Key Information

Full-time

1 year

Part-time

2 years

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

Course Code

DESIGNMA

Key Information

Full-time

1 year

Part-time

2 years

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

Course Code

DESIGNMA

MA Design MA Design

MA Design students can benefit from a studio-based programme of practice, study, and research, tailored to their own particular discipline.

Key Information

Full-time

1 year

Part-time

2 years

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

Course Code

DESIGNMA

Key Information

Full-time

1 year

Part-time

2 years

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

Course Code

DESIGNMA

Dr Jim Shorthose - Programme Leader

Dr Jim Shorthose - Programme Leader

Jim completed his PhD at Warwick University Business School in 1997, and has since managed various research units and creative business support programmes, combined with teaching in the university sector - since 2014 in the School of Design at the University of Lincoln. He has written Understanding Creative Business: Values, Networks and Innovation (2011); Where is Creativity?: A Multidisciplinary Approach (2014); several 'pop-up' books and numerous articles dealing with creativity, the creative industries and professional development.

School Staff List Make an Enquiry

Welcome to MA Design

MA Design at the University of Lincoln is a multi-disciplinary programme that puts your chosen creative project, and the studio practice needed, at the heart of things. It offers taught elements geared towards expanding and consolidating the thinking, planning, and execution behind your project.

The taught elements aim to strengthening your reflective creative practice via inquiring into the nature of the creative process itself as well as your current ways of thinking, to make your creativity more sustained and ‘knowable’.

The course seeks to enhance your professional development by improving your skills in research, thinking about end users, and communicating your creative ideas more clearly to others. It also offers the opportunity to think about creative business development, getting your work ‘out there’ to grow your career and/or creative business possibilities.

MA Design offers a broad range of conceptual debates to help situate and contextualise your creative project, as well as discussions of a more specific and practical nature to help with the actual making which takes place in the studio/workshop – all geared towards helping you to shape your current designing and creative future.

Students have access to a wide range of creative technologies and dedicated workspaces, as well as access to a wide network of creative people beyond the teaching team itself. This includes researchers and practitioners within Lincoln School of Design, staff working in other disciplines across the University, and creative industry contacts beyond.

If you have any questions about the programme, please contact the MA Design Programme Leader, Dr Jim Shorthose at jshorthose@lincoln.ac.uk.

Welcome to MA Design

MA Design at the University of Lincoln is a multi-disciplinary programme that puts your chosen creative project, and the studio practice needed, at the heart of things. It offers taught elements geared towards expanding and consolidating the thinking, planning, and execution behind your project.

The taught elements aim to strengthening your reflective creative practice via inquiring into the nature of the creative process itself as well as your current ways of thinking, to make your creativity more sustained and ‘knowable’.

The course seeks to enhance your professional development by improving your skills in research, thinking about end users, and communicating your creative ideas more clearly to others. It also offers the opportunity to think about creative business development, getting your work ‘out there’ to grow your career and/or creative business possibilities.

MA Design offers a broad range of conceptual debates to help situate and contextualise your creative project, as well as discussions of a more specific and practical nature to help with the actual making which takes place in the studio/workshop – all geared towards helping you to shape your current designing and creative future.

Students have access to a wide range of creative technologies and dedicated workspaces, as well as access to a wide network of creative people beyond the teaching team itself. This includes researchers and practitioners within Lincoln School of Design, staff working in other disciplines across the University, and creative industry contacts beyond.

If you have any questions about the programme, please contact the MA Design Programme Leader, Dr Jim Shorthose at jshorthose@lincoln.ac.uk.

How You Study

Design is a very broad subject and there are key themes which run throughout the different areas of practice. The module structure of Lincoln’s MA Design allows students to explore their own particular discipline at a deeper level.

The six modules are as follows:

  • Research for Design
  • Design: Purpose & User
  • Critical Review of Current Practices
  • Design Theory & Making
  • Design Proposal
  • Final Major Project

MA Design is a studio-based programme of practice, study, and research. Modes of study within the programme include lectures by staff and visiting practitioners, seminars (staff and student-led), studio practice sessions, studio critiques and presentations, interim exhibitions and reviews, visits, workshops, and skills training sessions.

Please contact the College of Arts for further details at: unilincolnarts@lincoln.ac.uk.

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. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs. For research programmes this includes research fees and research support fees.

Find out More

How You Study

Design is a very broad subject and there are key themes which run throughout the different areas of practice. The module structure of Lincoln’s MA Design allows students to explore their own particular discipline at a deeper level.

The six modules are as follows:

  • Research for Design
  • Design: Purpose & User
  • Critical Review of Current Practices
  • Design Theory & Making
  • Design Proposal
  • Final Major Project

MA Design is a studio-based programme of practice, study, and research. Modes of study within the programme include lectures by staff and visiting practitioners, seminars (staff and student-led), studio practice sessions, studio critiques and presentations, interim exhibitions and reviews, visits, workshops, and skills training sessions. There are an increasing number of one-to-one tutorials as the course progresses towards the individual Major Project.

MA Design is currently developing and implementing a blended learning approach in line with Government guidance for COVID-19.

Please contact the College of Arts for further details at: unilincolnarts@lincoln.ac.uk.

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. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs. For research programmes this includes research fees and research support fees.

Find out More

An Introduction to Your Modules

Module Overview

This module aims to provide the opportunity to explore current design praxis and the theories and agendas that help make the contextual landscape. Through a process of research and critical evaluation students taking this module will be expected to identify and evaluate current, and historic, themes and trends relevant to their own design practice. The primary aim of this module is to enable students to establish an understanding of their own design practice and to be able to locate it within relevant commercial, philosophical, social, or critically theoretical contexts. A secondary aim is to help student designers understand and assimilate relevant working practices so that they will be able to build an informed approach to developing their work beyond the supportive environment of the programme.

Module Overview

This module is the penultimate step before the Final Major Project and may help provide students with the necessary focus on aims and objectives before commencing their final practical design work. Work from previous modules will provide the basis for students to write their own ‘brief’ and ascertain a series of outcomes which will be delivered. A professional, realistic, and aspirational attitude is encouraged which will be of great benefit to the student going forward. The student should be able to demonstrate to potential employers a level of independence and enquiry that sets them apart from undergraduate students.

Module Overview

The Design Theory and Making module aims to provide insights and discussions devoted to making the myriad connections between theoretical aspects of design debates, and the practical issues concerned with shaping a viable design project oriented towards actual making. It may explore through group discussions and 1-to-1 tutorials, the key issues of generating and applying new design ideas; relating research to concrete practice; shaping viable design projects; critically reflecting upon emerging iterations and consequent degrees of progress – all to provide space for a critical consideration of how to take conceptual thinking and planning through to concrete making within the context of a student-led design project.

Module Overview

The Design: Purpose & User Module is intended to foster independence and confidence in the design solutions produced by students. By embarking on a series of lectures/seminars and practical projects students can develop a set of analytical skills based in psychological and practical understanding of the obstacles to effective design and how to design more effectively. The programme is distinctive in that emphasis is placed on the effective application of analytical and creative thinking processes; an appreciation of ethical concerns; an awareness of the realities of professional life and an ability to articulate and communicate. The curriculum is designed to encourage the development of intellectual maturity, curiosity, personal innovation, risk-taking, independent enquiry, and effective management and planning skills; thus students may have the opportunity develop generic skills alongside their subject-specific knowledge and skills. As it is a practice-based programme combined with research, it also provides opportunities to further develop relevant creative, intellectual, and technical skills, which are essential to enter contemporary design practice at a high level.

Module Overview

This module is the final showcase of students' theoretical and practical skills which have been cultivated during the course of the programme. The more highly focused skills acquired and developed since graduating from undergraduate study should be in evidence. Successful students should be able to justify the title Master by expressing their acquired knowledge and practical skills in this final practical project. By identifying their particular practice throughout the programme and focusing their aspirations around this identified practice, students should emerge from the programme with a greater sense of confidence in their own abilities and a confidence in what they are as a designer. Mapping out a career plan and working towards those goals should be clear to successful graduates, be these work aspirations or going on to study at a higher level.

Module Overview

For several years the MA Design has offered students a heuristic model research rather than a didactic one. We start from an individual's creative practice looking out, rather than from an 'expert' external argument against which the student must judge their practice. This approach has served us well and has several advantages: 1. A heuristic 'invitation to learn' is more suited to a Masters programme with its acknowledgement of disciplinary and studentship competence in the students on the programme. 2. It puts the emphasis on the student as an active participant in the co-creation of their learning experience. 3. It enables the programme team to talk sensibly to students across a wide-range of disciplinary practice and to include unique variations and distinctions of approach within practice disciplines. While this is not a unique approach it is one with pedigree and one which has been consolidated through the research publications of the programme team. It has served us well and we see it as being central to the revalidated MA Design. It is also an approach that equips students well, as part of their professional development, for their entry into the creative industries.

† 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.

An Introduction to Your Modules

Module Overview

This module aims to provide the opportunity to explore current design praxis and the theories and agendas that help make the contextual landscape. Through a process of research and critical evaluation students taking this module will be expected to identify and evaluate current, and historic, themes and trends relevant to their own design practice. The primary aim of this module is to enable students to establish an understanding of their own design practice and to be able to locate it within relevant commercial, philosophical, social, or critically theoretical contexts. A secondary aim is to help student designers understand and assimilate relevant working practices so that they will be able to build an informed approach to developing their work beyond the supportive environment of the programme.

Module Overview

This module is the penultimate step before the Final Major Project and may help provide students with the necessary focus on aims and objectives before commencing their final practical design work. Work from previous modules will provide the basis for students to write their own ‘brief’ and ascertain a series of outcomes which will be delivered. A professional, realistic, and aspirational attitude is encouraged which will be of great benefit to the student going forward. The student should be able to demonstrate to potential employers a level of independence and enquiry that sets them apart from undergraduate students.

Module Overview

The Design Theory and Making module aims to provide insights and discussions devoted to making the myriad connections between theoretical aspects of design debates, and the practical issues concerned with shaping a viable design project oriented towards actual making. It may explore through group discussions and 1-to-1 tutorials, the key issues of generating and applying new design ideas; relating research to concrete practice; shaping viable design projects; critically reflecting upon emerging iterations and consequent degrees of progress – all to provide space for a critical consideration of how to take conceptual thinking and planning through to concrete making within the context of a student-led design project.

Module Overview

The Design: Purpose & User Module is intended to foster independence and confidence in the design solutions produced by students. By embarking on a series of lectures/seminars and practical projects students can develop a set of analytical skills based in psychological and practical understanding of the obstacles to effective design and how to design more effectively. The programme is distinctive in that emphasis is placed on the effective application of analytical and creative thinking processes; an appreciation of ethical concerns; an awareness of the realities of professional life and an ability to articulate and communicate. The curriculum is designed to encourage the development of intellectual maturity, curiosity, personal innovation, risk-taking, independent enquiry, and effective management and planning skills; thus students may have the opportunity develop generic skills alongside their subject-specific knowledge and skills. As it is a practice-based programme combined with research, it also provides opportunities to further develop relevant creative, intellectual, and technical skills, which are essential to enter contemporary design practice at a high level.

Module Overview

This module is the final showcase of students' theoretical and practical skills which have been cultivated during the course of the programme. The more highly focused skills acquired and developed since graduating from undergraduate study should be in evidence. Successful students should be able to justify the title Master by expressing their acquired knowledge and practical skills in this final practical project. By identifying their particular practice throughout the programme and focusing their aspirations around this identified practice, students should emerge from the programme with a greater sense of confidence in their own abilities and a confidence in what they are as a designer. Mapping out a career plan and working towards those goals should be clear to successful graduates, be these work aspirations or going on to study at a higher level.

Module Overview

For several years the MA Design has offered students a heuristic model research rather than a didactic one. We start from an individual's creative practice looking out, rather than from an 'expert' external argument against which the student must judge their practice. This approach has served us well and has several advantages: 1. A heuristic 'invitation to learn' is more suited to a Masters programme with its acknowledgement of disciplinary and studentship competence in the students on the programme. 2. It puts the emphasis on the student as an active participant in the co-creation of their learning experience. 3. It enables the programme team to talk sensibly to students across a wide-range of disciplinary practice and to include unique variations and distinctions of approach within practice disciplines. While this is not a unique approach it is one with pedigree and one which has been consolidated through the research publications of the programme team. It has served us well and we see it as being central to the revalidated MA Design. It is also an approach that equips students well, as part of their professional development, for their entry into the creative industries.

† 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.

How you are assessed

Postgraduate Certificate stage assessment is a combination of practical portfolio, presentation to peers and staff, written research, and written proposal.

An extensive finished project and supporting portfolio of development work and a short presentation to staff and peers forms part of the MA Design.

Written documents include an extensive negotiated written work exploring themes relevant to studio practice and/or discipline, and a further document recording dissemination of work/ideas. A written project proposal is submitted ahead of the major project.

Postgraduate Certificate stage assessment is a combination of practical portfolio, presentation to peers and staff, written research, and written proposal.

An extensive finished project and supporting portfolio of development work and a short presentation to staff and peers forms part of the MA Design.

Written documents include an extensive negotiated written work exploring themes relevant to studio practice and/or discipline, and a further document recording dissemination of work/ideas. A written project proposal is submitted ahead of the major project.

Fees and Scholarships

Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future, and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

There are more ways than ever before to fund your postgraduate study, whether you want to do a taught or research course. For those wishing to undertake a Master's course, you can apply for a loan as a contribution towards the course and living costs. Loans are also available to those who wish to undertake doctoral study. The University offers a number of scholarships and funded studentships for those interested in postgraduate study. Learn how Master's and PhD loans, scholarships, and studentships can help you fund your studies on our Postgraduate Fees and Funding 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.

Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future, and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

There are more ways than ever before to fund your postgraduate study, whether you want to do a taught or research course. For those wishing to undertake a Master's course, you can apply for a loan as a contribution towards the course and living costs. Loans are also available to those who wish to undertake doctoral study. The University offers a number of scholarships and funded studentships for those interested in postgraduate study. Learn how Master's and PhD loans, scholarships, and studentships can help you fund your studies on our Postgraduate Fees and Funding 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.

Entry Requirements 2020-21

First or upper second class 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.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/

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.
https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

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.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/pre-sessionalenglishandacademicstudyskills/

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

Entry Requirements 2021-22

First or upper second class 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.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/

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.
https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

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.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/pre-sessionalenglishandacademicstudyskills/

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

Teaching and Learning During Covid-19

At Lincoln, Covid-19 has encouraged us to review our practices and, as a result, to take the opportunity to find new ways to enhance the student experience. We have made changes to our teaching and learning approach and to our campus, to ensure that students and staff can enjoy a safe and positive learning experience. We will continue to follow Government guidance and work closely with the local Public Health experts as the situation progresses, and adapt our teaching and learning accordingly to keep our campus as safe as possible.

Sebastian Cox, MA Design, 2011

Award-winning furniture designer, Sebastian Cox, developed his unique style at the University of Lincoln. He has showcased work specially commissioned by Sir Terence Conran, and has created pieces for Burberry. He was asked to create a bespoke item of furniture to exhibit as part of the The Wish List installation, held at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in September 2014. Sebastian is recognised as a pioneer of sustainable design in Britain.

Sebastian took part in a live interview discussing his work as part of the 2020 Virtual Design Festival.

Image of graduate and award-winning furniture designer, Seb Cox

Interviews

We interview all applicants where appropriate.

Features

The MA Design programme maintains regular links with current practising designers and these individuals form part of a vibrant and regular visiting lecturer series.

Postgraduate Events

Find out more about how postgraduate study can help further your career, develop your knowledge, or even prepare you to start your own business at one of our postgraduate events.

Find out More

Career Opportunities

The MA Design programme maintains regular links with current practising designers and these individuals form part of a vibrant and regular visiting lecturer series.

Related Courses

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.
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