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Postgraduate

MA Interaction Design

College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2021
Course length
1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Interaction Design is a creative course where you’ll engage with innovative ideas and practices to create interactive installations, objects, and screen-based work that explores the most pressing topics of our times.

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.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Developing critical and creative practitioners: You’ll engage with emerging ideas and theories to work critically and creatively with media. This might include machine learning, physical computing, performance, poetry, and more, enabling you to graduate as a unique and dynamic practitioner.
  • A new future for Interaction Design: Rather than designing for ‘users’, you’ll explore the complex relationship between you and your audience, and learn how to communicate depth and meaning through their interactions with your work.
  • Cultural partners and experience: You’ll have the option to exhibit and collaborate with internationally-renowned arts and cultural partners. Previous partnerships include the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, the Design Museum, and Ars Electronica Festival in Austria.
  • Expert support: Alongside specialist technical support and resources, you’ll have access to a regular programme of guest lectures and workshops from international artists, designers, and researchers. You’ll have substantial support on your journey to become a professional practitioner with a sharpened critical mind.

Open Evenings

The next online Open Day for this course will be on Wednesday 24 February at 4pm. Book your place now

An introduction to postgraduate courses in the Interaction Design and Visual Communication programme is available online. Watch now

Follow

Twitter: @intdescom

Lecture series: Something or other

Student work

  • Mich-Tsai-Chronic-Suicider-2019.jpeg
    Mich Tsai, 2019. MA Interaction Design Communication, London College of Communication, UAL.
  • Chenyu-Zhou-Deja-Vu-2019.jpg
    Chenyu Zhou, 2019. MA Interaction Design Communication, London College of Communication, UAL.
  • Carlos-Orti-Roig-Anti-Surveillance-Muzzle-2019.png
    Carlos Orti Roig, 2019. MA Interaction Design Communication, London College of Communication, UAL.
  • Mariana-Marangoni-Nepenthe-screenshot-2020.png
    Mariana Marangoni, 2020. MA Interaction Design Communication, London College of Communication, UAL.
  • Michael-Sedbon-Alt-C-2018.jpg
    Michael Sedbon, 2018. MA Interaction Design Communication, London College of Communication, UAL.
  • Ziwei-Wang-Dreama-2019.png
    Ziwei Wang, 2019. MA Interaction Design Communication, London College of Communication, UAL.

Student voices: Mich Tsai

Mich talks to us about her final major project, an immersive spinal installation exploring the relationship between the body, spine and physical pain.

Yo-Plotter

In this work, public tweets about ‘AI art’ are being analysed by a machine learning process that detects the overall sentiment of the discussion. If the tweets about AI art is positive, the plotter robot attempts to draw Picasso sketches onto a cloth canvas.  If they are negative, the cloth is sprayed with water.

Work by Anya Wang.

Stories

Facilities

  • A tutor operating one of the woodworking machines.
    Image © Vladimir Molico
    3D Workshop

    Learn to work with a range of tools and technologies from traditional woodworking to digital fabrication.

  • The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
    Image © Ana Escobar
    Digital Space

    The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

  • empty workshop space with chairs, tables, tv screen's vr booths and coding area
    Creative Technology Lab

    A multi-purpose space that supports students with: Creative Coding, Physical Computing, Projection Mapping, Games, and Virtual Reality.

Course overview

MA Interaction Design provides an opportunity for experimental practice in an area of design that increasingly explores the intersection of digital and networked technologies with the world.

What to expect?

This course immerses you in critical, speculative, and experimental practice to engage and provoke audiences with contemporary issues around topics such as new technologies, ecological concerns, politics - and how these all impact social world.

You will develop your skills and thinking through new combinations of research and practice to develop responsive, evocative, and complex design projects.

We define interaction design as the practice of making objects, spaces, and experiences that instigate new relations with humans, environments, and the systems that revolve around them – and through this, finding new ways to provoke imagination, discussion, and critique.

Through the course, you will develop practical skills in interaction design, design prototyping and physical computing, alongside research skills in human and post-human centred design, forecasting/futures, and critical and speculative design, combining these methodologies and ideas into new and unique forms of practice.

The course's integrated approach to critical thinking provides you with the opportunity to work with critical ideas in an applied design context (such as the impact of artificial intelligence technologies on human relationships), ensuring that designers take on both macro and micro opportunities for innovation, speculation and creativity crucial to building a portfolio of highly engaged work.

Work experience and opportunities

As well as placing you in a position to work across the broad spectrum of interaction and design, the course is interested in practice-based research, using the work of design as a way of questioning the world around us. 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 in fields of arts and design.

LCC has an outstanding team of practitioners and published researchers and enjoys a rich programme of visiting speakers. The course also benefits from cross-European collaboration with design industry professionals and higher education institutions.

This course is taught within the Design School.

Mode of study

MA Interaction Design is in Full Time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.

Course units

In 2019 UAL declared a Climate Emergency and pledged to ‘make sustainability a required part of the student learning experience’. In response to the climate and ecological crisis the Design School set in place an ambitious Sustainability Action Plan to fully embed responsible practices within the curriculum and in everything we do. As part of this initiative we have updated our course handbooks against a set of social and environmental sustainability principles to ensure that learning outcomes reflect the urgent need to equip students with the understanding, skills and values to foster a more sustainable planet. Our aim is to change the way students think and to empower them to work towards a sustainable future.  

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term 1

Theories and Technologies of Interaction Design (40 credits)
Research Practice and Design Methodologies (20 credits)

Term 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 and design 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 in design and interaction. These 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.

Spring, Term 2

Experimental Methods (20 credits)
Expanded Practice (20 credits)
Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

Term 2 offers you the opportunity to engage further with your critical practice to produce speculative and critical design projects.

In the previous year, students have been given the choice to either explore the deeper relationships between humans and machines, or engage with communities to research their ideas through ethnographical research and radical design.

Summer, Term 3

Experimental Methods (continued)
Expanded Practice (continued)
Final Major Research Project 

(Weighted 50% written component and 50% practical component)

Term 3 offers you the opportunity to use both the critical and technical skills gained in Term One to produce speculative and critical design projects.

You will be introduced to the applied skills needed to work with physical computing, sensors and data environments. During this unit you will also develop a project proposal for your final major project and thesis in Term Four.

You will undertake a final major research project which relates to the expanded field of design and interaction. 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.

Autumn, Term 4

Final Major Research Project (continued)

With 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.

Examples of Final Major Projects

  • Adversarial families: agonism, politics and Sunday dinners – Damià Bonafont
  • How will the ‘Filter Bubble’ challenge the Future of ‘Smart Home’? – Yang Zhang
  • Exploring consciousness in IoT through feminism in China as a case study – Jiaqian Liu
  • Increasing ecological understanding with Extended Realities – Clara Koscielniak
  • Aspirational algorithms: neutralising gender biases in algorithmic culture – Beatriz Lacerda

If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are two possible exit awards. A Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures/large group learning
  • Workshop and seminar learning
  • Academic tutorials
  • Self-directed learning
  • Outside speakers and visits
  • Assessed assignments

Assessment methods

  • Practical project work and computer based activities
  • Prepared writing i.e. academic reports, essays etc.
  • Responses to case studies
  • Oral presentations
  • Personal presentations of prepared work
  • Simulations and role plays
  • Workshop based activities
  • Written research projects
  • The creation of a portfolio of work

Staff

Wesley  Goatley

Dr Wesley Goatley

Course Leader, MA Interaction Design

Eva  Verhoeven

Eva Verhoeven

Programme Director, Interaction Design and Visual Communication

Georgina  Voss

Georgina Voss

Reader in Systems and Deviance; Co-founder and Lead, Supra Systems Studio

Maria  Dada

Maria Dada

Lecturer, Interaction Design & Visual Communication

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

MA Interaction Design has a particular aim to appeal to communication designers who are interested in exploring these new and emerging areas of design practice.

The course seeks students who have a critical understand of how technologies and digital culture are affecting design practices, and who are keen to work with network digital systems and in areas of design research and practice that challenge preconceptions.

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 introduce you to various coding languages and design prototyping platforms during the course, but expect that individuals will develop their skills base within specific project work.

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. MA Interaction Design attracts students who apply direct from an Honours degree course in a field relevant to graphic design, or those with other, equivalent qualifications.

The course team also welcomes students with relevant experience or those who may have previously worked in industry.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required. Your experience is assessed as a learning process and tutors will evaluate that experience for currency, validity, quality and sufficiency;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. 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 we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.

  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection criteria

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • Sufficient prior knowledge and experience of and/or potential in a specialist subject area to be able to successfully complete the programme of study and have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject.
  • Also to show a willingness to work as a team player, good language skills in reading, writing and speaking, the ability to work independently and be self-motivated.
  • Critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject area and capacity for research-led design, intellectual inquiry and reflective thought through: contextual awareness (professional, cultural, social, historical); evidence of research, analysis, development and evaluation (from previous academic study and employment) and a grounded understanding of the world of sonic, visual and networked culture and the ability to engage in and contribute to critical discussion.
  • In the project proposal a description of the area of interest, 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 and the methodology.
  • Portfolio should be conceptual and research based, you must show your thinking and making process and a curious nature to explore, test and experiment.
  • A willingness to work in the physical realm with networked digital systems and in areas of design research and practice that challenges preconceptions.
  • A willingness to work with networked digital systems and an awareness of how they shape the varied contexts of human behaviour.

Making your application

All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results).
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement, portfolio and project proposal.
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

If you are an EU offer holder, it is important to consider that, from 2021-22, you may be charged International fees, which are higher. Read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students for details.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

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

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level).
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details.
  • Employment history.
  • CV.
  • Personal statement.

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio.
  • Study proposal/project proposal.

Start your application now

The online application can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t 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 press submit.

Apply now

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 28 February 2020 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, 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.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

In the application, you will be asked to complete a personal statement (500-800 words) describing why you want to study on MA Interaction Design. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for interaction design, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future.

This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Study proposal / project proposal advice

Applicants must submit a study proposal (400-800 words) outlining the intentions of their MA research. Please include a description of the area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of the intended project, and an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology.

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, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results).
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement, portfolio and project proposal.
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

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

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level).
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details.
  • Employment history.
  • CV.
  • Personal statement.

Please note: we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio.
  • Study proposal/project proposal.

Start your application now

There are two ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course at LCC:

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 28 February 2020 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Transfers

If you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on y

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, 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.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

In the application, you will be asked to complete a personal statement (500-800 words) describing why you want to study on MA Interaction Design. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for interaction design, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future.

This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Study proposal / project proposal advice

Applicants must submit a study proposal (400-800 words) outlining the intentions of their MA research. Please include a description of the area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of the intended project, and an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology.

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, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. 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

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal. Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

Please log into the portal, as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, and you can contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

Portfolio and interview advice

You will be expected to submit both an electronic portfolio of work and a 2-minute video as part of your application.

Part 1: Portfolio of work (maximum 19 ‘images’ files)

  • The portfolio of work should evidence the applicant’s knowledge, understanding, skills and engagement in the field of interaction design and/or adjacent fields. It should demonstrate intellectual curiosity and open mindedness and a strong commitment to the subject as well as to sustained study at postgraduate level.
  • Please present a portfolio of work (maximum 19 images)
  • We are interested in the developmental narratives of projects and the 'thinking through making' and recommend that this is evidenced in the portfolio.
  • If you have links to web projects or other media, please note these in your CV.

Part 2: Video (2 minutes in length, uploaded as 1 ‘image’ file)

We would like you to submit a 2-minute video to help us understand a bit more about you.

  • Your video: Please discuss how you feel your practice is situated in a wider political, social, or cultural context.

Refer to the following guidance when recording your video:

  • Your video must be a maximum length of 2 minutes in real time. It should have a maximum file size of 512MB and be recorded in landscape orientation.
  • Please use whichever method of filming is easiest for you - e.g. mobile phone, laptop or digital video camera.
  • You must be visibly in frame, speak clearly in English, and look towards the camera.
  • You should record the clip alone and ensure that the audio is clear.
  • Upload your video to PebblePad as one of the 'image' files in the same upload as your portfolio of work.
  • Read further advice about PebblePad uploads and file guidance.

In total, you must submit no more than 19 portfolio of work ‘images’ plus 1 video ‘image file’ (a total of 20 ‘image’ files) for this part of your application.

If you have declared a learning difference or disability in your application, or you have limited access to recording equipment, you may submit an audio or written file instead. Please use 'Contact Us' to ask the LCC Admissions team for advice on alternative formats if this task isn't accessible to you.

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will be held online, and details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Requesting feedback

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

If you would like to request feedback – please email lcc.ukeu@arts.ac.uk if you are a Home or EU applicant, or lcc.international@arts.ac.uk if International. 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.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£11,220 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

£22,920 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

Career paths

Graduates of the course are equipped to work in an increasingly technologically informed and interdisciplinary design world with real skills in areas such as: interaction design, user experience, design prototyping, physical computing, open source digital platforms, futurecasting, design research, experience design, communication design, value engineering, thought leadership and digital arts.

Roles and destinations of recent graduates include:

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.