Design Informatics - MFA/MA

Video: Design Informatics Masters Course

Video: Masters in Design Informatics


Design Informatics brings together scientific data processing with creative concept development. Our Design Informatics programmes are advanced, full-time courses for professionals and recent graduates. They are extremely hands-on, progressive and designed with industry at their heart.

As a student, you’ll learn to unlock the power of big data, harness massive connectivity, analytic power and industrial-strength simulation to design products and services that will transform lives. You’ll learn to work as part of a team, you’ll be challenged to think differently and you’ll work to overcome 'real world' challenges.

Four programmes

There are four programmes available, which have been tailored specifically to two types of graduate.

At ECA, we run the two programmes for people from a design background. They focus on design, products, media, fashion and architecture. They are:

  • MA Design Informatics (one year, full-time)
  • MFA Design Informatics (two years, full-time)

Our collaborators in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh run the two programmes for people from a computing background. They focus on informatics, vision and robotics, speech and language technology, sensor networks and machine learning. They are:

  • MSc Design Informatics (one year, full-time)
  • MSc Advanced Design Informatics  (two years, full-time)

Please be advised that this curriculum is currently under review and there may be a change to one of the compulsory courses for 2017/18.

Each programme comprises a series of courses which bring together students from both backgrounds: design and programming. You will collaborate across both streams to develop digital, physical and networked artefacts that challenge what we know about interaction design. You will study a combination of core courses, electives that you will be able to follow on your own, a personally defined dissertation and a final project. In this way, you’ll develop the skills to apply your learning to a whole range of real-life problems.

Advanced study

If you choose to study one of our advanced programmes (MFA Design Informatics or MSc Advanced Design Informatics), you’ll also participate in a placement with a leading creative or digital organisation over the middle summer before extending your research focus in the second year with additional courses and a longer, more in-depth dissertation.

Getting hands-on

These programmes are all about participation and getting involved. As a student, you’ll take part in regular talks, workshops and debates with a whole range of high profile speakers. You’ll enjoy film screenings and game jams and attend regular ‘creative picnics’ with industry partners, along with conferences, exhibitions and festivals where you’ll be expected, not only to attend, but to exhibit.

Top five reasons to choose the programme

  • Data is changing the way we live, work and play. Join one of our Design Informatics programmes and you'll become one of a new wave of graduates.
  • The experience you’ll gain with us will develop your confidence and leadership skills, your ability to work collaboratively, problem solve and embrace and induce change in this dynamic field.
  • Whether you are from a design or computing background, you will collaborate with innovators across all four Design Informatics programmes.
  • You will participate in regular creative events that push the boundaries of established ways of working.
  • You will have the chance to showcase your ideas and solutions to 'real world' problems at conferences, exhibitions and festivals.

Visit the Design Informatics website >

Interested in a Design for Change - MA/MFA programme? Please fill out our short survey about this new proposed programme >

Student work


Dr Dave Murray-Rust, Programme Director | View staff profile >

Mark Kobine | View staff profile >

Prof Jon Oberlander

Dr Larissa Pschetz | View staff profile >

Prof Chris Speed | View staff profile >

Arno Verhoeven | View staff profile >


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