The Master of Design is an interdisciplinary industry-engaged program that integrates technology, design thinking, conceptual exploration, strategy and communication with practical skills to focus on the role of design in innovation and the global economy.
Degree: Master of Design (MDes)
Duration: 1-2 years depending on prior qualifications and experience (full-time, or part-time equivalent)
Commencing Terms: Term 1 (February), Term 2 (June), Term 3 (September)
This intensive program provides pathways for those both with backgrounds in design and media practice and those who wish to enter these fields from other professional backgrounds.
During the program you will extend and develop your theoretical, research, professional and practical design knowledge and skills to an advanced level.
Our degree is focussed around integrated and multidisciplinary studios that will underpin the development of professional skills, capabilities and confidence needed for leadership and to dynamically support innovation in freelance, project or design, media and technology business contexts.
Studio-based courses enable you to choose to either focus on a specific area of design and digital media practice, or to put together your own suite of courses from across design, material practice and digital media.
Studio specialisations include:
- Experience Design: engages with the design of products, processes, services, events and environments, with a focus on the quality of the user experience.
- Interaction Design: interactive visual communication and user-experience across graphics, multiplatform, cross media and emergent technologies.
- Visualisation and Visual Effects: focussing on designing for animation, 3D, sound, film, video, illustration and computing.
- Future Making: addresses the making of objects using advanced new materials and digital technologies along with traditional methods and craftsmanship. This suite of courses addresses the integration of technical knowledge and skills with material and contextual understanding. Future Making works with ceramics, jewellery, metal, textiles, furniture and lighting.
- Graphic Communication: addresses graphic design for paper and print, motion graphics for screen and broadcast, contemporary typography, graphic design and cross-cultural communication strategies, designing for different audiences.
UNSW’s Masters of Design graduates are highly sought after across a broad range of professional design disciplines in media and technology industries, global institutions, major corporations, creative and bespoke agencies.
Masters graduates secure employment in areas including:
- Graphics, media and digital design
- UX and responsive design
- Communications, branding and advertising
- Design management and strategy
- Social innovation and entrepreneurship
- Data visualisation and animation
- App development
- Creative consultancies, design and media studios, design-led businesses
- Object, furniture and lighting design
- Film, television, online and mobile production and post-production
- Environmental, spatial, interior and architectural design practices
- Design for retailing, industry events and expos
- Design for exhibitions, galleries and museums
- Costume, theatre and events design
- Design teaching and academia
- Jewellery and wearables design
- Packaging, illustration and publishing
- Textile, fabric and fashion design
The Master of Design makes provision for three entry points depending on the level and nature of prior qualifications.
Applicants who have an unrelated Bachelor’s degree in any field are eligible and are considered for admission into the full 2 year program if they possess experience working in a design related field by submitting a portfolio. See further guidance and information below about this process.
Applicants with a completed Bachelor’s degree in a related field with a record of achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%) will be granted admission into the 1.5 year program. Related Bachelor’s degree programs include Architecture, Design, Landscape Architecture, Interior and Spatial Design, Industrial Design.
Applicants with a completed Honours degree in a related field (see above) will be granted admission into the 1 year advanced disciplinary component of program.
Those applying without a Bachelor’s degree may be admitted into the Graduate Certificate of Design by the Program Director on the basis of a portfolio and relevant professional experience. Students who complete the requirements for the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma with a record of achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%) are eligible for admission into the Master’s program with full credit for courses already completed.
Portfolio Entry to Master of Design
Depending on the level and related nature of your prior design qualifications and experience, future students interested in of Master of Design may be required to submit a portfolio. Portfolio submissions must include the following:
- A 10 page A4 digital portfolio of original design work undertaken by the applicant including a critically reflective text.
- A cover letter that explains your interest in studying at UNSW Art & Design, and your interest in the degree. The letter should tell us about your interests, achievements and experience and be no more than 400 words.
- Verified evidence of professional experience in a design or media-related field, in the form of a written statement of service from an employer, client or commissioning agent verifying the position, role, responsibilities, duration and/or project outcomes of employment, service contract or other professional design engagement.
- A two page CV that details your experience in, or related to design including contact details for two referees.
Entry Score Calculator
Applicants who are uncertain whether they have the equivalent to a UNSW credit average can use the UNSW postgraduate entry score calculator to convert and scale other types of grading schemes into a percentage relatable to UNSW entry requirements.
If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or would like to speak with one of our advisors, please don’t hesitate to contact us