The future of the design industry lies in advancing technology and emerging digital techniques. Whether your creative specialism lies in media, products, interiors, exhibitions, fashion or branding and marketing, on this course you will explore and embrace digital and design related technologies in your field.
You can specialise in technologies such as user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, mobile app design, e-learning, virtual and augmented reality, 2D and 3D animation, 3D digital printing, digital display and projection design, visual and special effects for TV and film, interactive kiosk and installation design, wearable devices and smart clothing. The course is designed for students with a good working knowledge of multimedia software tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator Flash, Dreamweaver and After Effects, and 3D software such as Autodesk MAYA or 3DMax, providing an opportunity to develop these technical skills to an advanced level.
You will examine the practical skills and the academic theories surrounding digital design methods. We will take you all the way from concept development and prototyping to production techniques and testing. In-depth insight into each stage of the creative production process will be supported by training in project management. This broad base of specialised skills will equip you for wide-ranging creative careers as digital designers, web and app developers, and multimedia production directors, while the understanding you will build of business planning and web presence management will teach you the key skills needed to launch a freelance career.
With us, you will gain real-world experience through live design projects, with the opportunity to collaborate with students from other disciplines. Through your major project (either creative practice based or research focused) you will have the freedom to draw on your learning and respond creatively to your chosen specialism.
Throughout the course we will empower and support you to challenge conventions, experiment boldly, and take risks. Prepare to embrace new ways of thinking and innovative approaches to contemporary design challenges, with a sophisticated suite of devices and industry software and hardware for you to realise your creative visions.
- Expand your horizons by exploring your chosen area of design from a digital perspective, giving you specialist skills in demand by the industry.
- Join a community that is working together to co-design new ways of thinking to redefine the future of creative practice.
- We will prepare you to enter the creative industries at a high level of responsibility or to start your own business as a creative entrepreneur.
- You will be exposed to the latest digital technologies with opportunities to work on live research and commercial projects for companies such as Caterpillar and Sainsbury’s.
- The award-winning Vijay Patel Building provides both the space to foster creative thinking as well as top-class facilities, with a suite of devices and industry software and hardware for app development.
- You will learn from an expert teaching team, who are all active in their own field, and benefit from the insights of visiting lecturers involved in world-class research.
Structure and assessment
Research Methods (Compulsory)
Teaches you a range of conceptual and practical research skills, such as questionnaire design and interview techniques. As part of this module, you will formulate your major project proposal, specifying your aims, objectives, research methods and expected outcomes. You will also learn how to undertake the literature review for your major project.
Creative Digital Media Design
Looks at the need for critical appraisal of current digital media technologies. You will investigate related creative and management processes and production techniques in a professional context. Alongside live design projects, you will examine advances in technology, project management, digital design method theories, concept development, prototyping and production techniques as well as design and application testing
Creative Design Studio
Explores the multidisciplinary nature of design allowing you to work on multimedia design projects with students from other disciplines. It also provides you with the opportunity to develop your own professional practice skills and conduct design exploration and experimentation related to your Major Project
Action Research Laboratory
Enables you to develop your major project design work while exploring creative and innovative design and research methods. You will produce a specification report (based on primary research) and a portfolio of investigative design development work that shows an individual creative response
You can then choose two modules from the following:
Managing Business Web Presence
Teaches you how to critically appraise website designs, social media activity and wider networking channels while learning about creative production and management processes. You will learn how best to evaluate the role of website design in business, marketing and the creative industries, while examining advances in web architecture, technology, interface and management.
Business Planning for the Creative Entrepreneur
Develops your business knowledge and planning skills enabling you to identify the potential for a new product or service. You will study the key issues in starting a business and covers topics such as business plans, leadership, investment and risk management.
Museum and Exhibition Design
Examines innovative designs and strategies specifically for museums and exhibitions. It focuses on display, interpretation, conservation, marketing, management and funding, cultural identity, heritage, inclusive design, sustainability, education and audience.
Examines the role of design in the service industries. You will pay particular attention to ethical, political, social and ecological concerns, all of which require approaches that focus on design and the designers’ role in maintaining sustainability.
Design for Retail
Covers all aspects of in-store retail design, including product, environment, technology, communication and service. You will also examine brand perception, buyer behaviour and engagement with the retail experience.
Technology for Design
Provides a platform for designers from various fields to explore a range technology and potentially help to advance their knowledge and practice in this area. This module recognises that digital technology and the development of new equipment, materials, artefacts and devices are all growing exponentially
Major project – Design Outcome and Reflective Report or Design Concept and Dissertation
This module will allow you to complete your Digital Design Major Project. You can either do a detailed design plus a short reflective report or just a design concept but with a significantly longer written dissertation.
Facilities and features
The course is based in excellent and well-equipped facilities. Group work and tutorials take place within a dedicated centre, so you will benefit from strong group cohesiveness and a vibrant multidisciplinary graduate community. IT facilities include Mac, PC, CAD, graphics and multimedia labs, with software for drawing, multimedia, painting/DTP, 3D modelling, animation and video.
The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.
The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.
Our Learning Zones and the The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.
There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.
You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.
Opportunities and careers
Starting a business
If you are thinking of starting your own business or working for yourself, the Enterprise Team can help provide you with the right advice and guidance to get your business off the ground.
This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.
Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.
Previous graduates have found employment as web and digital designers or set up their own freelance business. Two students won university enterprise awards enabling them to set up their new business in the university’s Innovation Centre. Alternatively, you can go on to pursue further research in the form of an MPhil or PhD qualification within your specialist field of practice.
Other graduates are working as a senior web designer, app designer, multimedia production director, freelance multimedia designer, interface developer, graphic designer, digital product designer, interior designer and a digital marketing and branding executive.
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