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Our MA Design will prepare you with the essential skills and knowledge to improve your career prospects, start your own business or further develop specialist design skills.

 

What is Design MA?

Offering the perfect blend of theory and practice in the context of business and society, the MA Design course will enable you to focus on your own specialist area of design practice. You will cover disciplines such as 3D design, fashion communication, fashion design, fashion marketing, graphic design, communication design, service design, interaction design, industrial design, interior design, 3D design and transportation design.

Developed specifically for those with an interest in design, and who have relevant experience, you will undertake a series of taught modules to develop your knowledge and practical skills, before completing a final project or thesis around your chosen specialism.

Why study a Masters in Design at Northumbria?

In addition to the taught aspect of this course, you will work on live industry projects that will enhance your CV and personal development through collaboration with those currently working in industry. Some recent examples of industry projects include work on oral healthcare with Procter and Gamble, wearable technology projects with the CPI National Centre for Printable Electronics, person-centred healthcare services with the Academic Health Science Network and the development of innovative kitchenware with Lakeland.

Through our expert staff and collaboration with industry, the programme trains designers to be strategic and visionary. This is accomplished by enabling you to devise a  personal development plan (PDP) to make you realise your potential and focus on your career objectives throughout the academic year and beyond.

This course will also provide you with the knowledge and experience to be able to set up your very own design company, in addition to providing a strong foundation for progression to PhD studies.


Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
1 year full-time

Department
Northumbria School of Design

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

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Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in design or a related discipline. Applicants with appropriate work experience and/or a relevant professional qualification will be considered

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

 *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

Full UK Fee: £9,250

Full EU Fee: £18,250

Full International Fee: £18,250



Scholarships and Discounts

Click here for UK, EU and International scholarship, fees, and funding information.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

Two trips are planned: in semester 1 a 2-day trip to Glasgow, in semester 2 a 1-day trip to be determined. The bulk of travel and accommodation costs are covered in your tuition fees. But you will be asked to contribute a nominal sum (typically £30–50) and during the trips incur the cost of sundries such as snacks and local transportation as well as some meals. You should allow approximately £25/day.

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

How to Apply

Please use the Apply Now button at the top of this page to submit your application.

Certain applications may need to be submitted via an external application system, such as UCAS, Lawcabs or DfE Apply.

The Apply Now button will redirect you to the relevant website if this is the case.

You can find further application advice, such as what to include in your application and what happens after you apply, on our Admissions Hub Admissions | Northumbria University



Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

DE7001 -

Design Thinking (Core,30 Credits)

You will learn concepts and principles of design thinking delivered in three knowledge portfolios; creative thinking, research principles and contemporary influences on design, these fields of knowledge are supported and informed by academic staff research specialisms.
Creative thinking methods will enable you to frame problems from multiple perspectives and synthesise new opportunities and possibilities from interrelated factors. You will develop a practical knowledge of advanced design research methods. Through contemporary influences you will learn to situate design in the contemporary world and identify the impact of external factors on your own design practice.
The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied in the context of a team project with industry or other collaborating organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of working in multi-cultural/multi-disciplinary teams. Recent industrial collaborations have included Procter and Gamble, The Centre for Process Innovation National Centre for Printable Electronics and the Academic Health Science Network.

Through this module you will learn about three fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.
You will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

More information

DE7002 -

Design Process (Core,30 Credits)

You will learn concepts, methods and principles aligned with three knowledge portfolios: Action research and reflective practice, cross cultural collaboration, innovation and enterprise. Whilst grounded in a literature review these fields of knowledge are also supported and informed by academic staff research specialisms.

You will learn about action research methods and will build your own action research process models and recording templates that you will apply in practice to facilitate your development as a reflective practitioner. In parallel you will learn about theories of enterprise and innovation and will apply this knowledge in action by exploring business models and intellectual property. You will also learn about cross-cultural collaboration by applying relevant concepts from literature whilst working in multi-cultural teams.

The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied in the context of a collaborative project with industry or other organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of working in multi-cultural/multi-disciplinary teams. Recent industrial collaborations have included projects with Lakeland, Tucano, Kitchen Craft, Thermo Fisher and the Tuke Insitute.

Through this module you will learn about three fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.
You will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

More information

DE7003 -

Project / Thesis (Core,60 Credits)

In this module you will learn to advance your Research Through Design and take a directional approach to your personal design brief.
You will develop your reflective practice and reach insights and analytical conclusions in your chosen field of study as outlined in your Personal Development Plan (PDP).
You will synthesise the learning from semesters 1 and 2 to create a Major Design Project and Thesis. These will evidence an analysis of advanced academic research, debates, and exploratory practice in the production of theories that demonstrate real world discipline specific value within an industry context.
You will be expected to take an increasingly autonomous approach to your studies at this stage in developing, embedding and clarifying personally developed research themes theories and experiences that will be realised through either;
Option 1: a focussed major design project (Component A) and written report (Component B) that will embed reflection as part of the design process
or
Option 2: a design thesis detailing your engagement with your PDP and reflection on your learning.
Your thesis will evidence your advanced design practice and written communication of theories and concepts appropriate at Masters level and relevant to both your chosen pathway (as described below) and more specifically your PDP.

MA Design/ MA Fashion Design/ MA Fashion Design: Performancewear/Womenswear/Menswear will enable you to take control of your design direction and align your own passion and motivation with the value you create for business and society. You will learn to hone your capabilities, refine the focus of your design contribution and create your ideal future professional self.

MA Design Management will give you the knowledge and tools to orchestrate design thinking and process at a strategic level in organisations. You will build a meta view of transferable design knowledge that will enable you to recognise the value of design within organisations and to provide effective leadership and management of design roles. You will learn to navigate complexity, and develop your understanding of how to build and manage organisational growth through brand, new product and service opportunities and strategic innovation.

MA Sustainable and Ethical Fashion will give you the knowledge and tools to orchestrate design thinking and process at a strategic level in organisations. You will build a meta view of transferable design knowledge that will enable you to recognise the challenges of responsible practice within the fashion industry. You will learn to navigate complexity, and develop your understanding of how to build and manage organisational growth through brand, new product and service opportunities and strategic innovation.

On completion you will have the skills and abilities to make a positive impact in the design industry, and the knowledge and experience to be able to make purposeful contribution to the world.

More information

DE7004 -

Design Practice 1: Professional Direction (Core,30 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to allow you to construct a clear direction for your Masters study by developing a reflective stance on both your design practice and your design process. By evidencing both what you do and how you do it you will demonstrate your current skills, knowledge and experience and by reflecting on both your process and your practice will construct firm foundations for the development of your Personal Development Plan (PDP).

To craft your PDP you will explore:
• Your current design practice; including as applicable where you work and what you design.
• Your skills, knowledge and experience.
• Your analysis of your strengths and weakness.
• Skills, knowledge and experience that you wish to acquire or develop.
• Ways in which you wish to develop your design process and method of practice.
• The global context for your design practice and the focus of your continued professional development within that context.
• Potential collaborators you may have identified.
• Possible sources of research.

Your PDP (whilst still fluid) will identify your aims and form the basis of your study during the programme. You will learn to articulate the value of your design intervention in the context of your future professional role.

More information

DE7005 -

Design Practice 2 : Experimentation (Core,30 Credits)

In this module you will address the on-going aims of your PDP through practical experimentation guided by action research methods and supported by your tutors and fellow students.

• You will learn to formulate design project and practice actions that enable you to engage with the aims of your PDP.
• You will further investigate your chosen research topic using advanced primary and secondary research using appropriate research methods.?
• You will analyse your research findings to grow a further understanding in the area of specialism outlined in your PDP.
• You will articulate theoretical principles and related practice in respect of personal and professional development.
• You will learn to develop theoretical constructs to guide your practice and through practice you will re-inform and develop your theoretical understanding.
• You will develop your ability to present design solutions to a professional, highly creative standard pertinent to your research focus and field of practice.
• You will learn to clearly communicate and present concepts, ideas and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences using appropriate media.

More information

YB7000 -

Academic Language Skills for Design & Fashion (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Effective reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.
• Discussing ethical issues in research, and analysing results.
• Describing bias and limitations of research.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

DE7001 -

Design Thinking (Core,30 Credits)

You will learn concepts and principles of design thinking delivered in three knowledge portfolios; creative thinking, research principles and contemporary influences on design, these fields of knowledge are supported and informed by academic staff research specialisms.
Creative thinking methods will enable you to frame problems from multiple perspectives and synthesise new opportunities and possibilities from interrelated factors. You will develop a practical knowledge of advanced design research methods. Through contemporary influences you will learn to situate design in the contemporary world and identify the impact of external factors on your own design practice.
The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied in the context of a team project with industry or other collaborating organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of working in multi-cultural/multi-disciplinary teams. Recent industrial collaborations have included Procter and Gamble, The Centre for Process Innovation National Centre for Printable Electronics and the Academic Health Science Network.

Through this module you will learn about three fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.
You will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

More information

DE7002 -

Design Process (Core,30 Credits)

You will learn concepts, methods and principles aligned with three knowledge portfolios: Action research and reflective practice, cross cultural collaboration, innovation and enterprise. Whilst grounded in a literature review these fields of knowledge are also supported and informed by academic staff research specialisms.

You will learn about action research methods and will build your own action research process models and recording templates that you will apply in practice to facilitate your development as a reflective practitioner. In parallel you will learn about theories of enterprise and innovation and will apply this knowledge in action by exploring business models and intellectual property. You will also learn about cross-cultural collaboration by applying relevant concepts from literature whilst working in multi-cultural teams.

The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied in the context of a collaborative project with industry or other organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of working in multi-cultural/multi-disciplinary teams. Recent industrial collaborations have included projects with Lakeland, Tucano, Kitchen Craft, Thermo Fisher and the Tuke Insitute.

Through this module you will learn about three fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.
You will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

More information

DE7003 -

Project / Thesis (Core,60 Credits)

In this module you will learn to advance your Research Through Design and take a directional approach to your personal design brief.
You will develop your reflective practice and reach insights and analytical conclusions in your chosen field of study as outlined in your Personal Development Plan (PDP).
You will synthesise the learning from semesters 1 and 2 to create a Major Design Project and Thesis. These will evidence an analysis of advanced academic research, debates, and exploratory practice in the production of theories that demonstrate real world discipline specific value within an industry context.
You will be expected to take an increasingly autonomous approach to your studies at this stage in developing, embedding and clarifying personally developed research themes theories and experiences that will be realised through either;
Option 1: a focussed major design project (Component A) and written report (Component B) that will embed reflection as part of the design process
or
Option 2: a design thesis detailing your engagement with your PDP and reflection on your learning.
Your thesis will evidence your advanced design practice and written communication of theories and concepts appropriate at Masters level and relevant to both your chosen pathway (as described below) and more specifically your PDP.

MA Design/ MA Fashion Design/ MA Fashion Design: Performancewear/Womenswear/Menswear will enable you to take control of your design direction and align your own passion and motivation with the value you create for business and society. You will learn to hone your capabilities, refine the focus of your design contribution and create your ideal future professional self.

MA Design Management will give you the knowledge and tools to orchestrate design thinking and process at a strategic level in organisations. You will build a meta view of transferable design knowledge that will enable you to recognise the value of design within organisations and to provide effective leadership and management of design roles. You will learn to navigate complexity, and develop your understanding of how to build and manage organisational growth through brand, new product and service opportunities and strategic innovation.

MA Sustainable and Ethical Fashion will give you the knowledge and tools to orchestrate design thinking and process at a strategic level in organisations. You will build a meta view of transferable design knowledge that will enable you to recognise the challenges of responsible practice within the fashion industry. You will learn to navigate complexity, and develop your understanding of how to build and manage organisational growth through brand, new product and service opportunities and strategic innovation.

On completion you will have the skills and abilities to make a positive impact in the design industry, and the knowledge and experience to be able to make purposeful contribution to the world.

More information

DE7004 -

Design Practice 1: Professional Direction (Core,30 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to allow you to construct a clear direction for your Masters study by developing a reflective stance on both your design practice and your design process. By evidencing both what you do and how you do it you will demonstrate your current skills, knowledge and experience and by reflecting on both your process and your practice will construct firm foundations for the development of your Personal Development Plan (PDP).

To craft your PDP you will explore:
• Your current design practice; including as applicable where you work and what you design.
• Your skills, knowledge and experience.
• Your analysis of your strengths and weakness.
• Skills, knowledge and experience that you wish to acquire or develop.
• Ways in which you wish to develop your design process and method of practice.
• The global context for your design practice and the focus of your continued professional development within that context.
• Potential collaborators you may have identified.
• Possible sources of research.

Your PDP (whilst still fluid) will identify your aims and form the basis of your study during the programme. You will learn to articulate the value of your design intervention in the context of your future professional role.

More information

DE7005 -

Design Practice 2 : Experimentation (Core,30 Credits)

In this module you will address the on-going aims of your PDP through practical experimentation guided by action research methods and supported by your tutors and fellow students.

• You will learn to formulate design project and practice actions that enable you to engage with the aims of your PDP.
• You will further investigate your chosen research topic using advanced primary and secondary research using appropriate research methods.?
• You will analyse your research findings to grow a further understanding in the area of specialism outlined in your PDP.
• You will articulate theoretical principles and related practice in respect of personal and professional development.
• You will learn to develop theoretical constructs to guide your practice and through practice you will re-inform and develop your theoretical understanding.
• You will develop your ability to present design solutions to a professional, highly creative standard pertinent to your research focus and field of practice.
• You will learn to clearly communicate and present concepts, ideas and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences using appropriate media.

More information

YB7000 -

Academic Language Skills for Design & Fashion (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Effective reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.
• Discussing ethical issues in research, and analysing results.
• Describing bias and limitations of research.

More information

Any Questions?

Our Applicant Services team will be happy to help.  They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901 or by using our Contact Form.



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We are proud to work in partnership with AccessAble to provide Detailed Access Guides to our buildings and facilities across our City, Coach Lane and London Campuses. A Detailed Access Guide lets you know what access will be like when you visit somewhere. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. All guides have Accessibility Symbols that give you a quick overview of what is available, and photographs to show you what to expect. The guides are produced by trained surveyors who visit our campuses annually to ensure you have trusted and accurate information.

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Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.

 

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