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Design Management MA - Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about our Design Management MA degree.

Thinking about studying our distance learning Design Management MA? To help you make your decision, below we’ve answered some of the questions we’re asked most frequently about the course, learning online and more. 

If you have any other queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0191 278 4874 or at

Ideally, we ask that you have a minimum of a 2:2 honours undergraduate degree in design or a related discipline. If you don’t meet these academic requirements but can demonstrate appropriate work experience or a relevant professional qualification, you may still be eligible for the course. 

If you are from a non-design background but can illustrate that you work in a role in which using design thinking, strategy and methods would be of real value to your day to day, you may also be considered. Contact our Enrolment Team to find out more. 

If you are an international applicant, you may also need to provide evidence of your English language ability for example holding a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component or an approved equivalent.

If you’re already working as a designer, or closely with them, this course will give you the chance to develop your knowledge of the design management cycle, ability to think more strategically and creatively and analytical skills to prepare for a more senior role. 

During modules such as Design Thinking, you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to frame problems from multiple perspectives and how to use innovative techniques to solve problems more effectively. At every step, you’ll be encouraged to apply your learnings to your current practice, linking the new theories and concepts you explore to the real world; this will help to improve your career performance and, as a result, progression. 

If you’re working in a more commercial setting, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how design strategy, thinking and process can be applied within business more widely. You’ll learn how design can contribute to leadership, sustainability and social innovation within your organisation, and how creative, user-driven thinking can help to offer solutions to problems. The skills you develop will not only improve the effectiveness of your company’s operations but also your own, raising your profile and reputation and helping you to stand out. 

You’ll be able to complete your Design Management MA in around two to four years, depending on the pace you choose to study. 

If you need to take a break during your course, whether it is for personal reasons or otherwise, our flexible course design will allow you to opt out and rejoin at a time more suitable for you. Please be aware, however, that you must complete your course within 4 years and any breaks in study will affect the date of your graduation.

The course is designed to be studied completely online - there will be no need to come to campus.  

As a distance learning student, you will have access to quality teaching and research facilities, just as you would on campus, while being free to study whenever and wherever you want. Study your Design Masters, your way.

There is no difference between the qualification you receive on our distance learning course and any equivalent qualification which you might study on campus. You’ll be taught by tutors with years of experience in the sector, who also teach on our on campus courses. They’ll help you to gain the skills needed to lead and make a difference in our ever changing world.

For each module, you’ll have regular virtual assessments to help you keep on track. The format of these will vary but they will all be submitted through Blackboard Ultra, our eLearning portal. The course will combine academic theory with real world practice, so you’ll be able to tailor your projects and assessments to your current role. This means you’ll be able to apply your new knowledge in everyday working life, even before graduation.

The recommended study time for this course is 15-20 hours a week, so it's ideal for busy working professionals. Plus, our distance learning delivery and flexible learning model means you’ll be able to balance your studies alongside any existing commitments – no need for a career break or to disrupt your personal life.

It is vital that you have regular internet access throughout your course to access Blackboard Ultra, our e-learning portal. This platform contains your online learning materials, in-course communication tools, advice and support services. 

The recommended computer operating systems are:

  • Windows 7 or newer
  • Mac OSX 10.6 or newer
  • Linux – chromeOS
  • Mobile – iOS 7 or newer/Android 4.2 or newer

You’ll be part of a supportive, engaging community, and during each module, you’ll participate in interactive seminars with tutors, group tasks with other students and more. Throughout, your course leader will be available to assist you with your studies and any academic questions. 

You’ll also be assigned a Student Success Advisor, who will be there to support you from day one to graduation. Whether you need pastoral guidance, help meeting deadlines or advice about fees, they’ll be on hand at every step. 

Applying for our Masters is easy and quick, and you can apply online on our course page for our intakes in January, April, July or October. A personal Enrolment Advisor will be with you at every step of the way, in case you have any questions about your application.

During the process, you’ll need to upload some important documents onto our online applicant portal including:

  • A copy of your degree certificate or transcript (if this was awarded in a language other than English, you’ll need an official translation too)
  • A photocopy of your driving licence, passport or other proof of identity
  • A 500 word personal statement (this could cover why you wish to do the course, what you think you could bring to it and why you would like to study with Northumbria University)
  • Proof of your English Language proficiency if English is your second language 

After receiving your application, our Admissions Team will aim to respond to you as soon as possible.

The full course fee for 2020/21 is £7,170* for UK, EU and International students. You’ll be able to pay your fees in module by module instalments, spreading the cost out over the duration of your course. 

For more information about this, plus any financial support you may be entitled to, please contact our Enrolment Team on (+44) 191 276 4874 or at

*Please note, fees for new intakes, starting in subsequent academic years, may change.

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