Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research
  SooMin Leong

MA Design

The relationship between teaching and research underpins all activity at the CFPR and therefore the MA Design links naturally with the research centre. The MA in Design is led by CFPR’s Senior Research Fellow Tavs Jorgensen, with other CFPR staff, including research fellow Dr Peter Walters and Dr Paul O’Dowd, also contributing to the teaching on the course.

The MA Design offers students from a range of creative backgrounds the opportunity to develop, challenge and extend their design practice at an advanced level. The course is delivered through a series of project-based modules, through which you will engage with real-world problems and issues of relevance to contemporary design practice. Working individually and collaboratively, you will be encouraged to develop skills, knowledge and creativity commensurate with the needs of professional practice in design and the creative industries today.

The course provides a creative context for practice-based exploration and experimentation, through which you will be supported to develop innovative working methods and design solutions. You will creatively exploit appropriate materials, technologies and techniques, supported by the academic and technical staff in the Department of Art and Design’s facilities with particular emphasis on our research excellence in art, design and 3D printing.

As a discipline, design engages with the aesthetic, ethical and social dimensions of human life and the ecological, technological and industrial application of innovation. Within this context, you will be expected to undertake creative projects which are challenging and ambitious, and which result in credible, tangible design outcomes.

The course targets practicing designers, makers and industry professionals looking to extend their knowledge and skills base through professional development, as well as being a springboard for recent graduates to enhance their creative practice. We welcome applications from graduates from a range of disciplines, including but not exclusively: Product Design, Industrial Design, Interaction Design, Fashion and Textiles, Architecture and Interior Design, Fine Art and Applied Arts. If you are seeking to develop your creative practice and you are excited by opportunities to exchange ideas across design disciplines, then this could be the course for you.


Course Structure

Make (30 credits)
This module aims to develop and expand your knowledge, skills and interest in the innovative application of materials and technologies that will enhance your practice as a creative designer. You will be encouraged to creatively engage with a broad range of materials, making and manufacturing processes. Though a series of short practical projects, you will be invited to challenge the nature, role and cultural value of different approaches to 'making' and 'manufacture' from new and emerging digital fabrication technologies to the contemporary application of craft.

Play (30 credits)
This module is designed to deliver one primary objective: To reinvigorate a genuine sense of play into the creative enquiry and to build upon its potential for delivering innovation in design realisation. The emphasis of this module is on play, without the expectation that 'finished" work will be produced. This module builds on the skills acquired in 'Make' and encourages you to experiment and innovate with your ideas and speculate on new creative pathways. You will explore and develop ideas for a project proposal which will form the basis of the final Live module of the course.

Research Practice (30 credits)
This module is designed to develop the independent research skills required for writing research, practice or enterprise proposals at Masters level. It will offer three distinct proposals that you will chose from, in accordance with their professional ambitions: research for practice, research for further research, or research for enterprise in the creative industries. For each project key methods and approaches will be identified, for the development of research for the chosen project, and you will be expected to develop a coherent research proposal that evidences full supporting contextual research, enquiry and analysis.

Practice in a Professional Context (30 credits)
The emphasis of this module is to explore possibilities outside of the institution and participate in a placement, collaboration or work experience situation to gain knowledge and understanding of the professional arena. You will have the opportunity to negotiate your own programme of study, which explores and evaluates design within a professional context. The module allows you to explore your practice within or alongside a professional placement/project, which complements your particular abilities and interests. In the majority of cases, this project will take place in collaboration with an external organisation but aspects of the project may be conducted within the school.

Live (60 credits)
This module is designed to facilitate the development and delivery of a major creative project that capitalises upon the previous four modules. Whether working in collaboration with an industry partner, via partnerships between students, or working individually, the development of design solutions will be for a 'live' outward facing event: the UWE Creative Industries Degree Show. Successful design invariably engages with real-world problems and issues, ranging from the aesthetic, ethical and social dimensions of human life to the ecological, technological and industrial application of innovation. Reflecting the range and breadth of design as a discipline and a human activity, you will be encouraged to undertake challenging and ambitious projects, which are expected to engage with problems, and issues of significance within contemporary design practice.


We accept applications at any time and students may join the programme as either full-time or part-time students. Full-time students typically study for three semesters over 18 months, part-time students study for six semesters over three years. A semester is a 15-week period of study and generally runs October to January and February to June. For further details on entry requirements and the application process http://courses.uwe.ac.uk/W2001

CFPR Teaching

PhD Supervision Team

Current PhD Supervision

PhD Completions

Research Doctorates

3D3 Centre for Doctoral Training

MA Design

MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking

Continuing Professional Development

European Placement Scholarships

If you would like further information regarding post graduate research at the University of the West of England please follow the link below.

Postgraduate research study