The Master of Strategic Design Labs trains professionals who can transform visionary ideas into projects and business opportunities.
Students will learn how to develop a business model taking into account the involvement of customers and the market, information and communication technologies and sustainability.
During the course, the students will acquire the tools to listen to the customer, design solutions and deliver products and services that can make an impact on society.
Career opportunities: Marketing director. R&D management. Design manager. Project manager. Product manager. Brand manager. Retail manager. Innovation manager. Product and innovation systems consultant. Design and ICT consultant.
The School of Design offers a practice-based MRes pathway built on the wide range of our design research exploring the space between society and technology supported by expertise spanning Innovation Design Engineering, Global Innovation Design, Design Products, Healthcare Design, Service Design, Vehicle Design and Intelligent Mobility.
The pathway welcomes a broad approach to design research and encourages experimentation in practice-based methods supported by experienced researchers. Approaches can range from User Centred Design, Ethnographic, Anthropological, Action Research, Participatory Design Research, Cybernetics, Grounded Theory, to Transformation Design, Speculative, and Critical Design. We encourage diverse candidates who want to focus on commercial research, to prepare for doctoral studies and a future career in academic research or use the programme for career change to develop new skills and identify new research interests. Students will be introduced to relevant design research tools, methods, methodologies, theories and epistemologies aimed at supporting the development of a personal research approach. Applicants to the MRes Design pathway will benefit from an advanced practice-based design research culture and enjoy the freedom and autonomy that a self-directed research journey allows.
The School of Design has a long history of design research that can be traced back to Bruce Archer and the NHS hospital bed design in the 1960s through to today’s researchers who are internationally engaged in a broad range of areas from intelligent mobility through to citizen science, the future of making, socio-cultural design, experimental design, design for safety, design policy, service design and artificial intelligence and robotics as well as providing strategic advice to government and agencies. Recent commercial research funding partners have included Huawei, Tata, Airbus, Microsoft, and Intel amongst others with grant-maintained funding from the AHRC, EPSRC and the Lloyds Register Foundation.
We also have an excellent set of visiting experts and a global network of research collaborators that we draw on in our integrated School-wide research culture. These also bring strong synergies with the other RCA Schools and expertise areas including the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design combined with a strong local set of collaborations with the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Design Museum and Imperial College London with whom we share three of our master’s programmes.The pathway encourages experimentation in practice-based research, supported by experienced researchers working on both commercial and grant maintained projects across the School’s major research themes, in areas including mobility, healthcare and the future of making. The training we provide through designing research and researching through design will be suitable for both commercial and academic careers as a stand-alone qualification and act as an accelerator to prepare for doctoral studies.
The School has an excellent set of commercial partners and a global network of research collaborators that we draw on in our integrated School-wide research culture. These also bring strong synergies and collaborations with the other RCA Schools and expertise areas including the Helen Hamlyn Centre and Sustain. Commercial research projects include working with Huawei, Tata, Airbus, Microsoft and Intel amongst others. We also have a strong local network that includes collaborations with the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Design Museum and Imperial College London, with whom we share two of our masters programmes. Applicants to the MRes Design pathway will benefit from an advanced practice-based design research culture and enjoy the freedom and autonomy of a self-directed research journey.
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.
MA Design Future Society is an 18-month programme, leading to a joint award with Mannheim University of Applied Sciences. The programme includes study at both universities. If you start the programme at Leeds your first semester will be at Leeds, your second semester will be at Mannheim and then you will return to Leeds for your third semester.
All students registered on the programme may apply for Erasmus+ funding which will contribute to travel and living expenses during the five month exchange. The School of Design and Leeds University’s International Office and Language Centre will provide support for applications for funding, visas and pre-sessional language tuition.
This future orientated programme provides opportunities to integrate research from philosophy, social science and digital technology with design thinking in addressing social issues; realigning design as a discipline with social and cultural value. You will be encouraged to employ design as a catalyst for change; articulating new perceptions, developing appropriate strategies and implementing future-oriented solutions, which affect our society, culture and economy.
Traditionally designers applied their skills post problem identification – we will address that imbalance by positioning the designer at the point of problem identification and need analysis, extending the function and purpose of design beyond fulfilling commercial objectives by developing new and relevant products and implementing sustainable solutions for public, private and third sectors. This unique educational experience embraces collaboration, teamwork and internationalism and we encourage applications from all disciplines.
At the School of Design and Fakultät für Gestaltung, Mannheim University of Applied Sciences you will be able to develop your practice in well-equipped studios and purpose-built computer clusters so you can build your skills on both PC and Mac. There are computer-aided design (CAD) suites with access to the latest design software and some of the latest design technology, such as digital printing and laser cutting facilities, and colour analysis/prediction labs, eye-tracking technology and digital photography.
At Leeds there is also an impressive range of resources you can use for research. We house the M&S Company Archive including documents, advertising, photos, films, clothing and merchandise from throughout Marks & Spencer’s history, offering a fascinating insight into the changing nature of our culture over time.
Fundamentally multi-disciplinary and collaborative, course content encourages innovation and autonomy in response to set briefs and self initiated study supported by expertise in research, strategic thinking and practical implementation of communication design. Traditional academic study in the form of essays, literature reviews and reports, combines with social projects requiring, empathy, team working, concept realisation and execution. Students are required to provide evidence of effective decision-making, objective self-reflection and critical evaluation through visual and oral presentations, critiques, reflective logs and reports, visual diaries, poster presentations and portfolio development.
In the first semester students undertake theoretical and practical study in integrated media, semiotics, philosophy, sociology and research methodology in order to identify and manage complex social issues and communicate insights and design proposals by effectively employing advocacy skills and presentation techniques. Team work and collaboration are essential to the successful generation and implementation of creative solutions, therefore students are required, within this context, to demonstrate independent judgement, decision-making and personal responsibility.
In Semester 2 there is a five-month exchange programme to Mannheim which involves the application of design thinking within a different cultural environment through independent and group social projects; presenting significant challenges in comprehension, interpretation, empathy and communication. Students are encouraged to develop entrepreneurial attitudes in seeking opportunities for collaboration; contributing to professional development by operating in new areas of influence and articulating complex information into a coherent creative proposal.
In the third semester you will return from Mannheim and the programme concludes with a major research dissertation or innovation project, independently conceived and managed, demonstrating abilities in research, holistic understanding and applying contemporary knowledge to solving future problems. The knowledge, skills and qualities acquired through this postgraduate programme are transferable for employment in a variety of sectors.
Year one compulsory modules
Year two optional modules
Lectures, seminars, tutorials, creative and technical workshops, creative studio sessions, group learning, group critiques and peer assessment. There will be an emphasis on social and situated learning where dialogue, reflection, intuition, critical analysis and judgement are exercised within the context of group learning and group assignments, supported by utilising social media networks and content sharing to connect students from both institutions.
By employing social media and digital technology we aim to develop a user-centric information infrastructure and self-organisational system of information sharing in order to encourage the following:
You’ll also be assessed by a variety of methods. Your own creative work will be assessed via portfolios and projects, reports, presentations and literature reviews. Formal examinations do not contribute to assessment. Full details of assessment for each module can be found via the programme catalogue.
Employment opportunities are broad and varied as there is growing demand for communication professionals with social enterprise skills in design and innovation with a clear focus on social and cultural interaction and collaboration. Therefore employment prospects extend beyond the traditional agency model into research, strategy and planning roles within a broad range of companies and organisations. In addition graduates could also consider academic research and take advantage of the significant number of calls for research proposals that currently identify social need.
5 month Erasmus+ funded exchange at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences.