Design and Culture MA

Entry requirements:
2:2 +
Full-time:
1 year
Part-time:
4 years
Start date:
October 2018
UK/EU fees:
£10,250
International fees:
£23,300
Location:
London

Achievements

36th

in the world for Design

QS World Rankings by subject 2017

4th

in the UK for Art and Design

Complete University Guide 2018

Overview

Our MA in Design and Culture will provide you with the concepts and skills for undertaking ethnographic research for completion of design projects. These skills can be applied and developed in both the interdisciplinary and international design projects that provide the core of the programme.

Building on the strengths of our MA/MSc Design Innovation programme, Design and Culture MA expands the question, does culture inform design or does design inform culture? Through a series of processes and projects you will build a portfolio of work informed by the study of culture through the Media and Creative Industries. Our MA in Design and Culture will encourage you to explore the dynamic, contingent relationships between design and its many cultural contexts. As well as this, our Design and Culture programme will enable you to develop your analytical and research skills through undertaking a substantial design innovation and evaluation project that draws on the influences of culture in design.

These projects will provide you with the experience of working in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary design-driven teams, facilitating the development of skills which are increasingly required by industry. Loughborough University London typifies Loughborough’s outstanding reputation amongst employers by engaging with even more businesses and collaborating with industry leaders and the public sector based in the capital.

What makes this programme different?

  • Gain key skills sought by employers
  • Acquire analytical and research skills
  • Industry links within the capital

Who should study this programme?

You will be able to enhance your design skills and knowledge through theoretical and practical application individually and in multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary teams.

2:2 (or above) in Design, Innovation, Business, Media, Technology or related subjects. Applicants from non-Design backgrounds require 55% and above in their final year.

The standard University IELTS English language requirement is 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each individual element (reading, writing, listening and speaking).

What you'll study

You will learn from the most influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators, exposing you to the latest theories and developments from across your discipline.

Modules

Design and Culture MA covers a wide range of topics; to give you a taster we have expanded on some of the core modules affiliated with this programme and the specific assessment methods associated with each module.

To complete the MA Design and Culture students must complete 8 x 15 credit modules (4 in the first semester and 4 in the second semester). All modules are compulsory. All students must complete a Dissertation worth 60 credits.

With a multi-talented group of students, you will work on a brief from a real company looking to solve a real social or business problem.

Together with your student team, you will research and build solutions to a business problem, supported by our project tutors, clients and staff. Previous clients include Foster + Partners, Speedo, The London Legacy Development Corporation as well as many other companies, start-ups and charities.

The Collaborative Project provides a means for you to engage in critical enquiry and to be exposed to project-based teamwork in multicultural and interdisciplinary settings. By undertaking this module, you will strengthen your cooperative and collaborative working skills and competencies, whilst raising your awareness and appreciation of cultural and disciplinary diversity and differences.

The Collaborative Project aims to provide you with a hands-on experience of identifying, framing and resolving practice-oriented and real-world based challenges and problems, using creativity and appropriate tools to achieve valuable and relevant solutions. Alongside the collaborative elements of the module, you will be provided with opportunities to network with stakeholders, organisations and corporations, which will give you the experience and skills needed to connect to relevant parties and potentially develop future employment opportunities.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Work effectively in diverse and interdisciplinary teams
  • Undertake and contribute towards a project-based development process
  • Apply critical enquiry, reflection, and creative methods to identify, frame, and resolve issues and problems at hand
  • Identify user and stakeholder needs and value creation opportunities, whilst collecting and applying evidence-based information and knowledge to develop appropriate insights, practices and solutions
  • Identify, structure, reflect on key issues and propose solutions to problems in creative ways
  • Enhance your appreciation for diversity and divergent individual and disciplinary perspectives
  • Be able to provide structured, reflective and critical feedback to peers and other stakeholders
  • Plan and execute a project plan including scope, resources and timing
  • Effectively communicate ideas, methods and results to a diverse range of stakeholders
  • Use multiple, state-of-the-art date media and technologies to communicate with collaborators
  • Make informed, critical and reflective decisions in time-limited situations

Assessment

100% Coursework consisting of:

  • 20% Group project proposal
  • 20% Individual reflection
  • 30% Final Project Report
  • 30% Project deliverables to the client

This module focuses on developing skilled communication strategies and principles for working in cross-cultural contexts. Key theoretical concepts of `identity', ‘otherisation' and ‘representation' will be introduced through lectures and seminars in order to explore the complex interrelationships between identity, culture and communication. You will be expected to collect and analyse data from the Interdisciplinary Project module to be used for the case study assignment.

The module aims to answer the following important questions: What is culture? How are cultural identities constructed? How do cultural stereotypes impact on communication? How are meanings negotiated? And how are these questions related to working as a contemporary designer?

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Understand the complex interplay between identity and culture and demonstrate these concepts through application to a relevant design context
  • Analyse communication events, written texts and visual images to explore how culture and power relations work to produce particular meanings and communicate this in an appropriate language and report structure
  • Discuss the concepts of identity and culture outlined in the course
  • Apply outlined key concepts when undertaking the analysis of communication strategies observed within the student project teams
  • Develop and communicate ideas in a coherent sequence
  • Use appropriate language and report structure
  • Reference and attribute correctly
  • Provide critical peer feedback
  • Work in cross-cultural teams
  • Use concepts from the module to inform their professional practice

Assessment

100% Coursework consisting of:

  • 50% Individual Assessment
  • 50% Individual Report

This module will enable you to start planning for their major project by focusing first on generating a suitable topic to be explored. The goal is for you to arrive at a feasible, agreed major project plan. You will consolidate your prior learning and use it to develop a learning plan to complete your chosen study pathway.

The aim of the Reflection and Action module is to facilitate your reflection on individual practices and values, and the shifts impacting on design discipline. You will gain a broad understanding of design theories and research in order to inform and shape their dissertation proposal to be developed in the dissertation module.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research and advanced scholarship and display evidence of understanding the requirements of focusing research ideas
  • Understand what is a reflective practice and its role in design research
  • Develop a feasible research direction
  • Plan and pilot a research method suitable to the individuals dissertation
  • understand the participatory and action research methodologies
  • reflect, identify and agree a dissertation direction
  • engage in a sustained piece of individual, academic research on a chosen research method
  • articulate, carry out and reflect a feasible pilot project
  • manage their time and resources effectively
  • use initiative and take responsibility
  • develop skills in pilot study planning
  • display evidence of independent research skills

Assessment

  • 10% Research Method Pilot poster
  • 30% Presentation
  • 60% Research Method Pilot Study Report

The module will locate design within broader cultural issues and practices of creativity and innovation. This module will use the Circuit of Culture and its five interrelated categories (i.e. Identity, Representation, Regulation, Production and Consumption) as framework to explore processes of meaning making.

The aims of this module are to build on concepts introduced in the Identity, Culture & Communication module and the Meaning Making in Design module. It aims to answer ‘What is culture?’, identify its meanings and practices, its production and representation, and show designers as cultural intermediaries.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate your understanding of how designers' practices are interwoven with elements of production and consumption of culture
  • Cultural processes which form the culture of circuit
  • Display the interplay of elements within the culture of circuit in construction of meaning
  • Identify relation between design and culture
  • Explain the key concepts of `culture, cultural formation and production in relation design
  • Analyse complex cultural issues and evaluate design processes and products
  • Collect data and analyse these using the key concepts discussed in the module
  • Provide peer feedback
  • Respond to peer feedback
  • Develop understanding of culture as non-essential
  • Understand interplay of elements in construction of meaning

Assessment

  • Case study (80%)
  • Peer feedback (20%)

The Design Innovation Project is designed so that you develop and gain experience in using key skills that will enable you to work successfully with various organisational project team members in the face to face and distributed product development process. The module will prepare you to develop as culturally competent project leaders.

The aim of this module is to provide you with the skills for working in design innovation work teams.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Develop strategies to plan and execute a project across distributed collaborative teams
  • Understand the impact of distributed project teams on project management
  • Develop and gain experience in using distance communication
  • Explore cultural issues and concepts with exchanges and project evaluation
  • Develop skills in generating and ev aluation of project briefs
  • Demonstrate increased awareness of cultural issues and concepts
  • Develop strategies to make a contribution diverse project teams
  • Use distance communication tools
  • Provide critical feedback to peers
  • Articulate a project brief and project review criteria
  • Use digital communication tools
  • Develop teamwork skills
  • Develop the means to implement and communicate the strategy to a 'client'
  • Communicate effectively, with colleagues and a wider audience, in a variety of media
  • Solve problems in creative and innovative ways

Assessment

  • 30% Design Process Diary
  • 30% Reflective Article
  • 40% Project Deliverables

The module includes lectures on topics such as: the creative industries, the history of media technologies, media and intellectual property law; media policy; media organisational structures; and the development, creation, production, distribution and exploitation of media content.

The aim of this module is to present and debate the structure, features and professional practices of the UK and global media landscapes. The module aims to explore a range of different media and creative industries from both professional and academic perspectives.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to demonstrate knowledge and ability of:

  • Identify the key characteristics and trends of various media sectors
  • Analyse the main elements in the value chain of various media sectors
  • Identify the key historical moments in the development of mass and online media
  • The nature and context of working in these sectors
  • Ability to synthesise acquired information in essays/'industry briefs' which address key challenges for the media and creative industries
  • Make use of feedback on the substance and presentation of these briefs-
  • Write concise `industry briefs'
  • Engage in conversation with media professionals
  • Meet weekly deadlines
  • Write according to strict deadlines
  • Produce short, well written texts that are informative to others
  • Be able to engage in dialogue with media and creative industry professionals
  • Be able to respond creatively to contemporary challenges facing the sector

Assessment

  • 10% Mini reports
  • 90% Report

The module content will include: defining media and creative industries; ownership, concentration and control in media and creative industries; innovation and technological change; media and creative markets; business models in media and creative industries; copyright; global media cities; clustering of media and creative industries; media and cultural policy.

The aim of this module is to introduce you to key critical debates relating to the economics of media and creative industries and their social, cultural and political implications.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Understand how and why the media and creative industries have been defined
  • Understand the importance of industrial structure in media and creative industries
  • Understand the implications of innovation and technological change for media and creative industries
  • Understand changing business models in media and creative industries
  • Understand the importance of copyright and how this is affected by technological change
  • Understand why media and creative industries cluster in particular spaces and cities
  • Understand the globalisation of media and creative industries
  • Understand media and cultural policy
  • Identify, debate and evaluate relevant critical perspectives on media and creative industries
  • Systematically assess the implicit theoretical assumptions of contrasting perspectives
  • Use critical perspectives to analyse emerging trends in media and creative industries
  • Communicate effectively in speech and writing, with academic and non-academic audiences
  • Engage in critical reasoning, debate and argumentation
  • Assess the empirical validity of competing perspectives
  • Manage time and resources effectively
  • Synthesise different sources of data and identify key arguments and issues at stake in particular fields of practice
  • Understand the behaviour of firms in media and creative industries
  • Understand emerging trends in media and creative industries
  • Apply skills in written and verbal communication that are relevant to this field
  • Be able to plan, organise and manage coursework assignments, demonstrating independence, initiative and originality

Assessment

  • 100% Coursework

Lectures include topics such as: approaches to media and creative industries research; standardised questionnaire design; methods of sampling; document-based research; conducting qualitative interviews; analysing quantitative data using SPSS; analysing qualitative data through thematic analysis; developing multi method research strategies.

The aim of this module is so that you become familiar with a range of methodologies for the analysis of structure, operation and output of media and cultural industries.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Analyse a range of methods applicable to the study of media and creative industries, cultural texts and reception
  • Situate particular social, textual and industry research methods in relation to other research practices
  • Show through explanation and/or discussion the tensions that divide particular research methods and the benefits that can be derived from their combination
  • Evaluate qualitative and quantitative data to appraise their wider analytical value and significance
  • Link empirical findings to wider theoretical debates concerning creative industries, media production and reception
  • Understand how to collect primary data
  • Understand how to analyse data
  • Know how to find and evaluate scholarly sources
  • Be able to communicate effectively in speech and writing
  • Synthesise scholarly and primary sources for use in argument
  • Understand the relevance of research to media and creative industries
  • Be able to conduct primary research relevant to media and creative industries
  • Skills in written and verbal communication that are relevant to this field (e.g. report writing)
  • Be able to plan, organise and manage a self-directed piece of research, demonstrating independence, initiative and originality

Assessment

  • 100% Coursework

The Dissertation module will equip you with the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding to embark on your own research project. You will have the choice of three dissertation pathways:

  • A desk based research project that could be set by an organisation or could be a subject of the student's choice
  • A project that involves collection of primary data from within an organisation or based on lab and/or field experiments
  • An Internship within an organisation during which time students will complete a project as part of their role in agreement with the organisation (subject to a suitable placement position being obtained)

By undertaking a dissertation at master's level, you will achieve a high level of understanding in your chosen subject area and will produce a written thesis or project report which will discuss your research in more detail.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The importance of project planning
  • The importance of a clear hypothesis or research question
  • The ethical implications of research
  • The relevant empirical data and methodologies for data collection or knowledge assimilation for the subject area
  • Methods of data analysis and their suitability for the intended data
  • The areas of expertise or publications of the major individuals or organisations in the subject or business area
  • The previous research or current knowledge in the specific subject or business area
  • Theoretical perspectives relevant to your chosen topic
  • The most effective methods of presentation for data or knowledge
  • Developing a clear, coherent and original research question, hypothesis or business problem in a suitable subject area
  • Synthesising relevant sources (e.g. research literature, primary data) to construct a coherent argument in response to your research question, hypothesis or business problem
  • Analysing primary or secondary data collected by an appropriate method
  • Critically evaluating data collected in context with previously published knowledge or information
  • Engaging in critical debate and argumentation in written work
  • Applying principles of good scholarly practice to your written work
  • Performing appropriate literature searching/business information searching using library databases or other reputable sources
  • Planning a research project and producing a realistic gantt chart demonstrating your intended timelines
  • Synthesising information from appropriate sources
  • Demonstrating rational use of research method tools
  • Selecting and using appropriate investigative and research skills
  • Demonstrating effective project planning skills
  • Finding and evaluating scholarly sources
  • Engaging in critical reasoning, debate and argumentation
  • Demonstrating effective report writing skills
  • Recognising and using resources effectively
  • Successfully managing a project from idea to completion
  • Demonstrating commercial awareness or the impact of knowledge transfer in a business or research environment

Assessment

100% Coursework consisting of:

  • 20% Literature review
  • 20% Research proposal
  • 60% Dissertation report/essay

How you'll be assessed

You will complete a combination of written and practical assessments, which may vary depending on the module choices you make. You can expect to complete essays and reports of varying lengths, as well as presentations, proposals and pitches in some cases. For information about the assessments you will be expected to complete for each module, please see the compulsory and option module lists for this programme.

How you'll study

Seminars
Lectures
Tutorials
Independent study
Group work
Practical sessions

Your personal and professional development

Loughborough University London prides itself on the high calibre of graduates it produces, and provides great opportunities for you to develop the skills and attributes you need to progress successfully in your chosen career.

Future career prospects

Design and Culture MA will provide you with the right skills and knowledge to enhance your career prospects in user-centred design. You will be a qualified professional versed with many new and developed design skills, and will be experienced in interdisciplinary teamwork.

Graduates will also have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and career prospects further by undertaking an MRes or PhD programme.

Your personal development

Enterprise Through the Curriculum is an intrinsic element of every master’s programme at Loughborough University London and has been carefully designed to give you the best possible chance of securing their dream role. From employability profiling to live group projects set by a business or organisation, and from site visits to organisation-based dissertation opportunities, Loughborough University London is the first of its kind to develop a suite of activities and support that is positioned as the underpinning of every student’s experience.

Fees and funding

UK/EU:
£10,250
International:
£23,300

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

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