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Design, Innovation & Brand Management (MA)

Course Description

UCA Epsom

Our MA Design, Innovation & Brand Management course gives you the opportunity to study a combined curriculum that will significantly improve your professional and managerial capabilities.

Our course encourages you to consider the value of branding in today's competitive global environment, where organisations continue to compete in overcrowded markets. As consumers become more sophisticated and the plethora of products more similar, the need to differentiate through emotional attachment has become increasingly important.

Have a question? Just ask us - http://www.uca.ac.uk/ask-uca/

Student work


Course overview

The key to successful brand development is an understanding of its synergistic relationship with innovation. The popular view has been that branding is connected with logos, advertising and manipulation, whilst innovation is to do with more process-orientated development.

For us, branding is about delivering a rewarding experience to customers, while innovation is about an organisational effort aimed at differentiating a company through original value creation. In other words, each is inextricably linked yet individually defined.

As a student on this course, you'll benefit from working alongside students on the MA Graphic Design, MBA Creative Industries Management and MA Fashion Management & Marketing courses.

Course content

Stage 1 -

You'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. The first stage includes a range of lectures and seminars and you’ll start to explore your creative practice;

Research and Method: This unit offers a shared, common starting point for postgraduate level study through two distinct components:

1) Method: focuses on practice. In response to a brief (or a series of briefs), you'll explore research and practice appropriate to design innovation and brand management at postgraduate level. Through this brief, you'll also be inducted into the use of workshops and facilities relevant to your practice.

2) Research: designed to support and advance the project work produced during the rest of your MA study, through a developed investigation of research methods. You'll define, articulate and critically reflect upon the research concerns of your own practice during this unit, thereby underpinning and enhancing your knowledge and understanding of the chosen field of study, as well as developing your ability to communicate this in a variety of ways.

Exploratory Practice: This unit focuses on self-directed practice, in which you'll define and develop individual rationales and methods of working. Research and practice will be directed and guided by a project proposal in which you negotiate and review your practice with your tutor.

Stage 2 -

During stage two you begin developing your MA project, evaluating and testing out the aims of your proposal over a sustained period of self-directed study;

Reflection and Development: The work undertaken in this unit should build on the research questions you initiated and explored in the Exploratory Practice unit. Although you won't have concluded your research project, the work completed for this unit should be considerably more resolved and establish a clear line of inquiry - through materials, concept or context. Within this unit you may decide to undertake a number of separate 'tasks' with a coherent set of aims or a single project spread across the unit, and your work may be practical or theoretical in nature. Throughout the unit, you'll be encouraged to critically reflect on the development of your project.

Professional Practice and Creative Project Management: This unit comprises two distinct components. These components help you to evaluate and understand your practice from both professional and theoretical perspectives:

1) Professional practice: to enable and empower you to operate within the field of design, innovation and brand management, you're expected to undertake some form of professional practice during this semester, establishing external links appropriate to your subject area as agreed with your tutor.

2) Creative project management: provides you with a framework to facilitate your progression towards the Final project, by practising project management skills delivered in the unit. Two established models will form the foundation of project management. These are transferable to creative enterprise and employment, both in the commercial and public sector. Regardless of career prospects or type of goal, they embody a practical framework for setting, achieving and evaluating objectives.

Stage 3 -

In the third stage of the course, you'll apply the knowledge gained through your research to create a final body of work;

Final Project: This is the culmination of your studies and will form an exposition of the central ideas and concepts developed throughout your MA. As such, it should achieve a resolution to previous project units, and demonstrate evidence of advanced conceptual, theoretical and technical capability over an extended period of self-directed study.


Photography studios - Fully-equipped photographic studios with darkrooms, digital processing and finishing facilities and full industry-standard lighting rigs, green screen lighting and set up

Printmaking studios - Open access print studios equipped with screen and digital printing facilities, with dedicated technical support

International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Studying in the UK - http://www.uca.ac.uk/international-study/

Studying abroad - http://www.uca.ac.uk/study/study-abroad/

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

::Industry partners::

Our course greatly benefits from its location in relation to London, and from our ability to attract top industry practitioners as visiting lecturers.

You'll also have the opportunity to:

- Visit exhibitions
- Take part in conferences and industry events
- And use advanced study facilities such as the British Library and the City Business Library.


Graduates from MA Design, Innovation & Brand Management work in a variety of exciting careers such as:

- Brand and design management
- Art direction
- Marketing
- Client account handling
- Account planning
- Strategic planning.

::Further study::

You may want to undertake further study or research to specialise even more.

Your portfolio

For this course, we'll assess your written application. Potential offers will be made based on your application form, predicted qualifications, personal statement and reference. You may be invited for an Applicant Day to further discuss your application.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations - http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/student-regulations

Visit the Design, Innovation & Brand Management (MA) page on the University for the Creative Arts website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Francesca Borg

"I loved life in Epsom and the environment at UCA was brilliant. The tutors were all very encouraging and really helped to push each student to reach their potential. I’m jealous of students who are just starting out on the course as I would love to go back and start again myself!"


Entry Requirements

A good honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) or equivalent qualification in your chosen subject or a related discipline and/or Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

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