Interactive Media and Motion Graphics MA - University of Sunderland

Course overview

Electronic media is a fast-growing area with tremendous potential to create compelling graphics, to design for tablets and smartphones, and to develop high-impact web pages. Our Masters course gives you freedom to experiment, using one or more digital media as the main tool. You will negotiate the precise content of the course with your tutors.

During the course you will build on your existing proficiency with software for any of the following purposes: web design, multimedia, graphics, print-based design, typography or 3D modelling.

Our Design Centre is fully equipped with state-of-the-art design tools and software such as the latest releases of Adobe Creative Suite. Our technical team are on hand to offer support as you make the most of the tools and software.

At Masters level, the specialisms of tutors are an important factor. Our Department offers a wide range of research expertise, including new media art, typography and printmaking. We also host the International Research Centre for Calligraphy (IRCC) which promotes and supports the development of calligraphy both nationally and internationally.

This part-time course offers the same opportunities as our full-time Interactive Media and Graphics MA. It is spread over two years, which allows you to combine it with flexible paid work and other commitments.

If you would like a more general Design course please see MA Design Studies.

Ben and Rebecca talk about their experience as postgraduate students at the University of Sunderland:

Course content

Modules on this course include:

Interactive Media and Graphics 1 (60 Credits)

You will negotiate a ‘statement of intent’ with your tutors that will identify the topics that you intend to study and research. You can choose to specialise in a focused area or explore a number of different areas. Your studies will include aspects of creative studio practice and also contextual studies that cover your chosen area(s) and the broader field of visual communications.

Interactive Media and Graphics 2 (60 Credits)

You will either continue your studies in your chosen specialism or diversify your studies into an alternative area. You will explore the techniques and application of visual communication as it applies to electronic media and other specialist design disciplines. Practical output and theoretical contextualisation will continue to interact and build on each other. The weighting between practice and theory is flexible, allowing you to focus on your strengths.

Interactive Media and Graphics 3 (60 Credits)

In the final stage, you will produce a portfolio of creative work that has evolved from the practice and theoretical research developed up to this point. This will be supported by a dissertation or case study.

Teaching and assessment

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working. The course aims to stretch your creativity and maximise your sense of personal fulfilment.

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, critiques, workshops and practical demonstrations. These are supported by a range of guest speakers from diverse academic and industry backgrounds. You will also have high levels of contact with tutors who give regular feedback and support.

Assessment methods include your practical work with supporting reports that place the work in its academic context. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Facilities & location

Our Design Centre allows you to develop your creativity while taking advantage of state-of-the-art facilities and, importantly, your own work space. The Design Centre attracts international exhibitions and conferences, and it provides a highly simulating environment.

Facilities at the University include:

  • Digital design suites that are equipped with Macs and PCs, all with Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium
  • Software packages such as Indesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, After Effects, Flash, Processing, Maya, Toon Boom and Final Cut Pro. Our specialist technical staff, including qualified Adobe and Maya Certified Instructors, provide back-up and help you make the most of the software
  • Video and audio editing suites
  • Music technology equipment
  • 40 HD tapeless field camera systems
  • TV/radio studios

Arts and Design Library

Our Arts and Design Library has a specialist collection of over 120,000 books, CD-ROMs, videos, slides and one of the largest electronic information networks in the sector.

Journals and research

We subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date articles. Some of the most important sources for your course include:

  • Art Full Text + Art Abstracts, which is a major resource for media and arts information
  • Design and Applied Arts Index, which covers journals featuring both new designers and the development of design and the applied arts since the mid-19th century
  • British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), which provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media
  • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
  • Lexis, which provides access to legal information as well as full-text newspaper articles
  • Screen Online (BFI), which is an online encyclopaedia of British film and television, featuring clips from the vast collections of the BFI National Archive


The Design Centre

City Campus, Chester Road,
Sunderland, SR1 3SD

Entry requirements

We usually require applicants to hold a good honours degree (2:1 or above) in a design-related discipline such as graphics, illustration, digital media or three-dimensional studies.

We may also consider applicants who have relevant experience and who can demonstrate their suitability for the course.

We ask applicants to prepare a portfolio of work, which should be simply mounted and accompanied by preparatory work. Sketchbooks are an important feature of your preparatory work and should be included. Where possible, 3D and large 2D work should be photographed. Digital and screen-based work should be saved on a CD or memory stick.

If you are an international applicant, please supply your portfolio on a CD or online.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Tuition fees for part-time postgraduate students are £225 per 10 Credits.

Please note that part-time courses are not available to International students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Employment & careers

Postgraduates are highly employable and, on average, earn more than individuals whose highest qualification is an undergraduate degree. On completing this course you will be equipped for roles throughout the creative industries.

Potential roles include: multimedia designer, web designer, Motion graphics designer, digital illustrator, animator and broad-based graphic designer.

We recommend joining a professional body such as the Chartered Society of Designers, D&AD, though this is optional.

A Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751

‘Hothouse’ for do-and-learn

Our ‘Hothouse Studio’ is a graphic design studio within the Design Centre that takes on real-life projects for a variety of clients. You will work on the projects with professional and academic support from staff. It’s a great way to nurture your professionalism and entrepreneurship so that you’re prepared for the competitive world of advertising and design.

Benjamin, graduate from MA Interactive Media and Motion Graphics, talks about his experience studying at the University of Sunderland.


Support for your learning

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor. You’ll meet your Personal Tutor at agreed times throughout your course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

Further support is provided by our technicians who help you make the most of the University’s equipment and software.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"Sunderland was a great place and environment in which to work and spend my leisure time."

Sahar Tarhandeh, MA Interactive Media and Motion Graphics Graduate

Sahar Tarhandeh

Frelance Graphic Designer

Sahar Tarhandeh from Tehran, Iran used to live in Durham, so decided to make Sunderland one of her first choices when looking at universities.

"I applied to more than eight universities across the UK and got positive responses and interviews with most of them. After these interviews I decided to study at the University of Sunderland's Design department. I found the course interesting and the facilities were great. I got a partial scholarship, which was a big help.

"One of the main benefits I gained from my time at the University of Sunderland was the self confidence to speak my mind. I also learned to research and write essays and articles in English, which is not my first language, and learned to work logically and creatively.

"One of the most enjoyable things about studying in Sunderland was that I got to know and work with people from different nationalities, and I met some great mentors and lecturers. I also enjoyed learning about new theoretical information, while Sunderland was a great place and environment in which to work and spend my leisure time. The diversity of the students at Sunderland was amazing.

"I am now working as a freelance graphic designer working on different research projects regarding graphic design and children's book illustrations. I am also critiquing and reviewing other people's work. I am a member of the Children's Book Council of the Iranian executive committee and I've been a member of the Hans Christian Andersen Award jury since 2012.

"I would advise prospective University of Sunderland students to try to learn as much as you can; read as many books and as much theoretical material as you can find. Work hard and enjoy what you are doing, search and pick the course that you really love and choose your area of study wisely."

Apply for this course

Applications to study a postgraduate qualification are submitted directly to the University. You can apply for our taught courses online using the link below, or download and complete a course application form (.pdf).

Information on how to complete the form and where to send it can be found on the form.

Contact Sunderland

For more information, contact the Programme Leader:

Dr. Manny Ling
Tel: 0191 515 3816

For more general information, contact:

The Recruitment Team
Tel: 0191 515 3593

Find out more information about the staff who teach on this course and the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media.

Social media: To see what events we run and to ask a question about this course, contact the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media on Facebook: and Twitter: @UniOfSunADM

The details

Course Name Interactive Media and Motion Graphics
Classification MA
Course Mode Part-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 2 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 19 October 2015
UK/EU Fee £225 per 10 credits
Intl Fee £Unavailable

Entry requirements

Good honours degree (2:1 or above) in electronic media or digital/new media design, or related discipline

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Monday 19 October 2015 Apply now