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Sustainable Design MA


Course Description

Choose Kingston's Sustainable Design MA

This course is aimed at designers, creative workers and other specialists who want to direct their practice towards progressive sustainability and social agendas. It focuses on the value of design as a vehicle for addressing social and ecological concerns in both developed and developing world settings. It will equip you with the knowledge, capabilities and confidence to challenge the status quo by applying design thinking to the generation of design-led interventions for a sustainable future.

Key features

The overarching course philosophy, based on an emphasis on research, methodology and design thinking, allows individual and personal concerns to be explored through focused study in sustainable design.

The course takes an inter-disciplinary approach to the study and practice of sustainable design, by recruiting students from all creative and design backgrounds and beyond.

What will you study?

The Sustainable Design MA is directed towards the goal of creating a more sustainable and equitable society. You will explore innovative and practical ways to help realise those visions, emphasising design, creativity, empathy, innovation and activism.

The course encourages critical thinking about the social and ecological agendas it addresses. The course is design-based, but not confined to design practice - it includes a significant amount of theoretical and contextual studies. It is possible to choose a dissertation option for the final major project.

You will be taught by leading academics and practitioners in sustainable design, social design, social innovation, participatory design, strategic design, service design, design-led innovation, and related topics. The course incorporates collaboration with partners such as Design Council, Futerra, Greengaged, Sorrell Foundation, ThinkPublic and Uscreates.

Assessment

Design project work, live projects, research project folders, 5,000-word critical essay, and a major design research project.

Course structure

The Sustainable Design MA course is part of the Design School's postgraduate programme. The structure – shared with students from Communication Design MA, Product + Space MA, and Fashion MA – enables you to explore your individual specialist interests in sustainable design within an integrative learning environment that provides a comprehensive understanding of the value and role of interdisciplinary methods and ways of working. The influences and impact of thinking from other related design subjects on your own specialist study is an important aspect of the identity and the community of interdisciplinary practice at masters level in the Design School.

This structure is designed to help progress and develop your independent learning, encouraging you to construct and explore projects concerned with areas of particular personal interests. The overarching course philosophy, based upon an emphasis on research, methodology and design thinking, allows individual and personal concerns to be explored through focused study in sustainable design.

The two shared modules of The Design School's Postgraduate Framework both commence with a symposium, in which high-profile external speakers present their work and contribute to a debate on a topic of relevance to all courses in the Framework.

Design for Social Innovation can also be taken as a stand-alone module.

Teaching block one

Design for Social Innovation
Designing Research

Teaching block two

Sustainable Design Principles, Perspectives and Practices
Creative Futures

Teaching block three

Major Project

English language requirements

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

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

(Student Profile)

Ann Brown

Why Kingston?

I chose Kingston University because of the MA course, it is a relatively niche subject in the UK and yet the course description seemed to speak directly to me, it caters for exactly what I was looking for. Upon visiting the university, I liked the community feel of Knights Park campus, it feels more personal and creative than other university design facilities. The small course size was also an attraction for me.

What inspires you?

I am very much inspired by the power and reach of music and have a love for indie folk in particular, even more so if it's live! I am also incredibly inspired by experiencing and learning about other cultures and how incredibly diverse they are.

What next?
Returning to design education as a mature student was very much about me re-discovering where my design thinking skills can play a more valuable role in society, I'm still on this path of discovery. I would like to learn more from other cultures, so the next step is out of the UK to practice design thinking in unconventional settings, where to, I'm not sure yet.

(Student Profile)

Ann Brown

I chose Kingston University because of the MA course, it is a relatively niche subject in the UK and yet the course description seemed to speak directly to me, it caters for exactly what I was looking for. Upon visiting the university, I liked the community feel of Knights Park campus, it feels more personal and creative than other university design facilities. The small course size was also an attraction for me.


Scholarships

Entry Requirements

Good honours degree, or equivalent, in a design or design-related subject, and/or relevant professional experience. Portfolio of design / creative work – ideally showing thoughtful work across several fields or disciplines. Non-designers are eligible to apply for this course, in which case the portfolio of design / creative work should be replaced by a portfolio of relevant professional practice or project work from other fields. Convincing personal statement about why you want to study this course, and what themes or topics most interest you; evidence of real-world or professional experience that informs your choice and motivates you.

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