Product Design MA Modules

Design Practice Specialism | Design and Business Specialism

Design Practice Specialism

Term 1

Core modules

Research Methods: Research methods reaffirms a range of conceptual and practical Secondary and Primary research skills, starting with literature reviews and summary reports, questionnaire design and interview techniques. As part of this module, students will begin to formulate their major project proposal, specifying their aims, objectives, research methods and expected outcomes for Term 2.

Design Innovation: In response to either competitions briefs or live industry briefs, students are asked to create innovative products that reflect their users’ needs and aspirations as defined by the brief. It is expected that the students’ choice modules in Term 1 will inform and support this Design Futures module.

 

Optional modules (you must choose one module from the following)

Design Futures: Technology Integration introduces students to new design practices and links them to the emerging digital technologies that have been developed to aid, consolidate and improve the entire design process. These include data capturing techniques, reverse engineering, and additive manufacturing.

Design as a Strategic Business Tool: Design as a Strategic Business Tool focusses on how design itself can be the driving force behind the strategic management and development of design and creative businesses. As part of this module, students will audit the use of design, design management and design thinking in the creative industries and business.

Design, Innovation and Sustainability: This module takes an integrated approach to the complex issues surrounding sustainability and the role of design and innovation as a driver for change.

Marketing for the Creative Entrepreneur: Business Planning for the Creative Entrepreneur develops students’ business knowledge and planning skills enabling them to identify the potential for a new product or service. Students will study the key issues in starting a business and covers topics such as business plans, leadership, investment and risk management.

Term 2

Core modules

Insight, Enterprise and Innovation: This module follows on from the Primary and Secondary research completed in Research Methods in Term 1 and allows students to build upon their understanding of the design process and to make a contribution to the design industry through new product development. New knowledge and skills acquired at M-level through previous and concurrent modules will provide students with the necessary tools to frame, conceptualise and present cogent products that represent material, technological and human-centred design innovation.

 

Optional modules (you must choose two modules from the following)

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.

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.

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.

Term 3

Core modules

Final Major Project: (Choice of major or minor design / report - either 80% Design / 20% Report - or - 60% Design / 40% Report). Following on from research and concept generation in term two, students will develop and define a detailed product design in Term 3. With the support of design tutors and technical staff, the module requires a comprehensive final presentation as its final submission which incorporates external validation, prototyping, testing, technical definition and specification. 

Design and Business Specialism

Term 1

Core modules

Research Methods: Research methods reaffirms a range of conceptual and practical Secondary and Primary   research skills, starting with literature reviews and summary reports, questionnaire design and interview techniques. As part of this module, students will begin to formulate their major project proposal, specifying their aims, objectives, research methods and expected outcomes for Term 2.

Creative Design Studio: 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 (students from other School of Design MAs), you will also work on live design projects.

 

Optional modules (you must choose two modules from the following)

Design Project Management and Portfolio Development: Management and Portfolio Development allows students to improve and extend their creative design processes in a professional context related to their proposed Final Major Project. Students will be able to develop their major project ideas, strengthen their subject specialism, improve their project management skills and broaden their horizon for creative possibilities by studying the subject techniques, working practices and research methods related to their design disciplines.

Design as a Strategic Business Tool: Management and Portfolio Development allows students to improve and extend their creative design processes in a professional context related to their proposed Final Major Project. Students will be able to develop their major project ideas, strengthen their subject specialism, improve their project management skills and broaden their horizon for creative possibilities by studying the subject techniques, working practices and research methods related to their design disciplines.

Marketing for the Creative Entrepreneur: Business Planning for the Creative Entrepreneur develops students’ business knowledge and planning skills enabling them to identify the potential for a new product or service. Students will study the key issues in starting a business and covers topics such as business plans, leadership, investment and risk management.

Integrated Brand Management: This module provides a practical exploration of branding from both a business and design perspective. You will investigate brand management with an emphasis on brand narrative and explore the holistic approach to brands by examining sensory branding, emotional branding, spiritual branding and experience design. You will learn how brands are used to promote business both internally and externally and how to apply the principles of a design audit to a brand of your choice in order to explore how it supports the business objective.

Term 2

Core modules

Action Research Lab: Action Research Laboratory focuses on responding to live external challenges and opportunities. In this context, you will be supported to develop innovative approaches to tackling difficult local and global design challenges, while also consolidating and developing your subject specific skills.

 

Optional modules (you must choose two modules from the following)

Global Markets: Designing Businesses for International Growth: Examines the key issues involved in developing new international markets and the role of the design manager and entrepreneur in enabling design and creative businesses to compete effectively in the global economy.

Service Design: ecological concerns, all of which require approaches that focus on design and the designers’ role in maintaining sustainability.

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 a 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.

Term 3

Core modules

Final Major Project: (Choice of major or minor design / report - either 80% Design / 20% Report - or - 60% Design / 40% Report). Following on from research and concept generation in term two, students will develop and define a detailed product design in Term 3. With the support of design tutors and technical staff, the module requires a comprehensive final presentation as its final submission which incorporates external validation, prototyping, testing, technical definition and specification.

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

 
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