Design MA (CID381)




University of Sunderland

Design MA

Course 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 host the International Research Centre for Calligraphy (IRCC) which promotes and supports the development of calligraphy both nationally and internationally
  • We have excellent engagement with industry, locally, nationally and internationally and have several academic partners overseas including Hong Kong, Malaysia and the USA
  • 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
  • In the past five years 80% of our students achieved Merits and Distinctions
  • From students’ feedback and External Examiner’s report, the MA Design programme has excellent standard of teaching with a supportive and dedicated staff team 

Modular 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 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.

  • 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.

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