategically co-ordinated proposals to leverage local abilities to meet local needs; and an ability to critically engage with the practice of urban design and architecture in developmental processes – particularly in the Global South.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a development and planning report (60 credits).

Core modules
-Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design for Development
-Participatory Process: Building for Development
-The BUDD Studio: Building and Urban Design Practice

Optional modules
-Critical Urbanism Studio I. Learning from Informality: Case studies and alternatives
-Critical Urbanism Studio II: Investigative Design Strategies for Contested Spaces
-Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
-Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practices and Alternatives
-Housing Policy, Programme and Project Alternatives
-Housing as Urbanism: Housing Policy and the Search for Scale
-Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
-The Political Ecology of Environmental Change
-Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development
-Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Politics
-Social Policy and Citizenship
-Gender in Policy and Planning
-The City and its Relations: Context, Institutions and Actors in Urban Development Planning
-Urban Development Policy, Planning and Management: Strategic Action in Theory and Practice
-Transport Equity and Urban Mobility
-Industrialisation and Infrastructure
-Food and the City
-Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture: Knowledge Systems in the Global South
-NGOs and Social Transformation

Please note, the availability of some modules may be dependent on student numbers.

Dissertation/report
All MSc students submit a 10,000-word report on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic can be chosen to enhance career development or for its inherent interest.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of weekly lectures, seminar presentations, group exercises and workshops. The BUDD studio includes a fieldwork project in an urban reality of the global south, developed in partnership with local organisations, networks of communities, slum dweller federations, universities and governments alike. Students are encouraged to explore different tools, concepts and ideas throughout the programme and test these during the field project. Assessment is through coursework, design work, written examinations and the 10,000-word report.

Careers

The programme enables graduates to work in NGOs and local government – facilitating community organisations and households to improve their living conditions. Graduate destinations range from UK-based organisations in the public, private and community sectors, to governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, which operate in a development capacity in the South. Recent graduates have also been employed by international NGOs and aid and development agencies and architectural and design practices. Some graduates return to their home countries and engage in urban design and architecture practice, teaching, or research of urban development there; others have successfully sought employment away from their own countries.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Architectural Assistant, Foster + Partners
-Architectural Designer, Thinking Development
-Research Assistant/PhD in Development Planning, UCL
-Urban Designer/Visual Designer, Nanjing Yangtze River Urban Architectural Design Co. Ltd
-Project Manager, Home Office

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Bartlett is the UK's largest multidisciplinary faculty of the built environment, bringing together dozens of scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.

The Development Planning Unit is an international centre concerned with promoting sustainable forms of development, understanding rapid urbanisation and encouraging innovation in the policy, planning and management responses to the economic, social and environmental development of cities and regions, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Its programmes are supported by international agencies as well as by national and provincial governments.

The Building and Urban Design in Development (BUDD) programme in particular reflects on the necessity of design practices to contribute to changing the mainstream paradigm of working with the urban poor, with communities and the city itself.

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The Master of Design in Social Innovation applies the lens of design thinking to address some of society’s most intractable social, environmental and economic challenges. Read more
The Master of Design in Social Innovation applies the lens of design thinking to address some of society’s most intractable social, environmental and economic challenges.

In the face of the promise of untold growth we are now confronted by a harsh reality: that in the second decade of the 21st century the traditional model of ‘business as usual’ is no longer viable. In applying a range of approaches to designing and prototyping social ventures and models of organisation, the MDes in Social Innovation will equip you with a practice-based approach to embedding innovation in the area of sustainability, community resilience, corporate social responsibility, venture philanthropy and organisational agility. Working with a cross- disciplinary team of professionals, the course will allow you to learn about radical ideas, evolve these ideas and test them in a ‘lived’ organisational environment.

The MDes Social Innovation will demonstrate that many of the most successful designs, innovations and innovators have learned to operate across the boundaries between disciplines, sectors, organisations and traditional services.

The course will develop your ideas and skills in people-centred and organisational leadership as a way of transforming the way that public, private and not-for-profit services are shaped using design thinking methodologies.

At its heart lie three design principles:

1. an holistic approach - the need to approach innovation from a ‘holistic’ point of view, drawing on its potential impact in terms of people, technology, the environment, psychological and emotional meaning and long-term sustainability

2. a core intent - the potential to develop a ‘core intent’
and value proposition to organisational models to stimulate commercial and brand value through interaction, social value, collaboration and ideas generation

3. participatory and inclusive - the importance of developing social and environmental solutions ‘with’ and ‘by’ key stakeholders, customers/markets etc. and not simply ‘to’ and ‘for’ people.

Course aims

- To understand the role of social innovation as a business discipline balancing both leadership roles in terms of innovation, the creation of vision and future directions and management roles in terms of using specific tools, methods and techniques.
- To approach leadership, organisational and enterprise development from the perspective of design thinking and creative innovation.

Study units

- Stage One
Developing a knowledge base and new reference points - introduces you to a range of theories and practices in the strategic use of design and innovation, with a particular focus on the method of design thinking in the global context and how it relates to social and environmental change and sustainability.

- Stage Two
Putting new learning into a professional context – develops the practical application of design thinking with a focus on innovation and industry-oriented professional practice based on design management. It also extends your innovation and leadership toolkit. The Studio Practice unit gives you the opportunity to take on a work placement or design research project which will inform your major project.

• Unit 4 Professional Practice in Management and Consulting • Unit 5 Strategic Design and Innovation
• Unit 6 Studio Practice

- Stage Three
Evaluating and advancing existing knowledge

• Unit 7 Major Project

Programme Aims for the Master of Design

The Master of Design programme aims to provide the opportunity for you to develop creative thinking and innovative strategies through an advanced understanding of the practical application of design thinking and design strategy to management and organisational leadership, in order to equip you with the knowledge and skills to apply your learning in a global context. In particular, this programme aims:

- To equip you with an advanced knowledge and understanding of the contextual background to, and developments in design thinking and to reflect on that learning in order to advance your own practice and subject area and to innovate.

- To develop effective managers and leaders with effective design management skills who through creativity and global awareness are able to influence and create positive change in their organisations whether at an operational or a strategic level.

- To equip you with independent study skills that support research, practice and professional development and allow you to continue developing as life-long learners throughout their professional lives maintaining contact with emerging practice from a variety of fields.

- To provide a stimulating environment, which is supportive, flexible and collaborative and allows you to develop your potential.

- To develop a high level of professionalism and confidence to initiate and lead complex design projects involving diverse disciplines and business functions.

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Create art that engages audiences directly. Gain work and contacts in the creative industries. Enhance your ability to gain funding for participatory projects. Read more

Course Overview

Create art that engages audiences directly. Gain work and contacts in the creative industries. Enhance your ability to gain funding for participatory projects. Develop both advanced theoretical knowledge and practices of working in participatory settings. Earn a highly relevant Masters qualification.

This course is led by staff who are experienced in working within innovative and prestigious projects in participatory settings themselves, such as The Arts Council funded - The Cultural Spring. Academics also have links to a range of organisations who manage and organise such events.

You’ll engage with practical projects through large and small arts organisations and directly with communities, schools and other groups. The programme also aims to encourage an holistic approach to arts practice and provide a learning structure which will facilitate dialogue, collaborative working and peer support.

Course Content

Modules on this course include:

Certificate stage
Introduction to Working in Participatory Settings (30 credits)
Participatory Arts in Practice (30 credits)

Diploma stage
At Diploma stage, you will explore research methods that are specifically relevant to participatory practice an will also undertake and evaluate a live project reflecting you area(s) of interest.
Research and Praxis (30 credits)
Participatory Arts Live Project (30 credits)

Masters stage
At Masters stage, you can choose a practical dissertation/live project or a written dissertation (60 credits)

Teaching and assessment

You’ll experience a range of teaching methods including online learning, peer learning, student-led seminars, workshops, small group work, individual and collaborative project work, supervised independent learning and tutorials.

You’ll also be encouraged to develop your own theoretical and methodological perspectives to inform your future educational, professional and personal practices. The programme provides a learning and teaching framework within which the growth of subject-specific knowledge, analytic abilities, teamwork, time and organisational management, production, presentation and practice-oriented competencies can be developed and assessed.

Facilities & location

Teaching for this course is based at our state-of-the-art David Puttnam Media Centre. The award-winning facilities available include a 200 seater cinema, radio and TV studios, which also hosts the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies. You will have access to the array of arts and media facilities across the institution.

We subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date articles.

Students are helped to develop their research skills working with lecturers and library staff to develop their awareness of art history as well as contemporary art and design and the wider contexts of the subjects.

Some of the most important sources for your course include:

- Art Full Text + Art Abstracts: A major resource for media and arts information
- Design and Applied Arts Index: Covers journals featuring both new designers and the development of design and the applied arts since the mid-19th century
- British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC): Provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media
- JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’): Provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
Lexis, which provides access to legal information as well as full-text newspaper articles
- Screen Online (BFI), which is an online encyclopaedia of British film and television, featuring clips from the vast collections of the BFI National Archive

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Upon completing the master’s programme in Urban Studies & Planning, you will be able to. -Understand theories and identify concepts and empirical research methods relevant to urban studies and planning from the related fields of social sciences, humanities, ecology, engineering, architecture, design and art. Read more
Upon completing the master’s programme in Urban Studies & Planning, you will be able to:
-Understand theories and identify concepts and empirical research methods relevant to urban studies and planning from the related fields of social sciences, humanities, ecology, engineering, architecture, design and art.
-Demonstrate a working understanding of the role of urban government, policy-making and planning in urban development.
-Critically and creatively pose and answer significant research questions relevant within and across multiple fields of theory and practice.
-Gather, process and develop relevant conclusions based on information from multiple sources.
-Produce, collect and analyse cases and data relevant to urban phenomena.
-Use digital and other tools to collect, analyse and share data.
-Develop responses to urban problems using relevant tools and techniques for representing, modelling, prototyping, testing and evaluating solutions.
-Understand and develop integrated approaches within and across urban research and applied planning.
-Communicate your understanding of and responses to urban phenomena visually, graphically, orally and in writing.
-Write academic, professional and popular texts on urban themes based on relevant literature.
-Apply and develop skills for co-production of knowledge and co-design.
-Work productively and cooperatively in multidisciplinary, multiprofessional and international environments.

And in terms of knowledge and skills in relation to specialisations and professions, you will be able to:
-Apply the general knowledge and skills introduced, developed and demonstrated within the courses and thesis work.
-Place urban analyses and proposals in relation to your specialisation and contextualise them in relation to others.
-Identify, differentiate and articulate relations among various theories and methods relevant to your specialisation.
-Develop and reflect on your competence in urban studies and planning in relation to your professional role.
-Carry out independent research on urban issues in your field using relevant research methods and responsible scientific practice.
-Analyse phenomena and develop solutions through the use of digital and other tools, such as GIS and CAD.
-Fulfil specific professional degrees in accordance with the relevant professional codes and directives (such as those of architects, landscape architects, and urban planners.
-Demonstrate your competence to work as a professional and/or researcher in urban studies and planning.
-Communicate professionally and constructively with different experts, practitioners and stakeholders in the field of urban studies and planning.
-Articulate your professional identity in terms of established and emerging roles relevant to urban studies and planning.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees.

Programme Contents

Urbanisation is a global phenomenon that is shaping the future of our societies. Most of the key challenges of contemporary societies are encountered and addressed in cities. Cities provide enormous economic, technical and cultural opportunities, but they are also places of social conflict and segregation as well as environmental and health problems. The magnitude of these challenges implies that no single profession or field of research can tackle them. Urban development requires an integrated approach. To this end, two prominent Finnish universities have joined forces in this unique and interdisciplinary Master’s programme.

The Master’s Programme in Urban Studies and Planning prepares you to excel as a professional capable of understanding and addressing complex urban development challenges. You will learn to address such challenges through a curriculum and pedagogical approach that includes interdisciplinary breadth as well as depth in core areas of knowledge, skills and practice. The programme balances theoretical, historical and conceptual knowledge with the acquisition of methods, skills and experience. You will thus gain a broad understanding of urban phenomena as well as practical experience in collaborative and practical situations. This is the foundation of the programme and of the elements in the curriculum.

Taking full advantage of the joint university structure, the programme unites leading expertise from the University of Helsinki and Aalto University into three major study lines. The signature elements in the programme are interdisciplinary studies that address urban challenge themes. These themes relate to urgent contemporary issues found not only in Finland but on the European and global scale, including controversies intrinsic to urbanisation. The urban challenge themes may be attached to focus areas, research projects or collaborations within our universities, municipalities and regions in order to provide a constructive and critical framework for study and practice. These themes cross the boundaries of disciplines and professions, and are united in addressing a common challenge and emphasising a forward-looking perspective.

Selection of the Major

There are three study lines in the Master’s programme in Urban Studies & Planning:

Urban Planning and Design
Urban Planning and Design (USP Plans) addresses urban development by integrating the knowledge, skills and pedagogical approaches of planning and design and by developing synergies across multiple disciplines. The constructive power of design to imagine, structure, visualise and communicate is combined with the analytical rigour and critical understanding of planning and urban governance history, methodologies and tools. USP Plans develops and deepens such skills while advancing your professional capabilities through challenge-based learning within concrete cases, multi-disciplinary collaboration, and learning-by-doing experimentation. USP Plans is oriented towards planners, architects, landscape architects, and spatial, service and strategic designers.

Urban Life, Economy and Cultures
Urban Life, Economy and Cultures (USP Peoples) addresses urban development by integrating analysis of socio-economic, digital and physical structures with planning. Here you will explore and apply theories and methodologies from the social and political sciences. The focus is on socio-spatial dynamics changes, including influences of policies and markets, actors and structures, decision-making processes, social mixing and demographics. USP Peoples deepens your knowledge of foundational studies while advancing your professional capabilities through challenge-based and collaborative learning, including situated municipal and field studies. USP Peoples is oriented towards planners, urban economists and managers and those interested in urban humanities.

Urban Ecologies and Systems
Urban Ecologies and Systems (USP Systems) addresses urban development by integrating technical and natural science knowledge. This includes methodologies for studying, assessing and planning for social and ecological resilience, technological innovation and complex adaptive systems. It applies systems approaches to identify multi-dimensional planning while retaining a holistic perspective on the complex and historical dynamics affecting multiple scales. USP Systems develops your understanding of foundational studies while advancing your professional capabilities through challenge-based and collaborative learning, including urban, digital and ecological field studies. USP Systems is oriented towards planners, engineers, architects, landscape architects, and environmental managers.

Programme Structure

The requirement for completing the Master’s programme in Urban Studies and Planning is 120 credits (ECTS), which can be done in two years. The curriculum consists of:

Core Urban Challenge Studios (20 credits)
Common urban challenge studios integrate multiple expert areas to study and address contemporary urban phenomena from different perspectives. Here you will explore urban challenge themes theoretically from different perspectives and you will address them practically within specific cases, sites or initiatives. Your teachers represent key disciplines and professions, and your studies will be conducted in cooperation with partners in research and municipalities. Examples of urban challenge themes include:
-Urban economies and the challenge of governance and welfare.
-Social integration and the challenge of urban typologies and heritage.
-Liveability and the global challenge of fast-paced cities.
-Socio-Ecological habitats and the challenge of densification.

Specialisation coursework (20 credits)
The three study lines offer courses for you to specialise within one of the three competence areas in the broad field of urban studies and planning. Both universities offer courses for each study line; these can be adapted to support your advancement, background knowledge and skills. The courses cover topics such as urban geography, urban sociology, urban ecology, urban economics, urban ethnology and history, environmental policy, urban planning, urban design, landscape architecture, real estate economics, service and strategic design, etc.

Core skills and methods coursework (20 credits)
Core skills for thesis research and professional practice are offered as basic courses. These include skills relevant to digital representation, analysis and communication, modalities and techniques of communication and argumentation, research methods and methodologies of academic research. You will learn, for example, how to use digital tools to analyse and study urban phenomena and how to illustrate your ideas and solutions visually and graphically. You will also become familiar with the theories and tools of communication and argumentation, and you will study and apply research methods.

Electives (30 credits)
You can select elective courses according to your personal study plan. You can select electives to deepen your knowledge in a specialisation or broaden your exposure to additional areas relevant to planning. For architects and landscape architects, some electives will guide your development according to the EU directive for these professions. You can also take courses at other Finnish universities, in a student exchange abroad, or in an internship in city planning and development.

Master’s Thesis (30 credits)

Career Prospects

The programme prepares you to be a professional in a field that is meaningful, growing and in demand. You will acquire the knowledge, skills and experience needed to fill both traditional and emerging planning roles (such as urban planning and design, real estate development, strategic planning, environmental planning, landscape architecture, policy and service design). To these established or emerging roles, you will bring an integrated understanding of, and training in applying, more interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to urban development. As a graduate you will be prepared to compete for local and international positions within public, private and non-profit organisations, planning, architectural and policy advisory firms, research institutes and NGOs.

Internationalization

The Master’s Programme in Urban Studies & Planning provides international scope in many ways, taking advantage of the unique Helsinki context and diverse urban contexts around the world. Each year, new students in the Master’s Programme in Urban Studies & Planning include both Finnish and international applicants. We look for students whose varied backgrounds, experiences, and education reflect the richness of contemporary society. The teachers of the programme have an international background and experience, and the programme builds on their strong international connections in their respective fields. Researchers and invited lecturers from abroad take part in the teaching of the programme. The Master’s Programme builds on the joint University of Helsinki and Aalto University Bachelor’s Program ‘Urban Academy’, including its teaching faculty, international network and advisory board of leading international experts. Your elective coursework can include a student exchange or internship abroad, and you are also encouraged to collaborate internationally on your Master’s thesis. You will thus have an opportunity to study in an international environment and acquaint yourself with different cultures. For international and Finnish students, Helsinki and Finland are well-known internationally for progressive approaches to planning. Helsinki is a UNESCO creative city; planning and design have strong roles within municipalities, government and the public sector. Finland is a European and international forerunner in technological research and innovation, such as open data in municipalities. Local and national policies support experimental and participatory culture and development. In the context of urban challenges, Helsinki provides a unique case for engaging with progressive approaches to welfare state paradigms, including public-private dynamics, changing demographics and cultures, and diverse approaches to market growth and sustainability.

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Visual Communication as a discipline is undergoing a major shift in both its vocational positioning and intellectual relevance. Read more

Visual Communication as a discipline is undergoing a major shift in both its vocational positioning and intellectual relevance. At the Royal College of Art, the programme has a long history that has radically examined the place of visual communication in relation to culture and society, while championing the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. The programme offers three pathways of study: Experimental CommunicationGraphic Design and Illustration.

The pathways are interrelated and structured around the discipline of visual communication to facilitate well-informed risk-taking and experimentation from a grounded position of subject knowledge and understanding. Pathways are delivered in subject clusters (critical thinking) supported by shared workshops (critical making) and delivered by staff who are either advanced practitioners, or active researchers engaged in both the core and margins of communication practice.

As noted by our students, the necessary critical discourse around what it means to be a ‘visual communicator’ today opens up possibilities about the process and contexts of communication; and in doing so shows that our skillset is transferable beyond the confines of the purely visual. The programme provides an environment within which students aim to expand and explore new notions of traditional subjects – graphic design and illustration – and question existing practice, while doing so from a position of being well informed.

We recognise that ensuring that our graduates are at the forefront of our subject means considering new technologies alongside traditional ones, understanding the changing relationship between the creative practitioner and society, and balancing critical and strategic thinking with making. 

Areas of staff practice and research range from, and beyond, archeoacoustics, cultural practices, design criticism, design for society, design history, design writing, drawing, education design, feminism, free/associate discussion, graphic design, graphic information design, group learning, expanded cinema, independent publishing, intercultural communication, illustration, memory, moving image, narrative, participatory practice, sound, structural film, non-Latin and Latin typography, visible language, visual identity and visual research.

Noted strengths of the programme as viewed by graduates, students, commentators and critics are its interdisciplinary nature, quality of advanced and specialist practice, exposure to alternative modes of practice, opportunities for collaboration, cross-subject studio culture, peer-learning and the opportunity to experiment while supported by access to College technical resources.

The programme has a network of successful practitioners including a long list of notable alumni who have gone onto transform communication praxis and include Åbäke, Brave New Alps, Daniel Eatock, FUEL, Graphic Thought Facility, James Goggin, James Jarvis, JULIA, Le Gun, Tom Gauld, Sara Fanelli, Troika, Jonathan Barnbrook, Phil Baines, Morag Myerscough and Why Not Associates.

The programme has a long-standing reputation for providing students with the foundation and thinking in order to initiate, reframe, expand and advance their individual practice. We welcome applicants from different and diverse contexts and backgrounds; this enriches and enlivens our community. We genuinely believe and evidence that it is the people that make a place.



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Our Computer Science MPhil and PhD programme gives you an opportunity to make a unique contribution to computer science research. Read more
Our Computer Science MPhil and PhD programme gives you an opportunity to make a unique contribution to computer science research. Your research will be supported by an experienced computer scientist within a research group and with the support of a team of advisers.

Research supervision is available under our six research areas, reflecting our strengths, capabilities and critical mass.

Advanced Model-Based Engineering and Reasoning (AMBER)

The AMBER group aims to equip systems and software engineering practitioners with effective methods and tools for developing the most demanding computer systems. We do this by means of models with well-founded semantics. Such model-based engineering can help to detect optimal, or defective, designs long before commitment is made to implementations on real hardware.

Digital Interaction Group (DIG)

The Digital Interaction Group (DIG) is the leading academic research centre for human-computer interaction (HCI) and ubiquitous computing (Ubicomp) research outside of the USA. The group conducts research across a wide range of fundamental topics in HCI and Ubicomp, including:
-Interaction design methods, eg experience-centred and participatory design methods
-Interaction techniques and technologies
-Mobile and social computing
-Wearable computing
-Media computing
-Context-aware interaction
-Computational behaviour analysis

Applied research is conducted in partnership with the DIG’s many collaborators in domains including technology-enhanced learning, digital health, creative industries and sustainability. The group also hosts Newcastle University's cross-disciplinary EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics, which focusses on the use of digital technologies for innovation and delivery of community driven services. Each year the Centre awards 11 fully-funded four-year doctoral training studentships to Home/EU students.

Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex BioSystems (ICOS)

ICOS carries out research at the interface of computing science and complex biological systems. We seek to create the next generation of algorithms that provide innovative solutions to problems arising in natural or synthetic systems. We do this by leveraging our interdisciplinary expertise in machine intelligence, complex systems and computational biology and pursue collaborative activities with relevant stakeholders.

Scalable Computing

The Scalable Systems Group creates the enabling technology we need to deliver tomorrow's large-scale services. This includes work on:
-Scalable cloud computing
-Big data analytics
-Distributed algorithms
-Stochastic modelling
-Performance analysis
-Data provenance
-Concurrency
-Real-time simulation
-Video game technologies
-Green computing

Secure and Resilient Systems

The Secure and Resilient Systems group investigates fundamental concepts, development techniques, models, architectures and mechanisms that directly contribute to creating dependable and secure information systems, networks and infrastructures. We aim to target real-world challenges to the dependability and security of the next generation information systems, cyber-physical systems and critical infrastructures.

Teaching Innovation Group

The Teaching Innovation Group focusses on encouraging, fostering and pursuing innovation in teaching computing science. Through this group, your research will focus on pedagogy and you will apply your research to maximising the impact of innovative teaching practices, programmes and curricula in the School. Examples of innovation work within the group include:
-Teacher training and the national Computing at School initiative
-Outreach activities including visits to schools and hosting visits by schools
-Participation in national fora for teaching innovation
-Market research for new degree programmes
-Review of existing degree programmes
-Developing employability skills
-Maintaining links with industry
-Establishing teaching requirements for the move to Science Central

Research Excellence

Our research excellence in the School of Computing Science has been widely recognised through awards of large research grants. Recent examples include:
-Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Centre for Doctoral Training in Cloud Computing for Big Data Doctoral Training Centre
-Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics
-Wellcome Trust and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Research Grant: a £10m project to look at novel treatment for epilepsy, confirming our track record in Systems Neuroscience and Neuroinformatics.

Accreditation

The School of Computing Science at Newcastle University is an accredited and a recognised Partner in the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science.

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The session will provide a chance to meet the course leader and some current students who will share their projects and experiences. Read more
The session will provide a chance to meet the course leader and some current students who will share their projects and experiences. You will also take part in a design activity that will give you a real taste of what we do on the course in addressing social and sustainability challenges.

Choose Kingston's Sustainable Design MA

This course is aimed at designers, creative workers and other specialists who want to direct their practice towards progressive sustainability and social agendas. It focuses on the value of design as a vehicle for addressing social and ecological concerns in both developed and developing world settings. It will equip you with the knowledge, capabilities and confidence to challenge the status quo by applying design thinking to the generation of design-led interventions for a sustainable future.

Key features
-The overarching course philosophy, based on an emphasis on research, methodology and design thinking, allows individual and personal concerns to be explored through focused study in sustainable design.
-The course takes an inter-disciplinary approach to the study and practice of sustainable design, by recruiting students from all creative and design backgrounds and beyond.

What will you study?

The Sustainable Design MA is directed towards the goal of creating a more sustainable and equitable society. You will explore innovative and practical ways to help realise those visions, emphasising design, creativity, empathy, innovation and activism.

The course encourages critical thinking about the social and ecological agendas it addresses. The course is design-based, but not confined to design practice - it includes a significant amount of theoretical and contextual studies. It is possible to choose a dissertation option for the final major project.

You will be taught by leading academics and practitioners in sustainable design, social design, social innovation, participatory design, strategic design, service design, design-led innovation, and related topics. The course incorporates collaboration with partners such as Design Council, Futerra, Greengaged, Sorrell Foundation, ThinkPublic and Uscreates.

Assessment

Design project work, live projects, research project folders, 5,000-word critical essay, and a major design research project.

Course structure

The Sustainable Design MA course is part of the School of Design's postgraduate programme. The structure – shared with students from Communication Design MA, Product & Furniture Design MA, and Fashion MA – enables you to explore your individual specialist interests in sustainable design within an integrative learning environment that provides a comprehensive understanding of the value and role of interdisciplinary methods and ways of working. The influences and impact of thinking from other related design subjects on your own specialist study is an important aspect of the identity and the community of interdisciplinary practice at masters level in the School of Design.

This structure is designed to help progress and develop your independent learning, encouraging you to construct and explore projects concerned with areas of particular personal interests. The overarching course philosophy, based upon an emphasis on research, methodology and design thinking, allows individual and personal concerns to be explored through focused study in sustainable design.

The two shared modules of the School of Design's Postgraduate Framework both commence with a symposium, in which high-profile external speakers present their work and contribute to a debate on a topic of relevance to all courses in the Framework.

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Designing at the forefront of communication technology. The rapid expansion of digital networks such as YouTube, Wikipedia, Flickr and Facebook have changed user expectations. Read more
Designing at the forefront of communication technology.

Overview

The rapid expansion of digital networks such as YouTube, Wikipedia, Flickr and Facebook have changed user expectations. These advances have created a demand for graduates who understand social and participatory design principles and have the skills to design new interactive technologies.

The MSc in Social Media and Interactive Technologies provides an innovative mix of social and technical skills. You will gain an understanding of the social, political and economic factors that affect the use of interactive technologies, examining how technology is perceived and employed by the user, and you will develop the skills to design and create usable and accessible devices and applications.

Course content

Understand social media and interactive technologies through the key roles they play in society. Explore topics in human-computer interaction, user-centred design, social and cultural theory and human psychology and learn to apply them to the practical problems of designing interactive pages, devices and systems.

Modules for this social media degree are taught by experts from both the Department of Sociology and the Department of Computer Science.

The MSc in Social Media and Interactive Technologies includes eight core modules:
-Understanding Social Media
-Metrics and Society
-Themes and Issues in Contemporary Sociology
-Research Methods for Interactive Technologies
-User-centred Design for Interactive Technologies

You will develop, design, implement and manage your own original research project, supervised by a member of staff with the relevant experience for your topic. You will analyse the data and produce a 15,000-word dissertation based on your research project.

Examples of previous projects include:
-Accessibility of iPhone/iPad apps
-Democracy and participation in York City
-The use of social networking sites by the older generation
-Social robotics and companionship
-Living with the h-index?
-Investigating immersion in games with inattentional blindness
-Immersion and cognitive effort when playing videogames
-Immersion in audio-only games

Careers

You'll develop the skills and knowledge needed to play a leading role in the design and evaluation of interactive technologies in industry, commerce, academia and public service. This social media degree also provides an ideal basis to progress to further study at PhD level.

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