This innovative, industry-facing programme allows you to work either in a cross-disciplinary way or in a specialist area of study.
It prepares you, as a creative individual, for professional practice in the development of new business ideas, products, systems and artefacts, and provides a stimulating environment to support high-level enquiry into emerging and future aspects of creative practice, through individual and collaborative action.
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Stage 1 involves professional skills and idea development, research, project work and the opportunity for collaborative working. Stage 2 allows time to prepare, research and develop project proposals, culminating in a feasibility study for a negotiated major project. Finally, Stage 3 enables you to direct and display your major project work, supported by regular tutorial contact and studio interaction.
You expand perceptions of the nature and process of art and/or design and explore areas of commonality across discipline boundaries. You work to a common theme of mutual interest and use advanced techniques to develop your ability to gather information, conduct and use research in order to enrich the creative process. You explore the discipline boundaries - artists and designers interact to: investigate possibilities, research the theme, create individual responses, make proposals and identify sites and formats for the display and dissemination of your work. Alongside this project work you explore the philosophical contexts of art and/or design and consider how ideas and issues relate to current and future practice. You are learn study skills for academic research, with consistent use of referencing systems and ethical, accurate citation of sources.
You direct your own design project, taking into account all aspects researched and developed in the preceding Research and Development module. You are encouraged to demonstrate a high level of professional competence in the realisation of your projects and to have a deep understanding of the social and philosophical context in which you are practising. You are also expected to demonstrate the enterprise potential of your ideas and to understand the future possibilities and contexts in which your ideas will exist. Project work is expected to strongly indicate potential for further extended study or implementation in professional design contexts. You critically reflect upon your own learning and be prepared for continuous professional development.
In challenging and changing circumstances innovation is more valuable than ever before in the successful implementation and commercialisation of a product, service, environment or promotion. You address the pivotal factors that relate to professional skills development and enterprise success in design practice. You also extend and improve your skills in areas that will assist you in the development of your portfolio, whilst expanding your ability for reflection and analysis.
Progress files are introduced and developed so you can engage in personal development planning, considering both short term subject related targets and longer term career goals.
You explore and define the parameters of your own professional practice and research interests. You are encouraged to: develop understanding and gain experience in research as an academic discipline and as part of the creative process; define and develop ideas through creative exploration; consider and evaluate the potential of project proposals for future realisation; engage in activities, projects and networking appropriate to plans and aspirations; gain relevant experience; explore local, regional, national and global opportunities; research and reflect upon the social, philosophical and professional contexts in which you are working; test possibilities and develop the enterprise potential of your ideas.
Modules offered may vary.
At MA level it is vital that you take an active role in structuring your own learning, and engage with the relevant methods and underpinning theories of your discipline. The use of a variety of methods, including tutorials, seminars and workshops, enables key principles to be applied to the day-to-day interaction between participants. Projects form the basis of the modules on your programme and provide a wide range of experience in various areas of the discipline.
An intrinsic aspect of your main study area and its supporting subjects is research. You need to find and make sense of a wide variety of information from books, newspapers, journals, magazines, websites, archives and many other sources, then analyse and discuss your findings to inform the creative process. Lectures and briefings are used to introduce topics and to impart key aspects of disciplinary knowledge, usually to larger groups. The development of practical and professional skills demands hands-on experience, informed by subject knowledge and critical understanding. Practical workshops are used to introduce specific skills, followed by independent learning, project work, tutorials and critiques.
Critical reflection is key to all successful problem solving and is therefore essential to the design process. You are expected to test and assess your solutions against design criteria which you develop in the light of your research.
Various assessment methods are used throughout all of the modules and are specified in the module handbooks. These are primarily what we call in-course assessments, where you submit work during the delivery of the module rather than sit timed examinations at the end. Design modules are generally project based and primarily assessed through appraisal of a portfolio of work, often accompanied by a verbal presentation. Design work is largely developmental and you are assessed on the process by which you achieve your solutions as well as the result, so it is essential that you provide clear evidence of your development work.
Graduates have the opportunity to go on to a range of design-related employment, develop new enterprise propositions or receive project funding to take their ideas to market. Further study at doctoral level is also an option.
Applicants should normally have a good undergraduate degree in a design discipline, relevant experience or equivalent qualifications. Applicants will be interviewed.
For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section
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