Design Informatics and Advanced Design Informatics MSc

The School of Informatics and the School of Design from Edinburgh College of Art are launching a series of distinctive Masters Courses to start in 2013 as part of the Centre for Design Informatics.

The Centre has been formed to inspire, equip and nurture a new generation of researchers, practitioners and entrepreneurs. It weaves together strengths from the two Schools. For design: product, media, fashion and architecture. For informatics: vision and robotics, speech and language technology, sensor networks, machine learning.

The Courses

Students are given an understanding of how to build computational systems as well as being taught the relevant principles of design thinking and making. Through case studies of real life products, students will apply their knowledge in a practical way, thus developing an understanding of what it takes to create, design and take a product to market.

Design Informatics MSc

The MSc in Design Informatics consists of two components:

1. Approximately 7 months of taught courses in 2 semesters;

2. up to 4 months of project work leading to a dissertation.

During the first taught part of the course, September to March, students attend lectures, tutorials and group practicals and acquire the theoretical foundation to enable them to engage in independent research. Students are also involved with the preparation of case studies and team projects. 120 taught course credit points are expected during the course of the year.

Between May and August, students complete the degree by making a practical application of their knowledge by undertaking a major individual research project on which they write a dissertation. The project is normally supervised by a member of academic staff as one of his/her research interests, with assistance from his/her research team.

Advanced Design Informatics MSc

The MSc in Advanced Design Informatics consists of four components:

1. Approximately 7 months of taught courses in 2 semesters;

2. Up to 3 months of summer placement in industry;

3. A further 3 months of taught courses;

4. approximately 7 months over 2 semesters of project work leading to a dissertation.

During the first taught part of the course, September to March, students attend lectures, tutorials and group practicals and acquire the theoretical foundation to enable them to engage in independent research. Students are also involved with the preparation of case studies and team projects. 120 taught course credit points are expected during the course of year 1.

Between May and August, students get the opportunity to work on a project in a commercial or public sector setting, to test and reflect on their knowledge and skills.

Second year has a focus on product design and entrepreneurship, where the student initially develops a research proposal which bridges from the placement to the dissertation project, and revisits case studies in design informatics, this time leading a team of first year students to revise, repair and extend a project, normally one which the second year student has been personally involved with.

The second semester covers product design and completes the dissertation project, which normally represents an innovative response to the experience gathered during the summer placement. 60 taught course credit points are expected during the course of year 2, along with 60 credit points for the dissertation.

Example Project Areas

Social media that talks: Combining academic expertise in speech technology and ‘big data’ analytics with innovative start-ups-Cereproc, Feusd, Social Artisan-can we design applications which give a voice to the word of mouth?

The collective intelligence of crowds: How do we use computer vision and sensor technologies to measure collective behaviour and harness the intelligence of crowds? Can we engage groups of people in queues or turn citizens into sensors?

Domesticating the robot: can robotic technology, with its autonomy, intelligence, sensing and networking capability, mediate our relationships with the everyday objects in our homes, and perhaps with each other?

For more information and to apply please see:

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