BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures

Places available 2016/17

This course has places available. View the How to apply section on this page for more details. For a full list of UAL courses open for 2016/17 entry, including others available at London College of Communication, visit the Places available page.

Study design management and global cultures from the unique perspective of a communication, design and media institution. BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures is a practice-based course where you will apply critical thinking and design research methods to a range of projects and collaborations that address social, business and environmental needs.

MA Design Management and Cultures is a practice-based course that brings together design thinking, management, critical studies and design practice.

This is a practice-based course that brings together design thinking and practice, management and critical studies. 

Opening event for 26 Objects an exhibition and collaborative Project with the Cuming Museum in May 2015.
Research, process and documentation for the 26 Objects exhibition and collaboration with the Cuming Museum.

Research, process, collaboration and documentation for the 26 Objects exhibition.

Image of ‘Käsi’, a proposed biophilic space transformation by BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures and BA (Hons) Spatial Design students.

Students use 'biophilic’ design to connect people in the City of London - LCC Blog.

New Course Discourse: Programme Director Nicky Ryan discusses the new BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures course at LCC.
Image © Ana Escobar

Programme Director Nicky Ryan talks us thorugh the course - LCC Blog.

Reasons to Apply

  • Study business and management in a leading institution located in central London, with strong links to the creative and cultural industries.
  • An emphasis on socially engaged design and real world projects.
  • A practice-based course informed by theory drawn from a range of design, business and humanities disciplines and delivered through projects, crits and collaborations. 
  • A focus on the role of design within the creative and cultural industries, and the networks, cultures and contexts that give design its multiple meanings.
  • A course with design thinking at the core of subject delivery. Design thinking involves an approach to innovation and problem solving that takes into account ‘the needs of people, the possibilities of technology and the requirements for business success’ (Tim Brown, IDEO).

Funding opportunities

Find out about the range of funding options available for undergraduate study.


Course Leader

Course Co-Leaders - Mo-Ling Chui and Maureen Salmon

Course Location

London College of Communication 
Elephant and Castle
Find Us

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years
Home/EU Fee

£9,000 per year (2016/17 fees)

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17 fees)

Start DateSeptember 2016
Autumn Term DatesMonday 26 September 2016 – Friday 9 December 2016
Spring Term DatesMonday 9 January 2017 – Friday 17 March 2017
Summer Term DatesTuesday 18 April 2017 – Friday 23 June 2017
Application Route

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Application DeadlineOpen for UK, EU and international applicants for 2016/17 entry. Applications for 2017/18 entry will open in Autumn 2016.
UCAS CodeW200
University CodeU65

Content and Structure


BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures is structured to provide you with an introductory year where you gain the essential skills and knowledge practices required for your discipline. This includes an introduction to design management and the creative and cultural industries, and an exploration of design cultures and its relationship to a variety of themes – global, commercial, technological, subcultural and institutional.

The course supports the development of critical thinking and writing skills to express yourself; technical and design skills to communicate your ideas and management skills to locate them in the public realm.

In year two you undertake a collaborative project with other courses and external institutions with an increased emphasis on participatory and cooperative design approaches, global perspectives, research methods and the development of your personal vision and career objectives.

In the third year you will complete an extended piece of written work and embark on an individual major project, which you will promote using your knowledge of marketing communications.

Distinctive Features

The following features give the course a distinctive identity and help to ensure that we are offering a unique, exclusive and exciting experience for you, including:

  • Creative practice - Unlike other design management courses, which are mainly theoretical and taught through lectures and seminars, BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures combines creative practice with academic study and offers a creative approach to the study of design business, global cultures and histories.
  • The inclusion of 'Cultures' in the title is significant because it refers to the many different understandings of culture that are addressed within your learning. We take a broad view of design management and cultures that includes an analysis of global cultures, technological cultures, subcultures and institutional cultures. Students are introduced to culture as a way of life, as a form of creative practice and as a dynamic and socially engaged process.
  • Student Exchanges/ Erasmus - The course has a strong global emphasis through its cross-cultural approach to course content, projects and international partnerships. You will have the opportunity to participate in the Erasmus Programme, which is a European student exchange programme offering students the possibility of studying in another European country for one or two terms. We have an Erasmus agreement with the Cultural Management course at Metropolia University, Helsinki and are negotiating different modes of exchange with Alto in Finland, Paris College of Art and Parsons Paris. You will also be encouraged to undertake online collaborations with students at design institutions in other countries.
  • Projects - There is an emphasis on socially engaged design and real world projects. For example a project could involve collaboration with an organisation like Age UK. You would work to a brief given by the charity, which would be set in context by tutors.
  • Collaboration is at the heart of BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures. You will gain an understanding of working as part of a team which will prepare you for future roles which could include working with in-house or freelance design practitioners and external companies and institutions.


The three key strands of the course are Design Management, Design Cultures and Design Practice:

Design Management

  • Project Management: collaboration, co-design, partnerships, networking, negotiation and communication; developing a brief/working and presenting ideas to clients; design thinking/service design
  • Business Skills: cultural and creative industries; business models and organisational structures; entrepreneurship and innovation; resource management and planning; costing, pricing and selling; corporate social responsibility; leadership
  • Marketing and Branding: marketing, events, PR and social media; trend forecasting and futurising

Design Cultures

Contextual & Theoretical Studies

  • Year 1 – introduction to histories, theories and debates relevant to design management and cultures, writing workshops and research methods.
  • Year 2 – your knowledge and understanding of the historical, social, theoretical and cultural developments of spatial design and visual communications is broadened and deepened by focusing on two specific options.
  • Year 3 – you will complete an individual and extended piece of writing of 8/10,000 words or a shorter piece of 4/5,000 words plus a global design case study.
  • Research methods – You will gain familiarity with a variety of conceptual and theoretical frameworks to address current design issues and social meanings in a range of contexts. This could include critical thinking; design thinking; content analysis; semiotics; visual ethnography; discourse analysis; case studies; sociological and ethnographical approaches; political economy; interviews, focus groups; qualitative and quantitative analysis; participant observation; psychoanalysis; oral histories.

Design Practice

The following list includes the applications/skills you will engage with dependent on the project briefs set:

  • Design Project Practice: visual research, design and concept development; design for environments and artefacts; information design and interaction (way finding/wall text); communication design (graphic layout/online and print production)
  • Software, Multimedia and Craft Skills: drawing (visualisation/technical); prototyping (model making/construction/materials/paper engineering); multimedia applications such as digital imaging/3D modelling/Photoshop/ Illustrator/ InDesign /Vectorworks/After Effects/video production); printing (printmaking/ photography/ screen and digital printing)
  • Communication Skills and Practice: communication design, graphic layout and print production; catalogue design; online publishing

How is the course taught?

Through projects, workshops, tutorials, visits and critiques you will receive a creative and flexible learning experience, using multiple platforms, including blogging and social media sites.

Live and collaborative projects, competitions, work-related and off-site learning, blogs, wikis, the use of a variety of research methods including ethnography, working with archives, artefacts and organisations provide opportunities for learning. In addition, issues of sustainability, ethics and social engagement are treated as important aspects of study throughout the three years and are embedded in all units.

Course Units

Year 1

  • Introduction to Study in Higher Education (20 credits) 
  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1 (20 credits)
  • Creative Industries and Cultures 1(20 credits)
  • Design Management 1 (20 credits)
  • Projects and Practices 1 (40 credits)

Year 2

  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits)
  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2 (20 credits)
  • Marketing Communications and Cultures 2 (20 credits)
  • Design Management 2 (20 credits)
  • Projects and Practices 2 (40 credits)

Year 3

  • Major Project (60 credits) 
  • Professional Practice (20 credits)
  • ROUTE A: Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3 (40 credits)
  • ROUTE B: Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3 (20 credits)
  • Global Design Case Study (20 credits)


Course Co-Leaders: Mo-Ling Chui and Maureen Salmon

Dr Nicky Ryan, Programme Director Spatial Communication and Contextual and Theoretical Studies.

Dr. Mark Ingham and Dr. Ian Horton, Contextual and Theoretical Studies Coordinators.

Danah Abdulla and Robert Urquhart, Lecturers.


BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures encourages the development of innovative design thinking and the exploration of your own creative vision. We aim to prepare you to graduate as active creatives who will use design as a driver for positive cultural, social, business and environmental change.

Career opportunities for graduates include:

  • Design consultants, managers, researchers, facilitators, entrepreneurs and project managers.
  • Careers within museums, galleries, auction houses, retail, journalism, publishing, education, advertising, marketing, arts administration, PR and events.
  • There are also opportunities to study for further professional qualifications or postgraduate degrees such as MA Design Management and Cultures or MDes Service Design Innovation.

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. 

Careers and Employability is dedicated to helping students build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. 

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.

UAL houses a number of organisations which promote aspects of career development in the arts and media, and which hold regular workshops and careers fairs. These include:

  • Own-It (intellectual property issues)
  • ArtQuest (career development resource for artists and designers)

Entry Requirements

Recruitment and Admissions

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A Level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art and design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.

Entry Requirements (Home/International/EU)

For admission to BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures, applicants need:

160 UCAS tariff points gained at GCE Advanced (A) Level (or equivalent) plus passes in three subjects at GCSE (or equivalent) Grade C or above. A Level subjects studied may include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other Social Science subjects.

A typical applicant might have:

  • GCE A Levels (or equivalent) ideally achieved at grade C or above, plus passes in three subjects at GCSE Grade C or above.
  • One subject at GCE A Level, plus a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus passes in three subjects at GCSE Grade C or above.

Applicants might also have overseas qualifications, or others:

  • International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate. 
  • UAL Awarding Body Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.
  • National Diploma, Access, or NVQ.

Alternative Entry Routes

We welcome applicants with relevant professional and vocational qualifications, or from mature students who do not have formal qualifications but may have relevant experience in industry. 

Students applying on the basis of their previous experience should apply as normal via UCAS and will then be guided by the admissions team on next steps, through either of the Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or the Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes.

Language Requirements (International/EU students)

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability at enrolment. The English Language requirement for entry is:

  • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

Admission Procedures

The selection procedures for the course adhere to the Equal Opportunities policy of the University of the Arts London. 

Applications are normally made through UCAS. In the written part of the application form applicants should briefly describe their interest in the subject area and why they feel they will benefit from a Higher Education course of this nature.

All applicants with the appropriate initial qualifications or with initial evidence of appropriate prior learning and/or experience will be considered for admission and will be invited to one of a series of interview dates.

Student Selection Criteria - What do we look for?

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • A strong interest in and appreciation of the subject area.
  • An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach to the area of study.
  • An approach suited to the demands of the course and the projected career futures.

Portfolio and Interview Advice

If you are invited for an interview we ask that you bring a selection of work (from school, college, employment, personal interests) for discussion at the interview. This can include essays, reports, projects and sketchbooks, etc. This work will help to support a discussion around your interests, conceptual thinking, research, ideas and understanding of subject knowledge and context.

All application forms, personal statements and references will be considered by the course team and offers will be made based upon the following selection criteria. All application forms, personal statements and references will be read and considered. If you are invited to an interview you will need to demonstrate the attributes outlined in section above 'What do we look for?'

Students are admitted to the course having fulfilled the necessary entry requirements and on the basis of their potential to benefit from the programme and their potential to succeed on the course.

Applicants who do not meet the course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might be demonstrated by, for example, related academic or work experience, the quality of the personal statement, a strong academic or other professional reference or a combination of these factors.

How to Apply

UK/EU Applicants

You will need to apply through the UCAS online application system.

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form. London College of Communication (LCC) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W200
  • There is no 'campus code' for LCC.

International Applicants

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at LCC:

Follow the steps on the UAL International Application page for advice of how to apply.

Study Abroad Applications

International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student. Please visit the LCC Study Abroad pages for details of how to apply to one of our courses or contact the UAL Study Abroad Team central offices for more information:

T: +44 (0)20 7514 2249

Deferred Entry

For Home/EU applicants, the Course Leader determines whether deferred places are available for the course. If you wish to defer your place, it is advisable to indicate this on your application form and/or discuss this with the admissions team and Course Leader before applying or after at the earliest opportunity. In all cases, deferred places will only be held for one year.

International applicants are normally permitted to defer entry to any programme of study for one year only, after which they will be asked to re-apply.

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