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Course content

Would you like to improve your career prospects, start your own business or develop further specialist design skills?

Offering the perfect blend of theory and practice in the context of business and society, the MA Design course will enable you to focus on your own specialist area of design practice, in disciplines such as 3D design, fashion communication, fashion design, fashion marketing, graphic design, communication design, service design, interaction design, industrial design, interior design, 3D design and transportation design.

Developed specifically for those with a design background or relevant qualification, you will undertake a series of taught modules to develop your knowledge and practical skills, before competing a final project or thesis around your chosen specialism.

In addition to the taught aspect of this course, you will also have the opportunity to undertake a series of collaborative projects with industry and, where possible, field trips to collaborative companies or exhibitions to further enhance your learning experience.

Learn From The Best

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 focus on strategic innovation, performance products and service design.

Teaching And Assessment

This MA Design course incorporates practice-based learning that is informed by contemporary and contextual influences and founded on your own personal aims and professional direction.

The first two semesters of this course will focus on developing your core skills through the completion of four modules: design thinking, design practice, direction and experimentation.

Teaching is delivered via a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials, which are assessed by coursework and design projects. You will also undertake 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 a final project or thesis to demonstrate all of the skills you have acquired on this course. This will be undertaken under the supervision of your dedicated tutor who will provide advice and guidance at all stages.

Module Overview
DE7001 - Design Thinking (Core, 30 Credits)
DE7002 - Design Process (Core, 30 Credits)
DE7003 - Project / Thesis (Core, 60 Credits)
DE7004 - Design Practice 1: Professional Direction (Core, 30 Credits)
DE7005 - Design Practice 2 : Experimentation (Core, 30 Credits)
EF0126 - E.S.A.P. in FADSS Level 7 (Optional, 0 Credits)

Learning Environment

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.

Research-Rich Learning

The MA Design 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 course 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 strategic design and innovation, performance product design or service design, as well as engaging with traditional disciplines such as fashion and industrial design.

Give Your Career An Edge

This course will allow you to enhance your practical skills and knowledge in a specialist area of design.

You will work on live industry projects that will enhance your CV and personal development through collaboration with those currently working within this dynamic industry. Some of the recent examples of industry projects include work on oral healthcare with Procter and Gamble, wearable technology projects with the CPI National Centre for Printable Electronics, person-centred healthcare services with the Academic Health Science Network and the development of innovative kitchenware with Lakeland.

You will also develop your business and employability skills, in addition to achieving a master’s level qualification in this discipline.

Your Future

Once you have completed the MA Design course you will possess the skills and ability to make an impact in the design industry, whether you are just starting out in your career or looking to enhance your professional development.

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 enhance promotion prospects in some professions, in addition to providing enhanced opportunities for management level roles.

This course will also provide you with the knowledge and experience to be able to set up your very own design company, in addition to providing a strong foundation for progression to PhD studies.

Visit the Design MA page on the Northumbria University website for more details!

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