Design MA

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Course starts: 15 October 2018Apply now

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Pursue your passion for particular areas of design, at an advanced level and with professional support. Contextualise your chosen areas within the broader field of design with theoretical elements. Join our graduates in exciting jobs throughout the design industry and around the world.

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Overview

This Masters is built around your personal design interests and aspirations. It allows you to push the boundaries of creativity, within a framework of academic rigour and contextual research. You can choose to study any of the following areas: Advertising, Animation, Calligraphy and lettering, Creative computational design, Design thinking, innovation and ideation, Design leadership, Fashion, product and promotion, Graphic communication, Graphic design, Illustration, Interactive media, Motion graphics, Typographic design. Other specialised design disciplines will also be considered.

Our specialist tutors will work with you as you create a portfolio of creative designs that will excite and impress potential employers. By the end of the course, you will have completed a major project that has evolved from your practice and research. The project will be supported by a critical evaluation report.

Why us?

  • Our graduates have gone on to work throughout the design industry around the world
  • We have excellent engagement with industry, locally, nationally and internationally and have several academic partners overseas including Hong Kong, Malaysia and the US
  • According to a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), people with a postgraduate qualification earn an average of 27% more than graduates with just an undergraduate degree

Course structure

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this MA Design programme 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 sessions are supported by a range of guest speakers from diverse academic and industry backgrounds. You will also have high levels of weekly contact with tutors who give regular feedback and support.

Design Studies 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 just one area or explore a number of different areas. Your studies will include aspects of creative studio practice that are relevant to your interests. There is also a theoretical element that contextualises your chosen area(s), alongside other design media, within the broader field of design.


Design Studies 2 (60 credits)

This is usually the prototyping stage, where you would test out your ideas and experiments before the final outcome in Stage 3. Alternatively, you can either continue your studies in your chosen specialism or diversify your studies into an alternative area. You will explore the techniques and application of your ideas as it applies to a wide range of design disciplines. Practical output and theoretical contextualisation will continue to interact and build on each other.


Design Studies 3 (60 credits)

In the final stage, all students 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 Critical Evaluation Report.

 

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Priestman Building,
Green Terrace,
Sunderland,
SR1 3PZ

54.903408,-1.388789

  • The University provides generous studio spaces, well-equipped workshops and excellent facilities for digital design.

    Within our digital design suites, there are Apple Macs, PCs, HTC VIVE VR and Wacom Cintiqs with Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium. This includes software such as ZBrush, Unity 3D, Maya, Blender, Cinema 4, Dreamweaver and Adobe Creative Suites. Our specialist technical staff, including qualified Adobe and Maya Certified Instructors, offer back-up and help in making the most of the software.

    Design facilities
  • We subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date articles.

    Students are helped to develop their research skills working with lecturers and library staff to develop their awareness of art history as well as contemporary art and design and the wider contexts of the subjects.

    Some of the most important sources for your course include:

    • Art Full Text + Art Abstracts: A major resource for media and arts information
    • Design and Applied Arts Index: 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): Provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media
    • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’): 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 encyclopedia of British film and television, featuring clips from the vast collections of the BFI National Archive
    Journals and research - art
  • 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: A major resource for media and arts information
    • Design and Applied Arts Index: Covers journals featuring both new designers and the development of design and the applied arts since the mid-19th century
    • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’): Provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
    • Screen Online (BFI): An online encyclopaedia of British film and television, featuring clips from the vast collections of the BFI National Archive
    Journals and research - design

Facilities

Our Priestman building provides well-equipped facilities and industry-standard design software so it's easy to make a seamless transition from your studies to the workplace.

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, animation or digital media. 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 memory stick.

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

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £6,200 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £12,600 if you are an international student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

A student with graduation scroll

Employment

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 animator, graphic designer, illustrator, calligrapher, lettering designer, typographic designer, interactive designer, lecturer or broad-based designer.

A Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies, such as MPhil or PhDs.

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:

0191 515 3751

enterprise@sunderland.ac.uk

  • The course allows you complete freedom to explore the discipline fully, cultivating originality.
    Adam McDade

    Adam McDade

Meet our academics