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Design (MA)


Course Description

Do you want to design innovative products in a sustainable way? Or to imagine and plan the spaces and places of tomorrow? The UK leads the world in the creative industries and we offer the only MA Design course in the country that allows you to specialise in a key area that’s right for you. Join us to foster and focus your skills in a fast-paced environment. Choose to progress into the design industry, further study or personal creative practice. Design is evolving. Play your part in its future.

Key features

Foster and develop the skills you need to succeed on this interactive course that we designed with industry leaders, to make sure you leave ready to go straight into the workplace as a designer. Many of our students reach positions where they influence design policy in companies from China to Madagascar, Budapest to Bristol.

Work with public bodies on real-world practice scenarios. In the past we have worked with organisations including Plymouth City Council, The Eden Project, Timber Intent and NHS Trusts.

Access exclusive talks and insights from industry leaders including Sir Kenneth Grange and from our successful alumni working in some of the world’s prestigious design studios.

Experiment in your own, personal studio, open until midnight, seven days a week. Take advantage of our equipment hub, staffed by approachable technicians. Here you’ll find image and sound equipment and studios, digital labs, Computer Numerical Control (CNC), a steam bending wood workshop and digital making, including a ceramics 3D printer.

Benefit from our links to industry leaders including the Royal Society of Arts and the Chartered Society of Designers.

Build an understanding of the relationship between design, industry and the public for the 21st century. Examine the delicate balance between the needs of consumerism and the problem of diminishing resources. From new technologies and markets to the impact of global politics and the wider sustainability agenda, you’ll analyse and critically evaluate factors influencing design today.

Contribute to our community of students from different backgrounds and nationalities. Share ideas and collaborate within this diverse melting pot of talent as you study your three core modules and draw on the collective experience as you progress to your final project.
Be inspired by teaching staff who are internationally renowned design practitioners bringing you the very latest thinking and allowing you the room to experiment and find practical solutions to today’s design problems.

Distinguish yourself from the competition with the only MA Design course in the UK to offer a choice of four exit awards so you can plot a solid course to your future career. Explore the broad, multiple disciplines of design practice before choosing a specialist focus on sustainable design, spatial design, product design, or maker and materials.

Course details

Study three core modules before selecting a specialist focus leading to your final major project. Opt for a one year full-time programme or study part time over two years. All modules are assessed through coursework, so there are no exams. The core modules are: creative processes - fast-paced mini projects take you through the design cycle from inspiration to innovation, with users at the centre; design thinking - examines products in a broader social, cultural, economic and technical context; design and business - teaches you project management techniques and communication skills with an industry-led design assignment; and the final project - underpins specialist independent study with research, analysis and critical reflection.

If you would like an informal chat about MA Design please contact the programme leader at

For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualification and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office at .

Visit the Design (MA) page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A first or upper second (2:1) degree with honours or an equivalent professional qualification, and an ordinary or foundation degree, a higher national or university diploma, accompanied by substantial experience in an appropriate field. Provide a portfolio of work for discussion at interview. If you have overseas qualifications, you can check their compatibility with the UK equivalent through NARIC. If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required (minimum IELTS score is normally 6.5).

Course Fees

Full-time: UK/EU: £5,660, International: £13,250, Islands: £13,250; Part-time (per 10 credits): UK/EU: £314, International: £750, Islands: £750


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