Programme Schedule 2024/25

The MTD (Human-Centred Design) is a one-year full-time coursework-based Master programme. It comprises eight courses (96 credits): two core design courses and six specialised courses, organised as follows:

Term 1 (Sep - Dec)

Course Title Credit Points Course Type
Innovation by Design 12 Design Core
User Experience 1: Understanding Culture and Behaviour 12 Specialisation Core
Design Ethics 12 Specialisation Core

Term 2 (Jan - Apr)

Course Title Credit Points Course Type
Design Science 12 Design Core
User Experience 2: Human Behaviour, Technology and Design 12 Specialisation Core
Coding and AI for Human-Centred Design 12 Specialisation Core

Term 3 (May - Aug)

Course Title Credit Points Course Type
Management of Design and Technology 12 Specialisation Core
Human-Centred Design Project 12 Specialisation Core/Experiential Learning

Course Descriptions

Innovation by Design (Term 1)

The focus of this course is the integration of marketing, design, engineering and manufacturing functions in creating and developing a new product, system or service. The course will go through the different phases of designing a new product, system or service using the four Ds of the four-phase Design Innovation Cycle of "Discover-Define-Develop-Deliver". The course will focus on some of the critical success factors for new product development, with an early emphasis on design thinking. Students will be given a design challenge to complete.

Understanding Culture and Behaviour (Term 1)

When designers create something – whether an algorithm, a user interface, a technological device, a building, or a new urban plan – they actively intervene in the lived world of its users. This course provides students with the conceptual tools and analytical skills to engage with design, design thinking, and design processes as social and cultural phenomena. It introduces current and emerging ideas in design anthropological theory and practice and explores how sensitive, ethical, and innovative design relies on social, historical and cultural knowledge.

Design Ethics (Term 1)

This course offers a substantive engagement with the ethical dimension of design through three broad segments: first, introducing key concepts and questions in the interdisciplinary area between design and (applied) moral philosophy; subsequently, presenting controversial cases and precedents found in the areas of emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence and robotics) and/or key sectors (e.g., unprecedented artefacts, artificial systems and environments); and finally, concluding with a projective discussion on the future development of applied ethics in design.

Design Science (Term 2)

This course introduces students to design science where many design principles and methods will be reviewed, applied and analysed. Students will learn to make connections between design science and other fields, such as engineering, and how principles in design science can be used to advance these fields. The class will cover a broad set of design methods such as customer needs analysis, methods in creativity, functional modelling, design for X and design for testing and verification.

Human Behaviour, Technology and Design (Term 2)

Human life and technology are intertwined. It is difficult for an average person to imagine going through one day without using any technology. However, human beings are efficient but imperfect information processors and decision-makers. Because of this, human behaviour and decisions are often marked by a systematic departure from logical, rational norms. This course examines how technology and design interact with, and change, human behaviour, and how human behaviour redefines the status quo of technology and design. For example, the influence of technology use on memory, emotion, and well-being will be examined. The influence of human cognitive capacity on technology design will also be included in the course.

Coding and AI for Human-Centred Design (Term 2)

The ability to deploy and understand AI tools is an increasingly important skill in User Experience research. This course introduces basic-to-intermediate coding languages (such as Python or R) and their use in machine learning applications for user experience research.

Management of Design and Technology (Term 3)

This management course is organised around three different perspectives on organisations: the strategic design perspective, the political perspective, and the cultural perspective. Each of them offers a different angle on what is an organisation, and each perspective suggests different "tools for action". Some of the psychological and social processes that are at work in organisations will be discussed. Students will gain an insight into the strategic design, political, and cultural perspectives of management in a design and technology organisation and examine the implications of these insights to understand the prospects and challenges of managing design and technology development. This course provides special tools for the management of technology-based projects, including topics such as R&D, innovation, markets, risk and safety, and sustainability.

Human-Centred Design Project (Term 3)

Led by faculty and industry advisors, students work in teams to research the user experience of an existing product, technology, or software interface, before drawing on human-centred design skills and principles to propose how the product or technology can be redesigned to improve user experience.

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