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User Experience Design MSc: Attendance and timetables

When does teaching take place?

This course is offered one-year full time, and normally two to three years part time. The full MSc course consists of an induction day, four taught modules, and final project (which is equivalent to two modules).

Three of four taught modules run as one whole day per week during each semester, while the User Experience Design (Systems) module is offered as two one-week blocks, several weeks apart. Normally, each module will include approximately 70 hours contact time, with prior-reading and followed by directed learning. A further approximately 230 hours per module is expected for self-guided study and coursework. 

The course is structured to suit all student groups, with block teaching allowing part-time students to study whilst meeting other commitments, and overseas students are also able to complete their degree within visa limitations. 

Full-time study

Full-time students starting in January encounter two differences in the course:

  • The spring semester modules (User Experience Design (Content) and Media Specialist Practice) are taken before autumn semester modules (User Experience Design (Systems) and Digital Studio Practice). The key need here is to identify a specialist field of interest relatively soon in the course – the undergraduate degree title is often helpful here.
  • The Final Major Project begins in May/June ie earlier relative to the course. January start full-time students need to identify a specialist field of interest relatively soon – the undergraduate degree title, and the topic selected for MSP are often helpful here. (Hand-in remains at the end of the course ie January)

So full-time students starting in January may specialise sooner, and for longer. However, given the way we manage the course, any difference is not that important, especially given the student's opportunity to influence their assignment topic. For part-time students, and students with work experience, any difference is even less important.

Part-time study

Part-time students will normally complete the four taught modules in the following order:

  • Year 1: User Experience Design (Systems) and User Experience Design (Content).
  • Year 2: Digital Studio Practice, and Media Specialist Practice, followed by the Final Major Project.

This way, a general, technical comprehension of grounding in the field is established first, before undertaking user experience roles in group work, or exploring specialisms in-depth. However, modules may be taken in any order.

Some part-time students complete the final project at the end of the second year but it is also possible to spread the work out until January or September in a third year.

For more timetable guidance, such as details of previous schedules, and what it is like to juggle paid work, family commitments and part-time study, please see the course blog.

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