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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Programme Catalogue

MA Design

Programme code:MA-DESNUCAS code:
Duration:12 Months Method of Attendance: Full Time
Programme manager:Dr Francisco Francisco De Queiroz Contact

Total credits: 180

Entry requirements:

A bachelor undergraduate degree with a 2:1 (hons) or higher. Candidates with industry experience or a strong portfolio may be considered with a lower classification
- In a relevant Design subject. You are required to submit a portfolio of recent practical work.
- In a Non-Design subject. We will consider your application as long as you can demonstrate a real interest, enthusiasm and flair for design. You will need to submit a portfolio or demonstrate research on a relevant topic

- IELTS score to 6.5 and no element lower than 6.

School/Unit responsible for the parenting of students and programme:

School of Design

Examination board through which the programme will be considered:

School of Design

Programme specification:

This is an internationally regarded Masters programme that runs for one calendar year and responds to increasing global needs in relation to Design. It attracts students from all over the world and from a wide range of backgrounds.

Human-centred design is at the heart of the programme, and students are encouraged to use cutting-edge research methods, together with creative and innovative design approaches, to solve problems encountered in real life contexts.

This Masters programme is taught by a diverse team of staff with internationally recognised research profiles, and with vast experience as design practitioners. The programme also includes industrial and research involvement through live briefs, visiting speakers, student competitions, and the possibility of short-term placements in industry, as well as involvement in staff research.

Therefore, students will gain strong research and practical skills, widening their employment prospects and leaving them well prepared to pursue a career as designers, or go on to do a PhD and pursue a career as academics and/or researchers.

The programme leads to an MA Design and comprises four well-defined sections that have the flexibility to respond to individual student interests and career aspirations:
1. A set of compulsory modules in Semester 1 that allow students to develop a range of research, conceptual and practical design tools and skills. Students will have the chance to learn and work on short briefs encompassing all specialisms offered, which reflect the research and expertise of School staff.
2. A choice of taught modules in Semester 2 that allow students to acquire more specific and advanced skills and tools in their areas of interest.
3. A specialist project in Semester 2 in which the tools and skills learnt are applied. Projects can be developed in a range of topics, which again reflect the research and expertise of School staff.
4. In semester 3 students have two options: 1) Continue with their specialist design project, test it with suitable users, refine it and develop it to a professional level. Students will also write a paper based on their research and design development; or 2) A dissertation in which students will produce an independent research dissertation based around a relevant field or topic within the specialisms offered. Students with a high quality paper or dissertation will be encouraged to revise/adjust their work in order to submit it to an international peer-reviewed design journal for publication. This will be done after finishing their MA and in collaboration with their supervisor.

Year1 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

DESN5109MDigital Design Practice20 creditsSemester 1
DESN5150MResearch Methods for Design20 creditsSemester 1
DESN5152MDesign Thinking20 creditsSemester 1
DESN5153MDesign Principles and Applications10 creditsSemester 1
DESN5154MDesign Research and Integration40 creditsSemester 2

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study 30 credits from the following optional modules:

DESN5151MBranding Design in Context15 creditsSemester 2
DESN5155MInformation and Instructional Design15 creditsSemester 2
DESN5156MDigital and Interactive Design Solutions15 creditsSemester 2
DESN5157MGraphic and Typographic Design15 creditsSemester 2
DESN5162MColour Design15 creditsSemester 2
DESN5430MService Design Innovation15 creditsSemester 2

The optional modules listed are indicative of those available. The School reserves the right to withdraw and introduce new optional modules in line with the annual review and development of teaching within the School.

Candidates will be required to study 40 credits from the following optional modules

DESN5158MDesign Prototyping & Evaluation40 credits1 May to 31 Aug
DESN5159MDesign Dissertation40 credits1 May to 31 Aug

Last updated: 22/08/2019


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