This MA prepares students from design and other creative disciplines to design innovative strategies and act as a catalyst for change in the design, branding and related professions and businesses.
A UK first or second class Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification usually in design or a closely related creative discipline and/or industrial/management/consultancy experience. Other qualifications and relevant experience will be assessed on an individual basis. English Language requirements: IELTS score 6.5 with a minimum of 6 in each subsection; TOEFL Internet test: 92 (R20, L20, S20, W20); TOEFL (paper-based) score 580 and 4.5 in essay rating (TWE). For alternative English language qualifications accepted please view: /international/languagerequirements
The course aims to prepare students from design and other creative disciplines to design innovative strategies and act as a catalyst for change in the design, branding and related professions, businesses, education and other organisations.
You will engage with high-level skills and creative thinking and learn to communicate clearly strategies for successful brand building, futures forecasting and change management. You may expect to engage throughout with design and branding professionals through the excellent network of industry/profession support enjoyed by the School. You will do a three phase programme
A series of theoretical and practical modules as follows:
Design Research, Creativity and Innovation
Main topics include: national and international context of design and creative enterprise; current design, marketing and branding issues; nature and types of design and design research, creativity, branding, visual thinking and communicating; influence of new technology, economics, social, environmental, sustainability, corporate governance, people management and ethical issues; evaluation of design processes and practice, innovation process tools; spectrum of methodological frameworks and tools for hard and soft problems; systems thinking, socio-technical models, cultural issues, supply chain implications; feasibility studies, design audit criteria, formulating strategies and plans; presenting verbal and visual proposals; IT based and other presentation skills, writing skills; research methods, indexes and databases, literature review, using www, hypotheses selecting statistical and OR techniques, questionnaires, surveys, formal and informal interview techniques, using and preparing case studies, scenarios, modelling and forecasting techniques; creative thinking, personal creativity, idea generation methods/stimuli, drawing and sketching, role play, virtual reality; teamwork, cross-functional collaboration, multi-disciplinary working and design leadership; aesthetics and taste, inventors, inventiveness, style leaders.
Design Management and Marketing
Main topics include: a brief history of marketing and design management thinking; definitions of marketing and design management; relationship and synergies required between designers and marketeers; differences between consumer and industrial markets; consumer role and influence; buying behaviour; market segmentation techniques, targeting and positioning; definition, role and difference between products and services in a marketing context; pricing strategies; distribution methods; role of branding and promotion; classical and leading contemporary market research techniques; implication and challenges of international marketing; case studies.; project management principles, design process stages and quality control.
Main topics include: a brief history of branding origins; case studies of classic brand campaigns; leading contemporary research in design and branding; relationship and influence of design, corporate image, corporate identity; brand communication, product or service development, brand naming, brand identity, strategy formulation; measuring effectiveness, brand valuation; economic and ethical issues, relationship to corporate strategy, marketing and advertising; managing the branding process; formulating future scenarios.
Main topics include: futures forecasting; forecasting techniques; influences of global and national economy; organisational change issues; social and ethical issues, influence of technology, marketing and branding; innovation drivers; key design research findings. These modules will provide a thought provoking and challenging underpinning to your subsequent specialist branding project.
You will carry out a specialist project under academic supervision engaging closely with industry and / or the design / branding profession. This project will enable you to gain valuable practical experience and address real design and related challenges. You will be encouraged and taught how to use your personal creativity and problem solving skills to a high professional level. Running concurrently will be the Design Futures seminar programme in which you will engage with university staff and eminent external visitors to debate contemporary issues and cutting-edge developments in design.
In the third term you will prepare a dissertation in which you address one or more of the important issues identified during your project. Recent example of dissertations by students taking this course include: Branding and national identity Luxury fashion branding Spiritual branding for boutique hotels With the help of your specialist tutor you will reflect on your process of learning and show how you will use your knowledge and skills to formulate strategies, plans and implementation recommendations for the effective use of design and branding in organisations. Part time study is spread over two or three years.
At the end of the course you should be able to:
Communicate and demonstrate the potential value of design and branding Show expertise in your chosen specialism Critically evaluate the potential benefits of alternative design and branding solution strategies Show personal initiative in addressing challenging issues relevant to industry and other organisations and / or the design profession Enhance your career
This course is based on our successful MA Design Strategy and Innovation course which began in 1994 and former graduates now work in key positions in such prestigious organisations as BAA plc, Tesco, Daewoo and Herman Miller; also in leading design consultancies and education. The course prepares you for work in the design field or for other roles in the emergent creative economy.
This course is accredited by the IED.