MA Digital Experience Design Frequently Asked Questions

How is this MA different from others out there?

Our MAs at Hyper Island are different from other MAs in two key ways: the content and the learning experience. You can find out here what the 10 Key Ingredients are in the new Digital Experience Design MA Programme. And you can find out more about our methodology (learning experience) here

Who is my programme leader?

Your Programme Leader is Lauren Currie, co-founder of leading Scottish service design agency Snook and recently named one of the UK’s top 35 business women under 35. You can find out more about her here

How is the MA programme structured and how much contact time will I have?

This MA is made up of 5 projects, which you will undertake at the school and an independent Industry Research Project. Each project will be delivered by an Industry Leader, with external guests and speakers. Each project lasts four weeks and every project is different. You always work on a real brief from a client, last year we worked with Future Cities Catapult, Vans, Adidas, The BBC and Future Everything.

The five projects are: Design and Creativity, Experience Design, Business Strategy, Understanding People and Managing Projects.

You will spend the first 6 months in intensive, full-time study at the School, followed by your Industry Research Project.

Which industry partners will we work with?

Industry Leaders are practitioners from industry who work with you throughout every project. We are working with agencies such as ustwo, Method, Dare, Snook and IDEO.

What is the Industry Research Project?

The Industry Research Project is a culmination of everything that you’ve learned during the school based period. This is your opportunity to design your own project based in the workplace. Do research, state assumptions and formulate hypotheses, test them, make conclusions, engage with other professionals, create something original and innovative, leave your mark on the industry. This is NOT a thesis! Your deliverable has to be presented in a manner appropriate to the professional context. You might want to submit a report or a suite of deliverables: presentations, videos, images, info graphics, audio recording or prototypes. As long as it meets the learning outcomes - it’s yours to own. You are encouraged to think big, think differently and think professionally. Explore examples from Katy Jackson and Mathieu Lacaze

What is the difference between Digital Experience Design and Digital Media Management?

Digital Experience Design is the first MA Hyper Island have designed specifically for a career. A design focused career.

Digital Media Management isn’t designed for one specific career, it provides a broad and varied introduction to different disciplines and graduates often go on to become strategists, account directors and project managers.

How many students are on the course?

We provide a unique learning environment at our school in Manchester and group dynamic is an important part of that. To ensure that all our students get the best experience from our MA programmes we have between 20 to 35 students on each MA.

Where are Hyper Island students from?

Our MA programmes are culturally diverse and students come to study with us from all over the world, with over 39 nationalities represented in our programmes in the UK.

Do I need to be able to code?

No. Basic coding might be introduced but previous knowledge isn’t a necessity.

I don’t know if I have the right experience for this course – what are HI looking for in an applicant?

We are looking for ambitious and curious creatives who believe in the power of design to tackle problems that matter. We are on the hunt for both designers and non-designers with a passion for exploring how design can change the world.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent work experience. Current applicants are coming from a diverse range of fields such as advertising, model making and music but all have a common focus of design. At Hyper Island, it's about attitude, potential and a desire to learn. We accept a wide range of people from all over the world with a vast range of talents, skills and experiences.

What is the qualification I will leave with at the end of the course?

On successful completion of the programme you will graduate with an MA in Digital Experience Design. We work closely with Teeside University who accredit and award the qualification to Hyper Island MAs. This is a globally recognized qualification and will help you to progress your career down your chosen path.

How different is the MA course compared to an MBA?

We think Jules Pieri, co-founder and CEO of The Grommet, answers this question well in this article on Design School vs Harvard MBA: which is harder?

Are there exams?

There is an examination and assessment process, but there are no formal exams in a traditional educational setting.

How does the application process work for MA Digital Experience Design?

The application process is simple and straightforward and can be all done on line. You make your application through the button on the course page, completing the form and uploading the relevant documents: your CV, degree certificate and English language certificate (if relevant).

You will then be invited to an online interview with the programme leader, this will give us the opportunity to find out more about you and for you to ask any questions you may have.

We also work closely with Teeside University, who will assess your application following your interview with us. We aim to let you know the outcome of your application within 2 weeks of your interview.

Where can I find out more about the programme?

Core 77 wrote a lovely piece about the course and you can contact Catherine McHenry, with any questions you have about the programme and studying at Hyper Island.

Do I need to submit a portfolio to apply?

This is not a formal requirement but if you have a portfolio we would encourage you to share this during the application process.

What equipment do I need to do this course?

The only hardware you will need is a laptop. The Adobe Suite is valuable but not a necessity.