Postgraduate study

Design and Digital Media

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Design and Digital Media

This is a unique programme of study that addresses the growing need for professional education in digital technology applied to design, including its social, cultural and philosophical implications.

Based in a lively studio environment, the programme develops wide skills in digital techniques and a critical framework to appraise the application of these technologies to design.

The programme addresses the needs of practitioners, managers, decision-makers and educators who want to be informed by first-hand knowledge of the technical possibilities of digital technology and an awareness of social, cultural and business contexts.

Our programme is design and technology led and there are significant demands on our students to create innovative work across a range of creative contexts including visual design, user interface and experience, interactive media, mobile web applications, animation, gaming and virtual environments.

Teaching is through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and studios. Projects encourage original thinking and independent achievement within a framework of team-working and creative ability.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScDesign and Digital Media1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScDesign and Digital Media2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

Students will:

  • acquire a broadly based foundation in design technologies
  • develop their ability to work cooperatively in groups in the context of design
  • develop understanding of the potential for new technologies and their new creative uses
  • enable the use of existing digital design techniques in a creative way
  • develop skills in entrepreneurial thinking and business planning
  • find an analytical and critical framework to develop fresh thinking in design

The prospects for employment are diverse. Recent graduates are now working in multimedia and web design for architectural and urban design practices, computer system design and management, and tertiary-level teaching. The programme is also ideal if you are considering continuing on to advanced research at a doctoral level.

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent. The subject discipline is not as important as aptitude and commitment to study in this area.

Evidence of prior practical design and/or technology experience, either as part of your undergraduate degree or for personal and professional projects, is one of the criteria that we use when considering applications, and this will normally be reflected in academic transcripts. We may also consider your application if you have equivalent professional experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. Please provide examples of your creative design and/or technology work to demonstrate your aptitude and commitment to working in this area, especially if your previous study is not primarily design and/or technology focused.

Examples of work can include images of your design work (e.g. illustration, graphic design, installations etc.), stills from and links to examples of your animations and motion graphics, application or website design and coding and other examples of interactive media. Make it clear which parts of the work you are responsible for and outline the context, processes and design thinking involved in producing the work.

For applicants without a design/technology-led degree, but with industry or other relevant experience, please outline your contribution to the development and delivery of design and digital projects.

Please include a personal statement and CV as part of the portfolio.

You may be asked to provide additional supporting material or participate in an interview via Skype.

*Revised 5 November 2018 to expand on guidance for portfolio and alternative qualifications.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration.

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson Test of English and Trinity ISE must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

There are two panel dates for this programme: 14 December and 29 March.

Offers will be made to eligible applicants following these dates. Applications will still be accepted after the end of March, however we do advise that you apply as soon as possible.

Applicants who do not meet the entry requirements will be informed on an ongoing basis.

You must submit a reference with your application.

Admission to this programme is highly competitive. Offers are rarely made to applicants who are not able to support their application with examples of high-quality creative activity.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. You won't be able to submit your portfolio immediately, but you'll receive an email prompt within a few days of submitting your application that will explain how to upload your portfolio.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX