Study interaction design at an advanced level and explore new approaches to design creating dynamic proposals that respond to the needs of our rapidly changing society.
At Sheffield Institute of Arts interaction design is cross-disciplinary and investigates human-technological futures via design related interactions that lie between the digital and the physical. Using a practice based approach you explore the designing of interactive digital products, environments services and systems.
Interaction design is most often studied by graduates from a variety of backgrounds including • interaction design • digital media • fine art • product design • graphic design • furniture design • architecture • computer science. Your projects are supported by lecturers who are design specialists, researchers and practitioners. Modules are supported by lecturers who are design specialists in areas as diverse as • exhibition design • HCI • medical products • materials development • design thinking • social design • design anthropology.
During the course you work with experts in other departments as well as outside of the University.
As a postgraduate design student you join an established network of creative people that encourage and support you to drive your studies to the next level. Our postgraduate framework of design courses has been designed to allow you to come together with students from different disciplines, backgrounds and cultures to share teaching and learning experiences and explore your creative identities through dialogue and practice.
The primary intention of the programme is to allow you to achieve your personal employment ambitions, whether as a design professional in the creative industries, or in related areas such as marketing or research. You are also well placed to go onto further study at PhD level.
The course has a strong vocational focus to prepare, encourage and develop your confidence for employment.
The MA/MFA programme has a strong relationship with the University’s Art and Design Research Centre (ADRC), who take an active part in engaging MA Design students in research, knowledge transfer and live projects. You are also encouraged to seek industrial sponsors or collaborators for your individual project work and are given advice and support in doing this. This long established link with our Research Department supports a continuing tradition of graduates from the MA/MFA working as research assistants and/or continuing their studies to PhD.
If you are a part-time student in relevant employment or on sabbatical, you have the opportunity to plan course projects based in your workplace and relevant to your own and your employer's aims. This brings real-world experience to the course. You may go on to work as a professionally employed designer or design manager, work independently as a designer/producer or work as a researcher in design or new product development. You may also wish to go into teaching design in further and higher education.
You choose your own project content and this is supported by lectures and seminars dealing with professional practice issues and reviewing your progress. You also take part in regular group and individual tutorials.
Your final major project is the culmination of your research and studio-based design practice. It demonstrates that you can deal with difficult contemporary questions and take a leading role as a design professional.
We are one of the oldest established art and design institutions in the UK, renowned for producing internationally recognised research. Your projects are supported by lecturers who are design specialists in areas as diverse as medical products, materials development, furniture and sustainability.
Vibrant and supportive learning environment
During the course you regularly take part in constructive critical debates about your own work and that of your peers. You need to communicate your research, ideas and designs in ways that are appropriate to professional leadership.
You study alongside MA and MFA Design students for part of your course and benefit from a vibrant, international, collaborative and supportive postgraduate environment.
Excellent facilities and creative resources
You have access to a huge range of creative resources to experiment and engage with including • 3D printing for rapid prototyping • state-of-the-art hardware and software • photography studios • a creative media centre • a gallery • well-equipped workshops.
You also have access to our award-winning learning centre featuring a specialist art, design and media library and extensive online resources.
MA and MFA study
MA and MFA students complete the same modules during the course except that MFA students complete an extra project module. The MFA project encourages you to develop professional skills that help you to identify, instigate, and deliver projects with external partners, such as communities, galleries or businesses. You find a project partner, agree a brief and then deliver the project to a professional standard.
This course is part of the Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA), an amazing, diverse community of makers – where staff, students and partners work as equals to deliver real innovation and creativity. SIA opened in 1843 and is one of the UK's oldest Art and Design Schools. We have recently moved into the Head Post Office, a redesigned Grade II listed building. It includes state-of-the-art workshops which provide you with a unique studio-based learning environment in the heart of the creative community.
• project 1 • theory supporting practice
• project 2 • negotiated project
• major project
Semester four – MFA students only
• MFA project
Semester one (year 1)
• theory supporting practice • negotiated project
Semester two (year 2)
• project 1 • project 2
Semester three (year 3)
• major project
Semester four – MFA students only (year 4)
• MFA project
Assessment and feedback are vital parts of the learning process in creative disciplines. Most assessment is through individual project work which combines research and creative practice. Assessment calls for both excellent creative work and well-documented research.
As a graduate from this course you might become a • creative technologist • experiential marketer • interaction designer • artist • designer • maker • product designer • design researcher • interface designer • systems designer • UX designer • design academic • PhD student.
This programme encourages students to take a risk, to test the boundaries of the discipline and push their design ideas beyond personally predetermined limits.
You will develop an enhanced research and design proposal, culminating in a new body of work that will showcase your development and achievements.
This unique and convention-breaking programme has a strong emphasis on personal creative freedom and design innovation, ensuring you have the best chance of employment and career development upon graduation.
You will be encouraged to challenge your existing research and design knowledge and develop new skills and networks. You are expected to experiment and explore: independent study is paramount but underpinned by a number of supporting projects, workshops and events.
We expect collaboration within the School of Design, with the creative industries and where appropriate with external clients to allow you to realise personal and project possibilities to the full. There is a strong international student input which introduces diverse experience and encourages wide-ranging thinking.
We encourage bold, lateral approaches, coupled with a clear understanding of process and technique, to produce innovative, emotive and enduring design from students who learn through intense, sustained involvement with the design process.
The curriculum is student-led with an emphasis on independent learning. With tutorial guidance, you will negotiate and develop a programme of study based on personal areas of research and practice, alongside set projects to support and inform your line of enquiry.
You will initially focus on the research and development of a study proposal. With support from our dynamic team of experienced tutors (all industry practitioners or researchers) you will be encouraged to expand on your preconceived ideas and let your findings dictate future development. We expect you to engage in sophisticated design dialogue to push your ideas to their full potential. There is a hotbed of debate and prototyping before any designs are taken into production.
The written context of the programme helps amplify and contextualise your understanding of process and this wider awareness of design feeds back into your practice-based work. You will produce written context assignments alongside studio based work.
We are committed to providing our students with enhanced career prospects and the ability to achieve at the highest level. Graduates are professionally vital and well-informed, and are able to enter the design industry with a freshness of approach and the flexibility and adaptability to be able to respond to change.
Our Graphic Design graduates work in a wide range of creative career paths. The variety of projects, approaches and opportunities on course enable graduates to apply their knowledge and experience of the design process and their considerable skills onto many disciplines. Typically though our graduates leave to become valuable members of a graphic design agency.
Our extensive links with industry built through industry-led projects and staff research, and our range of visiting speakers, ensures that graduates are aware of the full range of career possibilities and are provided with a strong footing from which to develop their chosen career.
Previous career paths have included experiential design, packaging, advertising, digital design, interaction design, exhibition design, design research, marketing, retail design, exhibition design, multimedia, design management, education. Graduates may freelance or seek employment within a company.
A specific scheme we run within the programme is the Design Agency project which, in 2013, won a Guardian University Award for Employability Initiative.
Design Agency is a flagship initiative that enables graphic design students to form their own design agencies. They create their own brand for the agency and work collectively towards a common objective based on ability, regardless of age or experience. Edinburgh-based design agencies act as ‘mentor partners’ to the student agencies. The long-term relationships that are built with mentors ensures that students have the chance to show, over an extended period rather than just a few weeks on placement, what they can contribute to potential employers.
In 2013, the ECA Design Agency won the Guardian University Awards 2013 prize for Employability Initiative, with the judges praising its ambition and said its risk-taking innovation “should be applauded.”
Do you have a keen interest in the value of creativity and design and how this can best be used as a strategic tool for organisations?
The MA Design Management course will allow you to harness the power of design and innovation in a corporate context.
Offering industry engagement in fashion management or design strategy and innovation, you will develop transferrable design knowledge that will enable you to recognise the value of design and provide effective leadership and management within this sector. You will also have the opportunity to undertake a series of collaborative projects with third parties or organisations currently working within this industry.
On completion of this course you will leave with an in-depth understanding of how design can contribute to leadership, sustainability and business or social innovation, in addition to possessing the necessary skills to build and manage organisational growth through the development and launch of new products, services and brands.
Our academic team is made up of research-active experts with extensive knowledge of the design industry. This knowledge is integrated into all aspects of their teaching to ensure that all content within this course is relevant to the workplace and current and emerging trends.
All staff within this department have a strong commitment to developing your skills and knowledge by developing your critical thinking and your ability to apply your skills to complex real-world problems.
They will be there to support you through every step of your course, ensuring you leave with confidence and full understanding of all aspects of this dynamic industry.
In addition to our teaching staff, you will also have access to specialist communities of practice that will provide the foundation for your learning journey through research networks and cross-organisational collaboration. These communities will provide industry engagement in design strategy and innovation or fashion management.
The MA Design Management course incorporates learning through investigation and the application of design methods in a business context.
The theory-based aspect of the course covers essential elements such as creative thinking, intellectual property, inter-cultural communication, research principles, reflective practice, contemporary influences and commercialisation.
These contextual modules provide the perfect foundation for the remainder of your degree, which develop your understanding the field of design management.
Teaching is delivered via a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials, which are assessed by coursework and design projects. You will also have the opportunity to participate in collaborative projects and, where possible, field trips to allow you to put your skills into practise in a real-world context.
Upon completion of the taught modules, you will undertake research report under the supervision of your dedicated tutor who will provide advice and guidance at all stages.
DE7001 - Design Thinking (Core, 30 Credits)
DE7002 - Design Process (Core, 30 Credits)
DE7003 - Project / Thesis (Optional, 60 Credits)
DE7003 - Project / Thesis (Core, 60 Credits)
DE7006 - Design Management 1: Articulating Design Value (Core, 30 Credits)
DE7007 - Design Management 2: Strategy (Core, 30 Credits)
EF0126 - E.S.A.P. in FADSS Level 7 (Optional, 0 Credits)
This course is delivered at the Northumbria School of Design, which is located at City Campus East – a dedicated learning space that is located within Newcastle city centre.
Throughout the duration of your course you will have access to state-of-the-art facilities such as our University library – which is ranked in the top three in the UK – and well equipped working space, The Hub, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Your learning experience will be enhanced though the use of technology and learning materials such as module guides, assessment information, lecture presentation slides and reading lists will be available via our innovative e-learning platform, Blackboard. You can also access student support and other key University systems through your personal account.
The MA Design Management course is taught by our team of research-active academics who incorporate their individual areas of specialism into the course’s contextual modules to ensure they reflect the realities of the design industry and today’s modern working environment.
The development of your own research skills is at the core of the MA Design Management course content and you will develop research-informed methods of understanding the complexity inherent in real-world situations. These methods will enable you to make better decisions, advance the field of your practice and add new knowledge that will help you perfect your skills in your own particular discipline.
Supported by subject specialists and industry networks, you will also have the opportunity to join an expert-led community of practice in focussed on design strategy or fashion management to further enhance your learning experience.
Once you have completed the MA Design Management course you will possess an in-depth understanding of how to harness the power of design within a corporate context. You will also be suitably qualified to take on managerial and leadership roles within the design sector.
This course will prepare you for broad range of jobs within design companies, private organisations and the public sector, in addition to specialist jobs within your chosen specialism. Completion may also enhance promotion prospects in some professions.
This course will also provide you with a strong foundation for progression to PhD studies.