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Through this course, you will gain new insights within the field of product design. You will develop an enhanced understanding of design practice, learn more about design and research methodologies and explore how emerging digital technologies can be applied to design. At the same time, you will deepen your knowledge of business, global markets and sustainability.

The School of Design has gained international recognition for its design and research activities and its undergraduate and postgraduate success. Our expert academics and design practitioners are uniquely placed to help you to broaden and deepen your understanding of design.

Studying a variety of core and elective module choices, will allow you to create a personal and distinct programme of learning that is focused on your individual interests and ambitions. These studies culminate in the final term where you will undertake a comprehensive design project within your own specialised area of product design.

Modules

Core modules:

Research Methods (Compulsory)

Teaches you a range of conceptual and practical research skills, such as questionnaire design and interview techniques. As part of this module, you will formulate your major project proposal, specifying your aims, objectives, research methods and expected outcomes. You will also learn how to undertake the literature review for your major project.

Creative Design Studio   

Introduces you to the overarching design process. You will study design method theories, advances in technology, concept development, prototyping techniques, design testing and user-centred (or inclusive) design. The module will see you developing project management skills and investigating ethical and environmental design issues. As part of a multidisciplinary team, you will also work on live design projects

Action Research Laboratory   

Enables you to develop your major project design work while exploring creative and innovative design and research methods. You will produce a specification report (based on primary research) and a portfolio of investigative design development work that shows an individual creative response

Major Project 

Following on from research undertaken in term two, and with expert tutor guidance, you will develop a major design project in term three. With the support of design tutors and technical staff, the module requires prototyping, testing, technical specification and design presentation as its final submission.

Optional modules:

Business Planning for the Creative Entrepreneur

Develops your business knowledge and planning skills enabling you to identify the potential for a new product or service. You will study the key issues in starting a business and covers topics such as business plans, leadership, investment and risk management.

Design for Retail

Covers all aspects of in-store retail design, including product, environment, technology, communication and service. You will also examine brand perception, buyer behaviour and engagement with the retail experience.

Design as a Strategic Business Tool

Looks at how design itself can be the driving force behind the strategic management and development of digital design and creative businesses. You will audit the use of design, design management and design thinking in the creative industries and business.

Design Futures 

Introduces you to new design practises and links them to the emerging digital technologies that have been developed to aid, consolidate and improve the entire design process. These include data capturing techniques, reverse engineering, and additive manufacturing

Global Markets: Designing businesses for international growth

Examines the key issues involved in developing new international markets and the role of the design manager and entrepreneur in enabling design and creative businesses to compete effectively in the global economy.

Design, Innovation and Sustainability

This module takes an integrated approach to the complex issues surrounding sustainability and the role of design and innovation as a driver for change

Service Design

Examines the role of design in the service industries. You will pay particular attention to ethical, political, social and ecological concerns, all of which require approaches that focus on design and the designers’ role in maintaining sustainability.

Technology for Design

Provides a platform for designers from various fields to explore a range technology and potentially help to advance their knowledge and practice in this area. This module recognises that digital technology and the development of new equipment, materials, artefacts and devices are all growing exponentially.

Teaching

Assessment methods include report submissions, individual/group oral and design-based presentations as well as a major design project submission comprising development, technical specification, prototyping and testing elements. 

The School of Design’s close-knit community of postgraduate students and staff creates a supportive learning environment for design students from around the world.

All postgraduate module teaching staff are involved in research and commercial activities that shape the curriculum. Within the product design subject area, the team maintain the currency of their modules and design project teaching through involvement in consultancy, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships as well as noteworthy research activities.

The teaching staff have particular expertise in additive manufacture, new product development and inclusive design.

In your first two terms you will normally attend around 12 hours of timetabled taught sessions including lectures, tutorials and workshop and studio sessions each week, and be expected to undertake at least 23 hours of independent study each week. Your third term will be pre-dominantly self-directed (including meetings with your supervisor), during which you can expect to undertake 35 hours of independent study each week

Part-time study is normally undertaken on a half-time basis.

Graduate careers

Our graduates are employed in product and display design and manufacturing across Europe and the Far East. For example, recent Product Design MA student James Murray secured a job for the UK-based retail designers 4G Design while still studying for his master’s


Visit the Product Design MA page on the De Montfort University website for more details!

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