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MA User Experience Design

College
LCC
Start date
September 2019
Course length
1 year 3 months full-time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

Course summary

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.

About this Course

You'll learn the advanced studio skills of user experience design, the methods and practices of user research and the critical-theoretical background to the field.

There's an increasingly high demand for designers who are able to combine their creative skills with profound insight into human behaviours and contexts. This course prepares you for the rapidly expanding field of UX – with a wide range of opportunities for advanced practitioners.

Four reasons to apply

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 Evening for this course will be on Thursday 6 December.

Book your place

Course details

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.

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.

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.

Who is this course for?

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

Course units

MA User Experience Design is delivered across four terms, starting in September and finishing in December the year after. Incorporating a summer break, this is a one-year full-time course (45 taught weeks), delivered over 15 months.

Autumn, Term One

The first term features a series of fast, skills-focused projects where you will be working with your peers to develop your abilities in interface prototyping, interaction design, user research and concept development.

Spring / Summer, Terms Two and Three

In the second and third terms, you will be working with some of our external partners across a range of themes ranging from social transformation to data visualisation and human-robot relations.

Autumn, Term Four

In your final term, you will research and write your mas­ters thesis and develop a final major project. In parallel with this practical design work you will be evolving your critical understanding of the field, and positioning yourself relative to the main ideas and theories of interaction, cognition, and experience.

Course structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.

Staff

John  Fass

John Fass

Course Leader, MA User Experience Design

Eva  Verhoeven

Eva Verhoeven

Programme Director, Interaction Design and 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

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;

Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

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) 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.
  • 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.

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.

Portfolio and interview advice

All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio of work as part of their application, evidencing their aptitude, skill and engagement in the field of user experience design or an adjacent practice.

Please submit an edited selection of work (10-20 images, 4-5 projects maximum) accompanied by a short caption for each project acknowledging the motivation, development, realisation and impact (one-two sentences maximum). Please 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.

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.

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.

Deferrals

Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2019/20 but wish to defer to 2020/21, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the deposit in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2020/21)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

After you apply

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this Portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Once we’ve reviewed and assessed your application, we’ll contact you via UCAS Track or the UAL Portal to let you know whether your application has been successful.

Fees & Funding

£9,500 (2018/19)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

ELQ

Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQ) fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. For enquiries relating to ELQ fees, please complete this register your interest form.

International Fee

£19,350 (2018/19)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees, you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

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