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Postgraduate

MA User Experience 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 User Experience (UX) Design at LCC is a professionally focused, design-led course that will equip you with the specialist skills to conceive, prototype and produce human-centred experiences in an interactive digital context.

Applications closed 2021/22

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22 entry to this course. Applications for 2022/23 entry will open in Autumn 2021.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

    • Industry Engaged: This MA is highly engaged with UX industry practice and the future of UX as a professional discipline. You’ll benefit from live UX briefs, studio visits and partnership with leading London UX industry professional and studios such as ustwo, Made by Many and AKQA.
    • Design Led UX: The course puts studio practice at the centre of what students do. Supported by the community of practice at LCC and grounded in a critical awareness of design methods and processes, you can expect to be designing new digital experiences from the start.
    • Interdisciplinary: In the professional design world, UX designers perform many different tasks and are expected to have skills in research, interaction design, product prototyping, concept development and evaluation. This constellation of skills means the course delivers technical and critical training at an advanced level, in a highly interdisciplinary context.
    • Skills: Key to building the expertise of a UX designer is a working understanding of industry standard UX prototyping tools, alongside user research methods that inform designs. You will learn practical skills alongside theoretical, within a critical framework, to become a discerning and conscious designer.

Open Evenings

The next Open Day for this course will be announced soon.

Student work

  • Erick-Montenegro.jpg
    Erick Montenegro, Erick Montenegro, 2020. MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020 MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Fei-Liang.jpg
    Fei Liang, Fei Liang, 2020. MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020 MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Hugh-Allen.png
    Hugh Allen, Hugh Allen, 2020. MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020 MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Jialuo-Chen.gif
    Jialuo Chen, Jialuo Chen, 2020. MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020 MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • mengjiao-huang.jpg
    Mengjiao Huang, Mengjiao Huang, 2020. MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020 MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Tanvi-Kulkarni.jpg
    Tanvi Kulkarni, Tanvi Kulkarni, 2020. MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020 MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Tonicha-Child.jpg
    Tonicha Child, Tonicha Child, 2020. MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020 MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Wing-Yan-Wong.jpg
    Wing Yan Wong, Wing Yan Wong, 2020. MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020 MA User Experience Design, London College of Communication, UAL

Online Open Day.

(Recorded March 2021)

Course Leader, John Fass, gives an overview of studying MA User Experience Design at London College of Communication.

Student voices: Nayla Fayoumi

Nayla speaks about her final year project, Craft, a platform that enables employees to shape their job accordingly to their skills and interests.

Student voices: Wan Li

Wan Li tells us about her collaborative and multi-sensory final piece.

Course stories

Facilities

  • A close-up of the moveable type available in the Letterpress area.
    Image © Lewis Bush
    Printing and Finishing

    Discover our printing techniques, from Lithographic Printing to Print Finishing and Bookbinding.

  • Student reading a book in between two bookshelves in the Library
    Students in the Digital Space. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
    The Digital Space

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

  • Students using the computers in the Digital Space
    Student in Creative Technology Lab, 2020. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Tim Boddy
    Creative Technology Lab

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

Course overview

On this industry focused and design-led course, you'll learn how compelling user experiences are designed, tested, and evaluated.

The course covers the advanced studio skills of user experience design, including the methods and practices of user research through the critical-theoretical background.

What can you expect?

You'll gain knowledge of the relevant tools, materials and practices that make up user experience design in the context of the community of practice represented by London College of Communication.

With a focus on design for complex systems, emerging technologies and integrated experiences, you’ll develop an informed approach which builds on a foundation of graphic, communication and interface design values through open inquiry and creative risk-taking.

Work experience and opportunities

The methods and tools of user research are emphasised throughout and you will be challenged to collaborate on live industry briefs covering varied topics such as UX for wearable technologies, smart cities, data visualisation and social transformation.

The course is intended for people who have completed an undergraduate degree in design, social sciences, digital technologies, media and communications, and associated degrees.

We also anticipate that applicants will be working designers wishing to deepen their practice and develop new opportunities.

Mode of Study

MA User Experience 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.

Contact us

For queries relating to the Coronavirus outbreak, read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students.

To register your interest and receive information and updates about studying at UAL, please complete this form.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or to ask a question, please contact us.

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.  

Autumn, Term 1

UX Studio Practices (40 credits)

This unit aims to provide you with a critical understanding of user experience design in the context of contemporary studio practice.

It will help you position your approach to the subject relative to the current theoretical ideas and working practices of user experience design.

You will also develop a critical awareness of how physical, personal and social contexts shape design processes.

Spring, Term 2

Macro UX (20 credits)
Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

The Macro UX unit involves working with an external partner on live briefs. You can choose to work with industry or third sector organisations around a set of broad themes including; UX for smart city technologies, UX for cultural placemaking, UX for the future of publishing and UX for archives and collections.

The Collaborative Unit is designed to enable you to identify, form and develop collaborative working relationships with a range of potential partners. These could be: postgraduate student colleagues at the college or university level; postgraduate students at other Higher Education Institutions; external parties (e.g. companies, cultural organisations, community-based groups, NGOs, charities etc.)

Summer, Term 3

Micro UX (40 credits)

This unit is intended to allow you to work with a different external organisation, exposing your evolving practice to different views and alternative methods.

Collaborations are organised around broad themes including; UX for health and wellbeing, UX for data visualisation, UX for human-robot relations, and UX for performance and public participation.

You will be expected to initiate and implement a UX design project around two of these themes, drawing on the research journey you devised and the design process you established in Macro UX.

Autumn, Term 4

Final Major Project and Portfolio of Writing (60 credits)

The aims of the Final Major Project and Critical Context Report are to offer you the opportunity to engage in a major research-led project in which the emphasis will be on defining, analysing and developing an individual and focused approach to user experience design.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Guest speakers
  • Group and individual tutorials 

Assessment methods

  • Practical Projects
  • Critical Reports
  • Presentations through a range of media
  • Developmental Blogs for reflective practice
  • Research Proposals Portfolio of Evidence

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 course team welcomes applications from open and inquiring minds of all kinds. Applicants interested in deepening their practice to include user research and in pursuing further study as a way of developing a valuable professional qualification. Students open to learning in a new collaborative and critical way, eager to ground their work in real-world research and be willing to take creative risks and make mistakes along the way.

Applicants will have a portfolio of digital design work that demonstrates awareness of the creative and critical aspects of UX design and may also be returning from adjacent careers in the design industry such as graphic design, information design or interaction design.

The course attracts applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world, from an Honours degree course in a subject such as:

  • Graphic Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Interactive Media Design
  • Web Design
  • Communication Design
  • Computer Science
  • Digital Design
  • Product Design
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Or those with other, equivalent qualifications.

The course team also welcomes students with relevant experience or those who may have previously worked in the industry, or non-traditional backgrounds, as well as those already within employment. The course has been designed to accommodate flexibility in educational engagement. Your experience is assessed as a learning process and tutors will evaluate that experience for currency, validity, quality and sufficiency.

The 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.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential 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 (International/EU)

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), with 6.0 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.
  • 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 be able 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.
  • The 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.
  • 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.

Making your application

Applications closed 2021/22

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22 entry to this course. Applications for 2022/23 entry will open in Autumn 2021.

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:

  • First, they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results).
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and portfolio.

There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application:

  • 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.

Before submitting your application, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the application form. Once you have submitted the online application, we will send you a confirmation email.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant 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 for the Major Project

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

Please say why you are applying for this course, outlining relevant prior experience and knowledge of the subject. Ensure that your personal statement 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 (300-500 words)

Applicants must submit a study proposal for the Major Project outlining the intentions of their MA research (300-500 words).

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.

It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change during your study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.

If you have links to web projects or other media, please note these in your CV.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22 entry to this course.

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.

Applications closed 2021/22

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22 entry to this course. Applications for 2022/23 entry will open in Autumn 2021.

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:

  • First, they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results).
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and portfolio.

There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

Required information for postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application:

  • 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).

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page. International applicants can alternatively apply through one of our official representatives in your country.

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio
  • Study Proposal for the Major Project

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

Please say why you are applying for this course, outlining relevant prior experience and knowledge of the subject. Ensure that your personal statement 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 (300-500 words)

Applicants must submit a study proposal for the Major Project outlining the intentions of their MA research (300-500 words).

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.

It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change during your study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.

If you have links to web projects or other media, please note these in your CV.

Application deadline

15 March 2021

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22 entry to this course.

When you’ll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them all after the application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about any next steps until after this date. 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 your aptitude, skill and engagement in the field of user experience design or an adjacent practice.
  • Please submit an edited selection of work from up to 5 projects (maximum 19 images) accompanied by a short caption for each project acknowledging the motivation, development, realisation and impact (one/two sentences maximum).
  • Indicate your role and contribution to any collaborative projects included. We welcome developmental work, sketches, tests, process-led experimentation in the portfolio.
  • For those applying from non-design backgrounds, research-based around a relevant topic should be demonstrated. Please provide as much context as possible to explain your research, articulate the outcomes and impact.
  • The portfolio should demonstrate intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness and a strong commitment to the subject as well as to sustained study at postgraduate level. In all instances, enthusiasm for the course is paramount.

Part 2: video (2 minutes in length, uploaded as 1 'image' file)

We’d like you to submit a 2-minute video to help us understand a bit more about you. Within your video tell us about a piece of work in your portfolio, the one you think is the best. Why did you do it? How did you do it?

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 course

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 course

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

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