MA Interaction Design
Led by a people-centred approach, the MA Interaction Design programme teaches fundamental skills, methods and tools related to product, screen and service interactions.
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, experiences, systems and services with a focus on users 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 an essential component, fostering collaborative and peer-to-peer learning.
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.
The programme focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of Interaction Design, covering topics ranging from human-computer interaction and psychology, to product design and experience prototyping. At the core of the programme is a focus on the needs of people. Through a range of studio projects students learn to conduct people-centered research, extract meaningful insights, create and visualise concepts, and develop and evaluate prototypes in context. Covering the theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline, the course encourages students to design from both a pragmatic and speculative perspective, to imagine things as they might be and not necessarily as they are.
During the first and second semester students develop knowledge and skills in areas including user experience (UX), user interface design, design ethnography, service design, coding, physical computing, systems thinking, data visualization, prototyping and digital fabrication. Each year the students collaborate with the MSc Medical Device Design students on an intensive real-world project. Over the summer students complete a self-directed major project and dissertation.
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 industry projects and engagement with design practitioners and visiting academics. Through project work students engage in fieldwork connecting with the local community, businesses and organisations. Student work is exhibited through work-in-progress shows and a final exhibition. In addition to this, students are encouraged to display, implement and evaluate 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.
The programme is based in a dedicated Interaction Design Studio on campus. Students have access to the department workshop which offers a range of prototyping facilities including 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC as well as other college facilities such as the Edward Murphy Library and the National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL).
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.
Recent graduates have gone on to work as Interaction Designers, UX Designers, UX Researchers, User Interface Designers and Product Designers for companies such as Frontend, Fjord, Ryanair, Workday, and Fleetmatics. 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.
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.
The MA Interaction Design is jointly coordinated by Emma Creighton (BDes MSc) and Marcus Hanratty (BDes MSc PhD). 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 masterclasses, studio projects and lectures by leading practitioners in the field throughout the course of the year.
Emma Creighton, BDes, MSc
Emma holds a BDes in Industrial Design and an MSc in Interactive Media and lectures across Interaction and Product Design. Much of her experience is in the youth and education sectors where she has worked on projects for clients including the National Youth Council of Ireland, Dublin City Council Arts Office and Scouting Ireland. Emma has conducted research across several FP7 projects and is nearing the completion of her PhD which investigates the implementation of design learning within the second-level school context. Her additional research interests relate to the design of technology enhanced platforms for open-ended free play.
Dr Marcus Hanratty, BDes, MSc, PhD
Marcus holds a degree in Industrial Design from NCAD, and a MSc and PhD from Loughborough Design School. After working in varied design fields, he now lectures in Interaction and Product Design in NCAD. His research focuses on the role design and technology play in shaping people’s behaviours, with a particular interest in Design for Behaviour Change and the role of emotion in design. His research activities are inherently interdisciplinary, but are led by a belief in the power of design practice and the designed artefact as agents of change and learning.
Dr Marcus Hanratty