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Product & Furniture Design MA

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2 days a week September 2017
Full time 2 years including professional placement 2 days a week, plus placement year September 2017
Part time 2 years Contact the course leader for details September 2017

This course was previously called Design: Product+Space MA.

Choose Kingston's Product & Furniture Design MA

This Masters programme in Product and Furniture Design recognises and prepares students for the diversity of design practice and employment opportunities open to graduates entering the design industry.

The three semester course is based at a highly rated design institution within easy reach of central London. It offers students a unique educational experience with respected contributors lead by renowned designer Sebastian Bergne.

Students are given time in an exceptional learning environment to develop their personal approach to design, learn new skills and apply them to carefully structured projects with industry partners that prepare them for their preferred career direction.

For a glimpse of current projects and activities please visit our Instagram account MA_Product_Furniture_Kingston.

Key features

  • This course is part of the Design School's Postgraduate Framework, which  promotes interdisciplinary practice opportunities, underpins research, supports personal trajectory and industry contact, and includes a  supporting lecture series.
  • The core staff team is supported by expert full time and visiting studio tutors. These include, David Weatherhead, Julia Georgallis, Rosemary Anrude and Lauren Davies.
  • The action of "making" is the signature of the course. We seek critical thinkers and makers that seek to challenge and evolve contemporary practice through the physical domain.

What will you study?

The course proposes a hands-on approach to design, encompassing research techniques, teamwork, learning through making and developing finished objects intended for craft, industrial production or conceptual prototype.

Students are expected to have a robust personal approach with direction and purpose reflecting their own area of study. Students are required to be self-directed, reflective and practical in approach. The course is studio and project based. Activities can include specialist lectures, workshop inductions, group and personal tutorials, seminars and symposiums.

Assessment

Assessment will be made at the completion of each module. Module marks are added to achieve a total final mark. Assessment will be made through practical design projects, presentations, main masters project and exhibition.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, the work placement is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

During the placement year, you will pay the placement fee of £1,070 for 2017/18. This amount will only be charged to your account after you find a placement and are enrolled on the work placement module. You will not be charged this fee if you do not manage to secure a work placement.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement.

Course structure

This course is part of the School of Design's postgraduate programme.

The structure – shared with students from the Communication Design MAs, Fashion MA, and Sustainable Design MA – enables you to explore your individual specialist interests within an integrative learning environment that provides a comprehensive understanding of the value and role of interdisciplinary methods and ways of working. The influences and impact of thinking from other related design subjects on your own specialist study is an important aspect of the identity and the community of interdisciplinary practice at masters level in the School of Design.

This structure is designed to help progress and develop your independent learning, encouraging you to construct and explore projects concerned with areas of particular personal interests. The overarching course philosophy, based upon an emphasis on research, methodology and design thinking, allows individual and personal concerns to be explored through focused study in product and furniture design.

The two shared modules of the School of Design's Postgraduate Framework both commence with a symposium, in which high-profile external speakers present their work and contribute to a debate on a topic of relevance to all courses in the Framework. View the promotional flyers from the following recent symposiums:

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Modules

  • Designing Research lectures and seminars are designed to enable students to rationalise and focus on thematic approaches to problem finding and problem solving. This module will teach you to:

    • make practical use of your ideas, perceptions and discoveries; and
    • work effectively and creatively in a wider inter-disciplinary and cultural context.

     

    It will do this by helping you to understand existing conventions and developing your personal visual vocabulary.

    The integrative programme encourages you to develop a personal and critical point of view by recording, documenting and evaluating ideas from within their discipline and from the wider interdisciplinary environment, and applying those findings within project work.

    The module introduces and develops a range of analytical tools that you can use to interrogate designed objects and artefacts, and makes links between analytical and propositional methods, creating a framework within which you can structure your project proposals. You will explore practical research methods, with an emphasis on developing creative, rational and effective approaches to visual experimentation and critical reflection on practical design work within a logical and measurable framework. You will learn about the wide-ranging tools and methods that are available to inform and support the development of your practical study, and create a basis for further study on the course.

    Read full module description

     
  • This module builds on the notion that the best jobs and careers in the creative industries do not exist – and that they are created from individual creative ambitions and understanding. It explores how this can be approached in practical terms. The programme of study encourages you to develop a personal and critical approach to your future career and its relationship to the development of their individual major project.

    Creative Futures lectures and seminars help you develop an approach to, and focus for, their future career and their ongoing personal and professional development. By understanding the key skills and attributes you need for a career in the creative industries, you will develop an informed and focused Major Project proposal and project.

    You will learn about a range of practical methods that can help you create the foundations of a sustainable and successful design practice and career. Lectures, seminars and workshops will introduce and explore key issues that help you understand how to develop your own approach to professional career planning. You will also engage in a range of activities that include professional competitions, live project work, studio visits and professional practice lectures. This work will support and inform the development of your Major Project Proposal.

    Read full module description

     
  • This module provides dedicated product and furniture design study opportunity. It occurs in teaching block 1. Students are offered a number of optional and compulsory briefs engaging both practical and theoretical design faculties. Briefs are open to individual interpretation, designed to promote creative independence and establish the benchmark of Level 7 critical expectation at the outset of the student experience.

    They encourage engagement with a number of key principles and processes students need to develop in order to be able to undertake a capstone project later in their studies.

    Read full module description

     
  • This teaching block 2 module extends and builds directly upon the dedicated product and furniture design study experience of teaching block 1. It runs in parallel with the Creative Futures module DE7301 on the full time mode and exercises independent, focused practical design research to underpin the Major Project proposal undertaken within DE7301.

    The module aims to position students in readiness to commence realisation of their Major (capstone) Project upon completion. Students take responsibility for either continuing to develop their thematic practical design enquiries already established in Context I, refining and editing material and developing new research and study as necessary, or embarking upon new self-initiated enquiries.

    The module consolidates the role of practical design experimentation as a key element of the design research process and helps establish credibility for progression on to the Major Project. Students should become increasingly confident about moving into realms of uncertainty and exploring unfamiliar design territory, taking risks and articulating personal viewpoint. They are encouraged to explore and utilise industry networks and contacts outside the Faculty to expand their knowledge and outlook, further lending their study rigour and credibility.


    Read full module description

     
  • The Major Project – the capstone project – consolidates the knowledge gained in earlier modules and is informed and supported by prior learning within both the Design School's postgraduate interdisciplinary framework and course specific specialist study.

    The purpose of this module is to enable students to relate the work of the course to a practical solution and to demonstrate skills in defining, analysing and developing a substantial solution to an individually defined design related problem. It will demonstrate both in content and form the students advanced understanding of contemporary design practice.

    The research and documentation of the project is an integral part of the submission, reflecting on the process, as well as the critical analysis and methodology of the research itself. The research will be conceptually integrated within the practical work. Individual project topics are expected to be wide ranging and provide the opportunity to fully investigate a practical situation, underpinned by a critical report on the work produced. Topics must allow the opportunity to position work politically, socially and culturally and identify and apply appropriate technology as a means of delivery. Project topics must demonstrate the potential necessary to achieve the level appropriate to the learning outcomes.

    Three possible forms of Major Project submission are available to students (see below):

    1/2. The Practical Project Practical (outcome supported by research, testing and developmental materials) 70% and The Project Report (3-5,000 words) 30%.

    3. The Thesis (12-15,000 words) 100%.

    4. The Design Management Project Report (10,000 words) 100%. Intended in the main as the outcome for students studying on the MA Design for Development.

    These three options are available to all students studying on the courses within the Design School Postgraduate Framework. Students will be guided and supported in their choice of mode of Major Project by course tutors and this will be informed by individual career and personal development planning undertaken during the preparation of the Major Project Proposalin DE7301 Creative Futures.

    Read full module description

     

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of terms dates for this course can be found here

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Location

This course is taught at Knights Park

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Contact us

Admissions team

Location

This course is taught at Knights Park

View Knights Park on our Google Maps
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Student project work

Original Stools by Sascha MikelSee student project work from the Design: Product+Space MA programme.
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