MA Programme Description

Information Experience Design

The three pathways in IED, one of which students select as part of their application, are interrelated, focused around different ways of approaching IED’s core aim of transforming information into experiences.

Moving Image Design investigates moving image as a core and vital communicative force in a design landscape fundamentally transformed by digital technologies. Anyone can now easily create and share moving image using a range of mobile tools and media; we offer a critical frame of communication and intent, oriented toward future forms and contexts. Our practice thereby encompasses multimodality and convergence, narrative and communication, temporality and spatiality.

Sound Design is about making sense of social sound within a diverse and complex contemporary world. Linking sound with other media, environments, forms and disciplines, the pathway investigates sound as part of both the public and cultural realm, exploring the experiences of what sound is and what it can be.

Experimental Design stands for a critical and investigative alternative to Experience Design or Interaction Design, grounded in IED’s core expertise in transforming information into experiences. Experimental Design also embraces cross-disciplinary practice and extended disruption, evolving new forms, mechanisms and strategies for future urban and social environments. 

First Year

Aligning with the School-wide academic framework, the main practical work takes place in School-wide Electives in Terms 1 and 2. The Informed Practice unit runs alongside, providing a grounding in relevant theory and methods, which are put into practice in workshops where students engage directly with various tools and technologies, operating across pathways. Term 3 enables students to focus primarily on dissertations, while focusing them on their chosen pathways in the Experiential Research unit. Seminars and workshops are held weekly across all three terms, with core curriculum and skills being front-loaded in Term 1. Each student has a Personal Tutor for the year, who organises weekly group tutorials and at least one in-depth individual tutorial per student per term.

Second Year

Through the Experiential Research unit, second-year students are engaged in brief initial projects and workshops, to explore a chosen topic in depth, and to propel them into their self-directed practical work, with Work-in-progress as a key milestone. In the Design Project unit, they set their own brief and time-table with their Personal Tutor, presenting their project in the Final Exam. They have a pathway-specific Personal Tutor for the year, and weekly and individual tutorials continue as before. Weekly crits maintain their progress as second-year students specialise, and there are occasional commercial or other projects offered. Practical workshops remain open to second-year students, and a Professional Practice series also supports pathway-specific aims.

Critical & Historical Studies

The RCA provides a unique environment for postgraduate art and design students to reflect upon their own practice, and to engage with students from their own and other disciplines. The role of Critical & Historical Studies (CHS) is to support the studio programmes in enabling these critical engagements to take place. The courses offered by CHS to first year studio-based MA students propose an intellectual framework within which they can begin to establish a coherent relationship between theory and practice.

In the autumn and spring terms there are a series of College-wide seminars and lectures. The autumn term series will relate to your particular discipline (though it is possible to elect to join a series being offered to students on other programmes) whereas the spring term series will be more broad-based and cross-disciplinary in nature.

In the spring and summer terms, a CHS tutor will give you individual tutorials to support the development of a dissertation which is submitted *at the end of the Summer Term.* The dissertation should be between 6,000–10,000 words in length – this is a major piece of work and you will be not be able to submit for the Final Examination until you have passed this assessment.


240 credits
Two-year programme

Desk in IED studio
Desk in IED studio