From apps and websites to connected products and services, Interaction Design is about designing the way people communicate and interact at home, work or play. Interaction designers explore the relationship between people and technology to design digital products, apps, user experiences and services. Interaction design is the fastest growing area of opportunity in design internationally, with fantastic career opportunities for graduates in Interaction Design, UX Design, and Service Design.
What will I study?
Studying Interaction Design at NCAD will enable you to develop your skills within a creative art and design school environment, underpinned by technical expertise and extensive links with industry. The small size of each year-group, coupled with close and frequent contact with the tutors, creates an informal yet highly effective learning environment. The curriculum exposes students to a wide range of topics, ranging from user experience (UX) design, to app and web design, to service design, to interactive digital products, experiences and installations. It is built around a core belief in human-centred design, with students developing the research and innovation skills that will allow them to design meaningful and desirable digital products.
The first year experience for BA students at NCAD begins with a foundational semester of interdisciplinary Art and Design creative practice and research. In the second semester all Design students undertake projects spent within selected de- sign programmes. This is to give you a working taste of your chosen discipline and/or those that you are interested in and would benefit from experiencing. The second half of Semester 2 introduces students to key processes and practices in your chosen design discipline, encouraging the creative and critical development of a personal practice and introducing fundamental disciplinary design and technical methods.
The focus in second year is on further developing key skills and knowledge within the field of Interaction Design. Projects focus on human centred design, app and web design, user experience (UX) design, service design, creative coding, physical computing and virtual reality. Coding and technology skills are taught from a beginner level to enable students realise compelling creative products and services during their studies.
Year 3: Studio+ & International
Studio+ is an optional year open to all Design students allowing you to engage with the world beyond NCAD by gaining practical work experience in the form of working within the NCAD Design Bureau on live commercial, social or community projects and/or undertaking approved internships and industry placements. Studio+ can also include a work placement abroad or a study abroad experience through the Erasmus programme with internationally recognised art and design faculties partnered with NCAD. Students who choose Studio+ will complete a 4 year BA Interaction Design or a 4 year BA Interaction Design (International).
In the final year, students are ready to develop their own programme of study, which reflects each individual’s skills and interests within Interaction Design. This will culminate in a substantial body of work for assessment and display at degree shows, exhibitions and events. Each year is supported by a series of lectures by leading creative practitioners and theorists, collaborative interdisciplinary opportunities, live industry projects, field trips, and study visits.
How will I be assessed?
Coursework, essays, practical design projects and assessments take place at key points throughout the year. Formal assessment results are issued at the end of each academic year.
A key component of your curriculum in every year is the study of Critical Cultures. This is where you study the connections between history, theory and practice in modern and contemporary contexts in order to become a critically engaged, reflective and effective practitioner.
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Opportunities after graduation
Interaction Design is one of the fastest growing areas in design and graduates have significant employment opportunities to work in design consultancies and also in the large range of multinational tech companies based in Ireland. Interaction Design graduates have a wide range of local and global opportunities open to them, working in areas such as interaction design, user experience (UX) design, app design, service design, web design, user interface design, and design-led research. Increasingly, graduates progress to further study at postgraduate level to refine their creative abilities and approach. The School of Design offers a range of innovative masters programmes, as well as a practice-based PhD programme.
Student & Graduate Stories
Linas Staniukynas , BA Interaction Design 2020
Design Competition Awards
- Winner of the Interaction Design / Game Design Judges vote at the ARTSTHREAD i-D Global Graduate Awards 2020 Project: Grace ‘Life is better with friends’
- Highly Commended at RSA Awards
- Finalist at Design and Art Direction Awards
Why did you decide to study at National College of Art & Design?
I enjoyed art in school, so I applied for NCAD. Disappointingly, I didn’t get in first time round. So, I did a portfolio PLC course and got in the following year. Being able to try out different types of art and design in first year helped me decide what I wanted to do. I thought I had zoned in on product design, but then we were told about a brand-new course called Interaction Design. It sounded like it combined a few of my interests.