Programme information

This programme will provide you with concepts and skills for undertaking ethnographic research for completion of design projects.

These skills can be applied and developed in both the interdisciplinary and international design projects that provide the core of the programme.

Building on the strengths of our MA/MSc Design Innovation this programme expands the question does culture inform design or does design inform culture? Through a series of processes and projects students will build a portfolio of work informed by the study of culture through the Media and Creative Industries. This programme supports students to explore the dynamic, contingent relationships between design and its many cultural contexts.

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Programme aims

  • To enhance design skills and knowledge through theoretical and practical application individually and in multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary teams
  • Develop collaborative behaviour through active learning and team work, analysing and evaluating problems and responding to challenges in real time
  • To enable graduates to develop their critical thinking and insight to improve their effectiveness as designers
  • To enable graduates to develop their analytical and research skills through undertaking a substantial design innovation and evaluation project that draws on the influences of culture in design
  • To critically analyse how design feeds culture and culture feeds design

Entry requirements

2:2 (or above) in Design, Innovation, Business, Media, Technology or related subjects. Applicants from non-Design backgrounds require 55% and above in their final year.

Overseas qualification equivalencies

English Language requirements

All applicants for admission to Loughborough University must have a qualification in English Language before they can be admitted to any course or programme, whether their first language is English or not.

English Language requirements: IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each subtest (Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking) or equivalent.

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Assessments

Modules are assessed by a combination of essays, group exercises, presentations and time constrained assignments. Subject to your choices, there may also be exams.

Students will be asked to produce project briefs, concept drawings, user scenarios, storyboards, project blogs and multimedia documentation.

Take a look at our modules below to see what assessments you can expect to undertake.

Future career prospects

This programme will enhance career prospects in user-centred design. This programme will provide you with the right skills and knowledge to enhance your career prospects in user-centred design. You will be a qualified professional versed with many new and developed design skills, and will be experienced in interdisciplinary teamwork.

Graduates will also have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and career prospects further by undertaking an MRes or PhD programme.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. The standard tuition fees for this course are:

  • £10,000 (UK/EU)
  • £22,650 (International)

University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

View scholarships for 2017 entry

Programme modules

This programme covers a wide range of topics; to give you a taster we have expanded on some of the core modules affiliated with this programme and the specific assessment methods associated with each module.

To complete the MA Design and Culture students must complete 8 x 15 credit modules (4 in the first semester and 4 in the second semester). All modules are compulsory. All students must complete a Dissertation worth 60 credits.

Core modules

Identity, Culture and Communication

The module focuses on developing skilled communication strategies and principles for working in cross-cultural contexts. Key theoretical concepts of `identity', ‘otherisation' and ‘representation' will be introduced through lectures and seminars in order to explore the complex interrelationships between identity, culture and communication. Students are expected collect and analyse data from the Interdisciplinary Project module to be used for the case study assignment.

The module aims to answer the following important questions: What is culture? How are cultural identities constructed? How do cultural stereotypes impact on communication? How are meanings negotiated? And how are these questions related to working as a contemporary designer?

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Understand the complex interplay between identity and culture and demonstrate these concepts through application to a relevant design context
  • Analyse communication events, written texts and visual images to explore how culture and power relations work to produce particular meanings and communicate this in an appropriate language and report structure
  • Discuss the concepts of identity and culture outlined in the course
  • Apply outlined key concepts when undertaking the analysis of communication strategies observed within the student project teams.
  • Develop and communicate ideas in a coherent sequence
  • Use appropriate language and report structure
  • Reference and attribute correctly
  • Provide critical peer feedback
  • Work in cross-cultural teams
  • Use concepts from the module to inform their professional practice 
Assessment

100% Coursework consisting of:

  • 50% Individual Assessment
  • 50% Individual Report

Reflection and Action

This module will enable students to start planning for their major project by focusing first on generating a suitable topic to be explored. The goal is for the students to arrive at a feasible, agreed major project plan. Students will consolidate their prior learning and use it to develop a learning plan to complete their chosen study pathway.

The aim of the Reflection and Action module is to facilitate students' reflection on their individual practices and values, and the shifts impacting on design discipline. Students will gain a broad understanding of design theories and research in order to inform and shape their dissertation proposal to be developed in the dissertation module.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research and advanced scholarship and display evidence of understanding the requirements of focusing research ideas
  • Understand what is a reflective practice and its role in design research
  • Develop a feasible research direction
  • Plan and pilot a research method suitable to the individuals dissertation
  • understand the participatory and action research methodologies
  • reflect, identify and agree a dissertation direction
  • engage in a sustained piece of individual, academic research on a chosen research method
  • articulate, carry out and reflect a feasible pilot project
  • manage their time and resources effectively
  • use initiative and take responsibility
  • develop skills in pilot study planning
  • display evidence of independent research skills
Assessment
  • 10% Research Method Pilot poster
  • 30% Presentation
  • 60% Research Method Pilot Study Report

Meaning Making in Design

The module will locate design within broader cultural issues and practices of creativity and innovation. This module will use the Circuit of Culture and its five interrelated categories (i.e. Identity, Representation, Regulation, Production and Consumption) as framework to explore processes of meaning making. 

The aims of this module are to build on concepts introduced in the Identity, Culture & Communication module and the Meaning Making in Design module. It aims to answer ‘What is culture?’, identify its meanings and practices, its production and representation, and show designers as cultural intermediaries.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate their understanding of how designers' practices are interwoven with elements of production and consumption of culture.
  • Cultural processes which form the culture of circuit
  • Display the interplay of elements within the culture of circuit in construction of meaning
  • Identify relation between design and culture
  • Explain the key concepts of `culture, cultural formation and production in relation design
  • Analyse complex cultural issues and evaluate design processes and products
  • Collect data and analyse these using the key concepts discussed in the module
  • Provide peer feedback
  • Respond to peer feedback
  • Develop understanding of culture as non-essential
  • Understand interplay of elements in construction of meaning 
Assessment
  • Case study (80%)
  • Peer feedback (20%)

Design Innovation Project

The Design Innovation Project is designed so that students develop and gain experience in using key skills that will enable them to work successfully with various organisational project team members in the face to face and distributed product development process. The module will prepare the students to develop as culturally competent project leaders.

The aim of this module is to provide students with skills for working in design innovation work teams.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Develop strategies to plan and execute a project across distributed collaborative teams.
  • Understand the impact of distributed project teams on project management
  • Develop and gain experience in using distance communication
  • Explore cultural issues and concepts with exchanges and project evaluation
  • Develop skills in generating and ev aluation of project briefs
  • Demonstrate increased awareness of cultural issues and concepts
  • Develop strategies to make a contribution diverse project teams
  • Use distance communication tools
  • Provide critical feedback to peers
  • Articulate a project brief and project review criteria
  • Use digital communication tools
  • Develop teamwork skills
  • Develop the means to implement and communicate the strategy to a 'client'
  • Communicate effectively, with colleagues and a wider audience, in a variety of media
  • Solve problems in creative and innovative ways
Assessment
  • 30% Design Process Diary
  • 30% Reflective Article
  • 40% Project Deliverables

Collaborative Project

This module tests your skills in a team environment. With a multi-talented group of students you will work on a brief from a real company looking to solve a real social or business problem for a real client.

Student teams will research and build solutions to a business deadline supported by our project tutors, clients and staff. We expect clients to include BT Sport, The London Legacy Development Company and other companies and charities working to respond to the digital age.

The Collaborative Project Aims to support the development of students' ability to engage in critical enquiry and to apply individual strengths and skills, building on their own educational backgrounds. To provide students with an opportunity to be exposed to project based teamwork in multicultural and interdisciplinary settings in order to strengthen their cooperative and collaborative working skills and competence, while raising awareness and appreciation of cultural and disciplinary diversity and differences.

It also aims to provide students with a hands on experience of identifying, framing and resolving practice oriented and real-world based challenges and problems, using creativity, critical enquiry and appropriate tools to achieve valuable and relevant solutions. And to provide students with opportunities for networking with stakeholders, organisations and corporations, aiming to enhance the competence and skills needed to connect to relevant parties and build up future professional opportunities.

Learning Outcomes
  • Work in diverse and interdisciplinary teams.
  • Understand and be able to undertake a project based development process.
  • Apply critical enquiry, reflection, and creative methods to identify, frame, and resolve issues and problems at hand. 
  • Identify user and stakeholder needs and value creation opportunities, while collecting and applying evidence-based information and knowledge to develop appropriate insights, practices and solutions.
  • Identify, structure, reflect on key issues and propose solutions to problems in creative ways.
  • Enhance appreciation for diversity and divergent individual and disciplinary perspectives.
  • Be able to provide structured, reflective and critical feedback to peers and other stakeholders.
  • Plan and execute a project plan including scope, resources and timing.
  • Effectively communicate ideas, methods and results to diverse stakeholders.
  • Use multiple, state of the art date media and technologies to communicate with collaborators.
  • Make informed, critical and reflective decisions in time-limited situations.
Assessment

100% Coursework consisting of:

  • 20% Group project proposal          
  • 20% Individual reflection
  • 30% Final Project Report   
  • 30% Project Deliverables to the client

Media and Creative Industries: Context and Practices

The module includes lectures on topics such as: the creative industries, the history of media technologies, media and intellectual property law; media policy; media organisational structures; and the development, creation, production, distribution and exploitation of media content.

The aim of this module is to present and debate the structure, features and professional practices of the UK and global media landscapes. The module aims to explore a range of different media and creative industries from both professional and academic perspectives.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and ability of:

  • Identify the key characteristics and trends of various media sectors;
  • Analyse the main elements in the value chain of various media sectors;
  • Identify the key historical moments in the development of mass and online media;
  • The nature and context of working in these sectors.
  • Ability to synthesise acquired information in essays/'industry briefs' which address key challenges for the media and creative industries
  • Make use of feedback on the substance and presentation of these briefs-
  • Write concise `industry briefs'.
  • Engage in conversation with media professionals;
  • Meet weekly deadlines;
  • Write according to strict deadlines;
  • Produce short, well written texts that are informative to others.
  • Be able to engage in dialogue with media and creative industry professionals
  • Be able to respond creatively to contemporary challenges facing the sector 
Assessment

100% Coursework consisting of:

  • 10% Mini reports
  • 90% Report

Media and Creative Industries: Critical Perspectives

The module content will include: defining media and creative industries; ownership, concentration and control in media and creative industries; innovation and technological change; media and creative markets; business models in media and creative industries; copyright; global media cities; clustering of media and creative industries; media and cultural policy.

The aim of this module is to introduce students to key critical debates relating to the economics of media and creative industries and their social, cultural and political implications.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Understand how and why the media and creative industries have been defined;
  • Understand the importance of industrial structure in media and creative industries;
  • Understand the implications of innovation and technological change for media and creative industries;
  • Understand changing business models in media and creative industries;
  • Understand the importance of copyright and how this is affected by technological change;
  • Understand why media and creative industries cluster in particular spaces and cities;
  • Understand the globalisation of media and creative industries;
  • Understand media and cultural policy;
  • Identify, debate and evaluate relevant critical perspectives on media and creative industries;
  • Systematically assess the implicit theoretical assumptions of contrasting perspectives;
  • Use critical perspectives to analyse emerging trends in media and creative industries;
  • Communicate effectively in speech and writing, with academic and non-academic audiences;
  • Engage in critical reasoning, debate and argumentation;
  • Assess the empirical validity of competing perspectives;
  • Manage time and resources effectively;
  • Synthesise different sources of data and identify key arguments and issues at stake in particular fields of practice ;
  • Understand the behaviour of firms in media and creative industries;
  • Understand emerging trends in media and creative industries;
  • Apply skills in written and verbal communication that are relevant to this field;
  • Be able to plan, organise and manage coursework assignments, demonstrating independence, initiative and originality.
Assessment
  • 100% Coursework

Researching Media Industries

Lectures include topics such as: approaches to media and creative industries research; standardised questionnaire design; methods of sampling; document-based research; conducting qualitative interviews; analysing quantitative data using SPSS; analysing qualitative data through thematic analysis; developing multi method research strategies.

The aim of this module is to become familiar with a range of methodologies for the analysis of structure, operation and output of media and cultural industries.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Analyse a range of methods applicable to the study of media and creative industries, cultural texts and reception;
  • Situate particular social, textual and industry research methods in relation to other research practices;
  • Show through explanation and/or discussion the tensions that divide particular research methods and the benefits that can be derived from their combination;
  • Evaluate qualitative and quantitative data to appraise their wider analytical value and significance;
  • Link empirical findings to wider theoretical debates concerning creative industries, media production and reception;
  • Understand how to collect primary data;
  • Understand how to analyse data;
  • Know how to find and evaluate scholarly sources;
  • Be able to communicate effectively in speech and writing;
  • Synthesise scholarly and primary sources for use in argument;
  • Understand the relevance of research to media and creative industries;
  • Be able to conduct primary research relevant to media and creative industries;
  • Skills in written and verbal communication that are relevant to this field (e.g. report writing);
  • Be able to plan, organise and manage a self-directed piece of research, demonstrating independence, initiative and originality.
Assessment
  • 100% Coursework

Dissertation

The module will equip the student with the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding to embark on their individual research project and they will be guided through the three options available to them to complete their dissertation:

  • A desk based research project that could be set by an organisation or could be a subject of the student's choice
  • A project that involves collection of primary data from within an organisation or based on lab and/or field experiments
  • An Internship within an organisation during which time students will complete a project as part of their role in agreement with the organisation (subject to a suitable placement position being obtained)

Students will achieve a high level of understanding in the subject area and produce a written thesis or project report which will discuss this research in depth and with rigour.

The aims of this module are to give the student the opportunity to study a subject, business problem or research question in depth and to research the issues surrounding the subject or background to the problem.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The importance of project planning;
  • The importance of a clear hypothesis or research question;
  • The ethical implications of research;
  • The relevant empirical data and methodologies for data collection or knowledge assimilation for the subject area;
  • Methods of data analysis and their suitability for the intended data;
  • The areas of expertise or publications of the major individuals or organisations in the subject or business area;
  • The previous research or current knowledge in the specific subject or business area;
  • Theoretical perspectives relevant to their chosen topic;
  • The data or knowledge that they have assimilated in the course of the project;
  • The most effective methods of presentation of this data or knowledge;
  • Articulate a clear, coherent and original research question, hypothesis or business problem in a suitable subject area;
  • Synthesise relevant sources (e.g. research literature, primary data) to construct a coherent argument in response to their research question, hypothesis or business problem;
  • Analyse primary or secondary data collected by an appropriate method;
  • Critically evaluate data collected in context with previously published knowledge or information;
  • Engage in critical debate and argumentation in written work;
  • Apply principles of good scholarly practice to their written work;
  • Perform appropriate literature searching/business information searching using library databases or other reputable sources;
  • Determine the most appropriate research methods for a particular subject area;
  • Plan a research project and produce a realistic gantt chart demonstrating their intended timelines;
  • Synthesise information from appropriate sources;
  • Demonstrate rational use of research method tools;
  • Select and use appropriate investigative and research skills;
  • Demonstrate effective project planning skills;
  • Find and evaluate scholarly sources;
  • Engage in critical reasoning, debate and argumentation;
  • Demonstrate effective report writing skills;
  • Recognise and use their resources effectively;
  • Demonstrate resourcefulness to carry out data collection;
  • Successfully manage a project from idea to completion;
  • Demonstrate commercial awareness or the impact of knowledge transfer in a business or research environment.
Assessment

100% Coursework consisting of:

  • 20% Literature Review
  • 20% Research Proposal    
  • 60% Dissertation Report/Essay