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Master in Arts Design

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  • Entry requirements
    Normally, applicants are expected to posses an honours degree in a related subject area. Mature students may be allowed non-standard entry if they can demonstrate a long-standing involvement in the subject. They may also be asked to provide evidence of their suitability for the course such as supporting portfolio/images – and each application will be dealt with on its individual merits. It is helpful if applicants prepare an outline proposal detailing the option(s) chosen and the focus of the investigation they wish to undertake prior to interview, to ensure that the University is able to offer appropriate support if the application is successful.
  • Academic Title
    Master in Arts Design
  • Course description
    MA Design is a practice-led programme with options in:

     Entrepreneurship – the development
         of a commercially viable project*
       • Graphic Communication
       • Contemporary Craft
       • Lens Media
       • Interactive/Screen-Based Graphics
       • Fashion
       • Product
       • Furniture
       • Interior
       • Interdisciplinary     Student Work - Calligraphy

    *MA Design 'Entrepreneurship' offers an opportunity for those aspiring to establish their own creative business or practice.

    The programme encourages intellectual investigation largely through practical studies with a specific project focus. The University provides a nurturing environment with opportunities to develop the relevant creative, intellectual and technical skills which are essential to enter contemporary design practice at a high level.

    Students plan their own scheme of work with the support of a personal mentor who oversees their progress through the course. However, it is entirely possible that a number of tutors may give support during the study, according to the project undertaken. This allows for a very flexible approach and a wide variety of outcomes, tailored to the individual practitioner.

    Students are encouraged to embrace new challenges and enhance both their design practice and their subject knowledge. An innovative, individual approach is encouraged.

    Key features

    This course is largely an individually negotiated programme of study with physical resources and staff expertise provided by the University. A ‘planning phase’ and some key taught elements are incorporated early in the programme. The first 14–15 weeks consists of a series of lectures/seminars which introduce the course and provides a firm foundation for successfully managing the programme as a whole. The majority of the programme centres on a major practical project tailored to the aspirations of the individual student. A written assignment is required for the Master’s.

    The course structure is based on units of study and the accumulation of ‘level M’ credits allows for exit points with alternative qualifications:

        • Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) – 60 credits
        • Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) – 120 credits
        • Master’s (MA) – 180 credits.


    Student Work - CraftModes of study

    This course is designed with flexibility in mind and although it is possible to study full-time for one year, it is envisaged that many students would wish to study part-time and a number of modes to suit the individual are available.

    In addition, study away from the centre is possible for the Diploma and Master’s stage of the programme provided that contact with the mentor is maintained.

    Learning Resources

    The facilities include some of the latest creative development technologies such as rapid prototyping, 3D printing, 3D digitisation, printers, scanners and industry standard graphics, web, CAD and 3D modelling software. This resource is designed to develop, test, simulate and visualise the commercial potential of new ideas and opportunities. The MA studio is close to all campus resources.

    Career opportunities

    In a competitive industry such as design, a Master’s qualification is a distinct advantage to job applicants and in many cases may be a mandatory requirement, particularly for posts in government and education. The programme enables individuals to further their own special interests and career objectives, deepening their understanding of their subject and perhaps providing a focus to their professional activities.

    All students will gain confidence in their enhanced subject knowledge and Master’s students who are interested in pursuing research at a higher level benefit greatly from the demands placed on them by the self-managed components of the MA Design programme in preparation for MPhil/PhD study.

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