The MA course is a continuum across 2 years with first and second year students working together in vertical teaching units called platforms. Each platform has its own tutors, who are practicising designers, with a particular approach to design which is reflected in the project briefs offered. The platforms provide the infrastructure for students to explore their own goals and interests. In order to build up confidence to develop project work in depth, students tend to remain with the same platform throughout the year.
Design projects are the core learning and teaching element of the MA course around which tutorials, crits, group debates and technical instruction can take place. Projects vary in length and format depending on the different platforms' approach to design. The content will explore a whole range of issues including context, theory, technology, literature, environmental concerns, etc. etc. Some projects may be 'real world' projects giving the opportunity to locate work in a specific context. Some projects may be carried out with commercial and industrial organisations who are friends of the course offering their time, expertise or financial support.
The Design Products Department was established in 1999 bringing together the Furniture and Industrial Design courses. The department is one of five in the School of Architecture and Design.