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MA Design Innovation

  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start Date: September 2022
Do you have a passion for the field of clothing and material design? Do you want to become a pioneer in your industry? Our MA Design Innovation is a cross collaborative programme for Fashion, Textiles, Costume and Communication designers and aims to extend innovation in your sector and become a creative problem solver in three core themes of Sustainability, Digital Design and Entrepreneurship.
If you have a degree or relevant experience in the field of Fashion, Textile, Costume Design or Fashion Communication this course could be the right path for you. Stay updated with all our latest course news by following us on Instagram @bucks_fashion.
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Application guide

For information on how you can boost your career-prospects and apply for our postgraduate courses, follow our application guide.

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Postgraduate Open Days

Join us for a Postgraduate Open Day where you can discuss your options and chosen course with our course leaders.

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Fees and Funding

There’s a range of ways you can secure funding for your course, including sponsorship, scholarships and loans. And if you recently graduated from BNU, you may be eligible for a fee discount.

Why study this subject?

The creative world is full of exciting and rewarding opportunities. This course enables you to challenge or extend your professional practice to acknowledge and address the core themes that are changing the sector: sustainability, digital design and entrepreneurship. With your final research practice focussing on one area that aligns with your career aspirations.

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Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

With a history of delivery expert craft, art and design education for more than 130 years, Buckinghamshire New University is the perfect place to start your creative career.

We will make sure that you have all the skills you need to elevate your career. Using our specialist facilities and resources you will be able to explore your ideas and research to a high and professional outcome.

Our experienced and specialist team of lecturers are experienced designers, current industry practitioners and researchers.

As well as working on your own briefs, you’ll be able to work on industry-based projects with international companies and attend specialist workshops. All our students are invited to events with guest speakers covering a range of areas from fashion, textile and costume design, production, trend prediction, creative communication, visual merchandising and brand consultancy.

As a member of the British Fashion Council and access to professional platforms such as WGSN our students are supported by industry links to reach their potential.

You’ll benefit from a close-knit community with your fellow students, working within a cross disciplinary cohort to explore interrelationships from global, national and local perspectives. We’re also only 30 minutes by train into London, one of the world’s fashion capitals.

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What facilities can I use?

At Buckinghamshire New University we are extremely proud to showcase industry-standard studios, technical machines and high-quality equipment. Students have access to course-specific spaces to work, collaborate and create inspiring spaces.

In our professional working studio, you’ll have your own personal workspace equipped with the technology and machines such as;

  • 3D digital design programmes
  • Industry standard and digital knit facilities
  • Specialist technical support
  • Specialist construction resources and supporting workshops

You will master materials, both through traditional methods and using digital software. We also have specialist technicians on site to support and share their knowledge with you, when and if you need it.

What will I study?

This course offers you the opportunity to identify and develop new products, processes or ways of working to become a confident, creative and motivated innovator of design.

You’ll gain a broader awareness of global challenges from economic, cultural, sustainable and ethical perspectives to extend your intellectual, technical and professional skills, through input from industry professionals.

The modules within this course are aimed at providing professional designers and graduates across the fashion, textile and fashion communication sector the opportunity to enhance your research knowledge and practice in parallel.

Whilst working to your individual strengths, interests and future aspirations you will initially complete rigorous investigation and experimentation across 3 key areas: Digital Futures, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability.

Theoretical and philosophical understanding of these themes will be further explored in the contextual research module to consider entrepreneurial, ethical, sustainable or economic perspectives. Ensuring you can show evidence of higher-level design thinking and acknowledge how design innovation can be influenced by cross disciplinary and complex relationships between product, processes, culture, society and the audience or consumer. 

This leads into the second semester where your individual topic of research will extend one of the themes into a practical final project which then leads into your final research dissertation.

Throughout your time studying with us we will support your progression and we encourage you to engage with opportunities in the external professional sector.

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How will I be taught and assessed?

The curriculum combines theoretical knowledge to inform practical outcomes in relation to the three core themes of sustainability, entrepreneurship and digital design for innovation. You’ll have the opportunity to ensure your final research project reflects your interests and future aspirations. We also allow you to combine your degree with your own current work activities, making it relevant to your study and work life.

You’ll benefit from workshops, technical demonstrations and sessions, from our academic and our network of professionals.

The other assessment methods you will experience are:

  • hybrid learning of practical and academic elements
  • reflective and critically evaluative reports, sketchbooks, or artefacts
  • research portfolio
  • lecturers and seminars
  • presentations
  • self-evaluation
  • dissertation

Self and peer feedback during regular group and individual discussions is an essential element in the growth of ideas and practical development. Students will be expected, during critiques and other discussions, to display a critical and reflective approach to their own work.

Useful Documents

MA Design Innovation Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical applicant will have a degree or related experience in the field of Fashion, Textile, Costume Design or Fashion Communication. Students will be asked to submit an on-line portfolio of evidence to support their application and applications are welcome from candidates who do not hold formal higher qualifications but can show their prior experience through a portfolio and relevant industry experience.

Students will be required to work to a high level in both project development and design plus academic work. We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds and experiences, including international applicants with an interest in design innovation within their sector.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Sustainability Challenge

Digital Futures


Contextual Research Studies

Capstone Project

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023



Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023


The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects? 

After graduating from this Postgraduate degree, you will leave with the skills and knowledge to be a critically aware and logical thinking professional that understands existing and emerging forms of new technologies and ways of working to lead design innovation across the fashion and textile sectors.

As a hybrid professional with an awareness of how interaction with other disciplines can drive innovation, you may find your self in several different roles such as;

  •  Trend Analysis
  •  Sustainability Advisor
  • Intrapreneur – product developer
  • Research & Developer for fibres or product
  • AR Designer for film, stage or the metaverse
  • Digital Platform designer for fashion
  • Circular production analysis