MA by Research

Key Information


1 year

Entry Requirements

See More


Brayford Pool

Start Dates in October and January

Programme Overview

The MA by Research in Design offers the opportunity to pursue research opportunities in all aspects of design practice, design scholarship, and research. The Lincoln School of Design provides a supportive academic environment in which to conduct postgraduate study and this course has been designed to prepare graduates to embark on further study at doctoral level, as well as for careers in teaching and a wide range of other fields.

Key Features

Conduct independent and academically significant research

Benefit from training courses to develop key research skills

Supervision and support from academic staff

Benefit from research seminars and visiting academics

Enrol in January or October each year

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How You Study

The core of the programme is a design project, for which you will submit a proposal at application stage and identify two academic supervisors, with whom you'll meet regularly for feedback and advice. Due to the nature of postgraduate research, a significant amount of time will be spent in independent study.

Your MA by Research project might cross disciplinary boundaries-design projects often do-and focus on multiple subject areas: in such cases, we will support you through the allocation of supervisors in relevant fields.

Students have access to support and training which aim to develop the practical, written, and critical skills necessary for investigation and study at postgraduate level.

The Lincoln School of Design promotes the development of a stimulating research environment within which our postgraduate community plays a central role. Initiatives such as research seminars with internal speakers and visiting academics aim to foster cross-disciplinary debates and collaboration, as well as providing opportunities for career development.


Our comprehensive range of facilities is designed to provide a supportive environment for creative practitioners. Students have regular access to workshops, labs, studios and industry-standard equipment, as well as highly knowledgeable technicians. This environment can help students to develop their knowledge and skills, and complements our purpose-built design studios.

Explore Our Facilities
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How you are assessed

With the help of dedicated skills sessions, and under the guidance of academic supervisors, students will be expected to produce a body of practical design work and a supporting critical commentary of at least 10,000 words.

We can support a wide range of practical design projects and examples may include a prototype for a product, a graphic advertising campaign, an app, furniture, clothing, or an interactive environment.

There is scope, by negotiation, to amend the balance of practical design work to written commentary depending on the viability of the practical design plans and their development over the programme.

Research Proposal and Enrolment

Application involves submitting a valid and feasible research proposal. Applicants with appropriate projects will be offered an interview with the programme leader and a subject specialist where they can discuss the details of their research proposal. For an initial discussion about the programme, please contact Dr Neil Maycroft.

Make an Enquiry

To support your experience within the postgraduate research community, new students are encouraged to enrol in October or January. In addition to meeting peers across the University who are starting their research programme at the same time, there is access to a central training programme designed around the first three months of study, and targeted support aligned to each stage of the postgraduate research journey. Alternative enrolment dates should be agreed with your supervisors on an individual basis.

How to Apply

Postgraduate Research Application Support

Find out more about the application process for research degrees and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page, which also features contact details for dedicated support with your application.

How to Apply
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Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

First or upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject.

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 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 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.

Programme 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. Research students may be required to pay additional fees in addition to cover the cost of specialist resources, equipment and access to any specialist collections that may be required to support their research project. These will be informed by your research proposal and will be calculated on an individual basis.

Programme Fees

Funding Your Research

Loans and Studentships

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate research, from Master's and Doctoral Loans, to research studentship 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

A research programme provides the opportunity to become a true expert in your chosen field, while developing a range of valuable transferable skills than can support your career progression. A research-based degree is also the most direct pathway to an academic career. Research degrees are a great chance to expand your network and meet diverse people with similar interests, knowledge, and passion.

The University’s Doctoral School provides a focal point for Lincoln’s community of researchers, where ideas and experiences can be developed and shared across disciplines. It also offers support and training to help equip you for both academic and non-academic careers.

Doctoral School

Research at Lincoln

Through our research, we are striving to change society for the better. Working with regional, national, and international partners, our academics are engaged in groundbreaking studies that are challenging the status quo. We also understand the importance of providing the best possible environment for pursuing research that can support our communities and make a tangible difference to the world around us.

Explore Our Research
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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.