Design Innovation Management - MA

Full Time
September 2016
£12,000 for UK/EU Full Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

Our Design Innovation Management course will train you to become an innovative thinker, learning the theory and practice of innovation, co-creation, user experience and design. If you’re an ambitious individual who wants to accelerate your career, this course is the perfect fit.

With a strong emphasis on the development of leadership, communication and team working, our course will provide you with the skills the creative and business sectors really value.

Last chance to apply

The 2016/17 academic year will see the final intake of new students for this course, so get in quick if you want to apply.

Want to study in 2017/18?

You may want to check out this similar course which will be available to start in 2017/18:

What's covered in the course?

The design innovation management course combines four core business modules with the specialist areas of creative leadership, design and innovation research, strategy and practice.

We encourage your creativity by giving you the opportunity to study alongside designers, leading to unique insights into the nature of design innovation management. The course is aimed at high achievers interested in design innovation, and its practice-based approach will ensure you gain the skills and creativity needed to appeal to employers.

Companies need creative minds to successfully develop their brands, keeping customers interested – and that’s just why we created this course. With consumers becoming more product aware, it’s important for a company to keep their designs and brands fresh and innovative. This course is perfect if this is the field you’re keen to progress in.

You will work collaboratively to gain insight into effective management practice. You will develop high-level research and communication abilities, as well as being able to combine business rationale with creative, blue-sky thinking. All of these skills will be highly useful in today’s competitive job market.

Why Choose Us?

  • Our graduates move on to successful careers where they apply their knowledge to full effect.
  • If your first language is not English, our course offers you the opportunity to develop a high level understanding of the international business language of English.
  • The University is an active research centre, and the latest Research Excellence Framework 2014 report found we have doubled the amount of staff producing internationally recognised research.
  • With our accreditations, excellent industry links and practice-based approach, Birmingham City Business School is one of the UK’s most respected schools.
  • You get the chance to study alongside people from other countries, helping you gain knowledge of the cultural implications of business practice.
  • Our engaged, informative study sessions ensure you learn a range of vital skills needed for managerial and directorial positions.

Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day is Wednesday 20 April 2016. If you're interested in attending, fill in the form below.

Sign up for Open Day

This course is open to International students

Birmingham City Business School

Discover Birmingham City Business School

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

*Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2016

New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

You are required to meet one of the following options:

UK students

An honours degree from a UK University

A first degree from an overseas university (GPA 3.0 out of 4.0 or average 75 per cent or any other equivalence to the above UK qualification)

Successful passing a Pre-Master's course approved by Birmingham City University

Successful passing a Pre-Master's course at another UK university/institution with a minimum of 55 per cent average

A first degree from an overseas university (GPA 3.0 out of 4.0 or average 75 per cent or any other equivalence to the above UK qualification)

Other qualifications
Other qualifications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Applicants without standard entry qualifications but with extensive industrial experience could be considered if they provide evidence of the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully complete the course.


Please note that even if your application fully meets the entry criteria, you may be required to further demonstrate your suitability via an interview or submission of a course proposal before being offered a place.

Interviews may be conducted in your country of residence, over the telephone or by Skype.

EU/International students
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall (6.0 in all components).
No English certificate is required for applicants from countries that appear on our English exemption list. Please contact the International Office for this list.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2016 FT 1 year £12,000

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2016 FT 1 year £12,000

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

While there are no additional costs associated with purchasing text books, there may be other costs to you. If you are joining the course which has a professional body accreditation you may be required to pay membership or examination costs. For details of these costs, please click on the link below.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Dean's scholarships

We welcome students from around the world to study one of these exciting and innovative MA programmes. Special Dean's Scholarships are available to outstanding international students who are offered and accept our offer on one of these programmes each year. They are granted at enrolment in the form of fee reduction.

The scholarship for this programme is £2,000.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Stage 1: Postgraduate Certificate

You will study two core modules (2 x 15 credits) and two options (2 x 15 credits).

Strategic Marketing - core module
15 credits
Managing People - core module
15 credits
Research Practice
15 credits
Design and Innovation Strategy
15 credits
Leadership and Teams
15 credits
Design and Innovation Practice
15 credits
15 credits

Stage 2: Postgraduate Diploma

You will study two core modules (2 x 15 credits) and two options (2 x 15 credits).

Managing Finance - core module
15 credits
Global Business Strategy - core module
15 credits
Research Practice
15 credits
Design and Innovation Strategy
15 credits
Leadership and Teams
15 credits
Design and Innovation Practice
15 credits
15 credits

Stage 3: Masters

The dissertation is a chance for you to explore an area you enjoy in much greater depth, helping you become an expert in this field. You will also develop your research and analytical skills, two attributes that look great to employers.

60 credits

You will work on subject specific modules, including research practice, design and innovation strategy, leadership and teams and design and innovation.

Theoretical concepts will be delivered in a lecture, followed by smaller group seminars based on case study analysis. Short, post-lesson ‘fact’ tests will be made available over Moodle, while discussion and interactive sessions will encourage you to critically examine key elements of business and management.

You will also work on a major research project, where you have the chance to explore a subject in much greater depth. You will do a lot of research in your own time, choosing adequate resources and texts and possibly conducting interviews. You will also have to write up a research proposal, detailing your project and how you are going to do it.

To be eligible for the course, you must have an honours degree from a UK University, with other qualifications being considered on a case-by-case basis. If you’re an international student, interviews may be conducted in your country of residence, over the phone or via Skype.

Enhancing employability skills

Postgraduates earn an average £9,000 more per year than those with just undergraduate degrees*. A postgraduate qualification can really help you stand out from the crowd in today’s competitive job market. By becoming a specialist in your field, you will have the chance to advance thinking in that subject and lead, rather than follow, the latest developments.

The rapid growth of emerging economies and the need for design and innovation leadership means graduates from the course will find opportunities to work in a wide range of manufacturing and the service sector roles.

The course generates careers opportunities for brand and design managers, business development managers, project management and creative directors.

* The Sutton Trust, 2015.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

The course generates careers opportunities for brand and design managers, business development managers, project management and creative directors.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Further Information

At present, we currently only accept full-time international students and don’t offer part-time or distance learning. In addition, you would also have to satisfy our proficiency in English Language requirements. For example, IELTS Grade 6.0 in all bands or 6.5 average, TOEFL at least 575.

Programme brochure

Download our brochure in English or Chinese:

PG Framework in English

PG Framework in Chinese

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other Social Sciences, Law, Business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

The Business floors house an extensive number of IT facilities, breakout areas, and specialised rooms. The Marketing Link Agency is designed to replicate a modern marketing firm, allowing students to get real-life experience of working in the marketing sector. There is also the City Trading Room, which features state of the art stock market tracking equipment, keeping you up to date with all the financial comings and goings of the London Stock Exchange and Wall Street.

The Curzon building is also conveniently close to Birmingham’s business and financial centre, allowing for strong links between your studies and the real world.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Meet our staff

Caroline Norman

Course Director, MA in Design Management

With over 20 years' experience in design and brand consultancy, Caroline's career started as a graphic designer, she progressed into account management and then spent over seven years running design consultancies as Managing Director of Boxer, a division of The Marketing Store Worldwide and Haywood's.

Caroline has worked with a wide variety of client organisations including charities, universities, small businesses and national brands such as Aga Rayburn, British Airways, Golden Bear, Halfords, Nurofen, Southwestern Bell, Swish Building Products, Vantage Pharmacies and Wella UK.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295