Design (with optional Professional Placement) MA/PGDip/PGCert

Design (with optional Professional Placement) MA/PGDip/PGCert

School of Art, Design and Fashion


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year, Part-time: Two years | With Professional Placement: Full-time only: 21 Months

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

Our strong industry links and the opportunity to spend an additional year in industry gives this course a competitive edge and ensures that future employers will sit up and take notice of you. The design and fashion arena is filled with opportunity and this course allows you to tailor your postgraduate to fit into your own interests, strengths and ambitions within today’s industry.

Our focus is very much about you and what you would like do in the future, this allows us to direct and advise you and provide a framework for you to create a personal, diverse and exciting portfolio tailored to your chosen career path.

During the course you will engage with a broad range of Design projects and creative activities. You will be taught by our specialist academic team of design professionals along with an array of guest lecturers.

View the MYMA: Postgraduate Design at UCLan 2018 brochure

Entry Requirements

A recognised British honours degree to a good standard, or its equivalent. Applications from all candidates will be considered on their merits and in the light of the nature and scope of the programme or work proposed.

Informal enquiries are welcomed.

Applicants must demonstrate achievement of any one of the following:

  • Receipt of a 2.2 degree, or higher from a British university
  • A high level of achievement in undergraduate studies at a university elsewhere, eg for North American students a minimum overall GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale
  • Professional experience in the field or a related field in their home country

International Students are required to show competence in written and spoken English in addition to meeting the course entry requirements: International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) - minimum 6.5.

All applicants are requested to submit digital supporting material and where possible, will be invited to attend an interview with a portfolio of recent work.

Programme at a Glance

Year 1

Semester 1

  • Design Research 1
  • Design Practice 1

Semester 2

  • Design Research 2
  • Design Practice 2

Semester 3

  • Advanced Practice in Design

Year 2 (Optional)

Optional module

  • Professional Placement

Further Information

UCLan’s MA Design (with professional placement) course would suit those who wish to re-examine the direction of their previous studies or wish to explore some area of design related personal interest in depth. Applicants are required to produce an initial statement of intent which broadly outlines their intended programme of study usually, but not exclusively, concerning further exploration of a topic within the area of 3D Design or Visual Communication. Informal enquiries are welcomed and may be followed by an advisory interview to assist in the determination of this if required. Entry is generally through an undergraduate degree in an Art and Design discipline, although we encourage applicants with other relevant professional experience.

The course exists within the framework of the University modular scheme. Full-time study is based over 3 semesters, with 60 credits studied each semester. The first and second semester comprises of a double 'practice' module and a single 'theoretical' module: Research and Creative Perspectives. Part-time study is based over 5 semesters. The programme concludes with a 60 credit module, bringing together all practical and theoretical aspects of the course, through a major investigation into a particular personal area of study, leading to a final assessment presentation / public exhibition.

The course encompasses a diverse range of craft and design activities across the areas of Visual Communication and Applied Arts, and places particular emphasis on 'practice', whilst also exploring the academic issues that underpin designing and making. The course aims to develop students' intellectual and imaginative power through a programme of study which forms cohesion between theory and practice. Whilst offering graduates, practising artists and designers the opportunity to develop their individual interests, the course will be made up of students representing a range of subject disciplines. This opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences is seen as a key element of the study programme.

The MA is a taught programme with one day's tuition per week (currently a Friday) supplemented by private study by negotiation. A special feature of the course is the unique blend of practice and theory which underpins the student projects. The course is taught by tutors who are themselves professional design practitioners and play a prominent role in the University's research activities. We have well equipped studios and workshops, supported by highly skilled technical staff. Supporting the craft workshops and design studios, we have excellent suites of high spec computers for CAD, assignment writing and image manipulation. The University has excellent library and study facilities with a very extensive collection of design books and periodicals, together with many e-resources and support.

Professional Placement

In your optional placement year, you’ll get the chance to spend a minimum of 24 weeks putting theory into practice, working full-time on placement. Staff will work with you to secure a minimum 24-week placement as well as monitor your experience. Our priority is that you gain real value and insight from this time.  Reflection, networking and taking advantage of all opportunities is widely encouraged. Positions you could find yourself filling include graphic designer, brand assistant, assistant to a stylist or visual merchandiser, marketing assistant, assistant to brand/account manager. Through this work-placed learning you’ll discover how to make a living from doing what you love.

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £6,900 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £765 per 20 credits (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

If you're thinking of studying a master's or doctoral degree you could be eligible for a loan from the Government to help you study.

For additional help with financing your studies, UCLan offers a range of Postgraduate scholarships, studentships, bursaries and the Alumni loyalty discount.

View further information

Industry Links

Guaranteed interview opportunities with placement employers. Recent students have carried out placement for some amazing companies, including trend forecasters The Future Laboratory, respected advertising agencies Mother London, Chase, Blue Marlin and a wealth of fashion and design brands including Superdry, Levi’s, Harrods, Fred Perry, Adidas, Nike, Temperley London and Fashion One.

Learning Environment and Assessment

To assist your learning we run trips locally, nationally and internationally to see shows and exhibitions. We have visited Paris, Milan, Barcelona and Berlin and regularly go to New York – you may be able to study overseas in your second year. All of which will underpin your creative practice and develop your work visually and academically.

Many students have won prestigious national awards including D&AD, Graduate Fashion and London Photographic Awards, Creative and Strategic Marketing Awards and have appeared as finalists in ID magazine’s Diversity Now! Competition.

The MA Design (with optional Professional Placement) is tailored to the individual student using a Learning Agreement which defines the student’s personal framework of study. Each student will negotiate and develop their own personal direction written in the form of a Learning Agreement, which will define the project, rationale, areas of research and intended outcomes.

Students on the MA programme plan a personal schedule of activities for engaging and networking with other designers and artists. Students also present their work and exchange ideas with their peers and staff in a poster presentation, where they get further opportunities for discussion on developing and planning their personal work in context to design practice.

Throughout the course students are encouraged to pursue a unique personal line of inquiry within their chosen subject area. Hence, students will generate a portfolio of work to track their development as an artist or designer towards the goals set for themselves in consultation with academic staff. Both theory and practical work will contribute to the student’s portfolio so that by the end of the programme, all students should have completed a cohesive body of work to a professional standard and be able to clearly articulate a sound intellectual rationale and a broad critical viewpoint.

Project work will be exhibited in a final show that will be open to the public. This is a showcase for the students as it is well attended by industry and potential employers, as well as family, friends, students and the general public.


Graduates pursue successful careers within a wide range of design related disciplines, including Designer/Maker, Freelance or In-house Designer for manufacturing, Modeller, Animation Artist, Teacher, Design Buyer, Set, Display or Exhibition Designer, Gallery or Exhibition Curator, Design Manager to name a few.