Programme information

The focus of this programme is to communicate the latest knowledge and advances in design innovation practices. You will also learn how to enhance and develop innovative design skills and will discover how to replicate collaborative behaviour, through a mixture of active learning and team work.

All students will develop their knowledge by analysing and evaluating problems and responding to genuine industry challenges in real time. This learning environment will inform critical thinking and improve students’ effectiveness as innovation designers.

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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 and evaluation project with a focus on a particular area of 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

Upon graduating, you will be equipped with advanced knowledge to enhance your career opportunities in design and branding consultancies, in-house design and marketing departments as designers and design managers. You will become a professional versed with design skills and 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/MSc Design Innovation students must complete 8 x 15 credit modules (4 in the first semester and 4 in the second semester). In the first semester 3 modules are compulsory with the option to choose your final 1 module from another Institute. In the second semester all 4 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

Design Thinking (Managing Design and Innovation Process)

The module will include: visualization, using imagery to envision possible future conditions; journey mapping, assessing the existing experience through the customer's eyes, using customer oriented data collection techniques; value chain analysis, assessing the current value chain that supports the customer's journey; mind mapping, generating insights from exploration activities and using those to create; design criteria; brainstorming, generating ideas; rapid concept development, assembling innovative elements into a coherent proposition that can be explored and evaluated; rapid ‘prototyping', expressing a new concept in a tangible form for exploration, consumer testing, and refinement; consumer testing; and storytelling.

The aim of this module is to enhance student's ability to use design approaches and tools for identifying and implementing human centred innovation opportunities. Students are expected to deploy knowledge learned in this module into parallel running Collaborative Project module.

Learning Outcomes

The module will introduce students to a systematic design-based approach aimed at identifying and implementing user centered innovation opportunities.

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Identify when and how to use range of Design Thinking tools;
  • Select appropriate tools to inform project development;
  • Appropriate use of the Design Thinking tools in a parallel module;
  • Develop communication skills in diverse teams;
  • Developed a systematic approach to tackle complex projects;
  • Apply tools in a project context;
  • Work with variety of stakeholders;
  • Understand how to tackle `wicked' problems;
  • Be able to deliver a succinct presentation to communicate key facts.
Assessment
  • 10% Presentation
  • 20% Peer Feedback
  • 70% 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%)

Foresight and Strategy

As part of the Introduction to Foresight and Forecasting module students will research methods for trends in forecasting, create scenarios and personas, create speculative designs, explore science fiction in film and literature, and understand making films to `sell' concepts.

The aim of this module is to broaden the experience and skills of the student designer to include knowledge of, and competence with, the deployment of foresight, forecasting and scenario writing to inform future design and business strategy.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Engage in research and analysis to gather key insights appropriate to the future strategy of a business, and propose design solutions which complement, inform and challenge that strategy, as appropriate;
  • Research techniques for future forecasting;
  • Persona and scenario development as techniques for generating insights;
  • Persona and scenario development as techniques for generating stakeholder buy-in;
  • Creating speculative and/or conceptual design solutions;
  • The role(s) of speculative design concepts with a business;
  • Use a range of techniques for generating key insights;
  • Apply key insights to speculative and/or conceptual design solutions;
  • Use a range of presentation techniques such as storyboarding, video, UX simulation, rendering and animation, as appropriate to the design concept;
  • Present and document insights gained from research in a credible and convincing manner;
  • Present 'hard-to-grasp' concepts in a compelling and convincing manner;
  • Engage in critique of the work of others;
  • Gather and analyse research material relevant to the future strategy of a business;
  • Generate design concepts within the context of future business strategy;
  • Present concepts in a manner which is understandable to non-designer stakeholders.
Assessment
  • 30% Peer Feedback
  • 70% Foresight & Strategy Scenario(s) 

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

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

Second subject modules (your choice of one)

Introduction to Mobile Internet and Media Clouds

This module will cover mobile networks and cloud technologies. The first part of the module includes an introduction to the latest mobile broadband and communication technologies, including their network architectures and radio interface protocols, covering 3GPP LTE mobile broadband radio access, network architecture, and radio interface architecture. The second part includes a brief overview of the cloud technology and covers the service and deployment models, media cloud applications and challenges, mobile clouds, relations of clouds with handling big data, and privacy and security issues in cloud services.

The aim of this module is to provide students with knowledge in advanced mobile networks and cloud systems, including their architectures, protocols, and relations to big data.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Display knowledge of mobile communication networks, cloud systems and their interactions with each other as well as with data and media processing and communications, and be able to relate their knowledge to real-world examples.
  • Mobile broadband communication technologies, including their network architectures and radio interface protocols;
  • Mobile broadband access techniques, systems performances and limitations;
  • The principles of cloud computing technology, media clouds and applications, and the associated challenges;
  • Relations of clouds to handling big data and importance of security in clouds;
  • Apply gained knowledge and skills in understanding the functioning of mobile broadband systems and relating the knowledge to real-world examples;
  • Comprehend the concepts pertaining to the cloud systems, and their relations to the media applications, big data and security;
  • Apply gained knowledge in mobile broadband communication in understanding the different wireless communication techniques and the system performance;
  • Apply gained knowledge in the cloud principles and their operation in real world scenarios;
  • Apply their critical analysis and problem solving skills in the industry for tackling problems and providing solutions for both mobile communications and cloud services;
  • Demonstrate competitiveness in both mobile networks and cloud systems.
Assessment
  • 30% Coursework                
  • 70% Exam

Principles of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management

The theory of entrepreneurship and the importance of entrepreneurial action to the innovation process; the contemporary business environment; micro and macro environments; intellectual property; funding & finance; project management; corporate responsibility & sustainability; governance; ethics; business planning; strategy; risk analysis and failure.

The aim of this module is to equip students with an in depth knowledge of the innovation process, its importance to the economy and an understanding of all of the various factors affecting its success including intellectual property, funding and strategy. We will introduce the academic theories of entrepreneurship and analyse the personality traits and behaviours associated with entrepreneurs.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Innovation as a process;
  • Identify the academic theories of entrepreneurship;
  • Identify the factors influencing the success of organisations;
  • Relate innovation theory to the performance of organisations;
  • Use investigative and research skills;
  • Demonstrate effective report writing skills.
  • Demonstrate commercial awareness.
Assessment

100% Coursework consisting of:

  • 50% Report 1
  • 50% Report 2

The Key Topics in Media and Creative Industries

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

Sport Media and Marketing

This module will include: the main themes that underpin media and marketing, the evolution of media and marketing in a sport context, the practices and techniques for effective sport media and marketing, the types of media and marketing, and consumer and fan engagement.

The aims of this module are to be introduced to key concepts in sport media and marketing and to develop understanding of the nature of sport media and marketing.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Assess the major theories, principles, and concepts surrounding sport media and marketing;
  • Apply techniques and practices involved in conceptualising and developing a marketing plan;
  • Gather, analyse, and present sport media and marketing ideas and concepts;
  • Apply sport media and marketing principles that can be utilised in different sport environments;
  • Demonstrate initiative and personal responsibility;
  • Continue to learn independently and to develop professionally.
Assessment
  • 40% Sponsorship Pitch
  • 60% Marketing Plan

Introduction to Diplomacy

This module will introduce the main concepts, theories and practices of international relations and diplomacy.

The overarching aim of the module is to provide students with a wider understanding of the historical trends, conceptual bases and current practices of diplomacy in the context of current global affairs and to help them critically evaluate the relevance for all fields of social, economic and scientific practice. As part of such aim, the module will advance an interdisciplinary ethos.

Learning outcome
  • Evaluate the historical evolution of the modern international system
  • Critically evaluate the key concepts and theories of diplomacy
  • Evaluate the role and behaviours of international organisations and states in the international system
  • Evaluate the context of the present-day international political and economic relations within which diplomacy takes place
  • Identify and assess the importance of such dynamics for their respective fields of study
  • Construct reasoned arguments utilising concepts and approaches to the study of diplomacy
  • Recognise established and emergent phenomena in the practice of diplomacy within the current global affairs
  • Creatively and critically evaluate the possibilities of various intersections between diplomatic practice and the objectives and modes of delivery in their respective fields
  • Via in-class team tasks, and in assessed assignments, apply such skills to empirically grounded case study materials
  • Reflect on own learning and make use of constructive feedback
  • Gather and organise evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and primary sources
  • Work in small groups
  • Develop research and presentation skills
  • Develop a cross-disciplinary and collaborative research and learning ethos
Assessment
  • 40% Presentation
  • 60% Essay