• University of Oxford Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Bristol Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Derby Online Learning Featured Masters Courses
  • Northumbria University Featured Masters Courses
  • Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH Featured Masters Courses
  • Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Southampton Featured Masters Courses
Nottingham Trent University Featured Masters Courses
Nottingham Trent University Featured Masters Courses
Coventry University Featured Masters Courses
Vlerick Business School Featured Masters Courses
University of the West of England, Bristol Featured Masters Courses
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Creative Arts & Design

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    MA 1 year full-time, MFA 21 months full-time

  • Course Type

    MA, Other

  • Course Fees

    Please visit website for more details

  • Last Updated

    21 November 2017

Course content

Programme description

Design Informatics combines Data Science with Design Thinking in a context of critical enquiry and speculation. We build a value-aware, reflective practice at the interface between data and society by combining theory and research with an open-ended process of making and hacking.

Human activity is being constantly shaped by the flow of data and the intelligences that process it, moving towards an algorithmically mediated society. Design Informatics asks how we can create products and services within this world, that learn and evolve, that are contextualised and humane. Beyond that, it asks questions about what things we should create, speculating about the different futures we might be building and the values behind them.

The central premise is that data is a medium for design: by shaping data, we shape the world around us. Data Science provides the groundwork for this, with Design Thinking underpinning reflective research through design. You will use this in working with the internet of things and physical computing, machine learning, speech and language technology, usable privacy and security, data ethics, blockchain technologies. You will connect technology with society, health, architecture, fashion, bio-design, craft, finance, tourism, and a host of other real world contexts, through case studies, individual, and collaborative projects. You will understand user experience in the wider socio-cultural context, through an agile programme of hacking, making and materialising new products and services.

Programme structure

Please be aware that the structure of the programme may change.

Throughout the programme, you will be working both individually and in teams of designers and computer scientists. Everyone will have to write code during the course, and everyone will have to make physical objects. Several courses, including the dissertation, will involve presenting the artefact, product, service, or interactive experience that you have created to the general public in a show.

In the first year, you will study:

  • Design Informatics: Histories and Futures
  • Data Science for Design (compulsory for MA/MFA, strongly recommended for MSc/ Advanced MSc)
  • Case Studies in Design Informatics 1
  • Design with Data
  • Design Informatics Project
  • 20 credits of elective courses

In Design with Data and Design Informatics Project, you are likely to work with an external partner, such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Amazon, Edinburgh City Council, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh or the National Museum of Scotland.

MSc and MA students then undertake a dissertation in the summer before graduation.

MFA and Advanced MSc students take a summer placement with a relevant digital organisation then return for a second year of study, comprising:

  • Case Studies in Design Informatics 2
  • 60 credits of elective courses
  • A dissertation

Elective courses are drawn from the Masters Programmes of the School of Informatics, Edinburgh College of Art, and Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences. Courses are typically 10 or 20 credits.

Career opportunities

This programme will put you at the cutting edge of the intersection between data science, design, and information technology, opening a host of opportunities in working with companies, charities, and the public sector. We encourage entrepreneurship. For those who wish to stay in academia, the course provides a solid foundation for a PhD in related areas.


Visit the Design Informatics (MFA/MA) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...


Enquire About This Course

Recipient: University of Edinburgh

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully




Cookie Policy    X