As a cultivated form of invention, design shapes, modifies and alters the world around us for better or worse, and the need for modern design to be more sustainable and ethically responsible has never been more important.
Many multinational companies, research centres, governments and individuals acknowledge that a change in attitude to the way we design products, spaces, communications and communities is a positive step and long overdue. Indeed, over the last 10 years, commercial understanding of sustainable design has transformed, shifting from being about risk and compliance to a dynamic leadership issue.
Our Sustainable Design MA helps you to rethink the parameters of good design in an unsustainable age. Working alongside experts in ecology, psychology, design and business, you will gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to focus your practice and become a more effective agent of change.
Making sure that what you learn with us is relevant, up to date and what employers are looking for is our priority, so courses are reviewed and enhanced on an ongoing basis. When you have applied to us, you’ll be told about any new developments through our applicant portal.
Sustainable Design: Present(s)
Semester one, 20 credits
You start with a foundation in sustainable design principles, theories and methodologies. Themes include cradle to cradle, low-carbon building and production, design for recycling, biodegradability, biomimicry, alternative energy, ecological thinking, permaculture, and disassembly.
Semester one, 20 credits
This module gives you an overview of design research methods and how they are used in professional practice. It enables you to construct the kind of research questions, hypotheses and methodologies that underpin innovative design, as you develop a more autonomous position in the process of critical inquiry.
Semesters one and two, 60 credits
The Studio module spans two projects – ‘Behaviours’ and ’Matters’. The Behaviours project takes place in semester one and provides you with a theoretical context for the studio-based investigation, analysis and generation of essential design criteria that shape patterns of consumption.
In semester two, you undertake the Matters project, a studio-based experience that places emphasis on materiality and the nature of physical experience as mediated through the design, production and physical manifestation of things.
Sustainable Design: Future(s)
Semester two, 20 credits
This module takes the form of a series of seminars, workshops and discussion groups where specialist practitioners, writers, researchers, manufacturers and theorists present their work on sustainability. It covers themes including consumer motivation, behaviour, phenomenology, deep ecology, temporality, consciousness, emotional durability, materiality, defuturing and experience-authoring.
Semester three, 60 credits
The Master project represents the culmination of your work throughout the course. It allows you to apply all of the experiences and skills that you have accumulated, as you choose an area of sustainable design that you want to pursue in detail.
You work is structured by an individually defined 'statement of intent' that provides the framework through which you will be assessed. This process enables you to explore distinctive areas of expertise with a unique approach to the ubiquitous issues of sustainability and design.
The final body of master work must be developed through practices relevant to you and your statement of intent. These might include the development and production of design proposals, a written thesis, a documentary, an ad campaign, an article for a leading publication, a touring exhibition or a combination of the above.
From 2016, students will work in the new Masters Centre, which provides studio, seminar and tutorial space for all postgraduate students in the School of Architecture and Design.
Students on MA Sustainable Design will have dedicated studio space with access to workshop and digital model making facilities. More specialised materials and making requirements can be supported on an individual basis with colleagues in engineering, crafts and arts.
After graduation, many students secure influential positions within major global businesses, charities and NGOs. Previous students include:
A number of our students establish independent design agencies, social innovation labs and research centres. Many decide to continue their research in the form of a PhD, and have a particularly strong record of achieving fully funded studentships, both here at Brighton and internationally.
We welcome enquiries from anyone who would like to carry out research in any aspect of design or in technology in education.
Current studies include:
Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths.
A practice-based MPhil explores new approaches to, or applications of, existing knowledge by means of practice.
Your final presentation will include both an original, creative practice component and a thesis that will contextualise this practice.
Since the practice component of your research constitutes a significant part of the final examination, the thesis requirement is reduced.
Assessment is by thesis and viva voce.
Goldsmiths is a member of the Design Star Centre for Doctoral Training, which brings the Department of Design together with other leading design departments at the University of Brighton; Loughborough University; The Open University; and the University of Reading.
It aims to develop future intellectual leadership in design: research leaders of the future who are equipped to make a difference to contemporary social concerns, knowledge production and creative practices. This requires an approach to research training that places diversity and interdisciplinarity at its core.
Design Star brings together world-class research in:
Its spread of design disciplines is linked by a common approach to design that encourages the integration of history, theory and engagement.
Design Matters is the Department of Design's postgraduate research seminar series that both compliments the Goldsmiths-wide research training programme and delivers design-specific support to postgraduate design students.
The seminars take place on a regular basis over the academic year and are designed to support the requirements of students studying for written and practice-based doctorates. As such, the seminar series includes a rich and relevant mix of sessions including the practical demands that student’s face, such as the craft of writing, presentation skills and examination expectations and procedures, as well as scholarly issues, such as the strategies for undertaking a literature review, the methodological assumptions and the theoretical challenges of design research.
The seminar series also includes invited speakers, ranging from recently minted doctors to eminent design scholars who are asked to reflect on their academic biographies and provide guidance and insights on careers with a doctorate in design.
Design Matters seminars have, in the past, been complimented by The Design and Social Seminar Series, namely the Data Practices seminars. Here, students were given the opportunity to engage with scholars and practitioners involved in various data related interests, from citizen science projects to new forms of coding.
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.”
*New for 2017, subject to final approval.
The MA in Sound Design is a forward thinking course, which invites you to explore the creative use of sound within film and other visual media at an advanced level. The course focuses on the more creative aspects of sound design and post-production while providing you with the necessary technical skills.
You’ll develop your work within your areas of interest without stylistic boundaries. The content areas include:
• Sound editing (production audio, dialogue/ADR, SFX, music)
• The language and aesthetics of sound design (narrative, dramaturgy)
• Field recording
• Sound sculpting and processing
• Working with directors
• Post-production workflows
• Surround sound
• VR audio
• Industry deliverables
The course delivers a mixture of advanced technical skills related to sound design and audio post production for film and other visual media. It also provides creatively-oriented insights into contemporary sound design practice and encourages students to push the boundaries of the field. Subject areas include:
• Sound sculpting, processing and synthesis
• The language and aesthetics of sound design
• Storytelling and dramaturgy
MA Sound Design is part of a suite of postgraduate courses available across music and sound, operating alongside ‘sister’ pathways in Sound Production and Sound Arts, which allow further specialism in these areas.
For more information on the course structure, please go to: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-sound-design/
In trimester one, you'll gain the skills you’ll need to fulfil the rest of the course. The Skills Portfolio module is built on the idea that you’ll already have technical skills in this area. It therefore allows you to choose a handful of skills projects from a large number of options – these cover skills right across the Sound Arts, Sound Design and Sound Production pathways and include (optional) elements of multimedia.
The Research Methodology and Context module develops skills in postgraduate-level research and writing.
In trimester two, the core module is the Sound Design Practice module. It explores the creative and practical application of Sound Design within a visual narrative and storytelling context.
Alongside this core module, you’ll be offered a wide range of options. The Post Production module explores an industry-level workflow for Audio Post within film and visual media and covers a wide range of associated skillsets. Intertextuality in Sound Production, from the Sound Production pathway, explores the overlap between Urban Music production and what are considered more experimental genres. The Visual Music module, from the Sound Arts pathway, explores the idea that musical thinking can be extended to the visual, and encourages students to develop multimedia projects that explore this idea.
There are also choices in Composition, Performance, Musicology and Professional Practice.
In trimester three, you'll complete the course with a independent research project, compromising of a large-scale practical project, supported by a reflective account.
For more information on modules please visit the course webpage: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-sound-design/
The delivery of the course involves a mixture of teaching and learning activities, including lectures, workshops, seminars, online study materials and guest speaker sessions.
The workshop / seminar sessions will include ongoing peer review and tutor support opportunities. Some parts of the course are delivered using a ‘flipped classroom’ model, where students independently work through online study materials and tasks, which are followed up by practical support workshops.
The assessment is majorly based around practical coursework, with the aim to build an extensive portfolio of sound design and post production work. Practical coursework is typically supported by a written commentary or evaluation. The Research Methodology and Context module is assessed through a more substantial written paper.
You can use the course to develop an individually-tailored portfolio of skills. This will equip you for the current employment landscape, where a combination of traditional audio post production roles are required alongside broader practice in sound, music and other media.
Our graduates have range of successful careers in production, composition, music for film and TV, sound design for moving image and games, sound art, software development, engineering, further education, higher education and research.