Possible Fields of Study

The fields below are the up-and-coming areas in design and are for reference only. Applicants can apply to any design-related course, at reputable institutions of their choice.

Design Management and Strategy

According to the Design Management Institute1, "Design Management encompasses the ongoing processes, business decisions, and strategies that enable innovation and create effectively-designed products, services, communications, environments, and brands that enhance our quality of life and provide organizational success."

With a background in design, design managers form and manage the strategies that shape organisations. Depending on the demands of the project at hand, the design manager needs to call on a broad range of design and business skills– from understanding client requirements (including strategic and brand issues, human factors, materials, aesthetics, etc.) to managing project deadlines and budgets.

Topics in Design Management: Design and value creation; innovative products and service development; user-centred design; design thinking; business models; strategic foresight, etc.

Programmes in Design Management:

University Programme/Course
Aalto University MA International Design Business Management
Brunel University MA Design Strategy and Innovation
Birmingham City University MA Design Management
California College of the Arts MBA Design Strategy
Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA
Tongji University, College of Design and Innovation MDes Design Strategy and Management
Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design MDes International Design and Business Management
MDes Design Strategies
Illinois Institute of Technology, Institute of Design Master of Design + MBA
Master of Design Methods
Loughborough University MSc Design Innovation Management
Northumbria University Newcastle MA Design Management
Parsons School of Design MS Strategic Design and Management
Pratt Institute MPS Design Management
Savannah College of Art and Design MA/MFA Design Management
Strate School of Design MA/MFA Design Management
University of Gothenburg MA Business & Design
University of the Arts London – London College of Communication BA/MA Design Management and Cultures
Note: The list above is non-exhaustive and for reference only. Applicants can apply to other courses, at reputable institutions of their choice.

1Design Management Institute, "What is design management?"

Service Design/Experience Design

According to the Service Design Network2, "Service Design is the activity of planning and organising people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between service provider and customers. The purpose of service design methodologies is to design according to the needs of customers or participants, so that the service is user-friendly, competitive and relevant to the customers."

Service Designers create an optimal experience or service in response to user behaviour through applying insights gained into their needs and motivations. E.g. improving the various customer touch points (mobile app, store front, product display, website, etc.) for a seamless customer experience.

Topics in Service Design/Experience Design: Service innovation; cultural and contextual studies; design thinking; design innovation development; marketing strategies and product service systems, etc.

Programmes in Service Design/Experience Design:

University Programme/Course
Domus Academy MA Service Design
Glasgow School of Art MDes in Design Innovation and Service Design
Loughborough University MA/MSc Design Innovation
BSc User Centred Design
Ravensbourne MDes Service Design and Innovation
Royal College of Art MA/MSc Global Innovation Design
MA Service Design
School of Visual Arts MFA Service Design
Savannah College of Art and Design MFA Service Design
Victoria University of Wellington BA Design Innovation
University of the Arts London – London College of Communication MA Service Design
UNSW MDes Experience Design
Note: The list above is non-exhaustive and for reference only. Applicants can apply to other postgraduate courses in this field, at reputable institutions of their choice.

2Service Design Network, "What is service design"

Digital Design

Digital Design is a broad field where computer-related skills are employed to simplify complex work processes. Digital design includes the following fields:

Data Visualisation:

The structuring and visual representation of big data for designing effective communication and to drive decision-making. E.g. translate complex financial data into easy to understand charts, diagrams and infographics for annual reports, presentations etc.

Topics in Data Visualisation: Visualisation design methodology and process; data structures and element; data access tools and standards, etc.

Design Informatics:

The harnessing of big data and analytics for designing tangible products and services to create social and economic value. E.g. personalised online shopping mall from a wide selection of online stores based on user’s current taste and styles.

Topics in Design Informatics: Case studies in design; designing with data; dynamic web design; design futures, etc.

Interaction Design/User Experience Design:

The designing of digital products, environments, services and systems in response to user behaviour to improve the quality of interactions between systems and users. Interaction Designers/User Experience Designers use insights from user studies to create user-friendly products and systems. E.g. digital interfaces, mobile applications and websites.

Topics in Interaction Design/User Experience Design: User studies; prototyping techniques; usability evaluation; interactive media, etc.

Programmes in Digital Design:

University Programme/Course
Carnegie Mellon University MA Human-Computer Interaction
Domus Academy MA Interaction Design
Georgia Tech University School of Design MS Human-Computer Interaction
Kingston University MSc User Experience Design
Loughborough University MA User Experience Design
Ravensbourne MA/MS Interactive Digital Media
School of Visual Arts MA/MFA Interaction Design
Umea Institute of Design MFA Interaction Design
Note: The list above is non-exhaustive and for reference only. Applicants can apply to other postgraduate courses in this field, at reputable institutions of their choice.