Digital Design MA

Digital Design MA/MSc

Discover how design and digital technologies can be embraced by designers and professionals within the interior, fashion and marketing design sectors, and develop in-demand specialised digital skills which will equip you for creative careers in the industry.

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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. 

Key features

  • You can be awarded an MA or MSc depending on your route through your studies and final Major Project. You can also exit the course with a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate award depending on the credits you have successfully achieved.
  • 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.

Talk to our course team

If you would like to find out more about how this course can help you achieve your career ambitions, send a message to our course team [Zakera Kali] who would be happy to chat to you. Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate event or call our course enquirers team on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70  / WhatsApp: 0797 0655 800.


DMU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships and bursaries to help you realise your academic ambitions.

International Scholarships

Find out about available scholarships and country specific fee discounts for international students. 


More courses like this:

Design Innovation and Management MA/MSc

DMU has been shortlisted for the Postgraduate Award in the 2024 Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), as voted for by students.

  • UK
  • EU/International

Programme code: W21281

Start date: September 2024

Duration: One year full-time. Two years part-time.

Fees and funding:

2024/25 Full-time tuition fees for UK students £9,435 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.

Programme code: W21281

Start date: September 2024

Duration: One year full-time.


Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for EU and international students: £15,800

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.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should have the equivalent or above of a 2:2 UK bachelor’s honours degree in one of the following subjects: Digital Design, Multimedia Design, Animation, Visual Communications, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Product Design, Fashion Design, Computer Arts, Computer Technology, Digital Marketing or a related subject.

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 Digital Design application portfolio advice for full details).

Non-standard applicants will be invited to attend an interview with a portfolio and a 2,500-word report.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (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

 Areas of study



Block 1: Digital Design Studio

This module will introduce you to the critical appraisal of current digital design technology, related creative and management processes and production techniques in a professional context. You will examine advances in digital media and related product technology, project management, digital design method theories, concept development, prototyping/production techniques and design/application testing. You will put theory into practice by working in a group on a creative project. The module will enable you to deal with complex design issues in a way which you can apply later to your Major Project, while giving you the opportunity to apply your existing knowledge in a new context.

Black 2: Research Methods with Service Design

In this module you will engage with current design research, professional practices, and advanced scholarship in your discipline. Throughout the module, you will create new hypotheses, form independent judgements in complex and unpredictable design situations, and learn to communicate them appropriately to professional and non-specialist audiences.

You will consider the role of research within a design context, 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.

Block 3: Select one from the following:

  • UX and UI

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.

  • Technology for Design

Technological advancement in design and manufacturing techniques are growing exponentially. Designers of all specialisms are curious about how technology can help them create and innovate to develop new practice, effect change things and affect the way we live. This module aims to provide a platform for you to explore a range of technologies and help to advance your knowledge and practice in this area.

You will research a range of technologies and work with the staff team to identify an area which you would like to investigate, which could include computer aided design; computer visualisation; virtual prototyping; direct digital manufacturing and the development of new equipment, materials, artefacts and devices. Staff will assist and provide guidance in the partnering of student and technology where possible, internal within the university or external in local industry.

  • Narrative Spaces

This module will explore how the design of spaces can tell a story. You will consider the interaction between objects, space and stories, 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.

Block 4: Design Problem Solving

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 6 and 6: Select one from the following:

  • Major Project

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.

  • Work-based Project

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.


Assessment is primarily through design presentations supported by written work. In term one, you can also take part in the RSA Student Design Awards.

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.



The Digital Design MA gives you the opportunity to specialise in the following:

  • Media design, including multimedia design, web design, 2D and 3D computer animation, visual and special effects for TV and film, mobile app design for tablets and smart phones, computer and video games, virtual and augmented reality and 2D and 3D visualisation
  • Product design, including the design of any computer-based or screen-based product such as smartphones, smart TV’s, tablet devices, smart watches, games consoles, smart household appliances, information systems and 3D digital printing
  • Interior design, including digital display and projection design, intelligent interiors, lighting and furniture design
  • Exhibition, museum and installation design, including digital heritage resources, archaeology, interactive kiosk and installation design, virtual museums and exhibitions
  • Graphic design, including the design of ebooks, e-learning, interface design, interaction design and digital signage
  • Fashion design, including wearable devices, smart clothing and digital fabrics
  • Branding and marketing design, including corporate identity design, logo design, social media marketing, digital channel advertising and promotion

Facilities and features

Art and design facilities

Our award-winning Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where all of our art and design students can develop their ideas and flourish. 

The creative industries require imaginative graduates who can develop new ideas and products. Students use our sophisticated and contemporary workshops, labs and studios to experiment and test in the same way they will in industry, while the open and transparent spaces in the building encourage collaboration between disciplines. In doing so, the building prepares students for industry and helps develop them as future leaders in their respective fields. 

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the building at

Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including the Virtual Learning Environment, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.


More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.


Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team


During this course you will have the option to complete year-long work placement, an invaluable opportunity to put the skills developed during your degree into practice. This insight into the professional world will build on your knowledge in a real-world setting, preparing you to progress onto your chosen career. Placements will normally take place between semester two and three. Our Careers Team can help to hone your professional skills with mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and an assigned personal tutor will support you throughout your placement. 


DMU Global

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 DMU Global, 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

Many of our graduates have landed roles as digital designers, senior web designers, app designers, and multimedia production directors and have gone on to work for companies including Accenture and Felinesoft. Other graduates use the skills they developed on this course to launch their own freelance businesses or have won enterprise awards enabling them to set up their new business in the university’s Innovation Centre.

We also place a strong focus throughout the course on research skills, providing an excellent stepping stone to study at PhD level.

Graduate Eirini Varouna said: “I chose DMU not only for the modules provided but also for the university’s reputation. DMU provided a unique educational experience, with excellent support from our tutor who engaged us with interactive classes and connection to the industry’s professionals. The projects carried out during my studies enhanced my portfolio and helped me secure a position in one of the biggest retail design companies.”

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