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Masters Degrees (Visual Merchandise)

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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. Read more

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.

Course content

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.

Course Structure

Year one compulsory modules

  • Integrated Communication (Design Future Society) 15 credits
  • Social Aesthetics 15 credits
  • Design and Society 15 credits
  • Research Methodology 15 credits
  • Social Design Projects 30 credits
  • Design Futures 30 credits

Year two optional modules

  • Dissertation - Digital Social and Mobile Design 60 credits
  • Digital Innovation Project 60 credits 

For more information on typical modules, read Design Future Society MA in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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:

  • Participation, through focused discussion/conversation
  • Responsible, self motivated, intrinsically motivated thesis to demonstrate understanding
  • Exploration, by identifying relevant questions and autonomy in decision-making
  • Experimentation, acknowledging risk, failure, evaluation and reflection
  • Understanding, through action, experiential engagement, observation and analysis

Assessment

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Placement opportunities

5 month Erasmus+ funded exchange at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences.





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Great design ideas can change the world. With human and user-centred design at the heart of this internationally regarded Masters programme, you’ll develop research and practice-based design solutions to respond to a demanding industry and rapidly changing society. Read more

Great design ideas can change the world. With human and user-centred design at the heart of this internationally regarded Masters programme, you’ll develop research and practice-based design solutions to respond to a demanding industry and rapidly changing society.

Whether your background is in design or in another discipline, you’ll develop, test and evaluate innovative design solutions in real-life scenarios. You’ll gain first-hand experience of current needs and trends across a range of sectors, and focus on a large-scale design project within one of the specialisms offered (see the ‘Specialisms’ tab).

Taught by diverse staff with internationally recognised profiles in research and practice, you’ll build an interdisciplinary approach to design in a stimulating environment, while being exposed to and involved in cutting-edge research. You’ll gain practical and research skills to prepare you for a wide range of careers.

Specialist facilities

We have plenty of facilities to help you make the most of your time at Leeds. We have an impressive range of resources that you can use to develop your projects.

At the top of our research facilities we have the world’s most sophisticated mobile eye-tracking glasses, which are used to understand how users interact with design (see more information at http://www.tobiipro.com). Other excellent research facilities are our EEG equipment (electroencephalography) to understand how users interact with the world, and our colour analysis/prediction lab.

We also house the M&S Company Archive including documents, advertising, photos, films, clothing and merchandise from throughout Marks & Spencer’s history. ULITA, an archive of international textiles, is also housed on campus and collects, preserves and documents textiles and related areas from around the world. You can make appointments to view items, but it also has an online catalogue where you can explore the major collections.

You’ll also be able to develop your practice in well-equipped studios and purpose-built computer clusters so that you can build your skills on both PC and Mac. There is also a computer-aided design (CAD) suite with access to the latest design software, and some of the latest design technology, such as digital printing, screen printing, 3D printing, and laser cutting.

Course content

In Semester 1 you’ll study a set of compulsory modules that will allow you to develop a range of research, conceptual and practical design skills and tools to lay the foundations for the rest of the programme. You’ll have the chance to learn through case studies, practical exercises and work on briefs encompassing all specialisms offered.

In Semester 2 you’ll have a choice of optional modules that focus on current trends in design practice and research. These optional modules will give you the opportunity to work on live projects from industry and/or live research projects being conducted in the School of Design. You’ll work on group and/or individual projects to explore more specific and advanced skills and tools in your areas of interest.

In Semester 2 you’ll also choose and develop a specialist project in which the tools and skills learnt in Semester 1 are applied. Projects can be developed in a wide range of topics that suit your interests and career ambitions. These include: Branding Design, Digital and Interactive Design, Information Design, Instructional Design, Graphic and Visual Communication Design, Service Design, and Typographic Design.

In Semester 3 you can choose one of two pathways: 1) Continue with your specialist design project, develop it at a professional level and apply it in a real-life context (with suitable users) for evaluation; 2) Produce an independent research dissertation based around a relevant field or topic within the specialisms offered.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

In addition to the compulsory modules listed below, for your final project you will choose to do either: - Design Prototyping and Evaluation (40 credits) or - Design Dissertation (40 credits).

  • Digital Design Practice 20 credits
  • Research Methods for Design 20 credits
  • Design Thinking 20 credits
  • Design Principles and Applications 10 credits
  • Design Research and Integration 40 credits

Optional modules

You will select two modules from the list of optional modules below.

  • Branding Design in Context 15 credits
  • Information and Instructional Design 15 credits
  • Digital and Interactive Design Solutions 15 credits
  • Service Design Innovation 15 credits
  • Graphic and Typographic Design 15 credits

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

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

Learning and teaching

You’ll be taught and guided by a diverse team of staff who are leaders in their fields, with a wide variety of research interests and years of experience as design practitioners.

We use a range of teaching and learning methods so you can benefit from their expertise. These may include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, group learning and meetings with your tutor or supervisor. However, independent study is crucial to this degree, as it allows you to develop your skills and explore your own ideas.

Assessment

Depending on the modules you choose you’ll be assessed by different methods. They’ll include individual and group projects, project proposals and reports, presentations and reflective reports.

Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with a range of design skills using different media, as well as allowing you to hone your specialist skills in an area of your choice. It will also equip you with advanced skills in research, analysis, teamwork, presentation and communication that will be valuable in a range of careers.

You’ll be well prepared for a career in design practice. You can set up your own freelance business or take up a key position in a design studio, agency or organisation.

You can also work in cross-disciplinary fields applying your design skills to business, marketing, applied psychology, healthcare communication, retail, government, the public or private sector, etc.

Many of our students also choose to continue benefiting from our cutting-edge and frontier research by doing a PhD and following a research and/or academic career.



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This innovative programme fuses design with the concepts and principles of advertising, allowing you to develop a range of skills to thrive in a fast-paced and competitive industry. Read more

This innovative programme fuses design with the concepts and principles of advertising, allowing you to develop a range of skills to thrive in a fast-paced and competitive industry.

Taught by the School of Design and Leeds University Business School – one of the world’s top 100 business schools – you’ll take a creative approach to solving communication problems in advertising and branding. You’ll develop your own practice, collaborate with other designers and gain a deeper awareness of how design can convey a brand message, using a range of software and techniques.

At the same time, you’ll study ideas, research and theories in advertising to explore the strategic backdrop of brand communications from the blurring of markets to the ways in which digital technology, such as social media and mobile, have changed the relationship between brands and consumers.

You’ll mix creativity and innovation with advertising strategy to gain a valuable range of knowledge and skills.

Specialist facilities

We have plenty of facilities to help you make the most of your time at Leeds. You’ll 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’s also a computer-aided design (CAD) suite 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.

We also have 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 branding and advertising over time.

Course content

You’ll begin to develop your understanding of advertising principles from the start of the programme, when you’ll study consumer behaviour and explore how brands can adopt these different theories to inform their marketing strategies.

Focusing on contemporary issues, you’ll look at the process of strategic marketing communications and how strategic marketing works on the global stage. At the same time, you’ll study practical design modules where you’ll learn to visualise creative communications ideas and present your proposals to clients, as well as considering how compelling text within an advertising concept can influence consumers.

In Semester 2 you’ll build on this foundation by exploring integrated communication, developing creative concepts that can work for a range of different media outlets, as well as the broader aspects of campaign planning, print, radio and TV ad production and the ethics of advertising campaigns.

You’ll think about reach, frequency and the often complex question of return on investment and even choose from specialist modules on topics such as social media, sales promotion, brand management and direct marketing.

At the end of the programme you’ll submit a substantial project that demonstrates the knowledge and skills that you’ve gained. You can either complete a dissertation – an independent research project on a related topic of your choice – or develop a communication campaign concept of your own.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Visual Communication 15 credits
  • Persuasion 15 credits
  • Integrated Communication 30 credits
  • Consumer Behaviour 15 credits
  • Marketing Communications 10 credits
  • Advertising 15 credits
  • Global Strategic Marketing 15 credits
  • Media Planning and Strategy 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Creative Direction 35 credits
  • Dissertation - Advertising and Design 35 credits
  • Brand Management and Corporate Identity 15 credits
  • Sales Promotion and Sponsorship 15 credits
  • Social Media Marketing 15 credits
  • Direct, Digital and Interactive Marketing 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Advertising and Design MA in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching methods that reflects the diversity of the programme, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions, online learning and group sessions. Independent study is also an important element of this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills as well as your design specialisms.

Assessment

You’ll also be assessed by a variety of methods. Obviously these will include your own creative work as you develop campaign concepts in your taught design modules, but also presentations, reflective logs, reports, group projects and written assignments.

Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills to succeed in a dynamic and expanding sector.

You’ll be a confident strategist, planner, account executive or creative advertiser or designer who also understands the relationship between advertising, brand development and consumers. In addition, you’ll have important skills such as oral and written communication, presentations, research, analysis and commercial awareness.

We’ve designed the programme to prepare you for a range of opportunities working in the creative industries, traditional advertising and design agencies, digital and social media. Alternatively, you may want to explore different elements of advertising and design at PhD level.

Students from this programme have successfully gained employment at both traditional and non-traditional advertising agencies all over the world, and in a wide variety of roles including brand management, marketing and more.

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 MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship combines traditional business practice with specialised tools, techniques, approaches and case studies unique to the music and entertainment industries. Read more
The MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship combines traditional business practice with specialised tools, techniques, approaches and case studies unique to the music and entertainment industries.

Modules in Creative Music Management, Economics, Lean Business Planning, Marketing, Legal and Business Affairs, Live Event Management and New Media Technology combine generic industry practice with a specialised focus on the music and entertainment industries.

The programme is designed to prepare students for a future as label owners, publishers, managers, promoters, new technology pioneers and creative business specialists and is jointly delivered by UWTSD and Tileyard Studios. Tileyard Studios is the largest professional music community in Europe featuring 82 recording studios and 110 entertainment businesses, based in King’s Cross, London.‌‌‌

Course Overview

The MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship is delivered on the UWTSD London campus and at Tileyard Studios, King’s Cross, London. Tileyard Studios is the largest professional music community in Europe featuring 82 recording studios, 110 entertainment businesses and the new Tileyard Education Centre.

The programme is designed to prepare students for a future as label owners, publishers, managers, promoters, new technology pioneers and creative business specialists. In addition to the UWTSD London Campus facilities and resources, Tileyard Studios provides students with direct access to more than 1000 creative industry entrepreneurs, while developing cutting edge thinking and insight into the management and growth of independent record labels, music publishing, artist management, promotion, marketing and new technology entrepreneurship.

The course provides a critical understanding of music and entertainment management and organisations in a global context both on and offline. The core of the programme focuses on digital and independent entrepreneurial skillsets and practice as well as more traditional business methods within the context of the new mixed media economy. The course consist of six taught modules in Part I and an industry-related major business project in Part II.

Alongside specialised modules in Creative Music Management, Marketing, Live Event Management and New Media Technology, MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship students will develop a major business plan project for presentation to a panel of seed and incubation investors and business angels, curated by Tileyard Studios, seeking to invest in new creative business opportunities and IP.

Students will have access to the new Tileyard Education Centre featuring a professional recording studio, audio-visual tech lab and writing production rooms where they can collaborate with other creative MA students such as Commercial Songwriting and Production.

This industry-centric course also includes regular, large-scale industry networking events, held at Tileyard Studios in partnership with Notting Hill Music and sponsors, an unrivalled masterclass series, a one-to-one electronic mentoring program, work-based learning projects and access to the annual calendar of industry-centric events held on site at Tileyard Studios.

Modules

-Creative Music Management
-Economics, Planning and Finance
-Legal and Business Affairs
-Entertainment Marketing
-New Technology in Music and Creative Entertainment
-Live Music and Event Management
-Creative Business Project

Key Features

-Industry-led, academically robust programme
-Direct involvement and access to industry networks
-One-to-one contact mentoring and supervision
-Co-learning opportunities with other students and creative practitioners to support discussion, sharing of ideas, innovation and practice
-Access to academic and professional facilities and resources

Assessment

The course assessment consist of a range of coursework including portfolios, essay, reports and presentations.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the MA Music Industry Entrepreneurship can expect to find employment with or set up in business as:
-An independent (or major) record label
-A music publisher
-An artist / composer / songwriter producer manager
-A live agent or agency
-A live music or entertainment promoter
-A live events venue, company, promoter or music / cultural festival organiser
-A creative designer for music and entertainment
-A music marketing consultant or agency
-A music PR consultant or agency
-A new media creative entertainment business, platform, application or online community
-An independent or national TV broadcaster
-An independent or studio film production company
-A games development company
-A music synchronization business
-A creative songwriter / producer / artist brand / entrepreneur
-A lifestyle, entertainment or youth focused brand or agency
-A music and entertainment education practitioner or business
-A music legal, licensing and/or music accounting business
-A music product and merchandise creator, licensor or platform

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