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. 


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 or bombarded 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.

What you will study

If you aspire to design, manage, develop software, teach or research in or around creative design and digital industries, this programme could be for you.

In the first semester, the programme focuses on developing design thinking and digital skills, exploring approaches to interactive and animated 2D and 3D media, and discussion of cultural theories about living and working with digital media. Comprising two core courses, and a choice between courses in 3D Animation and Design or Interactive Visual Design, students advance through a series of lectures, demonstrations, practical project work, exercises and critique.

In the second semester, the focus moves to dynamic and data-driven Web applications, game studios and cross-disciplinary design. The two core courses include the popular Digital Media Studio Project, with students from other ECA programmes, and the application-focused Dynamic Web Design course. A further course is again based on options, including subjects offered by other Schools within ECA and across the wider University of Edinburgh.

The programme concludes with a self-directed but supervised final project over the summer period in areas including creative coding, 3D modelling, gaming, moving image, UI and UX design, data visualisation, augmented and virtual reality, mobile applications and interactive installations.

Find out more about how and what you will study

Studio culture

You will become part of a lively studio culture, developing techniques and skills in design of, for and with digital media through a series of intensive projects. Group work, peer learning and a strong team ethos are key.

Uniquely, we integrate this practice-based approach with examining the role and place of design in our culture and commerce and the ethics and legality of digital systems: providing a rigorous theoretical context for practical work. We also explore the artistic dimensions of design as creative practice.

Creative environment

The programme attracts students with a range of previous study and work experiences, from fine art and humanities to computer science, and modular options allow students the flexibility to tailor their studies to their own interests and career goals.

You will enjoy insights into many other practices and closely related degree programmes, sharing courses and activities in fields including design informatics, innovation and entrepreneurship, sound design, digital composition and performance, sustainable environmental design and urban design.


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