Design MA

Design MA

This course allows you to develop and pursue your own personal design study programme at master’s level, while being supported and supervised by leading national and international scholars, researchers and practitioners.


Reasons to study the Design MA at DMU:

  • You can exercise choice and control over the aims of your course, the content and context of your studies as well as the criteria against which your achievement is assessed
  • You can choose an extensive choice of specialisms and areas of study
  • You will learn from expert staff with a wide range of specialisms who will support you as you expand your knowledge of your chosen specialism
  • You will work alongside a multi-disciplinary, international and passionate graduate community all willing to share ideas and solutions
  • DMU is the UK’s sole higher education representative in GREAT − the Government’s flagship marketing campaign which links creativity and commerce. In being a GREAT partner, the university stands alongside British brands recognised as world leaders in their fields including HSBC, BBC Worldwide, Jaguar Land Rover and PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • The new Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where ideas can develop and flourish for all of our art and design courses - find out more

The School of Design continues to be in a strong position to support and help students to realise their potential, with highly experienced teaching staff, expert technicians and significant relationships with industry. 

Excellent resources are available to support each pathway, including specialist equipment and computerised machinery for the manufacture of footwear prototypes. There are also a wide range of workshops for print, weave, knit, dye, textiles testing, plastics, metalwork and laser cutting. Adobe Creative Suite and other industry-standard software applications are available in CAD labs across the School of Design and in the library. 


At DMU, we are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study.

Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarship
Apply for the Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarship, worth up to £6,000.

More courses like this:

Design Innovation MA/MSc
Design Management and Entrepreneurship MA
Digital Design MA
Fashion and Textiles MA
Fashion Management and Marketing MA
Interior Design 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 2019

Fees and funding: For  2019/20 tuition fees will be UK/EU £5,300 (full-time) per year, £422 per 15 credits (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.

How to apply: All students can apply to study at DMU directly using the DMU Online Portal.

Key facts for international students

Unfortunately we can not accept international applications for this course, however, you may be interested in our Design Innovation MA/MSc

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should have the equivalent of a 2.2 or above UK bachelor’s honours degree. If you have other professional qualifications and/or industry experience we will consider your application on an individual basis.

As you will be working largely independently, you need to be self-motivated and have good time management skills.

Unfortunately we can not accept international applications for this course, however, you may be interested in our Design Innovation MA/MSc

Interview and Portfolio

Evidence of practice or creative work through a physical and/or digital portfolio of work may be required depending on your proposed area of study.

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


Areas of study

Teaching and assessments




All students must complete a Research Methodology module at the beginning of the course and, to achieve the master’s award, must also undertake a Major Project, Dissertation or a Work Placement at the end of the course.

With a wide range of specialisms to choose from, you can create a programme of study that is both interdisciplinary and tailored to your specialist interests or skills. The wide range of specialisms that we offer on the Design MA includes:

  • Design history
  • Ceramics
  • Contour fashion
  • Design crafts
  • Design innovation
  • Design management
  • Fashion management
  • Fashion history
  • Footwear design
  • Furniture design
  • Glass
  • Interface design
  • Interior design
  • Jewellery
  • Product design
  • Retail design
  • Silversmithing
  • Spatial design
  • Textile design

The course also allows you to study in a way that suits your individual circumstances and your preferred learning style(s). Subject to prior approval, you can take up to 90 credits from our taught postgraduate provision, while the rest of the programme will be completed through negotiated learning contracts.



Study can be full-time or part-time. You can exit the programme early with a postgraduate certificate once you have completed 60 credits or with a postgraduate diploma once you have completed 120 credits.

The shortest period of study for the master’s award is one year full-time. As you can negotiate assessment tasks and methods within your learning contract, assessment can be as varied as you want it to be.

All students must complete a Research Methodology module at the beginning of the course and, to achieve the master’s award, must also undertake a Major Project, Dissertation or a Work Placement at the end of the course.

You will be assigned two dedicated supervisors who will provide academic support throughout the course. DMU academic and research staff are experts in their field. They are actively engaged in a wide range of external activities including research, consultancy, publishing and exhibiting in both national and international contexts.

Contact hours
On the Design MA your programme of study is determined by you as the student, as the programme seeks to build on and develop the capacity for self-directed, autonomous study. Full-time students will normally study independently for up to 35 hours a week, which will include meeting with your mentor for one hour a fortnight. As part of your learning contract you may also take up to 90 credits of taught module options within this time.

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



Facilities and features


Our world-class facilities include dedicated digital media studios, 3D printing, laser and water jet cutting, CNC milling, vacuum casting and rapid prototyping and metal fabrication, as well as wood, metal, hotglass, ceramics and plastic workshops.


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

DMU postgraduates have taken on careers in consultancy, arts and design management, research and teaching. While some take become entrepreneurs in their own right, others elect to follow an academic career and enter further MPhil or PhD level study

DMU Open events

Postgraduate Coffee Morning
Saturday 12 January 2019
10am - 1pm

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How to apply 

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

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Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship
Up to 50 per cent of tuition fees offered to Home/EU DMU alumni for students who wish to continue their studies at DMU by enrolling on a Postgraduate taught course. For more information visit our Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship page.

New Art and Design facilities in the Vijay Patel building

Vijay Patel Building

The new Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where ideas can develop and flourish for all of our art and design courses.



The Faculty of Arts, 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


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