MA Biodesign guides you towards a design enquiry. You will develop a personal biodesign agenda which can facilitate our transition to a sustainable way of life. As such, you will be expected to engage with relevant theoretical, scientific and cultural references. Throughout the course, there is a strong emphasis on ethical issues related to sustainability and biodesign practice. The units are designed to allow you to become more and more independent in the development of your practice.
Unit 1: Seed
This unit establishes the foundations of biodesign. You will explore a range of bio-informed design strategies. This will be done via a series of laboratory and studio workshops, inductions, lectures and design projects. The course begins with a significant level of teaching and will require both individual and group work. You will be expected to be proactive, responsive and collaborative in your learning.
Some projects in this unit may incorporate external scientific or industrial partners. Others will be focused on your own learning and development. You will also undertake a series of knowledge-gathering and mapping workshops. These will help you to integrate and discuss relevant theoretical and contextual references. They will also guide you towards the development of an annotated bibliography. Unit 1 concludes with the submission of a biodesign portfolio which will evidence your learning. You will also submit an oral and visual presentation which will test how you articulate and communicate your work.
Unit 2: Grow
Unit 2 allows you to build on the foundations in Unit 1. You will develop your personal biodesign agenda. This will culminate in the submission of your MA Biodesign project proposal. You will submit this along with relevant ethics and risk assessment forms and a research and development portfolio. We will encourage you to be proactive and to seek relevant external expertise or collaborations. This will allow you to test your ideas and enrich your learning against external stakeholders.
In this unit, there will be a range of design and research methodologies workshops. These are designed to support and challenge the development and delivery of your project proposal. While self-directed study will be prominent in this unit, peer-learning activities will also encourage you to articulate and discuss your personal agenda.
Unit 3: Harvest
Unit 3 is dedicated to the creative production and communication of your final MA Biodesign project. The MA Biodesign project proposal submitted in Unit 2 will provide the framework for the development of your project. You will discuss and report on your progress in regular tutorials and group critiques.
In this unit, there is a strong emphasis on communication. You will be expected to submit a short film or animation which will articulate the sustainable issues you are addressing. This will also showcase your research, development and final design outputs. You will also present your final project in an oral and visual presentation format. This will be followed by a Q&A session, in which you will be expected to clearly situate and debate related sustainability issues.
Important note concerning academic progression through your course: If you are required to retake a unit you will need to cease further study on the course until you have passed the unit concerned. Once you have successfully passed this unit, you will be able to proceed onto the next unit. Retaking a unit might require you to take time out of study, which could affect other things such as student loans or the visa status for international students.
Mode of study
MA Biodesign is offered in extended full-time mode which runs for 60 weeks over two academic years. You will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.
The course has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue studies, while also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities.
Credit and award requirements
The course is credit-rated at 180 credits.
On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Arts (MA degree).
Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MA is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA but the classification of the award is derived from the mark for the final unit only.
If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits.