course

Design, Communication and Experiences MA

Key Facts

  • Level

    Master'smasters

  • Starting

    September

  • Fees UK 24/25

    Full Time: £8,250
    Part Time: £920 (per 20 credits)

  • Fees International 24/25

    Full Time: £16,995

  • Location

Get in touch


For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

study@northampton.ac.uk
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries

international@northampton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1604 893981

Overview


This course is suspended for September 2024 intake, our next expected intake is September 2025. 

This new multidisciplinary programme from the University of Northampton allows you to explore the communicative potential of a range of media channels to propose rich and immersive experiences that respond to complex social and commercial needs. By challenging norms and pushing critical, creative, and strategic processes we seek to equip you with the skills to become innovative, transformative, and disruptive communicators in the post-digital age.

Design, Communication and Experiences MA is suitable for those with interests in graphic communication, visual communication, spatial design, fine arts, advertising, UX/UI, XR transformation and more.

This studio-based MA encourages the free exchange and sharing of ideas, experimentation, peer group research, analysis, and critical evaluation within a positive and supportive environment. It seeks to develop graduates with strong self-belief and the ‘soft skills’ to confidently present their work and opinions.

Specifically, the MA Design, Communication and Experiences programme allows a space to think broadly around emerging societal and commercial visual communication needs and offers students from industrial or academic backgrounds opportunities to experiment with ideas and concepts to create a portfolio of conceptual and speculative work.

Updated 11/06/2024

Highlights


  • Exposure to industry practitioners and specialists across a range of traditional and digital communication design fields.
  • Industry and research active staff with a range of design specialisms, expertise, and subject knowledge.
  • Access to well-equipped design studios supported by technical demonstrators in a variety of traditional design and emerging digital and virtual disciplines.
  • Explore communication practice through industry-set provocations.

Course Content


  • On the MA Design, Communication and Experiences degree, the University of Northampton welcomes students from backgrounds in art, design, and technology, who wish to explore their practice through a mixture of traditional design practices and emerging technologies. This creative programme provides a post-graduate route for design professionals and academics to enter a global community, armed with the thinking skills they need to become the transformative communicators of the future.

    Social Impact

    You will use human-centred design processes to solve local and global challenges and see complex design problems as unique opportunities to create integrated experiences that deliver positive impact. This is an age where creatives are seizing the initiative, shaping their sectors, and joining with governments, businesses, consumers, and the wider public to enhance communication and tackle social issues.

    Future Focused

    You will set the agenda for how people interface with an increasing range of amorphous communication touchpoints. You will be the disruptive innovators who will be at the forefront of all our design futures; be they social or commercial; recognising the needs of changing demographics of place, environmental issues and race and gender; recognising how the digital and physical landscape surrounding us has negative and positive effects on how we interact with each other.

    Super Supportive

    You will be super-charged creative collaborators who can work with multiple partners across disciplines to deliver your vision. You will not only understand the needs of clients and end-users, but be able to partner with advertisers, artists, developers, product designers, architects, gamers, and content creators to bring trans-media experiences to life, exploring the interactions between environments and the needs of audiences and consumers.

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 24/25. The modules relating to the academic year 25/26 will be available from June 2025.

      • Module code: 2DDM001
        Status: Compulsory
        This module aims to push the boundaries of traditional communication design, exploring speculative techniques and design fictions to prototype new experiences that think beyond the present. Design is used as a tool for students to consider future scenarios and create thought-provoking and impactful work that challenges the status quo.
      • Module code: 2DDM002
        Status: Compulsory
        This module engages students in a range of conceptual and practical research skills by making connections between past, current and future issues within the field. Through a range of investigations students will explore how design, communication and experiences link and are affected by human behaviours, empathy, social needs, and ethics.
      • Module code: 2DDM003
        Status: Compulsory
        This module reflects on the individual student's journey to define a distinct range of creative skillsets, interests and specialisms to align with their career ambitions. This module provides a launch-pad for onward career expansion or academic study through showcasing their work, networking and creative industry investigations and experiences.
      • Module code: 2DDM004
        Status: Compulsory
        The module forges industry relationships that test the students? assumptions about their own design practice and trials their understanding of the how the `Business of Design? works. Through exploration and application, students will undertake projects that evidence understanding of professional project management through engagement in social impact, commercial and cultural projects.
      • Module code: 3DDM013
        Status: Compulsory
        In this supervised, negotiated module students critically engage in a major project to propose a practical resolution to a line of enquiry or research question. Studies will culminate in an exhibition or a practical or virtual exposition for an external audience
  • Applicants for the Design, Communication and Experiences Master’s will normally have an honours degree with a first or upper second classification in a related creative, graphic, media or interactive design discipline. Other candidates with relevant industrial experience may also be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

    Prospective students will attend an interview with the programme leader and should present a portfolio of visual, creative work together with supporting evidence that is representative of their current creative practice.

    For more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • Minimum standard – IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent)
      for study at master’s level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

    Preparing your portfolio

  • 2024/25 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 24/25 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £8,250
    • UK – Part Time: £920 per 20 credits
    • International: £16,995
    Additional Costs

    Materials for workshops, entry to competitions associated with your programme of study, and those visits that are necessary for the design communication course are all made available at no additional charge.

    We recommend that you budget for additional printing costs (approximately £30 per year for laser and large format printing) and any specialist design materials that you may require (£50 or more depending on materials) per year.

    There are optional trips, both within the UK and overseas: UK visits and Trips will cost approximately £50 per year. Overseas trips or visits will cost approximately £350-£450 per trip [this includes flights, airport transfers and B&B accommodation, but excludes food, drink, exhibition entry and city taxes].

    The MA Degree Show additionally requires contributions [or your own fund-raising activities] to support the funding of a catalogue and marketing materials costing approximately £20 each, along with further contributions to exhibit at any off-site Graduate Design shows approximately £25 each. If you plan to produce physical artifacts [printed, 3D, digital tools or platforms, installations etc] you will need to fund these and, depending on what you decide to create, should expect to spend £100 -200.

    As part of our design communication course, you will get a free subscription to the full Adobe Creative suite for the duration of your course and we have our own suite of MacBooks to use in our design studios and access to iMacs however, if able, buying your own Apple computer is recommended.

    As you will expect on an Art and Design course, you’ll be expected to provide your own day-to-day art and design materials such as sketchbooks, pens, pencils, markers, rulers etc. We have an onsite Art shop that can cater for all these needs and your staff team will talk you through what you will need prior to starting your course.

    2023/24 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 23/24 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £8,010
    • UK – Part Time: £890 per 20 credits
    • International: £16,500
    Additional Costs

    Materials for workshops, entry to competitions associated with your programme of study, and those visits that are necessary for the design communication course are all made available at no additional charge.

    We recommend that you budget for additional printing costs (approximately £30 per year for laser and large format printing) and any specialist design materials that you may require (£50 or more depending on materials) per year.

    There are optional trips, both within the UK and overseas: UK visits and Trips will cost approximately £50 per year. Overseas trips or visits will cost approximately £350-£450 per trip [this includes flights, airport transfers and B&B accommodation, but excludes food, drink, exhibition entry and city taxes].

    The MA Degree Show additionally requires contributions [or your own fund-raising activities] to support the funding of a catalogue and marketing materials costing approximately £20 each, along with further contributions to exhibit at any off-site Graduate Design shows approximately £25 each. If you plan to produce physical artifacts [printed, 3D, digital tools or platforms, installations etc] you will need to fund these and, depending on what you decide to create, should expect to spend £100 -200.

    As part of our design communication course, you will get a free subscription to the full Adobe Creative suite for the duration of your course and we have our own suite of MacBooks to use in our design studios and access to iMacs however, if able, buying your own Apple computer is recommended.

    As you will expect on an Art and Design course, you’ll be expected to provide your own day-to-day art and design materials such as sketchbooks, pens, pencils, markers, rulers etc. We have an onsite Art shop that can cater for all these needs and your staff team will talk you through what you will need prior to starting your course.

    Master’s Loans

    If you are starting a master’s course in 2024/25 either full-time or part-time* you may be able to apply for a master’s loan through Student Finance England.

    *Please note that the maximum period of study allowed for part-time courses is two years.

     

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

    For more information about possible funding options, please visit our Fees and Funding pages.

  • MA Design, Communication and Experiences students will have the opportunity to take International study trips, typically in Europe. Recent visits have included Berlin, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid and Barcelona. Costs for study visits vary but are always competitive (See Fees and Funding section). During your course, you will also have the opportunity to visit exhibitions and design agencies, along with meeting industry specialists and professionals on our campus.

  • How will I be taught on Design, Communication and Experiences Design MA?

    You will be taught through a variety of methods such as;

    • Project briefs (staff-set/self-set /industry/competition)
    • Individual, group tutorials and seminars
    • Workshops/demonstrations
    • E-tivities/Active Blended Learning / Online activities
    • Group critiques and presentations
    • Visiting speakers and Industry Guests

    You will be taught by your core team of Senior Lecturers, Lecturers and Associate Lecturers – and you have contact with them week in, week out. It is these lecturers that deliver the majority of your taught experience, set project briefs, assess your work and lead study visits.

    How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed through a range of communication design assignments and live projects [producing individual work as well as working with others] including design work submitted through portfolio presentations [digital and physical], oral presentations/pitches and written work.

    What resources and links does the MA Design, Communication and Experiences programme have?

    You will have access to our well-equipped design studios support by technical demonstrators in a variety of traditional design and emerging digital and virtual disciplines.

    The programme provides the contacts and spaces to explore practice through industry-set provocations and collaborations.

    What opportunities are there for collaboration on MA Design, Communication and Experiences?

    You will be able to partner with advertisers, artists, developers, product designers, architects, gamers, and content creators to bring trans-media experiences to live, exploring the interactions between environments and the needs for audiences and consumers.

    How will I be taught?

    You will be taught through a variety of methods such as;

    • Project briefs (staff-set/self-set/industry/competition)
    • Individual, group tutorials and seminars
    • Workshops/demonstrations
    • Active Blended Learning/online activities
    • Group critiques and presentations
    • Visiting speakers and Industry Guests
    Are there any trips and visits on the MA Design, Communication and Experiences programme?

    You will have the opportunity to take international study trips, typically in Europe. Recent visits have included Berlin, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid and Barcelona.

    During your design communication course, you will also have the opportunity to visit exhibitions and design agencies, along with meeting industry specialists and professionals on our campus.

Staff


James Smith, Senior Lecturer - Graphics & Illustration
James Smith

Senior Lecturer - Graphics & Illustration


Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology

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Trevor Brown, Senior Lecturer in Graphic Communication Design
Trevor Brown

Senior Lecturer in Graphic Communication Design


Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology

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Careers and Employability


Students studying MA Design, Communication and Experiences may find careers in a range of communication fields including graphic design, content creation, digital transformation, advertising, branding and marketing, spatial and/or new product development and design.

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