Digital Interaction Design BSc (Hons)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • School: Art & Design

Digital Interaction Design at Dundee

Interaction design is an exciting blend of product design, graphic design, computing and user research, but is a rapidly growing discipline in its own right.

 

Work by Calum Potter

Why study Digital Interaction Design at Dundee?

Interaction design is an exciting blend of product design, graphic design, computing and user research, but is a rapidly growing discipline in its own right. Here at Dundee it is closely related to product design, as part of a joint programme called ‘Social Digital’. Digital companies from Apple to Orange employ interaction designers in this dynamic and rapidly evolving discipline.

 

Did You Know?

  • Our partners in industry and research include Microsoft, NCR and Goldsmiths

Recent students' projects have included:

  • Ambient Alerts - for drivers to help diagnose faults with their vehicle
  • a social networking app for charities to recruit volunteers
  • ski slope cameras that film and send an edited video of each skier
  • an iPhone and scarf for people who cannot speak clearly
  • a touchscreen VJ's table for clubs.

What is so good about this course?

  • studios, labs and workshops with the latest technology, software and equipment
  • specialist staff with backgrounds in design consultancy, research, IT, ethnography, graphic design, sound engineering, computing and design theory
  • contact with our partners in industry and research
  • these include Microsoft, NCR, Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths, IDEO, okdeluxe and Crispin Jones
  • great career and placement opportunities
  • showcase your work at the Univiersity of Dundee Art, Design & Architecture degree show
  • publicise your projects internationally

 

Learn more about DJCAD

For further examples of student work, staff profiles and news visit the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design website.

How you will be taught

Key to the philosophy of BSc (Hons) Digital Interaction Design is an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning. This means that students are taught modules in both design and technology subjects. You will have technology lectures and labs alongside design lectures and product design studio classes. Staff on the course work closely with you to help you use a range of acquired skills through a carefully tailored programme of product design products. In Levels 3 and 4 you can tailor your individual learning programme through a suite of elective modules. The course aims to give you the space to be trained but importantly to build the kind of strong product design portfolio that employers are looking for.

Another unique feature of Digital Interaction Design is the close relationship that we share with the Product Design course at the University of Dundee. Facilitated by some shared modules you will have the opportunity to design great new experiences through physical objects and also begin to understand and develop digital interactions, which may be embedded within products or be screen-based.

How you will be assessed

Typically, assessment in the design modules is through designed interactions, services or products which are presented to the class. You are trained and encouraged to present in a range of formats in such a way that you are given a good grounding in graphics, media (web-pages, blogs, short-films) prototyping and verbal skills. In technology modules, assessment is through a mixture of coursework (technical reports), exams and team practical projects. Through this variety of ways of assessing we build your skills and confidence in the life-long skill of presenting your thinking and skills to an audience.

What you will study

Level 1

A foundation that introduces you to core design skills, people-centred research methods and design briefs across interaction design and product design.

Ways of Seeing (20 Credits: Level 1, Semester 1)

On this module you will:

  • develop visual practice and thinking in 2D for communication and problem solving
  • exprience a range of methods of 2D practice and expression through iteration
  • review visual practices used across design disciplines with a contextual purpose for application in Digital Interaction Design and Product Design
  • develop self-confidence in handling verbal and visual communication within a Social Digital context
  • respond critically to design related literature resources

Picture, Symbol, Icon (20 Credits: Level 1, Semester 1)

On this module you will:

  • develop basic skills relating to both screen and print based media
  • develop a range of visual communication methods in both print and web environments
  • develop an understanding of how 'tone of voice' affects communication
  • review ways in which information/media may be used in Digital Interaction practice
  • develop skills in collecting, identifying, categorizing and reinterpreting substantial quantities of media
  • develop self-confidence in handling verbal and visual communication within a Social Digital context

Ways of Making (20 Credits: Level 1, Semester 1)

This module introduces how we communicate our ideas in 3-dimensions. It will introduce tools and methods to understand how we make with meaning in the Social Digital domain and share these insights with others. You will be taught various physical prototyping techniques, with the aim of developing 3D sketching skills to develop both products and experiences.

Design Methods for Insight Gathering (20 Credits: Level 1, Semester 2)

This module investigates the principals of design practices in understanding people and their use of physical and digital technology. In this module you will

  • develop ways of recording and evidencing practice through observation
  • experience design research methods and evaluate the process
  • develop self-confidence in creative thinking and insight gathering
  • review practices used across design disciplines and place these practices in a Social Digital context
  • verbally present ideas and arguments to others

Introduction to Social Digital (40 Credits: Level 1, Semester 2)

This module will introduce you to practice-based design projects in both Digital Interaction Design and Product Design. This learning experience will give you the opportunity to decide which of the two areas you would like to study upon entering Level 2. In this module we will cover:

  • basic design techniques used in Digital Interaction Design and Product Design
  • the simple design process
  • key historic and contemporary agendas in both Digital Interaction Design and Product Design

 

Level 2

Designing Social Networks (40 credits: Level 2, Semester 1)

This module will introduce you to the role of design and digital technology in the development of social media. The module will give you the opportunity to become more aware of the effects that these new technologies can have on individual and group identity, interpersonal relationships and shared business and cultural activity. It will help you to develop a deeper understanding of how interactions around shared digital content can be designed to help build groups and communities.

 Data Visualisation (20 credits: Level 2, Semester 1)

The aim of this course is to provide you with the experience of developing professional applications, emphasising Human-Computer-Interaction from theory through to practical project experience with graphics in a socially challenging situation. Topics covered include procession, programming, animation, programming interaction, rich media, getting data from the web and engaging people.

 Prototyping Digital Futures (40 credits: Level 2, Semester 2)

This module covers conceiving, designing, prototyping and testing interactive artefacts and systems. You will:

  • explore emerging interaction opportunities among social, technology and artefacts
  • learn methods and techniques for understanding users' needs and desires
  • develop techniques and methods for concept generation
  • build paper prototypes
  • explore methods and test techniques

Physical Computing (20 credits: Level 2, Semester 2)

 

Level 3

Interaction Design - Physical Digital Products (30 credits: Level 3, Semester 1)

On this module you will gain direct experience of conceiving, designing, prototyping and crafting interactive physical digital products. You will

  • reflect on the cultural and social roles of physical digital objects
  • explore emerging opportunities between interaction design and product design
  • build, explore and refine the interactive behaviour of electronics and software
  • build appropriate interactive physical models incorporating electronic components
  • develop a hypothesis through the written word
  • write a cv and demonstrate good interview techniques

Social Mobile Apps (30 credits: Level 3, Semester 2)

This module will give you the opportunity to apply your understanding of user research methods, sketching and visualisation, design and prototyping in a Social Media context. You will demonstrate your critical understanding of the relationship between users, technology and community through blogs and written assignments. You will build your professionalism and contextual awareness through engagement with industry and external organisations.

 Alternative Futures 2 (30 credits: Level 3, Semester 2)

Select one of the following:

  • Research & Creative Practice 2
  • Design Enterprise 2
  • Made in China Part 2

 

Level 4

Elective modules - for example communication futures, a critical study of emerging social technologies involving a choice of academic, report or journalistic writing.

Personal Honors Project (90 Credits: Level 4, Semester 1 & 2)

This module aims to provide you with a platform for bringing together chosen elements that you have learnt so far in the form of a personal project. You will produce design outcomes to your own project brief, drawing on the knowledge and skills you have developed throughout the programme. At the end of this module you will have a refined online portfolio in preparation for graduation and will be in an informed personal position as a designer. You will exhibit your work at the DJCAD Degree Show and will have the opportunity to exhibit your work at New Designers in London.

The skills you will gain as part of this degree are in high demand in today's digital world. At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • prototype new interactions with digital technology
  • understand how to involve users and clients in the design process
  • use digital media to communicate your work
  • present your work and the thinking behind it professionally
  • work well in a team with people of different specialisms
  • be ready to help to change digital culture and the digital economy

Graduates from BSc (Hons) Digital Interaction Design have gone on to successful careers/further study in areas including:

  • interaction design
  • user interface development
  • web design and development
  • usability consulting
  • design ethnography
  • games development
  • video and media production

Our graduates have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • Atalanta
  • Global Energy Group
  • Nonsense London
  • Rockstar North
  • iON Digital Strategy and Online Marketing
  • Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design
  • Insights

Kayti Smith, Junior UX Designer at TUI Travel in London

"Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design's Digital Interaction Design course offered such a range of different projects to do that I felt prepared for anything when I graduated. It really made me realise what I did and didn't enjoy doing and essentially made me decide what I actually wanted to do when leaving university. As a result of the help I received from tutors and classmates, I grew so much as a designer. I am currently employed as a Junior UX Designer at TUI Travel in London, one of the world’s leading leisure travel groups, with more than 220 brands in 180 countries and over 30 million customers."

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

You have to obtain your qualifications at the first sitting of examination.

Courses starting 2016

Level 1 Entry

Qualification Minimum Grade Typical Grade
SQA Higher BBCC BBBB
GCE A-Level CCC BCC
ILC Higher BBBB
IB Diploma 30 points
Essential Subjects One or more from Art & Design, Product Design or other creative subject, a science or appropriate technical subject (e.g. mathematics, physics, computing, information systems) plus an appropriate literate subject (SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, ILC Higher or IB Higher level)
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HNC with B in the Graded Unit
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DMM
Advanced Diploma Grade C with ASL A-levels in appropriate subjects at BC
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-levels in appropriate subjects at BC
European Baccalaureate 70% overall with 7 in an Art & Design subject and 7 in a literate subject

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher BB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
GCE A-Level ABB
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher level)
Essential Subjects One or more from Art & Design, Product Design or other creative subject, a science or appropriate technical subject (eg mathematics, physics, computing, information systems) plus an appropriate literate subject (SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level or IB Higher level)
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country
Other Qualifications
SQA A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BB at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
European Baccalaureate 75% overall with 7.5 in an Art & Design subject and 7.5 in a literate subject

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2016
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2015 entry). Fees for September 2016 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2016.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine, BSc Medical Sciences and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.

Digital Interaction Design, Product Design and Interior & Environmental Design share core values: People, Place, Design and Technology.  We want to hear how applicants to the courses are interested in our values. The following recommendations will help in the preparation of your creative work portfolio for discussing with staff at interview.

Application Process

Based on the information contained in the UCAS application, selected applicants will be invited to attend an interview to present their creative portfolio and talk about their interests in our core values: People, Place, Design and Technology. We encourage all applicants to prepare their personal statements with their specialist discipline in mind.  Please note that it is also very important to select a Referee who will fully support your application. 

Portfolio Guidelines

We recommend you prepare a creative work portfolio that demonstrates quality rather than quantity of work. Be selective of your project work, showing ideas as well as finished artefacts or presentations.

We understand that by its very nature, creative work can be diverse. We consider all creative portfolio work including: websites, videos, blogs, computer graphics, sound recordings, things you have engineered, photographs, sketchbooks, posters, paintings, drawings, models, 2D & 3D prototypes you have made by hand or digitally drawn.

Creative work may also include inspiration or creation of music, dance, drama and poetry.

Digital Portfolio Guidelines

In order to prepare a portfolio for application through the Social Digital Pathway, we would like you to read the Social Digital Admission Guidelines which will be provided within the request to submit digital portfolio email.

Within your portfolio submission, we would ask that you evidence work that connects with our core values: People, Place, Technology and Design.   

Please select no less than 15 images based on the information provided below.

You can also provide us with the URL of your blog, website and any on-line folio of creative work. We can look at this as well as review your images.

Digital Portfolio Content

The main content of your portfolio will demonstrate aspects of your design process, a variation of the Design Council’s double diamond Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver. 

You will select how you structure your portfolio, either by projects or themes.  We would like to see your comments on our core values, either in the narrative of you annotations or project analysis.

Top tips

  • We suggest that your digital submission does not exceed 5MB
  • Create a contents page to structure your projects and demonstrate your skills
  • Make sure your images are clear, bright and a scale suitable to view online
  • Use a typographic font that is legible for online viewing

Digital Folio Submission Format

jpg, jpeg, gif, tiff, tif, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, pdf, png and bmp file types are allowed and each file size limit of 5Mb.

Movie files can be submitted providing links to youtube/vimeo or Quicktime movies.

Digital Portfolio Submission

You will be prompted by our Admissions Team to submit your digital portfolio (and answer a few questions in respect of your interest in studying art & design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design), via the University of Dundee Applicant Portal, thereafter, if required, we may contact you to arrange an interview in person or via Skype.

If you require further information on any aspect of the application consideration process or the undergraduate programme in general, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Interview

Selected applicants will be invited to attend an interview. You will be given notice to allow you to prepare your creative work portfolio and make any necessary travel arrangements.

Approximately 10 candidates invited to attend each interview session. You will be given a tour of the Social Digital studios/facilities as well as meet with current students across the three disciplines, individual interviews will take place thereafter. 

Some additional things to think about before Interview -Learning how to visualize your creative ideas is part of the course content, so if you lack a traditional portfolio, it is more important that you are able to talk with enthusiasm about what you do. If you've not been involved in structured creative project work, we want to hear what you have been doing: events, exhibitions or on-line forums you've engaged in. We really want to know why you want to study on the programme to make sure you have applied for the right course.

We look forward to meeting you soon and hearing what People, Place, Design and Technology mean to you.

  • From a People perspective, we all have different needs and we want to hear how you think your designs will make people’s lives better. Who would you like to design for? What problems did you notice that inspired you to redesign an existing product or devise a new one? What did you learn from prototyping and model-making? How did others respond to your designs? How did you resolve issues around form, aesthetics and ergonomics?
  • From a Place perspective, what types of environments interest you in terms of places of work, home or play?  Which artists, designers, architects and mavericks do you admire?  How do you generate ideas?  Which creative processes and skills do you like to use to express your ideas (digital, hand-made etc.)?  How do you relate to people and places when you develop interior ideas?
  • From a Design perspective, what designers or companies do you admire? Is there a period in design history that inspires you? What tools and techniques do you use in the design process that shows your skills? What aspects of the thinking and making process do you enjoy?
  • From a Technology perspective, you need to think and plan how you tell your story: tell us how you perhaps use open source code or deconstruct your computer. Are there tech trends that interest you, screen designs, human interfaces or social networking platforms? Have you worked with materials, structures or electronics to develop designs? Explain why you love working with technology and what got you started.

Practitioner’s perspectives:

Gillian Crampton Smith defines interaction design as “the design of the interaction between people and devices, systems or services. This interaction usually involves the ‘new technologies’ of computing and communications. But interaction design remains a creative activity - like architectural, graphic or product design. And it concerns the social value and cultural meaning of what is designed, as well as its functional efficiency and aesthetic appeal.”

Digital Portfolios - If you are unable to present your creative work portfolio in person, we offer submission of a digital portfolio and an interview via Skype as an alternative; however we strongly encourage all those invited to attend interview.  Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design have a digital portfolio submission format, which we will forward to you when necessary.

Application Decision

Based on your application/interview, a decision will be made and notified to you via UCAS Track.

If you require further information on any aspect of the application consideration process or the undergraduate programme in general, please do not hesitate to contact us.

djcadundergraduate@dundee.ac.uk



  Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Apply NowDigital Interaction Design BSc (Hons)WG24