MA Interaction Design
The MA Interaction Design brings together candidates from a range of fields including design, art, computer science, psychology, sociology and business, and prepares graduates to play a leading role in the development of emerging technology in society.
What to Expect
The MA Interaction Design is a one year full time taught masters delivered in NCAD. The course teaches fundamental approaches, methods and tools related to the design of digital products, experiences, systems and services with a focus on users and context of use. The MA is studio-based with students engaging in lectures, seminars, workshops, fieldwork and independent and group projects. The studio environment is an essential component, fostering collaborative and peer-to-peer learning. The programme focuses on the inter-disciplinary nature of Interaction Design, covering topics ranging from human-computer interaction and psychology, to product design and experience prototyping. The course is underpinned by a deeply human-centred design approach. Through a range of studio projects students learn to conduct designerly research, extract meaningful insights, create and visualise concepts, and develop and evaluate prototypes in context. Covering the theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline, the course encourages students to design from both a pragmatic and speculative perspective, to imagine things as they might be and not necessarily as they are. During the first and second semester students develop knowledge and skills in areas including user experience (UX), user interface design, design ethnography, service design, coding, physical computing, augmented and virtual reality, systems thinking, data visualisation, prototyping and digital fabrication. Each year the students collaborate with the MSc Medical Device Design students on intensive real-world briefs. Over the summer students complete a self-directed major project and dissertation.
Opportunities to Engage
Based in Dublin city centre, the hub of Ireland’s rapidly growing technology sector, the MA offers exciting opportunities for students to engage with industry, extending their existing skill set into new territory. Students are exposed to a broad range of topics and real-world contexts through industry projects and engagement with design practitioners and visiting academics. Through project work students engage in fieldwork connecting with the local community, businesses and organisations. Student work is exhibited through work-in-progress shows. In addition to this, students are encouraged to display, implement and evaluate their work beyond the college in appropriate settings. Students are also supported to prepare publications to contribute new and relevant knowledge to the academic community.
The MA Interaction Design is jointly coordinated by Dr Emma Creighton and Dr Marcus Hanratty. Lectures, workshops and studio projects are lead by faculty members across the School of Design. A key component of the course is the delivery of intensive master-classes, studio projects and lectures by leading practitioners and academics in the field throughout the course of the year.
Dr Emma Creighton, BDes MSc PhD
Emma lectures on the MA in Interaction Design, the BA in Product Design, and the BA in Inter-action Design. Emma has been a researcher within the institute on a number of EU FP7-funded projects including the Task Furniture in Education (TFE) project and Practice Based Experiential Learning Analytics Research and Support (PELARS) project. Emma holds a BDes in Industrial Design and an MSc in Interactive Media and lectures across Interaction and Product Design. Emma’s research interests relate to the design of technology enhanced plat-forms for open-ended and free play.
Dr Marcus Hanratty, BDes, MSc, PhD
Marcus holds a degree in Industrial Design from NCAD, and an MSc and PhD from Loughborough Design School. After working in varied design fields in a research and design capacity, he now lectures in Interaction and Product Design in NCAD. His research focuses on the role design and technology play in shaping people’s behaviours, with a particular interest in Design for Behaviour Change and the role of emotion and wellbeing in design. His research activities are inherently interdisciplinary, but are led by a belief in the power of design practice and the designed artefact as agents of change and learning.
After Your Degree
The MA prepares graduates for careers in industry, independent design consultancy, start-up venture, creative practice and academic research. With the skills to develop design solutions related to web technologies, software, physical products, systems, services, environments and installations, graduates have a wide range of local and global opportunities available to them. Recent graduates have gone on to work as Interaction Designers, UX Designers, UX Researchers, Service Designers, Product Designers and User Interface Designers for companies such as IBM, Frontend, Fjord, Daqri, Ryanair, Workday, Verizon Connect, SilverCloud, Radii, among others. The School of Design actively participates in the EU-funded Erasmus+ programme, which offers recent graduates the opportunity to avail of internships in high profile design companies within the European Union. Students are also supported to progress to PhD level.
The programme is open to graduates with an Honours degree award of 2.2 or higher, or an equivalent academic or professional qualification across various disciplines including design, art, the humanities, social science, computer science, engineering and business. The college also takes into consideration prior learning and experience. Students who have not been educated through English must show proof of achieving IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 in the writing section on the Academic Version) or an equivalent score in another recognised English language assessment.