MA Design Management focuses on human-centred design thinking and methods in the context of organisational problems, which include management, strategy and policy. Graduates will be well positioned to shape the emergent roles of design in an increasingly complex world by managing design projects, conducting design research and by contributing to the development of design policies in a wide range of public and private organisations.
More than ever, it is crucial that future leaders, designers and change-makers are equipped with the skills, knowledge and abilities to develop and sustain design capabilities. The curriculum addresses contemporary issues include design, communication, stakeholders, visualisation, integration, facilitation, change, forecasting, society, sustainability, creativity, complexity and values.
MA Design Management explores and develops the ability to apply design knowledge and thinking in a range of contexts. The curriculum offers methods of teaching, learning and assessment which develop subject specific as well as transferable skills, providing opportunities for students to develop independence of thought and critical judgement. Generally as the course progresses, teaching and learning moves from methods and approaches which include more formal staff input and directed learning, towards increased independent and self directed learning.
An understanding of the role of design in commercial contexts is a core theme you will experience developing the ability to apply this knowledge into real world situations. The ability to communicate findings and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences will be facilitated. Core modules are:
In recent times design has developed from a problem-solving activity to problem-processing one that investigates the potential that design can bring to a commercial context. An understanding of professional practice of design will be supported through the combination of case studies that document best practice; visiting professionals who bring a contemporary and up to date understanding of the application of design in real world situations; and live briefs that offer opportunities for students to demonstrate professional working practices and methodologies.
A comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the role of the user within design will be developed through project learning and assessment, where students can take control and manage their own learning and demonstrate skills and competencies in areas such as problem-solving and primary research; group critiques involving peers and tutors, which provide opportunities for the development of intellectual skills in constructing and supporting arguments; and extended projects that enable students to demonstrate a broad range of competencies from technical skills and research/enquiry through to independence of thought and critical analysis.
Staff who contribute to the course have extensive experience in design and are recognised experts within their particular fields. They bring a contemporary understanding of the role and value of design and have research interests that encompass design management, design strategy, design thinking and design methods design futures, service design, design for sustainability, game design, design and branding, and collaborative design to name a few.
A first or upper second class degree (or equivalent) in design or a business related discipline. Other qualifications and relevant work experience may also be taken into consideration.
Additionally applicants should demonstrate: evidence of design methodology and/or practice-based skills; communication skills; an appreciation of the design profession; a research agenda; and a passion for design management and policy. Applicants are usually in, or aspire to be in, managerial positions, or are looking to enhance their employability.
Please note that if English is not your first language you are required to obtain an English language qualification that demonstrates ability to communicate in English across all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. Details of the English Language requirements can be found on our How to Apply page.
We look for a genuine passion to undertake postgraduate study combined with an ability to question norms and assumptions and utilise design thinking in a range of contexts. Our course will particularly appeal to:
MA Design Management, 2008
"The student/staff ratio is far above average and contributes to the very intensive and effective learning environment."
"The professional background of the lecturers makes a course that is inspired by a high amount of visiting lecturers, most of them come from leading UK design and management consultancies."
"Before I came to Lancaster, I did not have a lot of knowledge about design management outside of the industrial design context. The first term opened my eyes. The power of design within the context of an organisation was unknown to me."
"Design management is more critical today than ever before. We prepare graduates to create value in products and services, address critical issues such as sustainability, and indeed use design thinking to change the very nature of organisations themselves!"
MA Design Management, 2011
"The LICA experience expands my knowledge perspective on various design related topics. Coming abroad for my masters studies had significant changes on how I manage life. I would say, it was definitely worth the price paid."