Master of Design

This Master of Design course is for those who want to dig deep into the rich soil of design – experienced creatives as well as professionals across various other industries.

This accelerated post-professional program offers an exciting opportunity for advanced study in design and is designed to engage designers, developers, technologists, programmers, artists and teachers to explore the convergent space between disciplines that shape technologies, applications and creative solutions.

If you want to progress to senior roles within the design industry worldwide and become an advanced, entrepreneurial, flexible problem solver who can create and contribute to a variety of design solutions, this program is for you.

The delivery of the course is blended with online and face to face subjects providing a flexible learning environment. All core subjects are delivered and managed from the Design campus in Ultimo Sydney whilst Global Project Management and MBA subjects are delivered at any one of our Business campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

This design course allows you exit with:

  • Graduate Certificate

Requires two core and two elective subjects

  • Graduate Diploma

Requires 5 core and 3 elective subjects

  • Master of Design

In total 7 core subjects are required and 4 elective subjects

  • Master of Design (Advanced)

In total 7 core subjects are required and 4 electives, as well as, The Major Project (one trimester project (40 UOC) that aims to engage students with industry).

CRICOS CODE
095356G

Key Study Outcomes:

About the School

This course is provided by Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia. RTO 41343 CRICOS 03389E.

Read more about Billy Blue College of Design

Billy Blue College of Design

Course Delivery

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Workload and Assessment

No. of timetabled hours per week:

  • 10 hours of study per subject per week: 3 hrs facilitated + 7 hrs self-directed.

  • Capstone project: 6 hrs facilitated study and 14 hrs self-directed study per week.

  • Major project (Advanced): 12 hrs facilitated study and 28 hrs self-directed study per week.


Contact a Course and Career Advisor for more information on full-time and part-time workloads.

Typical assessment includes:

  • Practical assignments

  • Research projects

  • Presentations

  • Written documentation

Subject Information

This subject provides a suite of cross disciplinary, practice based topics for designers in the areas of, time, space, motion and interaction. Designers will explore conceptual challenges and questions of visual expression in the quest to develop useful, usable and resonant designs for good. This will include understanding and articulating ‘user experience’, the role of design in humanizing information, the aesthetic and conceptual dynamics of effective communication, branding and communication within the international industry landscape.

This subject introduces students to philosophical and theoretical lenses for interpreting the various contexts of reception within which their designs will be encountered, engaged with, experienced or consumed. Design Identity, focuses specifically on ‘the connections of text as a stimulus to design approaches and understanding but more importantly on new ways of seeing. In this subject students engage with texts that are, or have been, influential in shaping ways in which designers and design theory engages the worlds that designed things enter into and subsequently re-define. A range of differing texts, including theoretical, literary and designed texts, and texts utilizing different media, are introduced and explored.

This module will introduce course participants to the nature and importance of concepts that go beyond the twin imperatives of time and (financial) cost. Specific topics include sustainability in terms of social equity, economic efficiency and environmental performance; project management life cycles; resource management; and change management. Students will learn how to assess and evaluate the performance of multiple projects, and how to apply a range of tools and techniques when managing product portfolios, along with the nature of sustainability in project management in terms of how project management processes align with the 3 fundamentals of sustainable development: social equity, economic efficiency, and environmental performance.

Procurement and contracts are integral to successful project management. In this subject, students learn about procurement and contracts in a global setting, and also understand the importance of leadership, governance and organisation to ensure successful outcomes. Discussion will include planning for purchases and acquisitions, requests for proposal, vendor selection, contract administration, and contract closure. Students learn how to approach key issues with regard to short and long-term contracts, and small and large contracts. Topics covered include the examination of procurement strategies, responsiveness, performance-based contracting, ethical relationships and supplier development initiatives. Students will also examine tendering, bidding and order management processes, relevant legal and commercial implications, as well as managing the relationship between buyer and seller, assessing vendor performance, contract change control, and conflict resolution. Discussion will include case studies, emerging trends and best practices.

The process of creation, from conception through distribution, is complicated and requires a diverse set of management skills. Students in this subject are introduced to the knowledge, tools, and techniques needed to manage projects successfully throughout a project life cycle, and to the language used by practitioners in conjunction with the terminology recognised by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Students explore the project management knowledge areas and process groups of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide. Students also examine the ways these two dimensions of project management interact in initiating (scoping), planning, executing (launching), monitoring and controlling, and closing a project.

Benchmarking and the ability to collect analyse and present benchmarking data to influence organisational decision making is a core competence for many organisations. This subject develops students’ analytical skills and understanding of benchmarking processes and procedures before supporting them in a benchmarking exercise of their own.

The use of, control of, manipulation and presentation of data in organisations is becoming increasingly important in the management of stakeholder expectations. This subject explores the role of managing information systems, the impact of technological change on the management of information, and the risks associated with poor information management. Students work with case studies and scenarios to develop strategies for reviewing management information systems in their own contexts.

Understanding organisational behaviour, politics, dynamics and environments and how they impact on the role and legitimacy of the management function is the core of this subject. This subject helps individuals understand the constraints they face as managers and emerging leaders and how they can develop strategies to leverage advantages and overcome constraints and barriers in their organisations. The subject also focuses on developing some of the advanced communication skills necessary in management and leadership roles, and the ability of the individual to influence others. The subject introduces students to the concept of naturally occurring data and qualitative analysis.

Being an effective and genuine leader in a dynamic era requires an understanding of leadership concepts, how leaders think and act, and how various management styles impact situations and relationships within an organisation. Being a dynamic leader also demands a strong set of competencies such as motivating self and others, leading creativity in an organisation, cultural intelligence, and navigating ambiguity. This subject provides students with a foundation of leadership theory, styles, and approaches, and an opportunity for students to assess and build on their own leadership styles throughout the course.

The Major Project builds upon the Capstone project enabling students to develop and apply strategic processes, creative tools and research for innovation in design and to independently apply highly specialized knowledge of professional managerial or project management practice creating a truly interdisciplinary perspective while engaging with the industry.

The practice of design has always been profoundly shaped by the particular economies in which it has been embedded. The demands placed on both human and non-human ecologies by 20th century growth-based economies, are evidently unsustainable. Increasing acknowledgment of ecological stress upon the planet, in tandem with the economic instability of the first decades of the 21st century, have given impetus to a rethinking of our assumptions about the economy. Over the past decades a number of critical thinkers have proposed new approaches to the economy. What are the implications of these potential economies for design? How might more sustainable approaches to the economy open up new possibilities for design? What might be the role of design in the transition to a different economy?

This subject culminates in a synthesised project proposal as foundation for the Cap-stone Project. Consideration of ethics and approaches to potentially sensitive research are identified before approval of the research approach by the University Ethics Committee. During this subject designers develop and consolidate their understanding of research practices as well as findings in order to thoroughly analyse and review collected information gathered without any demographic constraints. The proposal stipulates the problem and the solution as it appears, the research focus group (if any) as well as the type of research to be conducted.

Creative and societal innovation founded on research but also reflexive practice is to be considered in the proposal for the Capstone Project. At the end of this subject designers will have proposed the foundations of a self-initiated project that exhibits a sophisticated understanding of contemporary design practice based on triple line philosophy: 1) environmental sustainability; 2) social, ethics and creative responsibility combined with; 3) financial responsibility.

This subject introduces designers to research methodologies as a basis for identifying problems which can be the catalyst to bring about change.

Students gain skills in the analysis of research data using grounded theory and phenomenography, in addition to visual research methods used as a foundation for creative and design solutions inherent in cross-disciplinary creative practice. By means of reflection, analysis and contextualising an identified culture—their own or others— and by drawing on its philosophies, typical behaviours and patterns, designers explore, elicit and assess problems to instigate creative group projects. The design practices foster understanding of, and connection with, the contexts that designed things participate in, enrich and often transform. The additional emphasis is on problem identification that informs and leads to enhanced futures based on successful creative outcomes.

The theoretical base of this subject focuses on developing the students’ understanding of the fundamental contemporary theories of social entrepreneurship and a variety of applicable business models. The course will explore cross discipline material encompassing design, business and technology and how to acquire and combine knowledge and skills in all 3 areas to amplify the potential for success in 21st century society. At the core of this subject will be a focus on customer experience design, both theory and skill, and why user centric principles are increasingly used in business today.

Students will explore the application of entrepreneurship business strategies and apply this knowledge in a philanthropic context and come up with solution to a real world problem they can execute to the pitch ready stage for investment. The project will entail some type of ‘design for good’ aspect in either a profit or non- for-profit business model.

Students will be expected to think critically as they evaluate complex ideas and learn the patterns, frameworks and mechanics or storytelling, behavior design, game design and platform design.

Students will be expected to:

  • Students will banalyse a social problem that needs to be solved
  • Plan and progress an idea through a business development lifecycle
  • Plan and progress an idea through a buutilising a self-constructed questionnaire
  • sSynthesise and visualise quantitative and qualitative data in order to communicate the patterns they discover in the data collected
  • learning the basics of using a business model and value proposition canvas as tools for design
  • Create, present, and communicate a professional-level business deck along with a functional prototype in order to demonstrate their understanding of theoretical and practical concepts
  • Learn and practice lean start-up and design thinking principles in the validation of their business idea along with validation of the prototype for the product or service they create.

The final subject requires students to execute, finalise and present their self- initiated project exhibiting a sophisticated understanding of contemporary design practice, whilst addressing the university ethos. Central to the project will be evidence of critical analysis and reflexive and reflective practice, social engagement, in addition to the use of refined visual language in its execution with particular industry relevancy for which their project is intended.

Students must draw on the philosophical, practical, methodological, theoretical and technical tools they have gathered over the duration of the degree to complete a successful project. Students are individually mentored through this project by a supervisor with complementary practice-based research expertise. Projects can be static or interactive, print or digital, objects or installations, and could incorporate sound or moving image, but could also be a systems design of a problem. Students must complete all other required subjects before undertaking the Capstone project.