School of Art, Design and Architecture

MA Integrated Design Innovation

This course focuses on tackling real-world industrial challenges through the development of bespoke and innovative products, services and experiences in the context of the Industry 4.0 agenda. Develop your ideas into businesses in the digital sector, working with a range of industry partners, academic staff, and new facilities for Digital Fabrication and Immersive Media.

A top 5 UK young university for subjects of art, design and architecture

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2022

Find out more about your eligibility for a postgraduate loan

You may now be eligible for a government loan of over £11,000 to help towards the cost of your masters degree.

Find out more about your eligibility for a postgraduate loan

Careers with this subject

You will graduate as a highly skilled professional able to work in multidisciplinary sectors with a series of transferable collaborative, technological, business and design skills. Some of these sectors include industrial design, computing or manufacturing. Additionally, you will be encouraged to spin-off with your own business plans and intellectual property assets developed throughout the programme.

Key features

  • Join the Industry 4.0 revolution with a degree from a top 10 UK young university for subjects of art, design and architecture (Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2019) and in the First-Class Category of Sustainable Universities in the UK (People and Planet Green League 2018).
  • Develop advanced skills in digital design applicable to a range of industry sectors such as manufacturing and industrial design.
  • Engage with new Digital Fabrication and Immersive Media Labs, with state-of-the-art equipment and dedicated technical support.
  • Gain multidisciplinary experience in a project-based learning environment by working alongside MA/MSc students, industry guests and academic staff from the School of Art, Design and Architecture.
  • 100% coursework. No exams.
  • Opportunity to pursue research degrees (MPhil/PhD) as well as cross-collaboration with other postgraduate courses such as MA Design, and MA Smart Urban Futures.

Course details
  • Programme overview

  • This programme embraces emergent Industry 4.0 technologies through a project-based curriculum. Our teaching and learning ethos comprises a STEAM approach (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Design, Mathematics) enabling a re-definition of the way creative thinkers work with digital technologies in the envisioning, designing, manufacturing and construction of our future built environment, specialist and everyday products and digital experiences. The programme of studies follows the TRL (Technology Readiness Levels) innovation delivery framework, and initiates in early stages of research and innovation ideation (Semester 1), followed by stages of proof of concept, prototyping and outlining business opportunities (Semester 2). 

    Core modules

    • Design Lab I (DFAB711)

      The Design Lab is the main space to develop your project. Through a series of cross-disciplinary approaches, Design Lab I focus on early stages of innovation delivery and encompasses elements of design ideation, research methods, design exploration and proof of concept tests of your project ideas. The course follows a co-design approach and you will be invited to work with external partners from industry, tech startups, peer learners, third sector and community groups on shared outcomes.

    • Advanced Design Thinking and Making Skills I (DFAB721)

      You will be introduced to creative and critical thinking skills, design theories and methods, and technical inductions required to support your Design Lab project. This can include inductions on specialist facilities and equipment (e.g. FDM 3D printing) as well as a wide range of specialist materials and prototyping methods (e.g. wood workshop inductions). You will be also introduced to a wide range of digital presentation methods to develop their confidence and ability to communicate effectively and clearly.

    • Research Project (DFAB723)

      In Semester 3, your work will focus on your Research Project and is supported by academic and research staff. The Research Project encapsulates and synthetises the work conducted throughout the year, and allows you to achieve a masters' level research depth by systematically and independently investigating the technical, research, design and/or theoretical aspects of your project in a cohesive and coherent research document.

    • Design Lab II (DFAB752)

      The Design Lab is the main space to develop your project. Through a series of cross-disciplinary approaches, Design Lab II focus on advanced stages of innovation delivery and encompasses elements of prototyping, testing, iteration and business ideation/scoping for your project ideas. Through a series of tests and input from industry partners, you project will address real-world challenges and will provide you with intellectual property assets and potential business plans.

    • Futures Entrepreneurship (DFAB762)

      Based on individual work, this Module supports your Design Lab project and develops your entrepreneurial abilities by providing a programme of studies focused on scoping, outlining and effectively communicating business plans. Contents of this course include elements of team organisation, project management, and intellectual property.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MA Integrated Design Innovation Programme Specification Sep22 6601

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.
Entry requirements

Normally a 2:1 degree from a UK University or equivalent and evidence of a sustained engagement with the field. We will consider students below 2:1 if they can demonstrate a strong academic portfolio or a record of professional experience. Applicants will be required to submit an outline of their experience in a 500-word statement.

Work experience in relevant sectors is highly desirable, though not required. Applicants with extensive industry experience can claim credits following the University of Plymouth Accreditation of Prior Learning Policy.

For an informal discussion about the course please contact the programme leader at

English requirements

The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is 6.5. English language requirements.

For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualifications and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,400 £9,500
International £15,700 £16,500
Part time (Home) £500 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Find out about the postgraduate scholarships available to you as an international student

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Projects and research

“Boundaries between sectors and professions are artificial and are proving to be increasingly counterproductive. More than ever, it is essential to dissolve these barriers by engaging the power of networks to forge effective partnerships.”

Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“There are some 2.6 million jobs in the UK’s creative economy, growing at around three times the rate of the workforce as a whole. These are – in the main – high-skilled, knowledge-intensive and resilient to future automation. Employers are crying out for talent with a mix of arts and science knowledge.”

NESTA, 2014

Forward-thinking, creative, and innovative – a place to nurture your talent 

Our School of Art, Design and Architecture offers high-quality, student-centred degrees, postgraduate programmes and research opportunities focused on adaptability and relevance to today’s cultural industries.

Discover what you could study with us

Sue Austin BA (hon) Fine Arts graduate

University co-hosts inaugural Fab City Plymouth Open Day

Students and academics within the University’s cutting-edge digital fabrication and immersive media community have opened their doors to the public to celebrate the inaugural Fab City Plymouth Open Day.

“Creating the country’s first Fab City was a great achievement, and was driven by the ambition and expertise that resides within the University, Plymouth College of Art, and key social enterprises and community organisations."

Find out more about the event

<p>Bethany Holmes</p>

Why study MA or MSc Integrated Design Innovation?

Alejandro Veliz Reyes, a University of Plymouth Lecturer in Digital Design and Fabrication gives an overview of the MA/MSc Integrated Design Innovation. The city of Plymouth and the University itself is at the forefront of digital innovation. Our students learn in a multi-disciplinary environment whereby they come up with creative solutions to innovative challenges. There is a real focus on entrepreneurship and commercialisation.

Beth Holmes, University of Plymouth MSc Integrated Design Innovation student talks about her experience as a postgraduate. Beth demonstrates how her time at the University has involved working with a local social enterprise (Nudge Community Builders) utilising digital fabrication to engage the local community via initiatives such as Fab City whereby Plymouth has signed up to produce most of what it consumes by 2054. Beth talks about how the programme at the University has enabled her to work with some really interesting technology and world-leading experts.

Learn more about Fab City Plymouth  


Any questions?

Please contact Dr Alejandro Veliz Reyes, Programme Lead for Integrated Design Innovation: