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.

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.

More on the Loughborough University website

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 for 2019/20 are:

  • £10,550 (UK/EU)
  • £24,750 (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 2019 entry

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

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.

Compulsory modules

Collaborative Project

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.
 
Together with your student team, you will research and build solutions to a business problem, supported by our project tutors, clients and staff. Previous clients include Foster + Partners, Speedo, The London Legacy Development Corporation as well as many other companies, start-ups and charities.
 
The Collaborative Project provides a means for you to engage in critical enquiry and to be exposed to project-based teamwork in multicultural and interdisciplinary settings. By undertaking this module, you will strengthen your cooperative and collaborative working skills and competencies, whilst raising your awareness and appreciation of cultural and disciplinary diversity and differences.
 
The Collaborative Project aims to provide you with a hands-on experience of identifying, framing and resolving practice-oriented and real-world based challenges and problems, using creativity and appropriate tools to achieve valuable and relevant solutions. Alongside the collaborative elements of the module, you will be provided with opportunities to network with stakeholders, organisations and corporations, which will give you the experience and skills needed to connect to relevant parties and potentially develop future employment opportunities.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:
  • Work effectively in diverse and interdisciplinary teams
  • Undertake and contribute towards 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, whilst 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 your 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 a diverse range of 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

Assessment consists of 100% coursework which is made up of:
  • Individual Reflective Essay (55%)
  • Team Project Report (40%)
  • Peer Evaluation (5%)

Identity, Culture and Communication

This 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. You will be expected to 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 you 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

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 your ability to use design approaches and tools for identifying and implementing human centred innovation opportunities.

Learning Outcomes

The module will introduce you to a systematic design-based approach aimed at identifying and implementing user centered innovation opportunities.
 
On completion of this module you 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

  • Presentation (20%)
  • Report (80%)

Reflection and Action

This module will enable you to start planning for their major project by focusing first on generating a suitable topic to be explored. The goal is for you to arrive at a feasible, agreed major project plan. You will consolidate your prior learning and use it to develop a learning plan to complete your chosen study pathway.
 
The aim of the Reflection and Action module is to facilitate your reflection on individual practices and values, and the shifts impacting on design discipline. You 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 you 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

  • Reflective Commentary poster (10%)
  • Peer Feedback (30%)
  • Reflective Commentary Report (60%)

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 you should be able to:
  • Demonstrate your 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 Foresight and Strategy module, you 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 creation of foresights, forecast and future scenarios to inform future design and business strategy, with a particular focus on sustainability contexts.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module you 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

This module is 100% group work with assessment consisting 100% Foresight & Strategy Scenario(s). Marks will be adjusted according to peer feedback.

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

Dissertation

The Dissertation module will equip you with the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding to embark on your own research project. You will have the choice of three dissertation pathways:
  • 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)
  • By undertaking a dissertation at master's level, you will achieve a high level of understanding in your chosen subject area and will produce a written thesis or project report which will discuss your research in more detail.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you 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 your chosen topic
  • The most effective methods of presentation for data or knowledge
  • Developing a clear, coherent and original research question, hypothesis or business problem in a suitable subject area
  • Synthesising relevant sources (e.g. research literature, primary data) to construct a coherent argument in response to your research question, hypothesis or business problem
  • Analysing primary or secondary data collected by an appropriate method
  • Critically evaluating data collected in context with previously published knowledge or information
  • Engaging in critical debate and argumentation in written work
  • Applying principles of good scholarly practice to your written work
  • Performing appropriate literature searching/business information searching using library databases or other reputable sources
  • Planning a research project and producing a realistic gantt chart demonstrating your intended timelines
  • Synthesising information from appropriate sources
  • Demonstrating rational use of research method tools
  • Selecting and using appropriate investigative and research skills
  • Demonstrating effective project planning skills
  • Finding and evaluating scholarly sources
  • Engaging in critical reasoning, debate and argumentation
  • Demonstrating effective report writing skills
  • Recognising and using resources effectively
  • Successfully managing a project from idea to completion
  • Demonstrating commercial awareness or the impact of knowledge transfer in a business or research environment.

Assessment

100% Coursework consisting of:
  • Research proposal (10%)
  • Dissertation report (90%)

Second subject modules (your choice of one)

Introduction to Digital Technologies

This module will provide an overview of mobile Internet and cloud technology, with a special emphasis on media cloud applications, mobile Internet platforms and their associated challenges.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to: 
  • Receive an overview of the mobile Internet and cloud technologies with specific knowledge in media cloud applications on mobile devices, systems and Internet in general, and the challenges that are associated with making such applications available to the end-users via the mobile Internet and cloud technology 
  • The mobile Internet technology, media cloud applications, and the strengths and associated challenges by utilising mobile cloud technology and applications 
  • Mobile networking and media cloud topics 
  • Privacy and security issues in mobile cloud services 
  • Mobile Internet and cloud business models 
  • Gain experience with the understanding of mobile Internet architecture and access techniques, system performance and limitation 
  • Gain specific skills in media cloud applications and how the combination of mobile Internet with cloud computing technology will fast-changing the future of media applications for people on the move and the daily life of public in general 
  • Apply their knowledge of mobile Internet and media cloud technology in media service delivery and communication industry 
  • Tackle media cloud application and mobile communication networks related problems and deal with their possible solutions 
  • Equip themselves with the necessary understanding and essential knowledge that are required for service provider jobs in the cloud computing, applications, and mobile services provision domains

Assessment

  • Coursework (30%)
  • Exam (70%)

 

Political Risk in Emerging Markets

This programme asks the question: what are political risks and how are they defined for emerging markets. You will uncover the lure of emerging markets and the range of risks that can be associated with such collectives, including geopolitical risks, regulatory risks and international political risks. Time will also be dedicated to the consideration of emerging markets as nodes in the global market. By the end of the module, you will have a thorough grasp of the political and geographical risks at play for emerging markets, as well as the politics of 'doing business' for particular groups.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:
 
  • Discuss diversity of political risks within emerging markets
  • Explain the various factors that make emerging markets important nodes in international business activities
  • Critically evaluate existing literature and understandings of emerging markets.
  • Construct reasoned arguments, synthesise and analyse relevant information and exercise critical judgement
  • Reflect on your own learning and make use of constructive feedback
  • Analyse current events and discuss them in groups as part of an editorial meeting
  • Discuss essay questions as part of a group and plan possible outlines
  • Communicate effectively in speech and writing
  • Use communication and information technology for the retrieval and presentation of information
  • Work individually, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management
  • Explain events as they are reported in media coverage, and examine their contents.

Assessment

One individual assignment in the form of an investor report of up to 4000 words (100%).

Sociology of Work

This module draws on the sociology of work to provide a systematic explanation of these and other important questions regarding the types, content, and contexts of work as well as broader issues regarding employment relations and the labour market within the economy. The approach will be historical and comparative, providing a sociological, critical and labour-oriented approach to work, markets, corporations and capitalism. Topics include an introduction to sociological theory, the history of capitalist work and employment, gender and race in the labour market, deskilling, upskilling, and skill polarization, the roles of unions, Fordism and post-Fordism, professions, low-wage occupations and non-standard work and bad jobs. 
 
The module will familiarise students with key concepts in sociology and the sociological study of work and employment, provide a historical and comparative perspective on the development of work and labour markets since the industrial revolution, explore the various economic, political and cultural forces shaping the organisation of work and labour markets and understand the factors contributing to job quality. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • Identify the evolution of work organisation and employment relations over time and how they vary within and across national economies
  • Assess the competitive and institutional pressures facing HR managers and corporate managers and how these vary over time and across national economies
  • Identify the sources of variation in job quality and labour market dynamics, including why many advanced capitalist economies are increasingly experiencing a growth of bad jobs 
  • Have a basic understanding of sociological theories including social constructionism, embeddedness and theory and theories of social class and power
  • Critically analyse the sources of job quality, the sources of gender and racial discrimination in the labour market, roles of trade unions, the differences between sectors and occupations, and trends in skill development
  • Critically evaluate theories of seeking to explain job quality, skill development and inequality
  • Explain the role of institutions and power in the economy
  • Critically evaluate strategies and models of work organisation, including scientific management, socio-technical systems and lean production
  • Identify the effects of standardisation, autonomy and employee involvement in shaping organisational performance.

Assessment

Assessment consists of 1 x Time-limited Assessment (maximum of 3,000 words).

Strategy and Market Analysis

The aims of this module are to equip students with the necessary academic insights about and be able to reflect critically on organisations positioning in their competitive environment and assessing companies' preparedness for facing competition.

By the end of this module students will be able to perform a critical analysis of the competitive environment that an organisation  faces; critically analyse companies' preparedness to face competition and ability to develop to grow, including internationally. Students will be able to critically understand and use SWOT, DPEST and Porter models as well as use insights from game theory, which will allow students to develop insights about the strategic challenges and opportunities that companies face.

The module will draw on key theories in strategic management, building on the latest academic insights, and address topics such as: company positioning, internationalisation strategies, alliances, organising strategically, industry architecture and dynamics, understanding which strategies can be used under what competitive circumstances.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Identify and critically assess the forces impacting on company strategies
  • Be critically aware of factors involved in strategy making
  • Assess the resources and constraints for strategy making in a competitive environment
  • Explain and critically reflect on the importance of social, economic, political and technological forces in a company's environment
  • Critically investigate and reflect on the impact of internationalization company strategy
  • Identify key drivers of companies' competitive positioning
  • Critically analyse companies' preparedness to face competition and ability to develop to grow, including internationally
  • Synthesise information from appropriate sources
  • Demonstrate effective communication to persuade and influence stakeholders
  • Demonstrate effective report writing skills
  • Select and use appropriate investigative research skills.

Assessment

Assessment is made up of 100% coursework assignment (3,000 words).

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.

Your personal development

The careers and employability support on offer at Loughborough University London has been carefully designed to give you the best possible chance of securing your dream role.

Loughborough University London is the first of its kind to develop a suite of careers-focused activities and support that is positioned as the underpinning of every student’s programme. Opportunities include employability assessments, group projects set by a real businesses and organisations, company site visits and organisation-based dissertation opportunities.

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.

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