MFA Design provides a research-led learning environment and context that offers the opportunity for an individual to develop and advance their specific making, research and design skills at Masters level.
The course supports a range of disciplines including ceramics, graphic design, illustration, jewellery, interaction design, silversmithing and textiles and creates a challenging, supportive environment, where each student is asked to push the boundaries of their current thinking, explore new possibilities, engage in the current debates surrounding design and through this become advanced specialists in their own practice.
Students engage with external organisations, companies and individuals through specific projects, their peers through team projects, and where relevant, students are encouraged to pursue multidisciplinary and cross disciplinary work – solely or in collaboration with fellow students within the wider University or reaching out to external partnerships. Staff are research active, experts in their fields.
MFA Design responds to continuing changes in contemporary design practice and challenges the perceived boundaries between the many and varied recognised art and design disciplines.
The course currently supports the areas of: Ceramics, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interaction Design, Jewellery, Silversmithing, and Textiles.
The course supports a range of design disciplines and students. This richness of knowledge and experience of academic and technical staff enhances the student experience on the program, and opens up additional possibilities for collaboration and innovation, whilst maintaining the rigour in technical, research and development skills required of a masters student.
The course is focused on the attainment of advanced, sustainable, skilled practice through research, which is made possible through the technical and specialist facilities available within Belfast School of Art. The course retains the emphasis of entrepreneurship which was a unique strength of the previous version of the program and is built upon tried and tested models developed in conjunction with NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) in recognition of the essential skills necessary for a successful, sustainable practice within the rapidly growing creative industries.
Through ongoing questioning and development during the course a student may identify themselves with a variety of outcomes such as;
Designer Maker – Leading to self employment, professional designer, setting up a SME
Design Researcher – Leading to PhD, research fellowships
Designer Leader – Leading to business leadership or Strategic Thinker within the creative industries.
Teaching and learning assessment
The course is delivered through a range of teaching methods. You will be taught in lectures, seminars, group crits, individual and group tutorials and peer feedback sessions. Due to the nature of art and design teaching, formative feedback is given on a regular basis, with summative feedback being provided in written and verbal form after each assessment. You will work independently, and engage in both practical and written research. Access to discipline specific workshops will be available to enable you to develop, experiment and produce work.