Block 1: Creative Design Research Studio
This module will introduce you to a critical appraisal of current creative and research processes in a professional multidisciplinary context, which will support you to move beyond design research skill development toward high-performance working and enable you to develop a range of applied skills that will boost your potential employability.
You will develop your project ideas, strengthen your subject specialism, and broaden your horizon for creative possibilities by studying the subject techniques, working practices and research methods of a range of art and design disciplines. You will demonstrate original applications of knowledge together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry techniques are used to create and interpret knowledge. Design management, project planning and design thinking aspects, as well as teamworking, will be significant in these projects.
You will also explore sustainability issues and approaches, including design strategies for the circular economy and sustainable resource use; lifecycle analysis of a product in relation to climate change, air, land and water pollution and human health impacts; importance of sustainable materials selection; the UN sustainable development goals; and issues of ethics in production and Corporate Social Responsibility (including supply chain transparency and greenwashing).
Block 2: Research Methods and Cultural Context
In the module you will be introduced to advanced research skills. You will consider the role of research within the context of design and management, and reflect on your personal attributes, skills, and values as a contemporary researcher. Typical content will include research design; gathering, managing and analysing data; developing critical and ethical practices; and reporting and presenting research findings.
You will also develop your understanding of material culture theory on the semiotics of design/ products, on issues of cultural, gender and individual identity, of status and social positioning and of disability and the body. It will enable you to apply these concepts within your individual research and design project.
Block 3: Select one from the following:
- Sustainability Strategy and Design
Debates surrounding sustainability have become increasingly prominent due to greater awareness among consumers of environmental and ethical issues, as well as initiatives by many companies to improve their sustainable credentials. This module examines key historical and contemporary contexts relating to sustainable design and corporate strategy, unpicking the complex debates surrounding a range of issues from worker’s rights to product lifecycles. Alternative perspectives on the traditional production and consumption model will be introduced, and both practical and conceptual aspects considered.
This module addresses the needs of students aiming to work in design, manufacturing, or retail, providing future managers and entrepreneurs with a clear overview of the major sustainability issues within their industry. The impact of ethical and environmental considerations on designed products, production and business ideology will be analysed. It will cover sustainable development, ethical supply chains, corporate sustainability strategy, circular economy, slow fashion/lifestyle design, lifecycle analysis, alternative production and consumption models, integrated system design/ sustainable innovation, climate change, biodiversity, toxicity and sustainable resources.
This module will explore how the design of spaces can tell a story. You will consider the interaction between objects, space and stories, in order to better understand complex ideas, messages or emotional connections and empathy. The interpretation of ‘space’ will be stretched beyond physical space and you will also explore how digital platforms can play a significant role in enhancing and immersing people in the built environment. There will be a particular focus on how modern retail environments and progressive museum and exhibition design use a combination of spaces and experiences to convey a story.
You will produce a group design project and presentation as a design team, with flexibility within the design brief to propose a multi-layered design concept proposal.
This module is designed to prepare you for a career in UX/UI design. You will develop the skills to design a user interface that enhances the user experience using tools and techniques used in industry.
The content of the module will include conducting research to devise a UX Strategy and you will develop an understanding of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Human Interface guidelines and best practice. You will apply UX design principles, tools, and techniques to an existing or new design solution incorporating awareness of Inclusive design, data security and privacy. The design concept will be enhanced with usability testing and performance reviews (using data analysis) leading to further design iterations.
Block 4: Select one from the following:
- Business and Marketing Strategies
The manoeuvring of a creative concept to market using business and financial skills is crucial to the success of the Creative Entrepreneur. Confident handling of commercial and creative theoretical and practical tools forms a major part of the activities of the entrepreneur. On this module you will identify potential for a new product/service/experience and mobilize the necessary business resources to realise your ideas. This knowledge will include an understanding of marketing and corporate strategy, the value offering and value structure, industry analysis, competitive positioning, blue ocean theory, innovation, analysis of markets (including PESTEL and consumer behaviour) and financial planning.
You will contextualise your concept by analysing the relevant industrial structure, business environment, competition, and consumer behaviour; and on this basis establish a finely evolved and market positioned business strategy with financial projections in a business plan. You will present this in the form of a market analysis and business plan produced to a professional standard.
In this module you will be supported to develop innovative approaches to tackling difficult local and global design problems, while also consolidating and developing your subject specific skills. The module supports the experimentation of a range of research and analytical tools that can be used to inform design. The aim of the module is to support you to become a creative, resilient designer who will thrive on your ability to draw on your genuine curiosity. At the end of this module, you will have greater confidence in working outside your disciplinary boundaries and knowing how and when to deploy experimental research tools effectively. The module also supports you to consolidate and develop your plans for your Major Project.
Blocks 5 and 6: Select one from the following:
- Major Project – Dissertation
Your learning will culminate in a 12000-word dissertation on a research topic of your own choosing. You will demonstrate your ability to use initiative and ingenuity, make complex decisions and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level.
- Major Project – Design Innovation
In this module you will be supported to demonstrate a systematic and comprehensive understanding of the techniques applicable to your own research and advanced scholarship in the completion of a major project. You will demonstrate your ability to use initiative and ingenuity, make complex decisions and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level.
You will have the choice of either a major focus on design practice supported by a written critical evaluation (practice) or a major focus on the critical evaluation supported by a condensed design practice (academic). This should reflect your chosen path after graduation, should that be into design practice or continuing to an academic path.
This module provides the opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills acquired from the course in a practical context - for example working with a fashion, textile or design company on the development of a prototype innovation. It is anticipated that this work-based live project will include experience of working on the design or development of products within an area of fashion, textiles or design. You will bring together all aspects of the course ranging from research methodologies to discipline-specific modules. This work-based project will receive supervision from the host organisation and the university and outcomes will be negotiated and may include a mix of a research reports for the host and/or plans.
Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.
See pre-Education version of Design Innovation | See pre-Education version of Design Management and Entrepreneurship.