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Course content

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.

Employability

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.

Project-based course

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.

Research-led expertise

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.

Course structure

FULL-TIME STRUCTURE

Semester one

• project 1 • theory supporting practice

Semester two

• project 2 • negotiated project

Semester three

• major project

Semester four – MFA students only

• MFA project

PART-TIME STRUCTURE

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

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. 

Employability

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.


Visit the Design (Interaction) MA/MFA page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!

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