Course Insight

The MA in Design offers students from a range of creative backgrounds the opportunity to develop, challenge and extend their design practice at an advanced level. You will engage with real-world problems and issues of relevance to contemporary design practice through a series of project-based modules. Working individually and collaboratively, you will be encouraged to develop skills, knowledge and creativity commensurate with the needs of professional practice in design and the creative industries today. This brand new, broad and practice-based Masters takes students on a creative journey where you will explore processes making, materials and context. You will challenge and extend your design practice at an advanced level whilst developing a range of artistic and practical skills. The course provides a creative context for practice-based exploration and experimentation, through which you will be supported to develop innovative working methods and design solutions. You will creatively exploit appropriate materials, technologies and techniques, supported by the academic and technical staff in the Art and Design department. As a discipline, design engages with the aesthetic, ethical and social dimensions of human life and the ecological, technological and industrial application of innovation. Within this context, you will be expected to undertake creative projects which are challenging and ambitious, and which result in credible, tangible design outcomes. The course attracts a diverse range of practicing designers, makers and industry professionals from a range of disciplines, including but not exclusively: graphic design, photography, ceramics, fashion design, landscape and garden design, product design, lighting, fine art, interior design, and architecture and equally broad ranging staff backgrounds in, graphics, interior design, fashion, photography and fine art. You will work both independently and collaboratively, pushing boundaries and exchanging ideas across design disciplines.

Course structure

Make (30 credits) This module aims to develop and expand your knowledge, skills and interest in the innovative application of materials and technologies that will enhance your practice as a creative designer. You will be encouraged to creatively engage with a broad range of materials, making and manufacturing processes. Though a series of short practical projects, you will be invited to challenge the nature, role and cultural value of different approaches to ‘making’ and ‘manufacture’ from new and emerging digital fabrication technologies to the contemporary application of craft. Play (30 credits) This module is designed to deliver one primary objective: To reinvigorate a genuine sense of play into the creative enquiry and to build upon its potential for delivering innovation in design realisation. The emphasis of this module is on play, without the expectation that ‘finished” work will be produced. This module builds on the skills acquired in ‘Make’ and encourages you to experiment and innovate with your ideas and speculate on new creative pathways. You will explore and develop ideas for a project proposal which will form the basis of the final Live module of the course. Research Practice (30 credits) This module is designed to develop the independent research skills required for writing research, practice or enterprise proposals at Masters level. It will offer three distinct proposals that you will chose from, in accordance with their professional ambitions: research for practice, research for further research, or research for enterprise in the creative industries. For each project key methods and approaches will be identified, for the development of research for the chosen project, and you will be expected to develop a coherent research proposal that evidences full supporting contextual research, enquiry and analysis. Practice in a Professional Context (30 credits) The emphasis of this module is to explore possibilities outside of the institution and participate in a placement, collaboration or work experience situation to gain knowledge and understanding of the professional arena. You will have the opportunity to negotiate your own programme of study, which explores and evaluates design within a professional context. The module allows you to explore your practice within or alongside a professional placement/project, which complements your particular abilities and interests. In the majority of cases, this project will take place in collaboration with an external organisation but aspects of the project may be conducted within the school. Live (60 credits) This module is designed to facilitate the development and delivery of a major creative project that capitalises upon the previous four modules. Whether working in collaboration with an industry partner, via partnerships between students, or working individually, the development of design solutions will be for a ‘live’ outward facing event: the UWE Creative Industries Degree Show. Successful design invariably engages with real-world problems and issues, ranging from the aesthetic, ethical and social dimensions of human life to the ecological, technological and industrial application of innovation. Reflecting the range and breadth of design as a discipline and a human activity, you will be encouraged to undertake challenging and ambitious projects, which are expected to engage with problems, and issues of significance within contemporary design practice.

Why study this course?

If you are seeking to develop your creative practice and you are excited by opportunities to exchange ideas across design disciplines, then this could be the course for you.  The MA design programme will draw on the full research and practice expertise of academics, researchers and technical support staff from across the Department. The course is based at Alexander College main campus, where exceptional facilities and resources include state-of-the-art studios and teaching areas, workshops offer a combination of traditional tools and the latest technology.

Wide ranging expertise

Students value the experience and knowledge of staff, bringing different perspectives and industry insight to teaching in a highly professional and creative environment. Our students benefit from a list of active links that we have establish over the years with the University helping our VLE system and the online library. You will have access to various facilities and technical expertise in fabrication, fashion, textiles, print and photography, in addition to regular guest speakers and live projects, bringing you up-to-date with the latest techniques and developments.

Learning and Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of seminars, workshops, lectures and individual tutorials. Students are responsible for setting their own projects, there are no set briefs and a large proportion of your time will be allocated to self-directed study with guidance from teaching and technical staff. You will have access to a rolling programme of design-focused guest speakers from industry and academia and students are encouraged to make visits relevant to the practice.

Study time

Full time – students typically study for three semesters over 18 months and are expected to study (formal contact time and self-directed study) five days a week. (Two days every week on premises) The academic year runs September to June.


You will be assessed through a combination of practical work and accompanying critical design log, research book and sketchbook. Research practice is essay and presentation based. You will present and communicate design ideas to staff and your peer group as part of the ‘make’, ‘play’ module, and the ‘live’ module encourages a live aspect to include the degree show or a negotiated live project with industry.


As part of the Practice in a Professional Context module, you will be supported in your development as a professional in the creative industries through self-negotiated placements or internships in external organisations. This experience will aid your career on completion of the course.

Study facilities

As a Postgraduate student you will have access to extensive, cutting-edge technical resources in print, fabrication, textiles, fashion, photography (through various external and internal workshops) and a recently extended, well-resourced library. Open lectures also allow you to attend lectures in any subject that relate to your design practice. Studying at Alexander College offers an excellent base for students within the exciting environment that connects teaching and learning with some of the best creative and cultural organisations in Cyprus.  Alexander College main campus houses the main library supporting the creative and cultural industries, student support services, as well as the extensive resource base that make up the facilities and resources.  Students will also have the opportunity of studying and accessing facilities at other sites such as the photography and fine art studios in the creative labs campus.  This may include attending lectures, including guest lectures, and seminars.

Careers / Further study

The course places strong emphasis on developing making skills, knowledge and creativity commensurate with the needs of professional practice in design and the creative industries today. It aims to prepare you for professional practice as self-employed designer/makers, artists, design teachers/lecturers and for work in design studios.

Entry requirements

We are looking for highly-motivated, creative students from a range of academic and professional art and design backgrounds. Usually applicants will have a good honours degree in design or visual arts, but those other academic qualifications or professional experience are also encouraged to apply. Applications are welcome from prospective students with qualifications in such areas as product design, industrial design, interaction design, fashion and textiles, model-making, fine art, photography, graphic design, interior design and architecture. We also encourage applications from prospective students with academic or professional backgrounds in engineering and other technology-based disciplines, providing they can demonstrate a strong interest and aptitude in creativity and design. Candidates are normally invited to an interview where they will be expected to present a portfolio of creative work and to discuss their previous experience, aims, motivations and ideas for projects they may wish to pursue within the context of the MA in Design. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by 1st December of the year they wish to enter onto the course and hold a degree from an accredited University and a relevant portfolio of creative work. Graduates from non-English speaking institutions will be required to provide evidence of their knowledge of the English Language.  

Enrolment and Duration

The degree can be completed in 12 months full time study (four evening sessions per week) plus an additional 4 months for the “Live Project”


Graduation Requirements

To achieve the MA degree award in Design, students are required to complete all modules earning a total of 180 credits or 120 credits for the Postgraduate Diploma. (See Course Structure)