Digital Interaction Design BSc (Hons)

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

Digital Interaction Design is all about being creative about how digital technology will affect our everyday lives. This doesn't just mean computers. Digital technology is almost everywhere - from mobile devices to intelligent clothing. You will study at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), part of the University of Dundee.  

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 Duncan of Jordanstone degree show
  • publicise your projects internationally

 

Learn more about DJCAD

For further examples of student work, staff profiles and news visit the DJCAD website.

Related Courses

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.

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 engagment 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.

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.

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

"DJCAD'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 requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Courses starting 2015

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 (eg 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 Your Country 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 AH
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
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
Other Qualifications
SQA
Scottish Baccalaureate
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL
Advanced Diploma
Welsh Baccalaureate
European Baccalaureate

Courses starting 2016

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 (eg 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 Your Country 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 AH
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
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
Other Qualifications
SQA
Scottish Baccalaureate
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL
Advanced Diploma
Welsh Baccalaureate
European Baccalaureate

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 2015
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
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.
EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
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.

We don't need a traditional portfolio of life drawing etc. (although this would be fine). Successful applicants have brought along photography, sketches, sound recordings, websites, computer graphics, videos, packaging design even clothing, furniture, puppet animations (not all of these, just a few each). If in doubt, please bring it along.

Yes. We are happy to discuss this if you have a good HNC or HND or equivalent in a related subject although we will also expect a more sophisticated portfolio of digital design.

This is a demanding course and before we put you through all that, we want to check that it is really the right course for you the interview is as much about you asking us questions, meeting current students and seeing the studios.

The studios will be your home for 3 or 4 years. They are sometimes noisy, sometimes studios, often messy but also beautiful exhibition spaces for the degree show. This is where you work together, make stuff and have fun outside of class too. Digital Interaction Design is a close community.

There are overlaps of course, but Digital Interaction Design is less about 3D modelling, digital animation and video (although we use video as a communication tool) and more about interacting with digital information, content and products and thereby interacting with other people.

If you dig a little deeper, you will find that they are all different. Certainly our equal balance of design, people and technology is pretty special. But please judge us by the quality of our students' work. 

Interaction design is a well-respected discipline, over 20 years old. Companies like Microsoft, Google, Nokia, Orange, the BBC and IDEO each employ many interaction designers. But it has only been widely recognised for 10 years or so, so we know that few if any of your teachers will have been interaction designers and that Highers/'A'-Level subjects haven't caught up yet.

Definitely not. Digital Interaction Design as a profession is very well mixed at senior levels too. We know dozens of world-class women interaction designers.

We recommend 'Designing Interactions' by Bill Moggridge as a broad introduction to the people: some techy, some arty and most in between. 'Digital by Design' by Troika is a collection of recent works that is playful, disruptive, functional and critical.



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