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This practice based course would suit those who wish to re-examine the direction of their previous studies or wish to explore some area of design related personal interest in depth. Applicants are required to produce an initial statement of intent which broadly outlines their intended programme of study usually (but not exclusively) concerning further exploration of a topic within the area of 3D Design or Visual Communication. Informal enquiries are welcomed and may be followed by an advisory interview to assist in the determination of this if required. Entry is generally through an undergraduate degree in an Art and Design discipline, although we encourage applicants with other relevant professional experience.


Semester 1
-Design Practice 1
-Research for Creative Design Practice 1

Semester 2
-Advanced Practice 2
-Research for Creative Design Practice 2/3

Semester 3
-Design Practice 3
-Postgraduate Project/Dissertation


The course is essentially a practice based programme, so it is likely you will spend the majority of your time working in either craft workshops or design studios. Students taking a more theoretical approach are likely to spend more time researching, or away from the University examining design led commercial or manufacturing activity. The programme is made up of 'practice' modules, supported by core modules - Research and Creative Perspectives, providing the theoretical and contextual underpinning to each student's programme. These modules are delivered through a programme of lectures, seminars and tutorials and provide a forum for exploring and debating the contexts of contemporary design and craft practice.

Both practical and theoretical elements of the course will be assessed at the end of each module. At the final assessment point at the end of the course, students have the opportunity of putting on a public exhibition of their work.


UCLan’s MA Design course exists within the framework of the University modular scheme. Full-time study is based over 3 semesters, with 3 modules studied each semester. Each semester comprises a double 'practice' module and a single 'theoretical' module - Research and Creative Perspectives. Part-time study is based over 5 semesters. The programme concludes with the double Practice module - Final Project Realisation, bringing together all practical and theoretical aspects of the course, through a major investigation into a particular personal area of study, leading to final assessment presentation / public exhibition. The postgraduate dissertation allows students to develop a major piece of theoretical work supporting their practice. Throughout the duration of the course students are required to keep an ongoing 'Reflective Diary' that is used to record all lines of enquiry, development of ideas, critical reflection and analysis.

The Northern School of Design offers an MA in Design by full-time or part-time study. The course encompasses a diverse range of craft and design activities across the areas of Visual Communication and Applied Arts, and places particular emphasis on 'practice', whilst also exploring the academic issues that underpin designing and making. The course aims to develop students' intellectual and imaginative power through a programme of study which forms cohesion between theory and practice. Whilst offering graduates, practising artists and designers the opportunity to develop their individual interests, the course will be made up of students representing a range of subject disciplines. This opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences is seen as a key element of the study programme.

The MA is a taught programme with one day's tuition per week (currently a Friday) supplemented by private study by negotiation. A special feature of the course is the unique blend of practice and theory which underpins the student projects. The course is taught by tutors who are themselves professional design practitioners and play a prominent role in the University's research activities. We have well equipped studios and workshops, supported by highly skilled technical staff. Supporting the craft workshops and design studios, we have excellent suites of high spec computers for CAD, assignment writing and image manipulation. The University has excellent library / study facilities with a very extensive collection of design books and periodicals, together with many e-resources and support.

Visit the Design - MA/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of Central Lancashire website for more details!




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