Design, Strategy and Innovation MA

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Comments about Design, Strategy and Innovation MA - At the institution - Uxbridge - Greater London

  • Objectives
    The main aim of this unique international, multi-disciplinary course is to develop design managers and leaders as catalysts for strategic innovation and change. It combines taught modules and industrial experience through design audits and industry placements. The course is developed to create closer links between design and industry and to widen the horizons of design management students, enabling them to make informed reference to the world beyond design - to users, the market, new technology, economics, politics, law and the global environment.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements A UK first or second class Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification usually in design or a closely related creative discipline and/or industrial/management/consultancy experience. Other qualifications and relevant experience will be assessed on an individual basis.
  • Academic title
    Design, Strategy and Innovation MA
  • Course description
    Course Details

    The programme comprises core modules of theoretical and analytical subjects in areas such as innovation, creativity, teamworking and leadership. The special features include analytical design exercises, multimedia educational material, research methods, case study, design audits, and international placements.

    You will do a three phase programme:

    Phase One

    A series of four theoretical and practical modules as follows:

        * Design Research, Creativity and Innovation
          Main topics include: national and international context of design and creative enterprise; current design, marketing and branding issues; nature and types of design and design research, creativity, branding, visual thinking and communicating; influence of new technology, economics, social, environmental, sustainability, corporate governance, people management and ethical issues; evaluation of design processes and practice, innovation process tools; spectrum of methodological frameworks and tools for hard and soft problems; systems thinking, socio-technical models, cultural issues, supply chain implications; feasibility studies, design audit criteria, formulating strategies and plans; presenting verbal and visual proposals; IT based and other presentation skills, writing skills; research methods, indexes and databases, literature review, using www, hypotheses selecting statistical and OR techniques, questionnaires, surveys, formal and informal interview techniques, using and preparing case studies, scenarios, modelling and forecasting techniques; creative thinking, personal creativity, idea generation methods/stimuli, drawing and sketching, role play, virtual reality; teamwork, cross-functional collaboration, multi-disciplinary working and design leadership; aesthetics and taste, inventors, inventiveness, style leaders.

        * Design Management and Marketing 
          Main topics include: a brief history of marketing and design management thinking; definitions of marketing and design management; relationship and synergies required between designers and marketeers; differences between consumer and industrial markets; consumer role and influence; buying behaviour; market segmentation techniques, targeting and positioning; definition, role and difference between products and services in a marketing context; pricing strategies; distribution methods; role of branding and promotion; classical and leading contemporary market research techniques; implication and challenges of international marketing; case studies.; project management principles, design process stages and quality control.

        * Branding Strategy
          Main topics include: a brief history of branding origins; case studies of classic brand campaigns; leading contemporary research in design and branding; relationship and influence of design, corporate image, corporate identity; brand communication, product or service development, brand naming, brand identity, strategy formulation; measuring effectiveness, brand valuation; economic and ethical issues, relationship to corporate strategy, marketing and advertising; managing the branding process; formulating future scenarios.

        * Design Futures
          Main topics include: futures forecasting; forecasting techniques; influences of global and national economy; organisational change issues; social and ethical issues, influence of technology, marketing and branding; innovation drivers; key design research findings.

    These modules will provide a thought provoking and challenging underpinning to your subsequent specialist project in term two.

    Phase Two

    You will carry out a specialist project under academic supervision engaging closely with industry and / or the design profession. This project will enable you to gain valuable practical experience and address real design and related challenges. You will be encouraged and taught how to use your personal creativity and problem solving skills to a high professional level.

    Running concurrently will be the Design Futures seminar programme in which you will engage with university staff and eminent external visitors to debate contemporary issues and "cutting-edge" developments in design.

    Phase Three

    In the third term you will prepare a dissertation in which you address one or more of the important issues identified during your project.

    Recent examples of dissertations by students taking this course include:

        * Design organisation support for SMEs
        * Creative team management
        * Design strategy for intelligent homes

    With the help of your specialist tutor you will reflect on your process of learning and show how you will use your knowledge and skills to formulate strategies, plans and implementation recommendations for the effective use of design in organisations. Part time study is spread over three years.

    At the end of the course you should be able to:

        * Communicate and demonstrate the potential value of design
        * Show expertise in your chosen specialism
        * Critically evaluate the relationship of design, creativity, innovation and enabling technologies
        * Show personal initiative in addressing challenging issues relevant to industry and other organisations and / or the design profession
        * Enhance your career


    Former graduates now work in key positions in such prestigious organisations as BAA plc, Tesco, Daewoo and Herman Miller; also in leading design consultancies and education. The course prepares you for work in the design field or for other roles in the emergent creative economy.

    Student placements and design audits have been carried out in the following typical major companies and corporations; Grange, Wolff DIms, British Airways, Xerox Europe, HSBC Bank, Black and Decker, IDEG and Hasbro UK.

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