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Design Research Methods - Short Course

Currently viewing course to start in 2022/23 Entry.

In this course, you will develop research skills of direct relevance to design innovation practice, such as creative methods of collecting and generating data, creative sense-making of complex qualitative data, and effectively communicating the results of your research....

  • Level Short Course
  • Study mode Short Course
  • Location City Centre
  • Award N/A
  • Start date September 2022
  • School Birmingham School of Architecture and Design
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media


In this course, you will develop research skills of direct relevance to design innovation practice, such as creative methods of collecting and generating data, creative sense-making of complex qualitative data, and effectively communicating the results of your research.

The course will enable you to strengthen your ideas with facts and data, and teach you the importance of collaboration and co-creation. You will acquire critical reading skills, critical thinking, ethics, and research methods with appropriate application in design.

On completion of the four week course, you will identify the appropriate network for your project, invite the right participants in your project, and make a compelling argument favouring your project.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

You’ll learn from our team of commercially active staff, who ensure the content stays industry-relevant.

You will have the chance to work on a research proposal and get feedback. You will be working in collaboration with a diverse set of students and tutors.

On this course, we teach you the interdisciplinary issues that design managers work with, such as business, marketing, technology, and art. Immersed in practice, you acquire the skills and the confidence to manage and lead a project. You are encouraged to push the boundaries and to put forward new, improved ideas that are innovative and purposeful.

You will take charge of your learning on this course by tailoring your education focused on your career goal and design specialism.

Workshop 1 – Introduction: Research in everyday lives
Workshop 2 – Coming up with a good research question, aims and objectives
Workshop 3 – All about methodology and frameworks: primary and secondary data
Workshop 4 – Creative research & creative practice
Workshop 5 – Research considerations for data collection, data analysis
Workshop 6 – Participatory design and co-creation
Workshop 7 – Communicating research findings
Workshop 8 – Writing a research proposal

This course widens my design vision. With a deeper understanding of design and its value, I changed my mindset from operational thinking to management and strategic thinking. As a design manager in a digital product team, this course helps me to consider both design and business (and technology) in a holistic way when I start any new product or application design. This is especially important in nowadays society. BCU's experienced course leader and tutors give me a lot of support and insight when I have questions about my projects and help me to finish the course smoothly and fruitfully. I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to jump to the next level of design.

Piano Fung, Hong Kong

Why Choose Us?

  • You will work collaboratively with peers from other disciplines and industry partners.
  • You will co-create and design new solutions for companies in collaborative projects.
  • You will learn from staff who have first hand experience of conducting practice based design research. Research with local, regional and international organistions such as Philips Design, Nokia, Airbus, Highway England to name a few.

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Fees & How to Apply

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.

The course is aimed at professionals and doctoral students looking at acquiring creative research and design research skills.

Students based in countries where English is not the first language should note that this course requires a high standard of reading, writing, and listening skills.

Total of eight workshops over four weeks

Dates: September 2022, date TBC
Times: 10am - 1pm Monday's and Wednesday's
Location: The Parkside Building and virtual via MS Teams
Cost: £750

Apply now

Facilities & Staff

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the exceptional quality 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 will be based in our multi-million pound Parkside building – a state of the art facility located within our City Centre Campus.

Our staff

Dr Mersha Aftab

MA Design Management Course Director

Mersha believed that most effective teaching happens when students have space, which allows them to ask questions, make mistakes, and learn from their mistakes. By creating collaborative and interactive sessions that are similar to working outside of academia, with industry projects and live case studies, her sessions give students critical...

More about Mersha

Nicholas Irvin

Lecturer in Design Management

Nick is lecturer in Design Management and this programme attracts students from a diverse range of design and non-design disciplines from the UK and overseas. The programme focuses on the strategic value of design and its importance within a business context, which aims to develop the confidence; skills and knowledge for work in industry.

More about Nicholas


For more information and to learn more, please contact the Course Leader.