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Overview

The Master of Design provides new skills for industry leaders of tomorrow. The degree will introduce you to the principles of design-led innovation, strategic design and leadership, and design research methods, equipping you with the ability to lead by design in challenging environments and global economies.  

Learn how to apply design processes to tackle complex problems, develop strategies for innovation and devise practices that lead to a strategic advantage in the market. You’ll be engaged in both analytical and creative thinking, and acquire broad skills in communication, information literacy, inventiveness and critical thinking.  

At the master’s level, this degree can be taken over 1.5 or 2 years respectively. You can also elect to specialise in only one area:

The program can also be taken at the level of:

Commonwealth Supported Places

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for postgraduate study for eligible domestic students. This means that your course fees are subsidised by the Australian Government and you pay a student contribution amount (SCA). CSPs are limited in number and are allocated based on academic merit.

Subject areas
Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your entry requirements

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Closing dates

Semester 1 - 11 February of the commencing year

Semester 2 - 15 July of the commencing year

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Closing dates

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year

Semester 2 - 30 June of the commencing year

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines may apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

What you'll study

This program includes foundational core units, advanced core units, capstone units in Design Innovation and Strategic Design, and electives you can take with different faculties. In your capstone project, you can focus on either Design Innovation, which covers the use of design methods for creating human-centred products, services and systems; or Strategic Design, focusing on designing products, services and systems that achieve social, environmental or commercial goals. Your choice of capstone specialisation will determine whether you graduate with a Master of Design (Design Innovation) (Strategic Design) or a Master of Design (Strategic Design) (Design Innovation).

Download an indicative course progression table for the Master of Design (Design Innovation)(Strategic Design).

 

Units of Study

Completion requirement

You can take either or both specialisations, over 1.5 or 2 years respectively. We also offer this program in part-time mode to meet the needs of students already working in the industry. 

You may also choose to exit with a Graduate Diploma after completing 48 credit points or with a Master of Design in a single specialisation after completing the relevant 72 credit points. 

Capstone (compulsory project)

In the Master of Design double degree, you are able to further develop your skills through suite of capstone units. These units explore industry- or research-based design problems or situations, and enable you to interact with professionals and real-world problems from the design industry. The capstone units will allow you to specialise in a particular area or topic. You can also choose to complete your capstone research project along with a Design Dissertation to gain deeper knowledge of research and practice in research methods.

You should select one of three combinations listed below:
 
Combination 1: Students wishing to focus on research should select:
(i) DESN9203 Design Research Project as a Capstone unit; and
(ii) DESN9204 Design Dissertation OR two electives.

Combination 2: Students wishing to focus on industry should select two of the following: 
(i) DESN9201 Design Innovation Catalyst as a Capstone unit;
(ii) DESN9202 Designing Innovative Business Models;
(iii) 2 x 6-credit point elective units.

Combination 3: Students wishing to combine a research and industry focus should select:
(i) DESN9203 Design Research Project as a Capstone unit; and 
(ii) DESN9201 Design Innovation Catalyst OR DESN9202 Designing Innovative Business Models.

Assumed knowledge

No previous experience or knowledge in design is required.

Admission requirement

Available places will be offered to qualified applicants in the order in which complete applications are received, according to the admissions criteria listed below.

  • a bachelor's degree from the University of Sydney or an equivalent qualification with a weighted average mark of 65, or
  • completion of the requirements of the embedded graduate diploma with a weighted average mark of 70.

In exceptional circumstances the Dean may admit applicants without these qualifications but whose evidence of experience and achievement is deemed to be equivalent.

To complete the double specialisation you must enrol in the 96-credit point degree.

Career Pathways

Graduates of the Master of Design (Design Innovation) (Strategic Design) will be prepared to perform roles in organisations that incorporate design skills, design innovation and strategic design into their ways of doing business. These roles include:

  • chief design officer
  • strategic designer
  • design manager
  • customer experience designer
  • innovation strategist
  • digital innovation director.

The world is changing, and university education needs to change too

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.