Postgraduate study

Design and Digital Media MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

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.

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. During this programme, you will develop design projects in, for example, animation, interaction, video and mobile games, the web and social media, e-commerce and entrepreneurship, media installations, performance and more. Our graduates work in all these areas, as well as advertising, education, television and journalism. 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. Your portfolio should be a single PDF file. 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.

As part of the application process, you must submit a personal statement and CV.* You may also be asked to provide additional supporting material or participate in an interview via Skype.

(*Revised 1 October 2019 to reflect changes in the CV and personal statement submission process.)

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

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

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

  • PTE Academic: 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

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScDesign and Digital Media1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScDesign and Digital Media2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

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

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2020/21 are shown below.

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 06 December 2019 31 January 2020
2 15 January 2020 04 March 2020
3 14 February 2020 03 April 2020
4 18 March 2020 29 April 2020
5 30 April 2020 11 June 2020
6 30 June 2020 11 August 2020

*(Revised 30 October to include application deadline information.)

You must submit one 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

  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU