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Master of Design (Research)

Queensland University of Technology

About the Course

Become a Master of Design by Research and add the necessary rigour to your design thinking.

The Master of Design (Research) is a unique interdisciplinary program at the forefront of design practice, design learning and design research, shaping the next generation of innovative design thinkers to question assumptions, push boundaries and use design research processes to tackle key challenges in health, sustainability and resilience, smart cities and civic innovation, and social enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Design is both the artefact and the process. We focus on both. Design-led innovation processes do not just produce tangible artefacts, but also innovative systems thinking and new entrepreneurial ideas to help us tackle society’s wicked problems. If you are as passionate as us in caring about a better future and subscribing to change for good, join the QUT School of Design in the Master of Design research degree program.

We set ourselves apart by three aspects. First, we subscribe to the double diamond approach that does not delve into development and delivery straight away; instead, it is preceded by two phases of reflective and critical discovery and refinement, which may lead to a collaborative re-definition of the problem statement.

Second, people come first, which is translated into a human-centred and participatory design approach that follows iterative cycles of observation, ideation, prototyping, and testing.

Third, design thinking also requires a certain type of research culture and sensitivity that the QUT School of Design offers. Our research culture entails emphasising in situ and empathetic people observations, action research, participatory design and experimentation, practice-led research, and critical and collaborative evaluations and refinements. Although aspects of design thinking are being implemented and applied under different names in many other areas, it is the Master of Design (Research) that offers you the confidence of a systematic and rigorous approach for creative innovation.

Develop a project to suit your interests. Past examples include:

  • sustainability and innovation in design
  • subtropical and experiential design
  • urban morphology and informatics
  • design for health and social inclusion.

For more examples, visit ePrints.

Why choose this course?

As a Master of Design (Research) candidate, you will be immersed in a vibrant, collaborative and cross-disciplinary research culture, supported to develop skills in design research, and follow your own research passion. You will work closely with and be supervised by School of Design researchers from six diverse disciplinary groupings (architecture, fashion, industrial design, interior design, interactive and visual design, and landscape architecture), who have a breadth and depth of expertise in design-led research approaches at the intersection of people, place, products, process and technologies.

A major strength of the program is that it offers theoretical and practical grounding in the latest innovative design research methodologies, tools and analyses, allowing you to develop advanced knowledge and skills relevant to your own specific area of research focus. Through a research methodology unit and seminars, you will be connected to other researchers in the QUT School of Design and the wider Creative Industries Faculty and exposed to the range of cross-disciplinary qualitative and quantitative methodologies used in a rigorous and responsible design research process.


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