Key Information


1 year


2 years

Start Date

September 2024

Typical Offer

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Brayford Pool

Academic Year

Course Overview

MA Design at the University of Lincoln is a studio practice based, multi-disciplinary programme that puts your self-initiated creative project at its heart. The taught elements are geared towards consolidating and expanding your creative thinking, planning, and design execution. It aims to strengthen your reflective creative practice via explorations of the creative process itself, related to future-facing practical design applications in your chosen specialism.

By asking you to reflect on the bridge between design theory and practice, MA Design aims to enhance your professional development via improved skills in research, devising, and managing particular projects, thinking about end users, and building design communication skills.

MA Design is centred around the belief that the future of the design professions lies in working across traditional design specialisms, being more effective in the 'gig economy', and building a career relevant to the concrete realities of the new cultural economy. The programme offers insights into a broad range of conceptual debates to help contextualise your creative project and these debates are integrated with practical inquiries to help with the actual making needed in the studio and workshop.

Students have access to a wide range of creative technologies and dedicated workspaces, a wide network of creative practitioners from across the Lincoln School of Design, staff working in other disciplines within the University, and creative industry contacts - all of which can help you develop your particular creative project.

Why Choose Lincoln

A studio practice based, multi-disciplinary programme

Consolidate and expand your creative thinking, planning, and design execution

A focus on enhancing your professional development

Access to a wide range of creative technologies and dedicated workspaces

YouTube video for Why Choose Lincoln

How You Study

Modes of study within the course include lectures by staff and visiting practitioners, student-led seminars, student presentations and 'crit' sessions', industry visits, and one-to-one tutorials.

There is scope to work on live projects and collaborations with industry when appropriate. You will also be asked to contribute to the MA Final Show in our dedicated exhibition space. The MA Design programme also maintains regular links with current practising designers and these individuals form part of a vibrant and regular visiting lecturer series.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Critical Review of Current Practices 2024-25DES9011MLevel 72024-25This module asks you to critically discuss how your Major Project was created; how it developed via its various iterations; how it responded to broader contexts; how you turned abstract ideas into concrete design realities; and how you might take your new design directions forward into post-MA creative practice/business. The module asks you reflect upon how all of its various facets form an integrated whole, thus strengthening your sense of having a consolidated reflective creative practice.CoreDesign: Purpose and User. 2024-25DES9010MLevel 72024-25This module asks you to critically reflect upon what you want to achieve as a designer; the ‘why’ and ‘for whom’ of your creative practice as a route to continued creative and professional development. It aims to aid your understanding of the role, opportunities, and obstacles inherent in the current design practices which underpin your Major Project, considered especially in relationship to its underlying values and overriding purposes.CoreFinal Major project 2024-25DES9014MLevel 72024-25This module offers continuous support geared towards helping you with the technical, logistical and marketing aspects leading towards the Final MA Show. It also involves ongoing discussions about how you might continue to take this work into your post-MA creative and professional development.CoreProject Development for Design 2024-25DES9012MLevel 72024-25Providing insights into the conceptual and practical issues involved in shaping a viable design project oriented towards making, this module explores some key ideas involved in generating and developing your Major Project - such as the need for initial orientation; the importance of exploration and experimentation; the usefulness of emergent forms of project development; the need for creative balance and project viability; the necessity of clarity and good testing; the question of ethics for project development; different manifestations of creative ‘success’, and how to become fully studio-ready.CoreResearch for Design 2024-25DES9009MLevel 72024-25Expanding insights into what ‘research’ and ‘design’ are or can be, this module is an invitation to discuss how you might use such debates to critically (re)think about how you might turn your nascent creative ideas, viewpoints, motivations, and values into the basis for practical designing and making. It invites you to (re)frame, (re)assess and (re)position your potential for thinking about the kind of designer you want to be. This is offered as both preparation for the upcoming MA journey, and for a broader contextual understanding for developing your future post-MA creative practice/business.CoreWriting Design Proposals 2024-25DES9013MLevel 72024-25Firstly, this module offers the space for you to develop and consolidate the specific proposals which underpin your Major Project. Secondly, it offers insights into developing generic skills in writing proposals for your post-MA creative career by understanding how to better speak to the world ‘out there’ - potential funders, agents, investors, buyers, clients, and curators.Core

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

The different modules which make up the programme have different forms of assessment. These include keeping a reflective journal, a portfolio of practical design work in progress, student presentations, written reports, a critical review of practice, and a final show.

How to Apply

Postgraduate Application Support

Applying for a postgraduate programme at Lincoln is easy. Find out more about the application process and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page. Here, you'll also be able to find out more about the entry requirements we accept and how to contact us for dedicated support during the process.

How to Apply
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Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

A minimum 2:2 honours degree or equivalent professional experience.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page.

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses.

These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

Course Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below.

Course Fees

The University offers a range of merit-based, subject-specific, and country-focused scholarships for UK and international students. To help support students from outside of the UK, we offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course -Specific Additional Costs

Students may need to acquire specialist equipment in order to complete their proposed negotiated projects. These materials are dependent on the nature of the design practice. These are in addition to the University’s own equipment and specialised facilities, such as computer labs, the maker lab, the print workshop, and the machine workshop, which are available for students to use.

Funding Your Study

Postgraduate Funding Options

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate study, from Master's Loans to scholarship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Career Development

Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future. It can help you to further or completely change your career, develop your knowledge, enhance your salary, or even prepare you to start your own business. Postgraduate students at the University of Lincoln benefit from inspirational teaching combined with high-quality facilities and learning spaces, great industry links, and unique research opportunities, all of which are designed to help you stand out from the crowd and make the most of your time with us. 

Why Postgraduate Study?

Academic Contact

For more information about this course, please contact the Programme Leader.

Dr Jim Shorthose

Postgraduate Events

To get a real feel for what it is like to study at the University of Lincoln, we hold a number of dedicated postgraduate events and activities throughout the year for you to take part in.

Upcoming Postgraduate Events
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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.