DMU logo
Design Innovation MA

Design Innovation MA/MSc

Offering an exciting and innovative approach to learning, this course gives students the framework for developing innovative design products in all areas of design while developing an understanding of marketing and business strategy.


Reasons to study Design Innovation MA/MSc at DMU:

  • You will study in a flexible learning environment, by selecting a specific specialism you can tailor your course to ensure it matches your personal career aspirations
  • There is a year-long creative major project, allowing your personal interests to be developed, supporting your preferred career direction or establishing the design concept for your own business
  • The School of Design’s close-knit community of postgraduate students and staff creates a supportive learning environment for design students from around the world
  • You will develop the design skills and creativity required by tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and design industry professionals
  • You will learn from an expert teaching team, who are all active in their own field and who maintain links with the commercial sector ensuring they teach real-world, relevant skills
  • You will have benefit from top-class facilities, working in a dedicated centre with access to a range of workshops and a host of specialist equipment
  • 96.6% of DMU postgraduates are in full-time employment or further education within six months of completing their course*
  • DMU is the UK’s sole higher education representative in GREAT − the Government’s flagship marketing campaign which links creativity and commerce. As a GREAT partner, the university stands alongside British brands recognised as world leaders in their fields, including BBC Worldwide, Jaguar Land Rover, Mulberry, Cambridge Satchel Co, INDE Appshaker and Framestore

* Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey 2013/14 (Employability Performance Indicator)

You can tailor the course to your career aspirations by selecting a specific specialist area of study from a diverse range of options, which comprises: Footwear Design; Furniture Design; Interior Design; Interactive Design; Museum and Exhibition Design; Product Design; Retail Design; or Visual Communication Design. Alternatively, you can elect to simply focus on Design Innovation in its own right.


At DMU, we are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study. We are currently finalising our scholarship packages for 2017 entry.

More courses like this:

Design Management and Entrepreneurship MA
Digital Design MA
Fashion and Textiles MA
Product Design MA

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time.

Start date: September 2017

Fees and funding: UK/EU: £4,750 (full-time), £2,375 (part-time) per year

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

You can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal.

Key facts for international students

Duration: One year full-time

Start date: September 2017

Fees and funding: International: £12,200 per year

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal or direct application form.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should have the equivalent or above of a 2:2 UK bachelor’s honours degree in a design subject relevant to your proposed specialism or major project area.

If you have other professional qualifications and industry experience, we will consider your application on an individual basis.


Interview and Portfolio

Applicants with relevant qualifications should submit a portfolio of work (please see our Design Innovation MA application portfolio advice for full details). Overseas applicants will be invited to send samples of their work.

International students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments




Term one core modules

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 Design Studio
Introduces you to the overarching design process. You will study design method theories, advances in technology, concept development, prototyping techniques, design testing and user-centred (or inclusive) design. The module will see you developing project management skills and investigating ethical and environmental design issues. As part of a multidisciplinary team, you will also work on live design projects.

Term one optional modules

Marketing for the Creative Entrepreneur
Examines the key marketing and corporate strategy issues that affect a designer. You will develop your own marketing strategy and carry out an analysis of the competitive environment.

Creative Digital Media
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.

Design as a Strategic Business Tool
Looks at how design itself can be the driving force behind the strategic management and development of digital design and creative businesses. You will audit the use of design, design management and design thinking in the creative industries and business.

Sustainable Design
Introduces the broad concepts of sustainability, resource-efficient design and eco-design. You will also explore how best to keep sustainability, as a driver of innovation,  at the heart of any corporate or marketing strategy.

Term two core modules

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.

Term two optional modules

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Service Design
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.

Term three

Major Project: Design Concept (Optional) 
This module enables you to develop your major project to a further stage of design concept, supported by a report/dissertation of 15,000 words. This report is based on the literature research, primary market research, design development, marketing strategy and theory concepts developed through previous modules. 

Major Project: Dissertation (Optional) 
The module allows you to develop a more detailed dissertation of 20-23,000 words for research focused major projects.

Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current



You will benefit from visiting lecturers who specialise in exhibition design, museum curation, retail design, sustainable design, business planning and creative digital design. At the same time, a range of industry, museum, charity, and arts organisation representatives regularly present and coordinate live projects.

Contact hours
In your first two terms you will normally attend around 12 hours of timetabled taught sessions including lectures, tutorials and workshop and studio sessions each week, and be expected to undertake at least 23 hours of independent study each week. Your third term will be pre-dominantly self-directed (including meetings with your supervisor), during which you can expect to undertake 35 hours of independent study each week

Part-time study is normally undertaken on a half-time basis.


Facilities and features


Supported by specialist technicians, the excellent CAD and workshop facilities include: soft modelling, wood, plastics, metal fabrication, metal machining and finishing. The workshops are also home to four computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling machines, a CNC lathe, two laser cutters, a vinyl cutter and three rapid prototyping machines as well as a 3D paper printer and a CNC water jet cutter.

There are also Wacom drawing tablets, which allow you to sketch directly into the screens, linked to high specification Intel Core2 Duo computer workstations. These facilities make it possible for you to access the best industry-standard, vector-based and 3D modelling packages available. This equipment allows you to experiment with techniques and finishes to a high level, adding unique skillset to your portfolio.


We have 1,500 study places and 650 computer workstations across four sites on campus. These give access to more than half a million publications, an extensive range of DVDs, e-resources and thousands of electronic journals. 

The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year (other than in exceptional circumstances).

Award-winning staff are on hand to help and there is a café for study breaks. We offer a range of workshops, drop-in and one-to-one sessions, and our Just Ask service provides email and telephone support.


Learning zones

Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.

Originally set up in our main Kimberlin Library, the learning zones proved so popular that more were created in the Eric Wood Building and Greenhouse. These flexible spaces are ideal whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.

They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with interactive whiteboards and DVD players. Eduroam wi-fi is available across all campus locations.


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.



Graduate careers

Graduates have launched their own design businesses and consultancies, moved into dynamic careers such as a creative designer or taken on senior roles in design strategy or brand management. Some graduates have chosen to do a PhD, developing their research to a deeper level.
Businesses started by DMU graduates include: the Pooja Kapoor fashion brand; Whiteroom Media; Luidpro Design; and Cerebral Innovation. Recent graduates have become:

  • Chief Designer for Fasoli srl, which designs and produces fashion footwear for brands such as Michael Klein Paris, asics, Naughty Monkey and Airfit
  • Senior Industrial Designer for Wistron Corporation, producing notebook PCs and other electronic equipment
  • Lingerie Garment Technologist for MAS Intimates, co-ordinating production for lingerie of Marks & Spencer, Victoria’s Secret, La Senza and other brands
  • Designer for Max C LondonDesigner and Production Supervisor at Fleur La Fleur fashion design
  • Head of User Experience (web design) for Freestyle Interactive Ltd
  • Creative Services Manager (Australasia) for Revlon
  • Project Manager at Ideal Design (interior design, Taiwan)

DMU Open events

Postgraduate Open Days

Register now

Order a prospectus

Our prospectus will give you a clearer idea of what it's like to live and study at DMU and a snapshot of the courses we offer.

Order now

How to apply 

We welcome applications from UK and international students with a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Find out more

More about your DMU

Vijay Patel Building
Leicester guide


We are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study. We are currently finalising our scholarship packages for 2017 entry.


Vijay Patel Building

The new Vijay Patel Building at the heart of DMU will offer sector leading facilities to students on our Art and Design courses.



The Faculty of Art, Design and Humanities is home to research staff with international reputations in a wide range of creative and scholarly fields, blending traditional disciplines of critical enquiry and analysis with practice-based research and creative work employing cutting-edge technology. Find out more


Leicester guide

Studying here gives easy access to the vibrant hub of entertainment, shopping and culture that is Leicester. There are clubs, bars and pubs, as well as festivals, live music, theatres and cinemas. Leicester City Football Club play in the Premier League while Leicester Tigers are one of Europe’s biggest rugby clubs. Find out more.

Events target area image

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.