On this master’s degree course, you’ll learn to apply key principles of user-focused experience design to create engaging interfaces and interactions. You'll use human-computer interaction research methods to evaluate user needs and improve the experiences you create. You'll also learn how user-centred design can be applied in areas such as the Internet of Things, creative apps, museum installations, educational technology, and immersive business.
Design and implement interfaces for digital real-time interactive systems
Apply the principles of design and creativity to improve user experiences
Learn to use different platforms for experience design and adapt to their technical constraints
Learn to apply primary and secondary research methods drawn from human-computer interaction and the broader computing literature
Learn to use methods from experimental psychology and data science to better understand how people engage with digital products and services
Explore how to innovate as a user experience designer
Practice interaction design across a range of application domains, including cybersecurity
Keep and control the IP of any interfaces you produce
What our graduates do
This course is for anyone who is excited by the opportunities presented by technology and who wants to carry out practice-based research to create thoughtful and engaging user experiences.
Games Academy graduates have worked as:
Creative practitioners at companies such as MediaTonic, Firesprite, Creative Assembly, Project Gamechanger and Rare
Creative AI specialists at companies including Ultrahaptics, Solutionpath and Bewsign
Researchers and developers at companies such as Facebook
Further study at doctoral-level in artificial intelligence and/or data science, sponsored by the likes of Google
What you'll learn
In this course, you will learn to create engaging interfaces and interactions, appropriately evaluating usability and professionally applying key principles of experience design. You'll gain the ability to critically reflect upon and evaluate working methods and find the most effective ways to collaborate on projects. You'll also learn how to pitch your ideas; communicating concepts and presenting artefacts visually with clarity and enthusiasm.
User Experience Design MA is comprised of five modules, four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project (180 credits in total). The modules have been specifically designed to be studied in a non-linear order. You'll begin the course with Module 1 and end the course with your Final Major Project (MA only). The order in which you'll study modules 2-4 will depend on when you begin the course.
You will need to complete four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project (180 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award.
Module 1. Development Practice
By devising a series of small-scale creative artefacts, you'll use your existing ideas about development practice and then experiment with new approaches to challenge these ideas. This will enable you to create a personal case study, from which you can define how to expand and enrich your practice. Beyond the personal case study, you'll gain a broader sense of the contexts in which these practices are applied across disciplines.
Module 2. UX Design
In this module, you'll learn the core principles, methods and techniques of user experience (UX) design. You'll use concepts from a range of disciplines to develop a sequence of explorative designs and interactive prototypes. You'll also learn how to apply user-centred approaches to produce artefacts that meet the requirements of end-users and adhere to best practice.
Module 3. Co-creative Design and Development Practice
You'll work in a team on a problem-led creative project. This will typically, but not necessarily, be a small game or creative app. You'll work together to situate, design, implement and evaluate your creative artefact. With the support of a supervisor, you'll strategically manage scope, workflow, communication roles and responsibilities. In the end, you will have produced an original artefact, based on your own intellectual property, that clearly illustrates how you can engage an audience.
Module 4. UX Research
Here, you'll learn the key techniques of human-computer interaction (HCI). This is a multidisciplinary field focusing on the interaction between humans and computers. You'll refine your understanding of HCI through the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of an artefact. This is typically a small-scale experimental proof-of-concept. Questions and challenges will be shaped by our partners from the digital creative industries and from fields relevant to creative technologies. This will enable you to work towards an industry-led brief.
Final Major Project (MA only)
You'll work on a major research and development project, either independently or with others. This will allow you to expand and consolidate your skills of devising, developing and executing an extended development project. You can build upon your projects from other modules or develop a new concept. You should finish the course with a polished project of publishable quality. A supervisor will act as your mentor and adviser.
The modules above are those being studied by our students or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.
How you'll learn
You'll learn through a blend of lectures, webinars, guest talks, tasks and discussion forums, which you'll access via our dedicated virtual learning environment. This is also where you'll find all key documentation, get course announcements and access extensive learning resources.
You'll be supported academically by Online Tutors, who will also deliver weekly webinars and facilitate the online forums. If you need assistance with anything that isn't directly related to course material, a dedicated Student Advisor team will be on hand to help. You'll also have access to Falmouth University's excellent employability service, RealWORKs.
You'll master key principles of experience design, spending 20 hours a week working on your craft. We incorporate optional face-to-face events for all our online students. There will be up to two per year and will typically run over weekends, to fit around your other commitments.
The assessment provides the course team with a means of offering tailored guidance alongside advice on how to progress knowledge and skills in key areas that relate to the Course Learning Outcomes. The course team will identify your strengths and weaknesses as an individual and discuss them with you throughout your time on the course.
Assessments are 100% coursework, submitted in an electronic format to the virtual learning environment, and designed to reflect professional practice. Assessment methods include:
Dedicated easy-to-use virtual learning environment (VLE)
Study alongside students from around the world
Accessible online audio / visual content
Optional face-to-face events*
Invitation to attend alumni events
24/7 access to Falmouth's extensive online library of contextual books, journals and resources
Access to online software tutorials at LinkedIn Learning
Students' Union community
A Student Advisor to support you throughout your studies and access to our Student Support Services
Access to our Careers and employability service RealWORKS
*Please bear in mind that the Covid-19 pandemic may impact these events.
How to apply
An honours degree or Level 6 equivalent qualification is desirable. However, candidates without a degree or formal qualification are still encouraged to apply. If you'd like to discuss our entry requirements, speak to an advisor.
For more information regarding equivalent international qualifications and Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) either request information with our easy online form or read about it on our apply page.
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to demonstrate English language skills that are sufficiently developed for the successful completion of your studies. We accept a range of recognised English language qualifications that are equivalent to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic minimum score of 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
This course has three intakes per year: January, May and September.
We are currently taking applications for September 2021. The application deadline for this intake is 31 August.
Academic start date*
20 September 2021
31 August 2021
24 January 2022
10 January 2022
1 June 2022
11 May 2022
*Virtual Welcome Week begins the week before the academic start date. During this time, our Student Advisor team will host Welcome Webinars and be in touch with practical information on how to study online.
Online tuition fees for courses commencing in 2021
Tuition fees for the academic year 2021-22 for new online students from September 2021 onwards:
MA / MSc course, 2 years part-time: £11,300 total fee (incl. acceptance fee)
PGDip course: £7,600 total fee (incl. acceptance fee)
Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible.
Early Bird discount
An Early Bird discount is available for early applications. The scheme offers a £300 MA / £150 PGDip tuition fee reduction if you apply by 26 July 2021.