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.