Design Management MA 2019/20 entry

Course code:


Study options:

1 year full-time



Coventry University


September 2019
January 2020


Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 4321


In today’s competitive and rapidly evolving commercial world, businesses are looking to harness the power of creativity to develop innovation and new designs that leverage significant competitive advantage.

This Design Management course has a professional and practical focus. It has been developed in collaboration with leading professional design managers from companies including Imagination Ltd, Xerox (HCL), Cyber-Duck and Knight Design Innovation. They need leaders who understand the value of design and manage creative processes to achieve successful business outcomes.

From our 19th century origins as a design school focused on industry and manufacturing, we have produced design leaders and innovators in their fields; our graduates work in design consultancies and manufacturing industries worldwide. A recognised centre of excellence, the department of Industrial Design was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education in 2008 and the Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education in 2007.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Student experience

All the support you need, in a top student city

Course information

Managing creatives and the creative process in collaboration with other functional teams requires a broad skillset, including technical know-how and leadership characteristics.

Established techniques of leadership and management will be taught alongside access to the Faculty’s wide range of creative activities. Creative practitioners are increasingly being regarded as multi-disciplinary within the design industry. The course focuses on challenges and creative culture, as well as a deeper understanding of design processes, evaluation and expectations.

This course will involve a mix of creative design, management and leadership processes to equip you with the skills and expertise to lead effective creative design of commercial value within industrial, retail or service sectors. It is structured around the three themes of communication, collaboration and creativity.

Course Specification
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During the first semester, we’ll consolidate your knowledge of design, creativity and its contexts. We will explore creative and innovation methods, research methods, co-design practice, user-centred thinking and presentation. This will involve an intense learning experience of creative practice through projects set by external industry partners on associated creative design and design management courses.

The second semester is focused on design management techniques, established management methods explored first in a group and then in an individual project. Communication skills will be a major focus of learning. You will have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative group activity, normally associated with an external partner, engaging different specific stakeholder perspectives in relation to the design process, development of design feasibility and its communication. There will also be opportunities to interact with creative design teams and gain knowledge of their responses, challenges and creative culture, as well as a deeper understanding of, design processes, evaluation and expectations.

The final semester provides an opportunity to demonstrate your individual knowledge and skills by completing your major project, which will involve elements of research, proposal and application of design management techniques. It is expected that this project will be carried out in association with an external partner. You will be expected to maintain a log with an account of this collaboration with feedback on the outcomes of techniques adopted and partner responses. The structure of the log and report will involve a business plan, brief construction and negotiation, SWOT and other forms of analysis, methods employed, problems encountered and measures taken, and results analysis. Final assessment will involve an individual presentation.

This course includes the Professional Development module. Each of the participating postgraduate courses have an individually tailored version of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Global Professional Development module.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

In more detail...

  • Links with universities in Europe, Asia, China, North and South America provide opportunities to study abroad and gain an international perspective.
  • High levels of satisfaction among postgraduate ‘Art and Design’ students – 80% overall, compared with a sector average of 76% in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2016.
  • Specialist design studios feature drawing tables, presentation equipment, wireless internet access, supported by a dedicated print bureau for 2D outputs up to A0 size and the CSAD Art Shop.
  • Guest speaker programme makes use of our extensive links with specialists and current practitioners – with past presentations from Imagination, the top design company in the Design Week Creative 100, and Jaguar Land Rover.
  • Computing suites offer modelling, animation and analysis software, as well as graphic and word processing packages, including Alias, Maya, Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino, Vector works, RAMSIS and Jack ergonomics software. Visualisation is supported with software such as: Bunkspeed, Showcase and VRED.

Extensive workshop facilities include: state-of-the-art laser cutting, rapid prototyping, desktop CNC milling, 3D printing facilities, paint spraying, plastic forming and handcraft.

Your main study themes are:

  • Design innovation and collaboration: Creativity and innovation is fundamental to successful design. We will encourage you to adopt a holistic approach to design, encompassing user-centred thinking, technological and manufacturing concerns to develop innovative concepts that are internationally competitive, relevant and appealing. You will elaborate on design theory and processes, whilst engaging with skills in sketching, drawing and model making to generate visually articulate innovative solutions within the context of design.  

  • Design management: Design Management is the leadership of creative teams in industry either in specialist design companies or as a function within companies and organisations to deliver effective value producing solutions to clients or management objectives. To be able to do this, we will help you gain an understanding of: creative methods employed in a variety of design areas; how to undertake creative work personally and through co-design and team working; how briefs are agreed with clients or managements; how to discuss and negotiate with stakeholders from the other relevant professional areas to achieve optimum solutions against objectives.

  • Final major project: This is the final Master’s stage of the programme. Your project will be required to have sufficient academic content to provide an opportunity to apply many of the techniques and knowledge acquired during the previous modules of the course. The project must be undertaken in a rigorous, methodical manner that demonstrates a critical knowledge of the subject. You will be expected to plan, develop and apply strategies and methods of observation, planning, implementation and organisation, also involving an explanation of complex themes underpinning a research informed design brief, approaches for leadership, and recognition of challenges and opportunities. You will be required to independently manage the design phases of the project, then professionally present your design programme and defend your proposal during an answer and question session. The presentation will be accompanied by a comprehensive report and accompanying poster which will present the progress of the project highlighting problems encountered, solutions considered and justification of the final proposal.

The course is taught over one year full-time, starting in September.

You will have a base studio with your year group colleagues, which is where you can learn through design exploration, discussion, sketching and making. There will also be a series of lectures with associated seminars and workshop practical classes. In addition, your personal tutor will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice.

As well as our own experienced staff, design industry professionals may be working with you in your studies through lectures, seminars and discussions.

Practical group project work aims to ensure you develop your understanding and expertise, but also the essential communication skills you will need in professional practice to deal effectively with stakeholders including managers, marketers and engineers.

Presentations and role play will give experience of the development and interrogation situations; external industry practitioners will contribute to discussions.

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include practical or project work, tests, essays, presentations, posters and group work.

On successful completion, you should have knowledge of:

  • The processes required to practise as a professional in commercial, industrial and public sector environments, including the processes of management and business relevant to the applications of creative design leadership.

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Apply creative and logical thinking processes to the provision of design projects through demonstrated leadership and strategy and communicate ideas and intentions in the form of design drawings, models, essays and reports including visual/oral/audio and computer/video presentations.
  • Demonstrate an ability to lead teams through listening, understanding and considering each person’s point of view and influence through negotiation and appropriate communication towards positive and beneficial outcomes.
  • Apply organisational and planning skills through the appropriate use of management methods and relevant software.
  • Demonstrate an analytical and critical ability in relation to design application including the ability to undertake analysis to critically assess designed artefacts in relation to their creative outcome, historical, social, ethical, political, cultural, business and environmental contexts.
  • Critique the various means by which one can represent design critically assess the use of various 2D, 3D, and computer aided techniques in relation to their application.
  • Give vision, strategy and leadership to a team of creative designers.
  • Demonstrate an ability to deal with uncertainties and ambiguities and find solutions to complications, changes and events that occur in the process of effectively delivering creative solutions to relevant stakeholders.
  • Practise and evaluate the processes involved in group and in independent work, including both convergent and divergent thinking in the processes of observation, investigation, speculative enquiry and visualisation.
  • Demonstrate skills associated with professional practice; working in multi-disciplinary design and manufacture teams, time management, project management, professional level communication, self-promotion, interview technique, information gathering and use of information and communication technology as appropriate.

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 18 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 4 hours of tutorials each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 4 hours of medium group lectures and seminars each week.
  • Large group teaching: 10 hours of lectures each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20 hours of self-directed studying and practical work in your own time.

Coventry School of Art and Design has a multinational population and you will be working alongside students all over the globe.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA 2016/17)


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

Entry Requirements

A good 2:2 undergraduate degree or higher grade in a creative subject, management, business or related subject area.

A good 2:2 undergraduate degree or higher grade in a creative subject, management, business or related subject area.

English as a Foreign Language This course requires IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

A good 2:2 undergraduate degree or higher grade in a creative subject, management, business or related subject area.

English as a Foreign Language This course requires IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.



September 2019

£8,350 (per year)

January 2020

£8,350 (per year)

UK Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.



September 2019

£8,350 (per year)

January 2020

£8,350 (per year)

EU Scholarships

We're investing into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



September 2019

£14,000 (per year)

January 2020

£14,000 (per year)

International Scholarships

We're investing into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

EU student fees

EU nationals and their family members starting in the 2019/20 academic year remain eligible for the same fees as home students and the same financial support. Financial support comes from Student Finance England, and covers undergraduate and postgraduate study for the duration of their course, providing they meet the residency requirement.

For tuition fee loans

EU nationals must have resided in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that three year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

For maintenance loans

EU nationals must have resided in the UK and Islands for the five years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that five year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

Career prospects

Professionals capable of managing creative teams who can produce innovative new product solutions are increasingly sought after in the UK, Europe, the USA and particularly in the major developing economies.

Knowledge of both creative design and management processes is designed to prepare you for leadership and decision-making positions within product design agencies, manufacturing companies, design consultancies, research and development departments, research institutions and government bodies. Specific careers might include acting as a design team leader, design project manager, design researcher and design policy maker.

Professional enhancement is central to our ethos: there is a strong emphasis on the development of evidence-based decision making, high level leadership and communication skills. This is the reason we also encourage collaboration with industry practitioners and work on ‘live’ project briefs.

Our Creative Futures employment team is on hand to offer tailored career and enterprise support if you wish to gain employment or take advantage of professional practice opportunities within course specific industries. It provides specialist careers information, advice and guidance to all our students from their first year through to final year and beyond graduation, helping them achieve their desired career outcome. Our dedicated enterprise officers also offer valuable assistance on how to begin as a freelancer/entrepreneur.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University's Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Where our graduates work

Our graduates can be found working with top UK and international design-led companies: DCA in Warwick; Cambridge Consultants; PDD and Seymour Powell in London; Kinneir Dufort Design Ltd in Bristol; Princess Yachts; GE; Dyson; VAX; Ryobi; WPP; Lego; JMDA; Jaguar Land Rover and many other household names.


By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. A copy of the 19/20 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the University will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University.

The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the webpage and in the prospectus will apply. If the duration of the course is longer than one academic year, the University may increase the fee for each subsequent year of study but any such increases will be no more than inflation.

Coventry University ranked 15 in the UK
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year for student experience
QS Five Star Rating 2019
Coventry City of Culture 2021