School of Art, Design and Architecture

MA Experience Design

Programme code 7654
Duration

1 year

Course type

Full-time

Location Plymouth

Our experience design masters brings together distinct skills and research in immersion, interaction and storytelling and bridges the gap between creative technology, narrative and business. The course will develop innovative and entrepreneurial creatives who can work across the huge and rapidly expanding industries that rely on such skills, including the immersive, interactive, games, performance, film and digital creative industries.

Experience Design

Careers with this subject

Graduates will have the skills and experience to work in a range of industries, including; culture and the arts, the political, public and third sectors, business and education.You can work in roles such as experience designers, writers, directors, producers, researchers, academics, artists, teachers, audience analysts, strategists, community managers and entrepreneurs in interactive and immersive storytelling, games, performance, XR, immersive filmmaking, interactive cinema and documentary, advertising, digital art and installation, immersive events, journalism and marketing.

Key features

  • Expert-led. Our course is taught by a range of nationally and internationally recognised academics, artists and creative practitioners, active in diverse and impactful areas of research, scholarship, and professional networks that enrich your learning.
  • Future-focused. You will develop a portfolio of Experience Design projects to demonstrate your experience and ability in the field and help with securing future work, commissions and employment.
  • State-of-the-art facilities. You will have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including a 35-seat, 360° immersive vision theatre, and technical support in areas such as Digital Fabrication and Immersive Media.
  • Flexible. You will have the ability to choose a final format of research project, including standard text-based dissertations as well as a business/IP proposal, a doctoral research proposal, or a body of exhibited creative work.
  • A holistic approach. You will gain understanding of how all roles in a production fit together, including design, writing, art, sound, direction and programming, and get to experiment with these different roles to develop a range of in-demand skills, as well as expanding and honing your own preferences and specialisms.
  • Develop a well-rounded skillset. Gain autonomy as an individual practitioner, fluency in collaborative teamwork and literacy in the entire process of experiential making to develop a well-rounded skillset that will enable you to adapt swiftly to changing industry landscapes and produce experiences relevant to a diverse range of career pathways.
  • Exciting industry connections. We hold partnerships with local, regional, national and international organisations, such as Nudge, Real Ideas, Theatre Royal Plymouth, NHS Trusts, Dartmoor National Park, Tate, IBM, EPIC, enabling you to work directly with creative, cultural, community and civic organisations to develop projects.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • This programme offers a curriculum built to capitalise on the resources, expertise and cutting-edge skills training available in our Digital Fabrication and Immersive Media Labs and research-informed pedagogies built around key global challenges and emerging areas of digital art.You will complete the course with a piece of masters-level creative research. You will be able to chose the topic and format of your submission, following your career interests and boosting your employability prospects.
    As part of a school-wide integrated approach to core module delivery, the programme also includes modules shared across the School of Art, Design and Architecture.

    Core modules

    • Situated Practice and Knowledge Exchange (ADA7200)

      This module supports students’ employability and career prospects by engaging with local communities, industrial partners and their broader professional field. Students will be able to situate their ideas within real world contexts, develop entrepreneurial skills, and deliver an external engagement proposition outlining the broader social, environmental, or economic extensions and impacts of their work.

    • Research Project / Dissertation (ADA7300)

      This module supports students’ delivery of their final research project / dissertation through combinations of group and individual work. It includes broader disciplinary research skills, methods and ethical practices, as well as subject-specific supervisory arrangements for each students’ research interests. This can include practice-based, text-based or entrepreneurial research outputs.

    • Design Lab 1 (MAEXD7101)

      Design Lab I is a creative space to devise and develop experiences for a variety of audiences and contexts. Students explore core experience design concepts of immersion, storytelling and interaction, and work with a range of approaches and technologies to prototype solutions that address real-world opportunities and challenges. Design Lab has a co-design methodology where students work with partners from the creative/cultural industries and community on live briefs and shared outcomes.

    • Design Lab 2 (MAEXD7201)

      Design Lab 2 is a creative space to prototype and test experience design projects for a variety of audiences and contexts. Students will deepen their creative approaches to immersion, storytelling and interaction and work with a range of technologies to design solutions that address real-world issues, opportunities and challenges. Design Lab has a co-design methodology where students work with partners from the creative/cultural industries and community groups on live briefs and shared outcomes.

    Optional modules

    • Immersive Media and XR (ADA7102E)

      This module will provide students with the creative and technical skills to develop their projects based on experimentation with immersive media and extended reality (XR) technologies. Through a combination of technical inductions, workshops, lectures, and self-directed work in our Immersive Media Lab, students will be able to experiment with 360 Video, sonic environments, AR/VR, sensors, and game engines.

    • Spatial Storytelling (ADA7103E)

      Students will explore using narrative space to create emotionally engaging audience experiences by experimenting with a range of spatial storytelling methods and technologies. The development of skills as narrative architects and storytellers in immersive, interactive, locative, game, sound, art, film and/or performance-based experiences and installations will result in the creation of a spatial storytelling project.

    • Interaction Design (ADA7106E)

      This module will provide students with the creative and technical skills to apply interaction design strategies to develop and support their practice across a range of disciplines. Drawing from the technologies, techniques and tools typical of the Smart City, ubiquitous, mobile and wearable computing and Internet of Things (IoT), students will design and develop prototype systems that allow them to explore key issues relating to our lived environment.

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 Experience Design programme specification_7654

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

The MA will appeal to those progressing straight from an undergraduate degree, as well as industry professionals who want to diversify their skillset.
We require a 2:2 degree in Digital Design or similar design, or an art-related discipline such as Digital Media Design, Computer Graphics, Software, Games Development, VR Design, Creative Media, 3D Design, Spatial Media, Architecture, among others. We also accept 2:2 degrees from non-traditional design subjects, and those with relevant professional experience who demonstrate a clear passion, interest and suitability for the subject.
We also require suitable references from previous academic institutions and/or employers that evidence character and ability in relation to this course.
Applicants are required to submit a portfolio of work or demonstrate a clear passion, interest and suitability for their chosen optional pathway.
For applicants with previous postgraduate studies in Digital Art, the Programme Lead will assess the applicability of the Recognition of Prior Learning policy on a case-by-case basis.
Alternative modes of admission (e.g. interviews and video submissions) can be provided for applicants requiring support for disability or neurodivergence, for example.
English Language requirements
English Language Requirement equivalent to 6.5 IELTS with a minimum 5.5 in all four components. Please check the University of Plymouth English language requirements website for additional information and equivalent recognised qualifications.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,500 £9,500
International £16,500 £17,600
Part time (Home) £530 £530
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 wishing to study on this programme, including thePostgraduate Taught International Student Scholarship, worth £2000 off your tuition fees.

Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study

The University applies a discretionary alumnus reward where alumni meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.
  • A 10 per cent discount on home tuition fees.
  • Or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.
For further details, programme exclusions and contact information, please see our fees policy.

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 Inclusion Services
If you have an impairment, health condition or disability, learn about the additional support the University provides.
International students
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office. Take a look at our how to apply information or email admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.
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 weeksof 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
Email: admissions@plymouth.ac.uk
Admissions policy
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our admissions policy which can be found on the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

State-of-the-art facilities

Our new Digital Fabrication and Immersive Media Labs offer access to cutting-edge technology such as motion-capture, augmented and extended reality and a wide array of digital fabrication tools to prototype and create new products, services and experiences.
We encourage our students to gain as much hands-on practice as possible with the technology available to them, empowering them to experiment and use the labs to bring their ideas to life in entirely new ways.
Student in the Digital Fabrication Lab

Learn from experienced professionals

  • Associate Professor in Immersive Storytelling
    Programme Leader
  • Associate Professor Digital Art & Technology
    Research interests include issues revolving around contemporary culture
  • Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts
    An active member of an international transdisciplinary community
  • Lecturer in Creative Media
    Expertise in interactive and immersive storytelling

Immersive Theatre

Through the iMayflower funded Masters R&D Studentship Scheme, have been collaborating with University of Plymouth postgraduate student, Greg Bott, and academics from the MRes Digital Art and Technology* programme, to explore how digital technologies could interact with a stage space, characters and narrative.
*Programme renamed MA Experience Design
virtual friend - Greg Bott, 2022

International applicants

Postgraduate scholarships for international students
We offer several scholarships for international students wishing to study on this programme, including the International Academic Excellence Scholarship worth 50% off your tuition fees and the Postgraduate Taught International Student Scholarship worth £2000 off tuition fees.
Study with us
At the University of Plymouth, we have a thriving international community made up of 2,000 students from over 100 different countries.
International students at a welecome event at the University of Plymouth