MA Interaction Design Communication is a practice-led design course that prepares students to work in an increasingly technologically informed and interdisciplinary design world with real skills in the following areas: interaction design, design prototyping, physical computing, user centered design, open source digital platforms, future casting, foresight and insight, design research, experience design, communication design, value engineering, thought leadership, interactive media and digital arts.
Student Simona Ciocoiu explains her brief for the haptic physical computing prototype.
Student Masato Seki explains his brief for the haptic physical computing prototype.
FILM: Highlights from London's first ever Mini Maker Faire, held at London College of Communication in July 2013. Read more on the LCC Blog
London College of Communication
|Study Mode||Full time|
|Course Length||1 year full time over 45 weeks|
£7,500 (Full Time). £1,000 discount available to Home/EU students successfully awarded a UAL BA, FdA, PgCert or PgDip. There is also an additional residential fee of £650.
£15,180 (Full Time). There is also an additional residential fee of £650.
Course fees may be paid in instalments
|Start Date||September 2014|
Direct to College
|Application Deadline||We accept Postgraduate course applications on a rolling basis, so there are no set deadlines to apply.|
Content and Structure
MA Interaction Design Communication provides an opportunity for experimental practice in an area of design that increasingly explores the intersection of the physical and digital domains. With a focus on synthesising thought through rigorous design prototyping (making), digital processes and user perspectives, the course is highly reflective of interdisciplinary practice within the contemporary design, media and communications industries.
The integrated approach of the course to critical thinking provides you with the opportunity to work with critical ideas in an applied design context – for example psycho-geographic practice as empirical research or engaging with other critical theories of space to generate user perspectives. This ensures that ideation processes take on both the macro as well as micro opportunities for innovation and speculation crucial to building a portfolio of highly engaged work.
As well as placing you in a position to work across the board spectrum of interaction, design and communication the course is just as interested in design questions as design answers. This means that the course also prepares you for progression to further design research at MPhil/PhD level as well as to advanced self-directed experimental practice.
LCC has an outstanding team of practitioners and published researchers and enjoys a powerful programme of visiting speakers. The course also benefits from a cross-European collaboration with design industry professionals and higher education institutions and there is an opportunity to visit at least one other centre in Europe during the course.
This course is taught within the School of Design
The course is delivered across three 15 week phases. You will respond to briefs that are set to test the learning in the units described below.
- 1.1 Theories and Technologies of Interaction Design (40 credits)
- 1.2 Research Practice and Human Centered Design (20 credits)
Phase 1 of the course introduces you to the technologies and concepts that are core to the practice and theory of interaction design. Following an induction programme that sets the scene for the course, you will see how contemporary interaction, design and communication practice uses a range of technologies and concepts, and you will experience the interrelationship between theory and practice. This phase allows you to acquire the important foundations of knowledge across the board spectrum of interaction, design and communication that are critical for the development of subsequent stages of the course. You will be introduced to key design prototyping and technical skills in this phase that will be essential for your practice throughout the rest of the course.
- 2.1 Interaction Futures and Speculative Design (40 credits)
- 2.2 Physical Computing and Design Prototyping (20 credits)
(Exceptional Postgraduate Diploma exit point after 120 credits)
Phase 2 offers you the opportunity to use both the critical and technical skills gained in phase 1 to produce speculative and critical design projects. We also explicitly explore the intersection of the physical and digital domains introducing you to the applied skills to work with physical computing, sensors and data environments. During this phase you will also develop a project proposal for your final major project and thesis in phase 3.
- Unit 3.1 Final Major Research Project
(Weighted 50% written component and 50% practical component)
Within phase 3 you will undertake a final major research project which relates to the expanded field of interaction, design and communication. This will involve a self-directed major practical project and the completion of a related thesis, which demonstrates your critical reflection, analysis and original research. With your access to broad theoretical models spanning the discipline you will apply these models to your own specialist area of interest to produce a critically aware major project that after assessment will usually be presented at your postgraduate show.
What students say about the course
I'm a better team leader now - I know what its like to be on the other side, and I'm a better team player now, because I can manage myself.
"Here we have been taught to think as well as to do."
"I've worked with people from more than 10 different countries - where else could I get that experience?"
"It's a very well balanced combination of theory and practice. For overseas students it's very good that it is so intense and that you have to attend five days a week."
"I really enjoyed the course for all its opportunities. We had much better support than you get on other courses. The lectures and seminars were great."
You will work with highly qualified and experienced educators in multimedia who deliver the course and who retain close involvement with the industry, continuing their professional practice and, in the majority of cases, engaging in scholarly research at an international level. In addition, there will be visiting experts from the industry itself.
Course Leader: Ben Stopher
Specialist Tutor, Design Prototying & Physical Computing: Nicolas Marechal
The course also benefits from the School of Design Practioner in Residence Programme. This year the course will work with Matt Rice from design studio Sennep.
Graduates of the course are equipped to work in an increasingly technologically informed and interdisciplinary design world with real skills in the following areas: interaction design, user experience, design prototyping, physical computing, user centered design, open source digital platforms, future casting, foresight and insight, design research, experience design, design for embedded technologies and the internet of things, communication design, value engineering, thought leadership, interactive and digital arts.
Some international students choose to remain in the UK to gain valuable industry experience whilst others return to their home countries to pursue successful careers.
A significant proportion of our graduates start their own companies and in some instances further develop their course Final Major Projects and take them to market.
Student Jobs and Careers at UAL
We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career. Student Enterprise and Employability (SEE) are dedicated to helping you build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. You will also benefit from our many relationships with industry, which give our students exclusive opportunities and access to networks and funding.
Creative Opportunities is the UAL job and work placement website for students and graduates, advertising hundreds of creative opportunities each month. This includes ArtsTemps in-house recruitment agency, placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.
Find out more about Student Jobs and Careers
- Applicants are expected to have an honours degree, preferably in a related subject. However, we do not preclude candidates who have graduated from other less strongly aligned disciplines.
- Additionally, we welcome applications from non-traditional backgrounds and in particular mature students. We can also assess prior experience as part of our selection criteria.
- If you do not have the required qualifications, but do have professional experience you may be eligible to gain credit for previous learning and experience through the AP(E)L system. Your experience is assessed as a learning process and tutors will evaluate that experience for currency, validity, quality and sufficiency.
MA Interaction Design Communication has a particular aim to appeal to communication designers that are interested in exploring these new and emerging areas of design practice.
The course is particularly interested in students who have a critical understand of how technologies and digital culture are affecting design practices. We look for students who are keen to work with network digital systems and in areas of design research and practice that challenges preconceptions. Applicants should be keen to develop new arenas for design practice and insight through experimental and critical practice.
Although not an entry requirement, you should be comfortable with some basic coding (some i.e. HTML CSS) in order to communicate ideas with colleagues, although strong creative experience in this area is an advantage. We will however introduce you to various coding languages and design prototyping platforms during the course but expect that individuals will develop their individual skills base within specific project work.
Language requirements (International/EU)
- IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each category.
- You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.
For further detailed information about international admissions and advice, fees, visa information and language support visit the International Pages.
All applicants must submit a portfolio of work together with the application form whether they are in the UK or resident overseas. Applications will be shortlisted and those candidates will be invited for interview. Telephone interviews can also be arranged if you live outside the UK.
All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio on CD or via a website with their application form. The portfolio should contain some examples of design/media work either time-based or interactive and visual work that has been made in response to a design brief from either education or professional practice. The portfolio can be supplied as a PDF with links to web projects and media assets. It should contain a minimum of 5 projects and self initiated projects are also encouraged.
Project proposal (400-800 words)
All candidates will be expected to outline an idea for their major project when submitting an application. This should describe the area of interest - the field of study and the particular focus of their intended project. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project - the methodology. It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change across the year of study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.
Home / EU and International students
£1000 fee discount for UAL alumni
All Home/EU University of the Arts London alumni students who are progressing onto a Masters course who have previously successfully completed an undergraduate level, PgDip or PgCert course at the University are normally entitled to a £1000 tuition fee discount. The alumni discount is not available for international students or for those in receipt of a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship.
How to Apply
Apply direct to the College using the Postgraduate Application Form
Postgraduate UK/EU Student Application Form (PDF - 4.15MB)
Please include the following with your completed application form:
- Project proposal (400-800 words)
UK/EU applications should be sent to:
Postgraduate Admissions, Central Administration Office
5th Floor Tower Block
London College of Communication
Elephant & Castle
London, SE1 6SB
Find out more information about applying to UAL, Open Days, Tuition Fees and Accommodation visit the Study at UAL pages.
Apply directly to the College using the International Application form
Postgraduate International Application Form (PDF - 189KB)
International applications should be sent to:
LCC International Admissions Team
College Academic Registry
London College of Communication
Elephant & Castle
London, SE1 6SB
For help with visa requirements, housing, tuition fees and language requirements visit the University's International section.
Enquire about this Course
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