Institution / National College of Art Design
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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 in conjunction with UCD. The course teaches fundamental approaches, methods and tools related to the design of digital products, environments, systems and services with a focus on users, experience 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 a key component of the MA, which fosters collaborative and peer-to-peer learning.

The programme focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of Interaction Design, covering topics ranging from psychology and sociology to human factors and engineering. Students learn to conduct people-centered research, extract meaningful insights, create and visualise concepts, and develop and test experiential prototypes. Covering the theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline, the course encourages students to design from both a pragmatic and speculative perspective.

During the first and second semester students develop theoretical knowledge and skills in areas including human-computer interaction, systems thinking, user experience (UX), user interface design, web design, design ethnography, prototyping, coding, physical computing, data visualization, digital fabrication and tangible media. In the second semester students also complete an Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation module delivered by UCD Smurfit Business School. Over the summer months students complete a major project and dissertation which can be either self-initiated or industry focused.

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 skillset into new territory. Students are exposed to a broad range of topics and real-world contexts through sponsored projects and engagement with design practitioners and visiting academics. Through project work students engage in fieldwork connecting with the local community, businesses and organisations in the creation of design propositions and prototypes, which are deployed and evaluated in context.

Student work is exhibited on campus through work in progress shows and a final exhibition. In addition to this, students are encouraged to test, implement and exhibit 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.

Programme TEAM
The MA Interaction Design is directed by coordinator Emma Creighton (BDes MSc). 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.

Entry requirements

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 accepted test.


1 year

Number of credits

90 ECTS credits

Careers or further progression

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. Roles open to graduates include interaction design, user experience (UX) design, product design, web design, usability engineering, user interface design, information architect, and design-led research. 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.

Further enquiries

Dr Marcus Hanratty

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