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This course recognises the diversity of design practice and prepares you for employment within the design industry.
You'll be given time to develop a personal design approach, learn new skills and apply them to carefully-structured projects with industry partners, that prepare you for your preferred career direction. The course requires you to challenge yourself, your perceptions of design and your role as a designer.
Live client projects are an integrated feature of the course providing valuable industry experience; recently the course has worked with brands including MADE.com and Tefal. We additionally encourage independent external collaboration. You'll work in an enviable learning environment that includes newly-renovated studio spaces and workshops supported by attentive academic and technical staff.
Faculty-wide technical resources available to students include the 3D workshop with ceramics, big build, woodworking, metalworking, blacksmithing and bronze-casting; CNC, Laser, Zund, 3D print, state-of-the-art filming environment and animation suite; industry standard photographic suite with two new digital darkrooms; newly-specified digital media workshops with hardware and software upgraded to a professional level.
As part of Kingston School of Art, students on this course benefit from joining a creative community where collaborative working and critical practice are encouraged.
Our workshops and studios are open to all disciplines – enabling students and staff to work together, share ideas and explore multi-disciplinary making.
The course offers a hands-on approach to design, encompassing research techniques, collaboration, learning through making and developing finished objects intended for craft, industrial production or conceptual prototype. You'll work in the studio and workshops on specific projects reflective of the modules comprising the course. Activities can include specialist lectures, workshop inductions, group and personal tutorials, seminars and symposiums.
You'll need to be self-directed, reflective and practical in your approach, with direction and purpose.
This course is part of the Design School's postgraduate programme. The structure, shared with students from other design courses, enables you to explore your individual specialist interests within an integrative learning environment that provides an 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 Design School.
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 Design School'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.
The aim of the module is to give you an understanding of the design research tools and methods that are available to you, to inform and support the development of your practical study, and to provide the basis of your further study on your course. Practical research methods are explored, with an emphasis on the development of creative and evidence-based approaches to experimentation, and critical reflection on practical design work.
This module is based on the assumption that the best jobs/careers in the creative industries do not exist – they are invented from individual creative ambitions. The module 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 how this can inform the development of your individual major project for the Major Project.
This module provides a 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.
The briefs encourage engagement with a number of key principles and processes that students need to develop to prepare them for a capstone project later in their studies.
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 prepare students to begin 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 use industry networks and contacts outside the Faculty to expand their knowledge and outlook, further lending their study rigour and credibility.
The Major Project – the capstone project – consolidates the knowledge gained in earlier modules, and is informed by your prior learning within the Design School's postgraduate interdisciplinary framework and course-specific specialist study.
You will extend your work on the course thus far in the form of a practical design proposal, defining and developing a substantive solution to an individually defined design-related problem. In so doing, you will demonstrate advanced understanding and application of contemporary design practice as it can be brought to bear on a specific challenge of sustainability.
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 work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's Student Route visa.
Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.
The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates professional placement learning, following completion of 120 credits. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills to an appropriate working environment, and to develop and enhance key employability skills and subject-specific professional skills in your chosen subject. You may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for your subsequent major project module, and would be expected to use it to help inform your decisions about future careers.
The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.
Applicants are required to prepare a portfolio of approximately 20 pages in landscape format and save it as a PDF file of a maximum size of 30MB.
The portfolio should present a range of design projects completed by the applicant which demonstrate relevant experience and skills. Projects should be included that span product design, furniture design, or related disciplines, such as interior design.
Please show how your ideas were developed through research, drawing, making, digital skills (such as CAD), experimentation, and development, leading to outcomes realised as final prototypes or visuals. Films or other media, including social media accounts if relevant, can be included as links in the portfolio.
Your portfolio should be personal to you and reflect your design interests, approaches, and your voice as a creative practitioner. Projects may have been completed at a college, university, workplace, or be self-initiated.
Additionally, please include a written 300-word Personal Statement discussing why you have applied for the course.
All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with no element below 5.5. Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.
Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.
You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.
Find your country:
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.
When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically involves reading and analysing articles, regulations, policy documents and key texts, documenting individual projects, preparing coursework assignments and completing your PEDRs, etc.
Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the University's online virtual learning platform.
At Kingston University, we know that postgraduate students have particular needs and therefore we have a range of support available to help you during your time here.
Approximately 22% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.
Type of teaching and learning
Assessment typically comprises a practical project, visual summary, critical reflection and report
The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:
Type of assessment
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.
To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols 25 students.
You will be taught by leading academics and practitioners in product design, furniture design, product development, exhibition design, public commissions. Our excellent reputation means that industry leaders regularly visit our student shows to see the best of the new talent.
This course is delivered by Kingston School of Art, which has its roots in the studio-based approach of Britain's art school system (the original School of Art was founded in the 1890s). Today, for most courses, learning still takes place in our specialist studios, each subject area having its own fully-equipped studio, where you take part in classes, tutorials and critical reviews with fellow students. This strong studio culture also ensures regular interaction between students and tutors.
For non studio-based courses, learning takes place in classroom-based seminars, tutorials and lectures, alongside site visits to museums, galleries, auction houses and other creative professional environments.
Our students are encouraged to engage closely with the diverse businesses that make London one of the most important centres for the creative industries. Our industry connections mean we provide unique study opportunities, such as:
Postgraduate students may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.
There is a wide range of facilities at our Knights Park campus, where this course is based. Kingston School of Art has recently completed an ambitious programme of investment, making significant improvements to our workshops and other resources, to ensure that students are exposed to as many creative pathways as possible.
The workshops and studios at Knights Park are open for creative exploration and allow opportunities for students and staff to collaborate on projects and share ideas, whether they are studying or researching. There are many adaptable studio and workshop spaces, active breakout spaces and stronger vertical and horizontal connections. Our ground-breaking facilities include the following:
All our facilities are open access, meaning you can use them whenever you want, irrespective of what degree you're studying.
The University also has its own on-site galleries, including:
From Kingston, it's just a 30-minute train journey to central London, where you can access world-famous museums and galleries.
If you start your second year straight after Year 1, you will pay the same fee for both years.
If you take a break before starting your second year, or if you repeat modules from Year 1 in Year 2, the fee for your second year may increase.
Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:
If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.
We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.
Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.
Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.
There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost between £100 and £3,000 depending on your course requirements.
In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.
Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston-upon-Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.
You can see current projects and course activities on our Instagram page or see below for project work of past students from this course.
Our links with professional practice provide a real-world base for our courses. They also help us to ensure your studies are kept up-to-date and relevant to the workplace.
The Design Research Centre provides a creative environment for researchers engaging with the cultural, environmental and presentational contexts of design practice in its widest sense. Research in this diverse area is developed through five interrelated areas: