Design and innovation are key drivers of change generating commercial, social, cultural and ecological value. MA Design Management will give you a leading-edge insight, and the mindset and problem-solving skills needed to effectively work in a constantly evolving global environment.
The course combines academic study with creative and professional practice in a project-led curriculum that draws on a range of interdisciplinary perspectives from business and the arts.
When you join MA Design Management you will have the opportunity to pursue your own design research project; work on real-life business ideas and challenges and team up with fellow students and collaborators from design, business, marketing and IT backgrounds.
The content of the course reflects current knowledge, debates and issues within the disciplines.
You will interrogate, through practical projects, a range of perspectives including design research methods; design thinking for the cultural and creative industries; branding; the role of creative interventions in brand communications; trend forecasting; strategies for the management of brand experiences; design for social needs and sustainability; project management; entrepreneurship and innovation; change management; and design leadership.
Skills and employability
The course is designed to support employability and employer engagement, by developing both transferable skills and a strategic perspective of design leadership and management as well as broader transferable skills.
You’ll develop research, analytical, communication, business, management and problem-solving capabilities that are directed towards careers within the cultural and creative industries.
You will be equipped with a set of practical skills in project management, change management, enterprise, leadership, branding and critical writing and practice.
You will also have the opportunity to customise your studies through a major project according to your own particular design interests and career aspirations.
Throughout the course there will be regular contact with industry professionals through studio and industry visits, live briefs and guest speaker and networking events.
The growth of design management
Academic and instructional writing on design management has significantly increased, with articles on the subject appearing in major publications such as The Economist, Harvard Business Review, Business Week and The New York Times.
The continuing growth of the creative industries in the UK, (now estimated at 6% of GDP), has created employment opportunities for design leaders, design managers and innovative thinkers in this burgeoning sector.
The strength of demand for design management skills in a range of enterprises and organisations is reflected in the career sections of professional networking and employment sites.
Growing job opportunities, in turn, create a demand for educational courses such as MA Design Management, which prepares future design leaders and managers for work in both traditional and new economy models.
The last decade has witnessed a growing emphasis by government on the economic value of culture, at the same time as business and management studies are increasingly recognising social and cultural issues.
The course combines theory with practice, through projects which draw on perspectives from a range of disciplines across business and the arts; covering a breadth of topics from branding, design and innovation processes to anthropology, culture, history and meaning.
Design and cultural opportunities
Design managers oversee design teams and departments to create the optimum product presence, design or brand identity. They are responsible for the operation of corporate design functions and design agencies.
Design managers create quality and consistency of studio output and are required to have strong project management and communication skills.
Design leaders strategically champion design across an organisation as a means of innovation and differentiation. They stimulate and facilitate a culture of innovation, collaboration and enterprise within and across disciplines, cultures, companies and industries.
Professional roles that encompass design management skills include design managers, creative directors, heads of design, design strategists and researchers, in addition to executives with responsibility for making decisions about design and innovation.
Career opportunities that emerge from the study of design business and management are further strengthened by exposure to cultural and critical studies.
The latter is a diverse area that draws on sociology, anthropology, philosophy, politics, history and feminist theory and develops a discursive capacity for critical analysis and debate.
MA Design Management combines an understanding of management and organisation from perspectives drawn from business, the arts and humanities.
The curriculum has a professional focus with a strong emphasis on the development of leadership, management, communication and analytical skills.