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Sharpen your competitive edge with our Design Management MA.

Our course will help you to effectively harness the power of design within your organisation, take your ideas further and gain an edge over the competition. Perfect for creatives, entrepreneurs and business leaders alike, it will empower you to build a bridge between the creative and the strategic. You’ll learn the tools to better understand the design process, in order to take make your organisation stand out from competitors.  

Learning from expert academics from our School of Design, ranked in the UK’s top 13 for Design and Crafts (Guardian University Guide, 2021), you’ll grow your knowledge of the design thinking process and explore how to harness it to create a winning strategy.

You’ll also learn how to lead the complete design process, managing organisational growth through brand, new product and service opportunities. By the time you graduate, you’ll have both the strategic and creative skills you need to approach problems innovatively, pushing your career to the next level.

We’ve designed our Masters to be flexible. You can complete the course in as little as two years or take longer if you need to (up to four years). Plus, you’ll be free to study whenever and wherever you want, while still having access to our great teaching and online research facilities. This is your Design Management course, your way. 

If you have a question about the programme, visit our course FAQs page. 

Sharpen your competitive edge with our Design Management MA.

Our course will help you to effectively harness the power of design within your organisation, take your ideas further and gain an edge over the competition. Perfect for creatives, entrepreneurs and business leaders alike, it will empower you to build a bridge between the creative and the strategic. You’ll learn the tools to better understand the design process, in order to take make your organisation stand out from competitors.  

Learning from expert academics from our School of Design, ranked in the UK’s top 13 for Design and Crafts (Guardian University Guide, 2021), you’ll grow your knowledge of the design thinking process and explore how to harness it to create a winning strategy.

You’ll also learn how to lead the complete design process, managing organisational growth through brand, new product and service opportunities. By the time you graduate, you’ll have both the strategic and creative skills you need to approach problems innovatively, pushing your career to the next level.

We’ve designed our Masters to be flexible. You can complete the course in as little as two years or take longer if you need to (up to four years). Plus, you’ll be free to study whenever and wherever you want, while still having access to our great teaching and online research facilities. This is your Design Management course, your way. 

If you have a question about the programme, visit our course FAQs page. 

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
2 years Distance Learning

Department
Northumbria School of Design

Location
Design Building, City Campus East

City
Newcastle

Start
Upcoming Intakes - Academic Year 2020/21: April 21

Fee Information

Module Information

Course Videos - Design Management MA

Watch our videos below to hear more from academic Stuart English about the course and design thinking.

Discover More

Entry Requirements 2020/21

Standard Entry

 

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in design or a related discipline. Applicants with appropriate work experience and/or a relevant professional qualification will be considered.

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

 *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

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Entry Requirements 2021/22

Standard Entry

 

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in design or a related discipline. Applicants with appropriate work experience and/or a relevant professional qualification will be considered.

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

 *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

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Fees and Funding 2020/21 Entry

Full UK Fee: £7,170

Full EU Fee: £7,170

Full International Fee: £7,170

ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

Scholarships and discounts

Click here for UK, EU and International Scholarships scholarship, fees, and funding information.


Our Application Process

Applying for this course is quick and easy, and can be done using our online applicant portal.

 

As part of the application process, you’ll need to upload a selection of important documents including:

  • Your Bachelor’s degree certificate
  • A copy of your degree transcript (if this was awarded in a language other than English, you’ll need an official translation too)
  • Evidence of any other postgraduate or professional qualifications
  • An updated CV/resume
  • Proof of your English Language proficiency (if English is your second language)
  • A 500 word personal statement

If you are a non standard applicant, you will also need to send us two professional / personal references on headed paper.

 

After receiving your application, our Applicant Services team will aim to respond to you as soon as possible.

 

You are advised to apply early to secure your place and organise any sponsorship, scholarships or funding.

 

Useful application advice:

Our decision making process

Application advice for disabled students

Applying as an international student

 

 

The University reserves the right at any stage to request applicants and enrolling students to provide additional information about any aspect of their application or enrolment. In the event of any student providing false or inaccurate information at any stage, and/or failing to provide additional information when requested to do so, the University further reserves the right to refuse to consider an application, to withdraw registration, rescind home fees status where applicable, and/or demand payment of any fees or monies due to the University.

 

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

PE7031 -

Research for, and through, Design (Optional,20 Credits)

Throughout this module you will learn theoretical concepts and principles that support research activity in the field of design and will develop a practical knowledge of advanced design research methods.

Specifically, you will study the chronological development and interrelationship of a wide range of research concepts in design and will be able to link them to relevant authors and movements. You will also learn about ethical principles and how to apply for ethical approval for your research project through University protocols.

Additionally you will gain an overview of research principles and will learn how to carry out a critical literature review, incorporating relevant citations and a list of linked references alongside developing the ability to apply research methods in the context of your own practice by creating and implementing a research plan and will be able to explain and employ:

• Primary and secondary research,
• Qualitative and Quantitative research,
• Research for design
• Research questions
• Research paper structure including abstract, conclusions and further research sections
• Exploratory research, grounded theory, appreciative enquiry.
• Semi structured interviews
• Participatory research. Research through design
• Action research method

You will also appreciate the nature, utility and limitations of data produced through different research methods.

As such, through this module you will learn to apply research principles in different contexts and domains and will be able to structure research questions and challenges relevant to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.

More information

PE7032 -

Design Thinking (Optional,20 Credits)

Throughout this module you will learn concepts and principles of design thinking delivered through investigation and application of creative leadership, innovation methods and enterprise management, these fields of knowledge are supported and informed by academic staff research specialisms.

Creative methods will enable you to frame problems from multiple perspectives and synthesise new opportunities and possibilities from interrelated factors. You will develop a practical knowledge of innovation techniques and will learn to apply these in the context of your creative leadership and enterprise management. You will learn to distinguish different forms of intellectual property rights including design rights, copyright, patents and trademarks and situate these rights in the context of an enterprise business model.

The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied through practical application in the context of industry or other collaborating organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of leading innovation teams.

Through this module you will additionally learn about the fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.

You will also appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

More information

PE7033 -

Design Management 1: Articulating Value (Optional,20 Credits)

In Design Management 1: Articulating Design Value, you will be introduced to the definitions of design management.

Specifically, you will learn about the connection design has with business success and innovation. You will also be equipped with the right knowledge around organisational structure, organisational culture and functional leadership of design.

To support your learning you will be provided with actual case studies conducted in collaboration with the industry. These case studies will give you the success stories of design’s value creation and leadership in multinationals. You will be able to articulate the design processes and activities required for multidisciplinary innovation in large and medium sized organisations.

In completing this module you will recognise the skills, competence, capabilities and knowledge that a design manager needs to make effective decisions in light of business needs. Subsequently, with guidance from staff with industry experience you will be exploring and developing your initial personal development plan (PDP).

More information

PE7035 -

Design Process (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about action research methods and will build your own action research process models and recording templates that you will apply in practice to facilitate your development as a reflective practitioner. Whilst grounded in literature review the development of your knowledge of design process will be supported and informed by academic staff with relevant research specialisms.

Specifically you will learn about design process models and will interpret these relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed. Furthermore, you will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

Research has demonstrated the importance of reflection as core design knowledge and numerous authors have explored the relationship of action research process and reflective design practice. In this module you will carry out a critical literature review of action research and reflective design practice and will understand the importance of the designer as an integral part of the design space.

Based on your interpretation of literature in the field you will construct an action research cycle that will include stages of planning, acting, observing and reflecting. You will use this cycle to crate an action research template (ART) and will apply this template in your practice as a planning and recording tool. Through the application of this theory in practice you will develop two strands of learning. Firstly you will learn about action research method and how this can be employed to develop your own reflection in action (a cornerstone of design process knowledge). Secondly you will engage with the aims of your PDP by addressing them in practice on a daily basis through your action research template. This process will enable you to gain insights about your own design practice and the work of others.

Note: The action research template (ART) is a key cornerstone of the programme and is applied throughout the course in conjunction with your PDP.

More information

PE7035 -

Design Process (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about action research methods and will build your own action research process models and recording templates that you will apply in practice to facilitate your development as a reflective practitioner. Whilst grounded in literature review the development of your knowledge of design process will be supported and informed by academic staff with relevant research specialisms.

Specifically you will learn about design process models and will interpret these relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed. Furthermore, you will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

Research has demonstrated the importance of reflection as core design knowledge and numerous authors have explored the relationship of action research process and reflective design practice. In this module you will carry out a critical literature review of action research and reflective design practice and will understand the importance of the designer as an integral part of the design space.

Based on your interpretation of literature in the field you will construct an action research cycle that will include stages of planning, acting, observing and reflecting. You will use this cycle to crate an action research template (ART) and will apply this template in your practice as a planning and recording tool. Through the application of this theory in practice you will develop two strands of learning. Firstly you will learn about action research method and how this can be employed to develop your own reflection in action (a cornerstone of design process knowledge). Secondly you will engage with the aims of your PDP by addressing them in practice on a daily basis through your action research template. This process will enable you to gain insights about your own design practice and the work of others.

Note: The action research template (ART) is a key cornerstone of the programme and is applied throughout the course in conjunction with your PDP.

More information

PE7036 -

Design Management 2: Strategy (Optional,20 Credits)

Design Management straddles the disciplines of Business and Design.

As such in this module you will be introduced to a strategy theory framework, and ways to analyse an organisation and its context through an understanding of the internal and external environment and use of business models.

You will also explore Design Thinking and Innovation and the need for a designedly approach in organisations.

By understanding both business and design perspectives and applying this to a case study will provide you with the opportunity to develop your understanding of design management practice and capabilities necessary to function at a more strategic level.

With guidance you will explore and develop a personal direction of research to form a proposal for your final thesis.

More information

PE7037 -

Design Management Thesis (Optional,60 Credits)

In this module you will learn to advance your Research Through Design and take a directional approach to your personal design management study.

Specifically, you will develop your reflective practice and reach insights and analytical conclusions in your chosen field of study as outlined in your Personal Development Plan (PDP).

In doing so you will synthesise the learning from the first and second carousel to create a Major Design Management Thesis. This will evidence an analysis of advanced academic research, debates, and exploratory practice in the production of theories that demonstrate real world discipline specific value within an industry context.

As a postgraduate learner nearing the completion of your degree you will be expected to take an increasingly autonomous approach to your studies at this stage in developing, embedding and clarifying personally developed research themes theories and experiences that will be realised through a design thesis detailing your engagement with your PDP and reflection on your learning.

As such your thesis will evidence your advanced design practice and written communication of theories and concepts appropriate at Masters level and relevant to both your chosen pathway (as described below) and more specifically your PDP.

This module is the culmination of the MA Design Management programme, which will give you the knowledge and tools to orchestrate design thinking and process at a strategic level in organisations. You will build a meta view of transferable design knowledge that will enable you to recognise the value of design within organisations and to provide effective leadership and management of design roles. You will learn to navigate complexity, and develop your understanding of how to build and manage organisational growth through brand, new product and service opportunities and strategic innovation.

Ultimately, the module will enable you to take control of your design direction and align your own passion and motivation with the value you create for business and society. You will learn to hone your capabilities, refine the focus of your design contribution and create your ideal future professional self.

On completion you will have the skills and abilities to make a positive impact in the design industry, and the knowledge and experience to be able to make purposeful contribution to the world.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

PE7031 -

Research for, and through, Design (Optional,20 Credits)

Throughout this module you will learn theoretical concepts and principles that support research activity in the field of design and will develop a practical knowledge of advanced design research methods.

Specifically, you will study the chronological development and interrelationship of a wide range of research concepts in design and will be able to link them to relevant authors and movements. You will also learn about ethical principles and how to apply for ethical approval for your research project through University protocols.

Additionally you will gain an overview of research principles and will learn how to carry out a critical literature review, incorporating relevant citations and a list of linked references alongside developing the ability to apply research methods in the context of your own practice by creating and implementing a research plan and will be able to explain and employ:

• Primary and secondary research,
• Qualitative and Quantitative research,
• Research for design
• Research questions
• Research paper structure including abstract, conclusions and further research sections
• Exploratory research, grounded theory, appreciative enquiry.
• Semi structured interviews
• Participatory research. Research through design
• Action research method

You will also appreciate the nature, utility and limitations of data produced through different research methods.

As such, through this module you will learn to apply research principles in different contexts and domains and will be able to structure research questions and challenges relevant to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.

More information

PE7032 -

Design Thinking (Optional,20 Credits)

Throughout this module you will learn concepts and principles of design thinking delivered through investigation and application of creative leadership, innovation methods and enterprise management, these fields of knowledge are supported and informed by academic staff research specialisms.

Creative methods will enable you to frame problems from multiple perspectives and synthesise new opportunities and possibilities from interrelated factors. You will develop a practical knowledge of innovation techniques and will learn to apply these in the context of your creative leadership and enterprise management. You will learn to distinguish different forms of intellectual property rights including design rights, copyright, patents and trademarks and situate these rights in the context of an enterprise business model.

The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied through practical application in the context of industry or other collaborating organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of leading innovation teams.

Through this module you will additionally learn about the fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed.

You will also appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

More information

PE7033 -

Design Management 1: Articulating Value (Optional,20 Credits)

In Design Management 1: Articulating Design Value, you will be introduced to the definitions of design management.

Specifically, you will learn about the connection design has with business success and innovation. You will also be equipped with the right knowledge around organisational structure, organisational culture and functional leadership of design.

To support your learning you will be provided with actual case studies conducted in collaboration with the industry. These case studies will give you the success stories of design’s value creation and leadership in multinationals. You will be able to articulate the design processes and activities required for multidisciplinary innovation in large and medium sized organisations.

In completing this module you will recognise the skills, competence, capabilities and knowledge that a design manager needs to make effective decisions in light of business needs. Subsequently, with guidance from staff with industry experience you will be exploring and developing your initial personal development plan (PDP).

More information

PE7035 -

Design Process (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about action research methods and will build your own action research process models and recording templates that you will apply in practice to facilitate your development as a reflective practitioner. Whilst grounded in literature review the development of your knowledge of design process will be supported and informed by academic staff with relevant research specialisms.

Specifically you will learn about design process models and will interpret these relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed. Furthermore, you will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

Research has demonstrated the importance of reflection as core design knowledge and numerous authors have explored the relationship of action research process and reflective design practice. In this module you will carry out a critical literature review of action research and reflective design practice and will understand the importance of the designer as an integral part of the design space.

Based on your interpretation of literature in the field you will construct an action research cycle that will include stages of planning, acting, observing and reflecting. You will use this cycle to crate an action research template (ART) and will apply this template in your practice as a planning and recording tool. Through the application of this theory in practice you will develop two strands of learning. Firstly you will learn about action research method and how this can be employed to develop your own reflection in action (a cornerstone of design process knowledge). Secondly you will engage with the aims of your PDP by addressing them in practice on a daily basis through your action research template. This process will enable you to gain insights about your own design practice and the work of others.

Note: The action research template (ART) is a key cornerstone of the programme and is applied throughout the course in conjunction with your PDP.

More information

PE7035 -

Design Process (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about action research methods and will build your own action research process models and recording templates that you will apply in practice to facilitate your development as a reflective practitioner. Whilst grounded in literature review the development of your knowledge of design process will be supported and informed by academic staff with relevant research specialisms.

Specifically you will learn about design process models and will interpret these relative to your own practice and in line with your PDP. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed. Furthermore, you will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

Research has demonstrated the importance of reflection as core design knowledge and numerous authors have explored the relationship of action research process and reflective design practice. In this module you will carry out a critical literature review of action research and reflective design practice and will understand the importance of the designer as an integral part of the design space.

Based on your interpretation of literature in the field you will construct an action research cycle that will include stages of planning, acting, observing and reflecting. You will use this cycle to crate an action research template (ART) and will apply this template in your practice as a planning and recording tool. Through the application of this theory in practice you will develop two strands of learning. Firstly you will learn about action research method and how this can be employed to develop your own reflection in action (a cornerstone of design process knowledge). Secondly you will engage with the aims of your PDP by addressing them in practice on a daily basis through your action research template. This process will enable you to gain insights about your own design practice and the work of others.

Note: The action research template (ART) is a key cornerstone of the programme and is applied throughout the course in conjunction with your PDP.

More information

PE7036 -

Design Management 2: Strategy (Optional,20 Credits)

Design Management straddles the disciplines of Business and Design.

As such in this module you will be introduced to a strategy theory framework, and ways to analyse an organisation and its context through an understanding of the internal and external environment and use of business models.

You will also explore Design Thinking and Innovation and the need for a designedly approach in organisations.

By understanding both business and design perspectives and applying this to a case study will provide you with the opportunity to develop your understanding of design management practice and capabilities necessary to function at a more strategic level.

With guidance you will explore and develop a personal direction of research to form a proposal for your final thesis.

More information

PE7037 -

Design Management Thesis (Optional,60 Credits)

In this module you will learn to advance your Research Through Design and take a directional approach to your personal design management study.

Specifically, you will develop your reflective practice and reach insights and analytical conclusions in your chosen field of study as outlined in your Personal Development Plan (PDP).

In doing so you will synthesise the learning from the first and second carousel to create a Major Design Management Thesis. This will evidence an analysis of advanced academic research, debates, and exploratory practice in the production of theories that demonstrate real world discipline specific value within an industry context.

As a postgraduate learner nearing the completion of your degree you will be expected to take an increasingly autonomous approach to your studies at this stage in developing, embedding and clarifying personally developed research themes theories and experiences that will be realised through a design thesis detailing your engagement with your PDP and reflection on your learning.

As such your thesis will evidence your advanced design practice and written communication of theories and concepts appropriate at Masters level and relevant to both your chosen pathway (as described below) and more specifically your PDP.

This module is the culmination of the MA Design Management programme, which will give you the knowledge and tools to orchestrate design thinking and process at a strategic level in organisations. You will build a meta view of transferable design knowledge that will enable you to recognise the value of design within organisations and to provide effective leadership and management of design roles. You will learn to navigate complexity, and develop your understanding of how to build and manage organisational growth through brand, new product and service opportunities and strategic innovation.

Ultimately, the module will enable you to take control of your design direction and align your own passion and motivation with the value you create for business and society. You will learn to hone your capabilities, refine the focus of your design contribution and create your ideal future professional self.

On completion you will have the skills and abilities to make a positive impact in the design industry, and the knowledge and experience to be able to make purposeful contribution to the world.

More information

To start your application, simply select the month you would like to start your course.

Design Management MA

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Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 276 4874.

Contact Details for Applicants:

DLstudentenquiries@northumbria.ac.uk

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of online and face to face teaching due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Students will be required to attend campus as far as restrictions allow. Contact time will increase as restrictions ease, or decrease, potentially to a full online offer, should restrictions increase.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.

 

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.


Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy
Admissions Complaints Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/complaints



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Discover how this course could transform your surveying career. Enter your details and we’ll be in touch with more information.

* By submitting your information you are consenting to your data being processed by Northumbria University (as Data Controller) and Campus Management Corp. (acting as Data Processor). To see the University's privacy policy please click here

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