Push your design thinking and design practice beyond existing boundaries, towards interconnected, holistic, and systemic approaches addressing human and planetary challenges, and make a positive contribution to society, health, and planet through ethical and systemic design interventions.
In a world with so many changes in so short a time, future design professionals have never played such a central role in responding to ethical, political, social, and ecological concerns - through systems-shifting design approaches to everyday physical and digital life that are agile, digital, context-specific, and connected, and also address the complex issues of security, safety, and trust.
Study MA Human-Centred Design at ARU, and develop the theoretical, practical, and leadership skills, understanding and knowledge that are critical to creating dynamic and connected modes of engagement with the everyday physical and digital life; the climate and nature; and business. You’ll gain a broad understanding of people, culture, and context from the perspective of design, and tackle human and planet-related issues in a global context by introducing new forms of process, tools, and methods.
You’ll work closely with students from across the Cambridge School of Art, including postgraduate students from Interior Design Innovation and Art, Health, and Wellbeing on an industry-led collaborative project, and deliver public-facing events. As a Human-Centred Design student in Cambridge, you’ll be able to work in a start-up environment and a relaxed culture in which creativity and creative problem solving are valued, building strong relationships and freely exchanging thoughts and ideas. Most importantly, you’ll receive support and guidance from our experienced staff who, as well as running their own studio practice, have worked with companies such as Nokia, Hitachi, Ogilvy, Unilever, Ford, and Dyson. The creative freedom offered by the course results in a variety of degree outputs based on design futuring, ideas and methods for design as an expanded ethical and professional practice, from new product development to new experiences and services, systems, and models.
Talks from visiting lecturers and live briefs from industry are built into our course. They focus on areas including human-connected design; design in crisis and emergency; cross-cultural and transnational design; social design and innovation; sustainable production; and circular economy. We'll encourage you to build your profile by entering national and international competitions, as well as taking part in our own competitions such as the Sustainability Art Prize. You'll have the chance to develop a business plan and pitch for start-up funding through our annual competition, The Big Pitch, and you can get involved in our research conferences and creative events.
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All our students have access to:
Our team of technical officers will be on hand to offer training and support.
Our new digital workshop includes a variety of computer aided manufacturing machines, helping you learn up to date manufacturing and design processes as well as supporting many traditional techniques. These technologies include:
Our Creative Showcase shines a spotlight on what makes ARU creative and cultural – our spaces, places and people. Find out more about our community, the difference we make, the stories we tell, and the things that inspire us.
Meanwhile, Present is an exhibition that you curate for yourself. Explore the work of our graduating students in this eye-catching virtual degree show.
Deputy Head, Cambridge School of Art; Associate Professor, Art & Design
Our MA Human Centred Design will help you achieve a career within the public, private, and third sector in roles such as:
All of our modules integrate professional practice, and you’ll be introduced to different aspects of the design industry by the teaching team and external guests. This will help you develop an appreciation and awareness of the changing role of designers, and the increasing responsibilities within possible career paths. Your awareness of current practices and responsibilities will develop at an early stage of your studies, particularly in the Design Ethics and Design Practices modules.
You’ll also use the Personal Development Planning (PDP) tool to record, map and review your employability skills and experience across the course, and through the self-initiated and self-directed Human-Centred Design project, develop your own personalised employability plan. Supported by academic and technical staff as well as the ARU Employability Service and ARU Enterprise and Innovation, you’ll develop project-specific business plans, commercialisation and intellectual property objectives, as well as CV and interview skills. These in-house centres also provide:
Graduation doesn’t have to be the end of your time with us. You could choose to continue your academic career with a PhD programme at ARU. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and save £400 on your fees.
If you're thinking about applying to ARU or have questions about your application, contact our Admissions Customer Service Team.
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Improve your employability, progress in your career, and take on an intellectual challenge with our flexible postgraduate degrees.Postgraduate study at ARU