M.A. Product Design

University for the Creative Arts

Application deadline: You can apply throughout the year
Tuition fee:
  • £ 11,760 / Year (International)
Start date: September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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On this specialism you work to understand and develop product design as part of a wider context of systems, organisations and experiences.

You are encouraged to consider product design through issues of materiality, experience and representation, reviewing organisational and promotional contexts and in relation to contemporary research, practice and publication. Recent projects have included the conceptual integration of packaging and products; sustainable design for and using recycled materials; customisation; and interactive products and furniture.

This course promotes joined-up thinking as an approach to design, so that the relationship between artefacts, environments and the systems and organisations in which they operate can be re-examined. It acknowledges that in order to realise potential and to participate in the challenge of designing in the future, the designer needs to continually review and rethink the boundaries and systems of design itself.

How this course is taught

You receive specialist tuition through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. You are expected to present your work in progress regularly at formal reviews. Above all, the emphasis is placed on personal development through the production of your design project.

How this course is assessed

Assessment includes evidence of experimentation and research in the form of design proposals, reviews, presentations, exhibitions of work, reflective journals and written papers.

Key study topics include:

* Development of a specialist or interdisciplinary personal project
* Explore methods, techniques, ideas and themes
* Work with practising professionals to identify future audiences
* Prepare for the next stage of your career.


Syllabus (11/12*)

Stage 1

* Research Methods for Creative Practice (Rochester MA programme common unit) - introduces you to a range of research and communication methods and tools appropriate to an advanced level of study in creative disciplines.
* Contemporary Issues in Visual & Material Culture (Rochester MA programme common unit)- this unit presents and reviews key themes that have influenced thinking and practice in contemporary photography, design, fashion and craft practice and continue to do so.
* Creative Practice (Design) - develop your creative practice in order to inform the detailed development of your project proposal for stages 2 and 3 of the course.

Stage 2

* Project Development (Design) - your MA project as research practice truly begins, your project takes shape and you develop as an independent researcher and practitioner.

Stage 3

* Project Realisation and Reflection- you apply the knowledge gained on the course to a final body of work as appropriate to your discipline. You will demonstrate the potential of your MA project, its subject and its method, to generate original and creative work that embodies knowledge.
* Project Publication and Dissemination (Rochester MA programme common unit) - you prepare the results of your design/visual practice in fully realised form. Applying gained knowledge directly to the production of your work in a form suitable for 'publication' as well as making professional contacts and taking part in actual negotiations to identify an appropriate context for your work and make its appearance in this form a reality.

For further information please view the full programme specification

* Please note the syllabus content is for the academic year indicated and is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.


Entry requirements

* A good Honours degree (normally 2:1 or above) or equivalent qualification in your chosen subject or a related discipline, and/or;
* Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English a certificate is required.


Your portfolio should include a selection of images of recent work, evidence of written work and a CV. Enthusiasm for your subject and the desire to succeed is essential.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


Studying abroad may seem like a big financial commitment, however if you control your finances well and budget ahead then you will find it much more manageable.

Funding available from UCA

* Fixed fees - UCA operates a fixed fees policy which means that once you enrol on your course, your fees remain at the same level for each year of study until you graduate.This means that if you start a pre-degree course and continue onto an undergraduate course and then an MA, your fees will remain unchanged over the course of your studies. For more information about the fixed fees policy please see the fixed fees web pages.
* International Student Fund - is a limited fund for supporting International and EU students experiencing unexpected financial crisis. An example of this could be because your usual source of income has either been delayed or lost, or you have had to pay unplanned and unavoidable costs. For further information please contact UCA's advice centres, contact details for them can be found on the advice and student finances pages.
* UCA Creative Scholarships - designed to support students in a variety of disciplines, allocated on merit, with eligibility varying from scholarship to scholarship. Details about these will be available from spring 2013. Please visit our UCA Creative Scholarships pages for more information.

Financial support available from other sources

* Your local British Council office - can provide you with details of scholarships and other sources of funding that you can apply for as an international student. For details of British Council offices where you live, please see UCA in your country and click on the Country Contacts for your country.

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