Accelerate your career with our MA Design Management course, established for over 20 years. Designed to give you the knowledge required to bridge the gap between design and business, you’ll develop the requirements sought for in industry today.
Through theory and practice, this multi-disciplinary programme is aimed at ambitious designers and non-designers alike. We’ll give you the skills to work in, and communicate effectively, across both design and business disciplines.
You’ll learn from our team of commercially active staff, who ensure the content stays industry relevant. Alongside the opportunity to complete a six-week placement option, you will have the chance to work on commercial projects with established businesses. Previous projects have included working on a brand review with GKN, a FTSE 100 British multinational company specialising in aerospace.
Tailor the programme to suit you. The curriculum has a distinctive professional focus and embraces business management, marketing, design strategy, entrepreneurship, innovation, sustainability, design leadership and design practice.
Your focus will also include project management, intellectual property law and finance. There is also a strong emphasis on the development of evidence-based decision making, high level leadership and communication skills.
If you would like to ask any questions about the course, study routes or individual modules, you are welcome to email the Course Director on email@example.com. Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.
Our next Postgraduate Open Event will take place on Wednesday 1 April from 4.00pm - 7.00pm. Drop in at your convenience to chat with our staff about your subject interest. Plus, we’ll have experts on hand to answer your questions about entry requirements and student support.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Dr Mersha Aftab.
Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.
The course is aimed at designers with an interest in developing their business and management skills, and non-designers with an interest in working within design. You are expected to have:
Either a first or second class honours degree in a related subject, or, equivalent qualifications / experience.
A background or proven interest in design or design management.
You should submit a statement outlining your personal goals and how you plan to use the course to achieve these.
International applicants should note that this is a demanding course that requires a high standard of reading, writing and listening skills, full-time students are expected to have a minimum English standard of IELTS 6.5.
Work-based learning students should be fluent in English with a minimum English standard of IELTS 7, they should also be working in a design related position.
If you wish to study by work-based learning you will be interviewed by the Course Director either in person or via Skype / Google Hangout.
Starting: Sep 2020
Starting: Sep 2020
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
The link below gives you an estimate of the essential and optional costs which are associated with your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the previous academic year.
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 can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,906 for some courses and options?
If you would like to discuss your career goals and how the Master's in Design Management can help you achieve them, you are welcome to visit the University or arrange a time to discuss the course via phone/Skype by contacting the Course Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or alternatively call our Course Enquiries Team on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
The first module taken by all student is designed to prepare you for the academic requirements of Master’s level study of design management whilst developing research skills of direct relevance to design management practice.
Designed to ensure you fully exploit the opportunities provided by the programme, this module involves skills, knowledge and learning style evaluation, personal goal setting and professional development planning.
This module is designed to provide you with insight into the context that businesses and organisations operate in, how they view and use design, and their relationship with designers.
Design and Innovation Strategy
We will examine the roles of design and innovation in achieving organisational objectives. The module brings together the languages of design and business, it considers organisational objectives, how design and innovation deliver value and return on investment is evaluated.
This module allows you to explore your interpersonal skills and gain insight into team working, leadership and how to get the best out of individuals working around design, skills essential to a successful career in design.
We will explore the professional practice aspects of design including business planning, entrepreneurship, design and innovation processes, project management, sustainability, intellectual property and finance.
Placement / Case Study
This module is designed to develop independent study skills based on a design-related topic of your choice whilst exploring the relationship between secondary and primary sources. If you wish to take a placement, the course team will help you negotiate this.
Major Project / Dissertation
This is a major piece of original work in your chosen area of design specialisation. You will decide on your subject with a view to your personal and professional goals, research is designed and implemented with the guidance of an appropriate supervisor.
You can study full-time, part-time or by ‘work-based learning.’ Our UK and EU-based students can commit to the full Master’s programme or start with the Postgraduate Certificate and continue on to the Postgraduate Diploma and Master’s if they wish.
The course offers a choice of four pathways at Master’s level - Professional Practice, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Sustainable Design Policy and Service Design.
Work based learning allows you to accelerate your career by remaining in full time design-related practice during your studies. This is open to all our students provided you are fluent in English and work in design related positions. If you choose this option, you can relate your study directly to the workplace. Developed around personal and work related goals, work-based learning is based on a combination of standard and adapted course modules, involving approximately 15-20 days attendance, attendance is negotiated individually but usually involves a minimum of six visits to the University over two years.
MA Design Management graduate
My current role is mainly about Real Estate advertising, both online and in print. I deal with data collection and research about creative inspiration, promotional materials design, copy writing translation (Chinese-English).
When I was deciding to choose my specialism, the MA Design Management really stood out. I was impressed by the fact that it doesn’t only help designers to gain insights into business knowledge, communicate strategically with non-designers, and vice versa, but also help ‘manage’ design and designers in my future work.
The highlight of the course would be creating so many useful and helpful contacts who really helped me with independent study, complete tasks more efficiently, strategic and effective communication.
Placement at Ikon, Manchester
Working at Ikon for two weeks on a work placement gave me an amazing insight into a real furniture design industry.
During my time there I learned and worked on a number of different skills, particularly all about the development process that the team goes through to come up with a bespoke furniture solution and a wider view of interior design as a whole. My placement also gave me a real-life and in-depth insight into key areas of the industry such as safety, research, materials and CAD software.
But it wasn’t just about the technical skills. I also spent a great deal of time learning about the commercial side of things such as how the business works behind the scenes, time planning, and finance.
Our graduates can go on to study for a PhD in related subjects.
Brand Strategies and Designer
Oglivy & Mather / Brand Union
My current role requires strategic planning skills, research and development of product branding opportunity, and management skills, focusing both start up business and re-branding. I handle design visual identity and create branding concepts solution for clients.
One of the most important highlights from my time on the course would definitely be my lecturers and friends. I don't think I could get a better support from Caroline and Nick - they are always there when ever we struggled with the work. The variety of students coming from different parts of the world and backgrounds broadened the scope of the course and opened up the real meaning of design.
Another important aspect I gained from this course was the ability to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to try something new and exciting.
The Master's in Design Management is designed to enhance your career and employment prospects and can be studied full-time, part-time or by flexible learning while remaining in full-time employment.
Many of our students are already established designers working in architecture, fashion, graphics, interiors, jewellery, media, product, service and design related businesses.
Career opportunities are found in design and brand consultancies, in-house design and marketing departments as designers, design managers, project and account managers, buyers and marketing communication managers.
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.
Our graduates also become freelance consultants, set up their own business and pursued careers in research and teaching.
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:
Our course welcomes students from across the world. We have an excellent reputation globally, and have over 20 years’ experience teaching international students. Our international students are also able to take part in the work-based learning option for this course.
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.
Our students come from around the world but our design management course is most popular with international students from:
Our students have gone on to work with industries such as:
When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £340 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.
You’ll be based in the multi-million pound Parkside building – part of our City Centre Campus – with technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice. We offer facilities which will accurately reflect the work environment you will enter after graduating. These include Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and a computer-generated Virtual Building Site, creating real life scenarios for you to work on.
While based in The Parkside Building, you will get sharpen your CAD and digital visual communication skills, prototyping and digital production, while also having access to a range of specialist software, workshops, computer and project learning laboratories, and a social learning space.
You’ll also benefit from:
From industry-standard software, to our workshops and studio spaces, everything you need will be at your fingertips from day one. Working with our expert technicians, you'll be supported from concept through to completion.
Caroline has over 20 years’ experience in design and brand consultancy, spending seven of those as Managing Director of Boxer. Caroline’s career embraces design and business management, working with a variety of clients, SMEs and national brands, including Aga Rayburn, British Airways, Golden Bear, Halfords and Neurofen. She has a strong interest in management within the creative industries, with her current research interests focusing on work-based learning, transnational education, and the relationships between designers and non-designers, design and business, and businesses and universities.
Area of expertise:
A Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Caroline teaches on the Master’s in Design Management at Birmingham City University. A highly respected course within the field of Design Management.