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Key Skills You’ll Learn on Our Design Management MA That Will Boost Your Career

At Northumbria School of Design, we’re passionate about creating the change makers of tomorrow and giving our students the tools they need to become leaders in their industry. 

Today, successful organisations are realising that a designer's way of identifying solutions is the ultimate route to success. They recognise that, in order to get to the heart of what their customers really want and need, they need to draw upon innovative, yet strategic, ways of working and thinking.

By taking the time to further enhance your knowledge of design, you could make a real contribution to your organisation - turning it into a more collaborative, creative and effective operation. Not only that, you’ll make a real difference to your own performance, profile and prospects too.     

Our Design Management MA has been designed to help you harness your existing abilities, whilst developing your knowledge of the design management cycle, your strategic thinking and your analytical skills in order to prepare you for a more senior role. 

Here, we outline just a couple of ways in which the course will help you to take your career to the next level.


1) You’ll gain a deeper understanding of design thinking. 

One of the most talked about topics in the design world right now, Design Thinking is born from the way a designer approaches problems. It’s a unique theoretical standpoint, stemming from our human ability to be intuitive and to construct ideas in an emotionally driven, yet still structured way - it’s process oriented whilst also distinctly philosophical. 

Our Design Thinking module will introduce you to design thinking methods developed by researchers at Northumbria. You’ll gain a better understanding of design thinking concepts and techniques, and hone your user-driven approach to problem solving at a more strategic level. 

You’ll be encouraged to tailor your assignments and learning to your current role, meaning that you can begin to practically apply your new knowledge, and benefit from it, right away. Not only that but you’ll discover the transferability of design thinking and how to utilise it in different contexts - perfect if you work outside of the traditional design sphere or want to move your career in the industry onwards in the future.


2) You’ll learn how design can be used as a strategic tool in business. 

Today’s best managers know how to utilise business and design knowledge alike. Recognising your organisation’s needs then offering a strategic solution, based on both an understanding of design and wider corporate knowhow, could make all the difference to your career. 

Our Design Management: Strategy module will show you how. You’ll learn how to build a bridge between the disciplines of business and design strategy, come to see the value that both have to organisations and discover how to apply the two simultaneously. 

You’ll be taught a strategy theory framework and ways of examining different organisations closely. You’ll also come to understand how traditionally analytical business strategies can be applied alongside more creative design thinking and management ones to promote innovation, rationale and new market opportunities in various companies. 

By learning the business applications of design, you’ll be equipped to make innovative yet strategic commercial decisions for your wider team and your organisation. You’ll finish the module with the skills needed to negotiate the worlds of business and design within a managerial role in your current, or any future, workplace.


3) You’ll be able to articulate the value of design has within an organisation.

Understanding how design can add value to the business success and leadership of your organisation, and any you decide to join later in your career, is a significant learning outcome of this programme - and being able to clearly explain this value is what you will explore in the Design Management: Articulating Value module.

You’ll be introduced to definitions of design management, and discover the link that exists between design and an organisation's success and innovation. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of organisational structures and cultures, and the functional leadership role that design can play. Throughout, you’ll analyse case studies that demonstrate how design is successfully used in multinationals and learn how to articulate the design theories, processes and activities required to replicate this in practice.

By the end of the module, you’ll possess some of the key skills a manager needs to make effective, creative decisions in light of business needs and to get ahead.


4) You’ll develop the skills needed to lead diverse, innovative teams. 

From Apple to Trunki, graduates of Northumbria Design School have gone on to make their mark in some of the most innovative companies in the world – brands that use their strong grasp of the way that people think, act and feel to create products that consumers will love.

Through our Contemporary and Cultural Influences on Design module, you will learn to think like these leaders. You’ll consider the contemporary influences on design today, exploring how current issues –  social to economic, cultural to environmental – have an impact on the design space. Like the majority of modules in this MA, you’ll be encouraged to apply your learnings to your current work, allowing you to grow in your career even as you study. 

Upon completion, you’ll have an awareness of the influencing factors on design, and our cultural responses to these, and be better able to manage diverse teams to ensure effective co-creation. 


Harness your strengths with our Design Management MA

Find out more about our Design Management MA course and find out how our modules will help you propel your career.


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