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Postgraduate

MA Industrial Design

A blue parachute surrounded by clouds of mist
Lily Consuelo Saporta Tagiuri – Cloud Catchers
College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
October 2021
Course length
Two years (60 weeks)
Extended full-time

MA Industrial Design will teach you to be strategic, respond to trends, initiate new design approaches and thrive in multidisciplinary teams.

Re-approval

Please note this course is undergoing re-approval. This is the process by which we ensure the course continues to provide a high quality academic experience. During re-approval there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about the course.

The course is internationally recognised as a leader in postgraduate industrial design education. It is part of the Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • World-class education: Central Saint Martins' Product and Industrial Design courses are recognised for world-class excellence by the award of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education 2013.
  • A changing discipline: The course provides a platform to question what the industry looks like today. We continually reappraise the scope of product and industrial design practices, addressing critical and socially responsive design.
  • Notable networks: We work actively with external partners from the industry, commerce and enterprise, as well as our extensive network of alumni and staff.
  • Integrated teaching: A key factor of MA Industrial Design is integrated study and studio learning. The course adopts a studio-based approach, exercised through project work and workshops.

Students Lily Saporta Taguiri, Zhen Jiang, Lucy Mulholland and Xiang Guan discuss their Degree Show work

Queen's Anniversary Award awarded for Innovation in Design Education.

Student work

  • 2015-ANNE-COUVERT-CASTERA.jpg
  • 2015-Marta-Monge.jpg
  • 2016-Soizic-Porhel_Scent-at-2015.jpg
  • 2017-Anne-Charpentier.jpg
  • 2017-Evgeniya-Chernykh-4.jpg
  • 2017-Gicky-Guan.jpg

Course catalogues

MA Industrial Design stories

Course overview

Traditionally, industrial design is associated with the improvement of goods and services through creative intervention. However, as the nature of production and consumption has changed, so has the role of the industrial designer. Increasingly, they are required to conceptualise new products and systems with limited user experience. Inevitably, this places an emphasis on the social value and accessibility of technologies. In this context, psychological and emotional factors are often as important as rational and physical ones. This requires a different set of critical skills. 

As a pioneering course in the field, MA Industrial Design adapts to these changes in business models and consumption patterns. On the course, you will question how and why particular goods and services are produced. We recognise the need for drawing on current thinking and practice in other discipline areas, including social psychology, behavioural science, cultural theory and innovation studies. The course does not impose a particular manifesto or rule-book for design. Instead, it is concerned with the development of industrial design as a discipline and profession.  

MA Industrial Design will encourage you to question what industry is today and to consider changing paradigms. You will continually reappraise the discipline, addressing critical and socially responsive design. You will explore the application of industrial design in both market-led and societal contexts. This constant review of what industrial design is creates a culture independent of a particular style or dogma. Instead, it encourages diverse engagement, reflection, negotiation and prototyping of the discipline. 

MA Industrial Design applies this intellectual development directly to design practice. It will teach you to take on strategic roles, identify and respond to trends, initiate design approaches and thrive in multidisciplinary teams. While the course honours the traditional legacy of the subject, we continue to reframe what industrial design is and means. 

Course units

The MA Industrial Design curriculum has four emphases in practice: enterprise, publics, discourse and service. These areas locate practice and allow you to challenge, question and advance the discipline. Each emphasis promotes the view that people should be at the centre of the design process. The course develops innovative approaches to understanding users and their wants and needs. Recently, this has included the development of design methods informed by theatre and performance. Storytelling and scenario building techniques are also used as research, ideation and communication strategies. 

The course has a strong ethnographic focus. You will explore relationships between people, design, emerging technologies and behaviours in different contexts. These approaches are embedded into studio projects, allowing you to work with anthropological design methods and design practice. 

Industrial design for enterprise 

This positions industrial design as a commercial practice. Here, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking provide solutions which meet the needs of real people. It is responsive to new commercial conditions – from start-ups to established multinational businesses. As part of this area of study, you will question existing industrial paradigms, professional roles, opportunities for manufacture and routes to market. 

Industrial design for publics 

This area applies industrial design processes to societal issues. It considers the dynamic challenges that require new ways of thinking and doing. Industrial design for publics applies co-design and participatory design methods. Problem stakeholders are engaged in the design process to jointly frame and tackle such challenges. It is a form of design-led social innovation. In this context, we encourage the development of links with social enterprises, government, local authorities, charities and NGOs. 

Industrial design for service 

As part of industrial design for service, you will look at the discipline from a strategic perspective. You will work with different disciplines and explore processes for the service and interaction design sectors. Taking a user-centred and systemic view, you will focus on the design and evaluation of multi-media, multi-modal and multi-platform interactions that support user experience through physical, digital and hybridised products.  

Industrial design for discourse 

Industrial design today is increasingly applied as a form of critique and speculation within disciplinary, scientific and societal frames. In this context, designers reflect on the role of design in society. In doing this, designers challenge established discourse, presenting alternatives for the field. In design for discourse, you will question the discipline itself and how it engages discourse.  

MA Industrial Design consists of three units, each of which is structured around studio projects. They are devised to allow you to adopt a strategic and proactive role within the discipline.  

Unit 1: Methodological and Critical Approaches to Design

This unit is made up of a series of projects which vary in length. These will introduce you to a variety of research methods and issues relevant to the discipline. These are directly implemented in the realisation of design work. 

Unit 2: Positioning and Professional Practice

Unit 2 reviews professional design practice by engaging external agencies and expertise. You will reflect on this activity through design practice. 

Unit 3: Self-Directed Design Research

This unit requires you to specify, manage, implement and evaluate a self-directed design project informed by themes and issues identified in Unit 2. 

Mode of study

MA Industrial Design is offered in extended full-time mode which runs for 60 weeks over two academic years. You will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.

The course has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue studies, while also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities. 

Credit and award requirements

The course is credit-rated at 180 credits.  

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Arts (MA degree).  

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MA is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA but the classification of the award is derived from the mark for the final unit only.  

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits.  

Learning and teaching methods

During your course you will engage with learning and teaching that includes both online and face-to-face modes. Typically, this will include:

  • Learning through doing 
  • Project work 
  • Collaborative work 
  • Learning through making 
  • Prototyping and manufacturing 
  • Design theory 
  • Drama and performance methods 
  • Research and ideation 

Assessment methods

  • Critiques  
  • Personal tutorials 
  • Individual design work (2D, 3D, 4D) 
  • Group design work (2D, 3D, 4D) 
  • Pin-up and onscreen presentations 
  • Performances 
  • Planning documents 
  • Portfolio submission 
  • Video submission 
  • Critical journal 
  • Dissertation 

Staff

Nick  Rhodes

Nick Rhodes

Reader in Knowledge Exchange, Industrial Design; Programme Director, Product Ceramic and Industrial Design

Matt  Malpass

Dr Matt Malpass

Reader in Critical Design Practice; Course Leader MA Industrial Design

Ralph  Ball

Professor Ralph Ball

Course Tutor, MA Industrial Design; Subject Leader Furniture, MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery)

Adrian  Allen

Adrian Allen

Associate Lecturer, MA Industrial Design

Michael  Burton

Michael Burton

Associate Lecturer, MA Industrial Design

Michiko  Nitta

Michiko Nitta

Associate Lecturer, MA Industrial Design

Reader; Tutor: Dr Betti Marenko

Associate Lecturer: Erika Renedo Illarregi
Associate Lecturer: Mark Simpkins
Associate Lecturer: Nigel Burgess
Associate Lecturer: Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad
Associate Lecturer: Stephen Hayward
Associate Lecturer: Julie Jenson Bennett

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An honours degree in a relevant field: product design, 3D design, furniture design, service design, interaction design, architecture, engineering and ergonomics. Applicants are also considered from related disciplines but portfolios from these areas must demonstrate some proficiency in industrial design skills, however, and demonstrate that personal and professional aspirations are compatible with the aims of the course
  • Or an equivalent EU/international qualification

And normally at least one year of relevant professional experience.

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference

Or a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

IELTS level 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas:

  • You can generate and communicate a range of ideas (Portfolio Review)
  • You can analyse a design problem from a number of perspectives and generate a range of design responses to a particular problem (Portfolio Review)
  • Demonstrating your personal and professional aspirations are compatible with the aims and objectives of MA Industrial Design (Personal Statement/Interview)
  • You can demonstrate the necessary fluency in your design process to be able to benefit from the postgraduate course (Portfolio Review/Personal Statement/Interview).

Making your application

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Start your application now

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal statement

You will need to submit a short statement about why you want to study MA Industrial Design. This gives us a picture of your interests and your suitability for our course.

Here are some tips for what you could include:

  • Please give your reasons for applying to your chosen course?
  • Please provide details of your particular subject interests, relevant experience or abilities?
  • What you wish to achieve on the course, and your career aspirations?

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all the information above.

Application deadline

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, our course teams will review it closely. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

There are two ways international students can apply:

  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry.  You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Start your application now

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal statement

You will need to submit a short statement about why you want to study MA Industrial Design. This gives us a picture of your interests and your suitability for our course.

Here are some tips for what you could include:

  • Please give your reasons for applying to your chosen course?
  • Please provide details of your particular subject interests, relevant experience or abilities?
  • What you wish to achieve on the course, and your career aspirations?

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all the information above.

Application deadline

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, our course teams will review it closely. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.


After you apply

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to submit a portfolio through the UAL Portal.

Portfolio Review

Your portfolio should demonstrate your ability to skilfully generate and communicate a range of ideas addressing problems relevant to the discipline of industrial design including:

  • The generation and communicate a range of ideas
  • The analysis of a design problem from a number of perspectives and generate a range of design responses to a particular problem
  • The necessary fluency in your design process to be able to benefit from the postgraduate course
  • The full range and level of your design, technical and practical skills
  • Your thinking and decision making in the design process
  • Your personal vision and approach to design.

The only files that can be uploaded as part of the portfolio are:

  • Images: bmp, gif, jpg, jpeg, png
  • Audio: mp3, mp4, ogg, wav, wma
  • Video: avi, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mkv, mov, wmv

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should demonstrate creative development, whether for a college project or in your personal work. By creative development, we mean ideas that have originated through your own experience and research and progressed towards potential visual proposals. Ideas, visual research and experimentation are more important than finished design solutions and can be shown in 2D work, or through photos of 3D objects and maquettes.

It is important that the creative work you include reflects and demonstrates your thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project, theme or idea.  We are interested in you as an individual, your personal interests, your creativity and initiative in finding out about your proposed area of study. We would also like to know about your favourite designers and artists, where you have seen their work at first hand and how you have acquired more information about the work that interests you.

For more portfolio advice please visit the Portfolio advice page.

Following the review of the portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to an interview.

Interview

We interview either online or by telephone. We aim to complete all interviews by end of March and to communicate all decisions by mid-April 2019.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Portal.

Feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and unfortunately we cannot provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you have had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback – please email csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf.

Each and every application is carefully considered by a member(s) of our academic team. With so many strong applicants to choose from, it is often a very difficult decision to make. If you are unsuccessful, you are welcome to apply to us again in the future.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£6,455 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex and you can find out more on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020  or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

International fee

£16,450 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.  For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

International fees are currently charged to students from countries outside of the UK. However, the rules are complex and more information can be found on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

A typical graduate should have a thorough knowledge of contemporary product design and development, and be able to adopt a critical perspective on both their own work and that of their contemporaries. In addition, the emphasis on self-directed study should equip graduates with appropriate methods and strategies for successful project management both within teams and as individuals. The typical aspiration of graduates is to find work in the consulting field. Following significant shifts in this industry over the last 10-15 years, many graduates working in consultancy find themselves in roles that can be described as designer, design strategy, service innovation, forecasting, or management in addition to straightforward new product development.

The second largest area of graduate employment is through in-house design for manufacturing companies. Increasingly students establish their own studios and have moved to work in charitable organisations and the third sector. A number develop careers in commercial research and also progress to study at PhD. Graduates are now distinguished and respected designers and design managers in international companies.

Employers of recent MA Industrial Design graduates include: Plan UK, Projects by If, Mother, Catapult Satellite Industries UK, Itsu, Arup, Microsoft, Open Desk, Fitch, Tangerine, Seymour Powell, Nokia, LG, Samsung, Herman Miller, The Future Laboratory, Tangerine, Lenovo, BenQ, Acer.