Five reasons to choose the programme

Integration of theory and practice. Most digital media design programmes focus on one or the other; we offer a unique combination of the two.
Our place in the city. Edinburgh is a vibrant hub of creativity all year round, and especially during the Festival period.
Renowned expertise and facilities. Combined with those in the School of Informatics, our staff and resources are unrivalled anywhere in Europe.
Flexibility and choice. Our programme is specifically developed to allow you the opportunity to tailor it to suit your own individual aims and interests.
International culture. This programme normally attracts over 30 students from across the globe, including China, the USA, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. 


The Design and Digital Media programme offers opportunities for you to develop new and existing skills and insights in the creative use of current and emerging technologies. Based in a lively, collaborative environment, the programme develops wide skills in digital techniques and a critical framework to appraise the application of these technologies to design.

Digital media technology is at the heart of modern life. At work, in education, in leisure and entertainment, even in sport, digital tools and devices are everywhere. How we communicate, our social life, the core of our society, is now based on digital media.

Design, also, continually shapes contemporary experience. The products and services we use, the environment we inhabit, the information we use, or are presented with, are all designed with specific intent. Things that are not themselves digital are commonly designed digitally.

This programme deals with the complex relationships between design and digital media. Digital design often requires a multi-perspective approach to developing media and interactive experiences.

The programme will develop fluency and extend your existing skills in digital media production, and you will aim to understand the potential of digital media to be combined into innovative and engaging forms so that it may be used for multiple purposes. The programme provides opportunities for you to gain experience of integrating technologies and material and you will learn how to creatively design, combine, manipulate, render and present digital media for interactive formats.

The programme sits within a context of smart spaces and pervasive media and encourages ethical/responsible design in terms of data and digital materials.

What you will study

The programme attracts students with a range of previous study and work experiences, from design disciplines and fine art, to humanities and computer science, and modular options allow you the flexibility to tailor your studies to your own interests and career goals. Coursework is generally design and technology led coupled with critical reflection and you will have the opportunity to create innovative work across a range of creative contexts.

You will study a broad, flexible and integrated range of key and emerging digital design practices across a range of formats and platforms, that will provide a good foundation for further work and research in this area (e.g. virtual and augmented reality, game development, mobile and web application development, user interfaces, user experience, data visualisation, graphic design, animation, interactive media).

Our programme of study assumes you have some aptitude for and experience of working with design technologies in creative ways and are prepared to advance quickly. The programme is designed to allow you to develop according to your skills and interests, and projects encourage original thinking and independent achievement within a framework of team-working and creative ability.

Specifically, the aims of the programme are to:

• Develop and encourage specific knowledge in a context of a broadly-based foundation of design technologies

• Foster the ability to work co-operatively in the context of design

• Provide an analytical and critical framework to enable students to understand the potential for new technologies and creative design

• Assist you in discovering new creative uses of advanced technologies

• Give you an understanding of the scope and limitations of digital applications in design

• Encourage the development of professional skills and experience in working with digital media.

Although this is a taught programme, our emphasis is more on facilitating learning than on teaching. We aim to provide an environment in which learning can be maximised, and the teaching staff are just one resource among many that students can exploit. Given the speed with which technology changes, we encourage our students to be agile, adaptable, creative and curious, operating on the exploratory edges of current and emerging practices, building on experience of digital technologies applied to design.

This is a one-year programme covering a range of themes, and as such has limitations of time, focus and specialist knowledge. We are often not expert users of particular software applications, but we do have extensive and deep experience of applied creative use of design and technology. Our overall objective across the year is support the development of personal skills, insights and experience while encouraging a rounded, professional outlook that has a wide appreciation of the issues of digital design in the contemporary world.


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.

How to apply and entrance requirements

If you'd like to study on a postgraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through EUCLID, our online application system. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to:

  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about study modes, start dates and fees
  • find out if, and how, you need to submit a portfolio, showreel or research proposal
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to the University of Edinburgh website on how to apply for postgraduate study


Dr Jules Rawlinson

Lecturer, Design and Digital Media

Programme Director, Design and Digital Media - MSc/Diploma


Scholarships and bursaries

Andrew Grant Postgraduate Scholarships

  • Deadline: 2 March 2020
  • Value: £9,500
  • Eligibility: Scholarships available for one academic year of postgraduate Masters study at Edinburgh College of Art.


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4086