Degree Aims and Outcomes

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The degree aims to provide a rich cross-disciplinary programme of study for its students to develop skills in the area of computer-aided design, multimedia, networking and other digital technologies applied to design. Its graduates will be conversant with appropriate technologies and with the practices and social contexts in which such technologies are developed and used. The programme will impart practical skills within the framework of a critical and reflective appreciation of the impact and influence of digital technology.

The programme of study assumes all students are at the beginner level in design computing, but are prepared to advance quickly. The programme is designed to allow you to develop according to your skills and interests.

Specifically, the aims of the programme are to:

  • develop specific knowledge and provide a broadly-based foundation in design technologies
  • encourage the development of good design in its broadest sense
  • foster the ability to work co-operatively in groups in the context of design
  • develop understanding of the potential for new technologies
  • enable the use of existing computer-aided design techniques in a creative way
  • provide an analytical and critical framework to enable students to develop fresh thinking in design by building on their undergraduate or industrial experience
  • assist students in discovering new creative uses of advanced technologies
  • give students an understanding of the scope and limitations of computer applications in design
  • encourage the development of business and entrepreneurial skills in working with digital media

The outcomes of the programme fall into several categories, as follows.

Knowledge and understanding

On completing the programme students should be able to

a advise on the applicability of digital technologies in a professional design context

b critically evaluate digital technologies and their applicability to design

c analyse requirements and derive design solutions for presentation and information applications

d demonstrate understanding of the cultural and business context in which digital technologies are developed and promoted

Subject-specific skills

On completing the programme, students should be able to:

a apply techniques of CAD, multimedia, video editing, sound and 3d modelling

b design effective multimedia presentations

c develop a dynamic web site

d program interactive behaviours using a scripting language

e draft a business plan in a design context

f relate technological options to considerations of practice

g develop and respond to critical argument on cultural issues relating to the use of digital technologies

Key skills

On completing the programme students should be able to:

a use information technology creatively in solving problems

b put together presentations and installations using digital media

c assess the value and applicability of developments in digital technology as they emerge

d critically assess the popular and academic literature that accompanies the promotion of digital technologies

e manage time and prioritise work tasks

f follow an independent programme of study through to completion

g present themselves for interview and demonstrate the ability to work in a professional context

h demonstrate that they have a learning and professional development strategy


Our overall objective is not to produce highly skilled technicians or programmers, but to encourage the development of rounded professionals with a wide appreciation of the issues of digital design in the contemporary world. This is a one-year programme, and as such has certain limitations. It may be taken, for example, by designers, computer specialists, social theorists and managers. It aims to inform any of these about the others, to allow them to understand each others’ points of concern, and to work together in teams. It cannot, in most cases, directly convert students from any one of these specialisms into another, e.g. designers into computer specialists, or vice versa. It should, however, equip those who wish to pursue conversion with a solid foundation from which to move forward in the desired direction. Students who begin at an advanced level in any area are encouraged to exploit and share their skills, but cannot expect dedicated tuition to cater to their further development. In assessment, credit is given for advanced performance, but perhaps even more for grappling with, using and benefiting from material outside an area of original specialisation. In assessment, we seek especially to acknowledge sensitive and effective teamworking with fellow students from a diversity of backgrounds, both academic and cultural. We endeavour to offer and support recent and highly-specified versions of the software we use; however, these are never crucial, and we aim to promote a flexibility that includes addressing projects by making appropriate use of whatever tools are available.