MA Design for Interactive Art & Experiences

Postgraduate, Full-time

Design for Interactive Art & Experiences MA

Explore new and emerging methods for prototyping experiences and products for design and visual arts.


The MA Design for Interactive Art Experiences will allow you to examine rigorous design and visual arts principles in the creation of interactive and responsive environments. You’ll work with digital fabrication methods such as 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC milling, and apply programming for digital media software and hardware.

Part of the MA/MFA Design Suite, the course benefits from bringing together designers from a range of disciplines into core modules as well as modules specific to your chosen pathway, such as 'Sketching and Prototyping in Hardware & Software' and 'Design for Heritage & Culture'. 

All students complete the Live Project and you’ll study 'Thinking: Research for Creative Practice', which will help you to determine your Dissertation (MA and MFA) and Major Project (MFA) topics. 

Student exhibiting at Edinburgh Napier University Degree Show 2018

Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time)


1 years

Start date:


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Course details

This programme suite aims to develop your interest in, and knowledge and understanding of, design and the visual arts, to enable you to: 

  • Demonstrate knowledge that covers and integrates the key elements, boundaries, terminology and conventions associated with social, cultural, critical and technological aspects of design and the theory and practice of ideas development 
  • Use a significant range of the principal professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with the design and the visual arts 
  • Critically initiate imaginative, innovative and creative design and creative concepts through analysis and reflective practice in creative environments 
  • Use communication and negotiation skills in the proposal of solutions to peers and user groups with different levels of knowledge or expertise 
  • Undertake autonomous and collaborative work in a variety of design contexts including graphic design, lighting design, interaction design, product design and making, heritage and exhibition design. 

The programme is supported by the whole Edinburgh Napier design team who are actively engaged in research, knowledge exchange and/or consultancy work as part of the Art & Design Research Centre (ADRC), as well as professional practice with Andrew O’Dowd’s work particularly relevant to this specialism.

Andrew O’Dowd has a background in Electronic Engineering, Product Design Engineering and Interaction Design. Andrew’s professional work has ranged from developing responsive wearables for a contemporary dance performance to working as lead Digital Designer for Leaving Planet Earth at the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival. More recently his work has concentrated on audience/user experience design through spatial and personal interactions. 

Design for Interactive Arts & Experiences is a constantly evolving discipline where practitioners work at the intersection of design and computing, electronics, and new and emerging technologies. You'll study a variety of modules, including:

  • Sketching in Hardware & Software, where you’ll develop technical prototyping skills. 
  • Design for Heritage & Cultural Spaces, where you’ll work on responsive environments and interactive experiences for exhibition and display. 
  • Making as Thinking, you’ll work on prototyping interactive objects. 
You can choose Design for Makerspaces module, to develop making skills for entrepreneurial opportunities in circular economies, or the Light Art & Projection module in which you’ll explore ways to apply digital imaging and digital installations within responsive environments.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught The programme uses lectures, workshops, seminars, guest speakers and supported on-line learning in which core knowledge and understanding design are acquired and assessed in tandem with their specific application to your own individual projects.
  • note and pen Assessments Assessment is through studio modules where practice-based student output is collated as a portfolio presentation.
  • library Facilities All design programmes in the School of Arts & Creative Industries are delivered in studio learning environments.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:2 or above in an art & design or related discipline (architecture, creative computing & engineering design)

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient professional work experience within the industry.

All candidates are interviewed with a portfolio of creative work or technical/business projects. Applicants from overseas can be interviewed by teleconference with an online portfolio.

English language

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.


Graduates from this programme pathway can pursue careers in: 

  • interaction design
  • exhibition, museum and interpretation design
  • service design
  • installation art