Design for Change

Our programme develops critically conscious and socially literate changemakers, who have been immersed in the thinking, skills, and experience required to facilitate current and future transitions in ethical and ecologically sustainable ways; to become pioneers and leaders in the practice.

With our partners at the Institute without Boundaries (IwB) and through real client engagement students learn to apply the transformative capacity of design through the implementation of powerful, collaborative, contemporary design skills to achieve meaningful co-created solutions which enable progressive change in individuals and communities.

The MA responds to the great challenges of the present and future; social, economic, and ecological which all require new ways of thinking and new ways of doing. Strategic, ethical, radical, just, and purposeful, this programme offers new dynamic ways of engaging with our collective challenges.

What will I be doing?
- Employing complex problem solving and critical thinking.
- Learning and practicing contemporary and emergent design methods.
- Developing systemic understanding of social, economic, and ecological challenges.
- Working with external partners and stakeholders (civic and industry) on live projects.
- Managing and participating in local & international design workshops.
- Applying emergent design methodologies to individual and group challenges.

Subjects taught

What modules will I study?
An international collaboration, developed by two established centres of excellence, the curriculum is carefully crafted to allow students to both learn and apply models and theories of design strategy using real case studies with global significance. Throughout the process, students have on-going access to a large list of industry professionals, expert advisors, and faculty.

A major component of the IwB and the MA Design for Change are charrettes. These are multiple-day collaborative design and planning workshops inclusive of all affected stakeholders. There are a number of these charrettes throughout the programme.

Modules include:

Interdisciplinary Research Methods
Applied Design
Design: Context and Theory
Integrated Design Strategies
Communication Design
Professional Studies
Major Project

In term two there is the option for the MA students to travel to Canada to participate in the Toronto International Charrette. This is an annual Institute Without Boundaries event that brings together 200 plus students, faculty and industry experts from organisations around the world. The goal of each charrette will be for participants to design detailed project proposals that respond to the major themes of the current Institute Without Boundaries major project.

Entry requirements

Min Entry Requirements
Undergraduate qualification of 2nd Class Honours or higher at Honours Degree level.

Applicants may be considered provided they can demonstrate Honours Degree equivalence, which can be verified through our RPL (recognition of prior learning) process.

Some prior experience in a cognate discipline is desirable.
Advanced Entry Requirements
Entry to an advanced stage of the MA Programme is available via two pathways

(i) Successful candidates of approved Access/Feeder Programmes (AFPs).
(ii) Applicants may be considered for advanced entry through a combination of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and relevant Industry Experience in the discipline area.

Please contact IADT Admissions for further information on advanced entry.

Application dates

Application Deadline
2023 Applications are now open

IADT operates a rolling admissions policy for graduate taught courses, with decisions issued in 4 weeks after a submitted and complete application is received.

An application is incomplete until you provide all required items on the checklist (including the application fee, if applicable).

Generally, courses will remain open to applications until all places are filled.


3 Semesters over 14 months

Semesters 1-2: September 2023-May 2024.
Semester 3: September 2024-Jan 2025.

30 Credits per Semester.

Conferring for this programme takes place in March, after the final Semester


Fees IE/EU Students: €6,000
Fees International Students: €16,000

Post Course Info

Future careers
Graduates will be prepared to work at a strategic level across a broad range of sectors. Recent graduates are employed as service designers, design researchers and design strategists in a wide variety of sectors, in Ireland and abroad; tech companies, financial services, non-for profits; government organisations and their own enterprise or consulting service.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Evening,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider