Design at University of Derby - UCAS

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Course summary

This highly flexible Masters offers you either a broad MA Design qualification, or a choice of six specialist MDes qualifications in Graphic Design, Illustration, Fashion, Textile Design, Interior and Spatial Design, or Product Design. This new MA/MDes Design will help you develop your creativity and grow into a more adaptable, resourceful and collaborative designer. It looks to the future of design and the big challenges facing global society and equips you with the core knowledge, skills and competencies you will need to face the uncertainties of the next few decades. The programme has been designed to prepare you for the challenges and opportunities provided by changing industries, economies, cultures and societies, and to develop a personal practice which makes a positive contribution to that future. Throughout the course, you will have regular professional development seminars, critiques and concept panels, where you will review your work with fellow students, academics and professional partners, and have the opportunity to review and readjust your practice and professional direction in the light of that feedback and reflection. You will be learning from a multidisciplinary teaching team made up of academic and technical staff with expertise in critical practice, experiential design, interior architecture, fashion and textiles, illustration, animation, graphic design, and product design. You will be exposed to a wide range of perspectives and approaches, which enable original and exciting work. As a postgraduate student, we will encourage you to join our Civic Lab research group, which focuses on how participatory culture, creative dialogue and experiential design can be used for social impact — particularly in the City of Derby. It considers how we build communities, and how we create the conditions in which those communities can sustainably develop, innovate and thrive within the social, economic, environmental and cultural challenges of the 21st century. Through this and other research groups, you could get involved in a wide range of multidisciplinary creative research activities, working with external cultural partners, public, commercial and third sector organisations, educational institutions and international networks.


You'll study modules such as: Design Lab Option - These are intensive projects which are intended to stimulate and challenge the student’s practice within a collaborative environment. Each module is orientated around a specific theme which is applicable to all Design contexts, and aims to immerse students into a complex Design problem in collaboration with external stakeholders, who may be derived from industry, community or academia. Students are expected to collaborate and co-create, testing their own practice and research methods in a new environment which is designed to both broaden and deepen the scope of their thinking. Design Propositions - This module enables students to understand, articulate and develop their creative practice as practice based research and as a value proposition for distinctive and diverse contexts. It also serves as a diagnostic and orientation module which will embed the student purposefully in the design studio environment and community. Design Synthesis - This is an independent study module running over 2 semesters where the student brings together their practice, research and learning to date into an integrative Design project which captures their personal and professional ambitions. The project is proposed, agreed and developed through a Negotiated Learning Agreement (NLA) which is reviewed regularly throughout the module where students will present their findings to Concept Panels and receive feedback from tutors, peers and their personal supervisor. Projects in Design Synthesis will be situated in and supported through the collaborative studio environment and will be exhibited to the profession and the public.

Assessment method

We’ll use a range of assessment methods, including: design outputs and portfolios, visual / textual essays, leading seminar discussions and presentations.

How to apply

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you'll also need an IELTS score of 6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area) or equivalent.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need an undergraduate degree (at least second class), in a related subject, or an equivalent qualification and a portfolio of your practice. Selection on to the Programme is based on a portfolio interview. The interview experience is an exciting opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their passion for Design. Applicants will have the opportunity to show teaching staff their interests and experimentation in the subject and they will have time to ask the questions that are important to their study. During the interview applicants will be expected to discuss the potential focus of study that they would like to undertake, including specific pathways, and to show and discuss their previous work.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £800 Module
Northern Ireland £800 Module
Scotland £800 Module
Wales £800 Module

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Design at University of Derby - UCAS