• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 or 24 months
  • School: Art & Design
  • Study Mode: Full Time+Part Time

MSc Design for Business

  • Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 or 24 months
  • Study Abroad: No
  • Study mode: Full Time+Part Time
  • UCAS: P060458
Students working on design project
Design for business workshop
TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework


Design has a transformative effect on the world around us. This impact cuts across culture, business, the environment and the economy. The MSc Design for Business will give you an understanding of this impact and how you can shape it. 

  • Learn to be an influential team player and develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
  • Blend of theory and practice see whole systems and approach design strategically.
  • Learn to exploit opportunities such as the circular economy model in the creative industries.
  • Get to grips with design thinking and see how it's used in business marketing, systems thinking in finance and sustainability.
  • Use frameworks for understanding the complexity of organisations.
  • Get new perspectives on strategy, innovation and design thinking.
  • Use design research methods to help understand and empathise with users.

This course encourages you to think outside the box and consider how you foster innovation within a business. There’s a good mix between theory and practical experience in collaboration with partners, such as the V&A Design for Business program.
I’ve learned a lot about leadership, coaching, entrepreneurship and how design thinking can change a culture within a company, and my internship in semester three gave me valuable insight in the business environment. I feel ready to enter the workforce and apply the skills I’ve learned.

Rebekka Merget, MSc Design for Business graduate

The Design for Business course gave me the opportunity to expand my network and apply learning in real world projects.

I've since been able to change my job role within the organisation I work in, due to the course and the new skills and abilities that I’ve gained.

Kim Anderson, MSc Design for Business graduate


Design for Business is about how design can change things for the better. Whether it’s culture, the economy, environment or business we’ll show you how.

Study in Dundee - the UK's first UNESCO City of Design

You will study in Dundee, a UNESCO City of Design, a city rich in design heritage, with thriving design industries and huge potential for the future.

V&A Museum of Design Dundee

We've developed the MSc Design for Business in parallel with the Professional Design for Business programme at V&A Museum of Design Dundee.

Our connections with the V&A Dundee along with other creative businesses and networks will give you exposure to influential employees and leaders.

A dynamic learning environment

  • A lively environment for developing dynamic designers, managers 
    and leaders of the future
  • Learn from an exceptional team of design professionals and researchers
  • The opportunity to be part of a growing international community building on the School’s excellence in design research, industry relationships and a highly connected creative culture
  • Knowledge and understanding of design management, enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • Practical design for business skills development
  • Frameworks for understanding the complexity of organisations
  • An ability to co-create and collaborate with multiple peoples and disciplines, enabling you to become an effective leader in a fast-changing world
  • New perspectives on strategy, innovation and design thinking
  • Professional mentoring system tailored to your specific project(s)
  • Optional placement with a professional business/organisation to undertake a major project

We have a proven record in producing design students of the highest calibre and are number 1 in Scotland for Art & Design (The Complete University Guide, 2018). The University of Dundee is also Scottish University of the Year 2017*.

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

Understanding the value of design for business requires insight into the theoretical aspects as well as how it works in practice.

During my formative years as a postgraduate student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design I was taught how to understand and articulate both.

Dr Saskia Coulson
DJCAD graduate and Design for Business Innovation Researcher researcher, V&A Dundee

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

The MSc Design for Business programme is timetabled for full-time study over 12 months, or negotiated part-time study over 24 months.

How you will be taught

The course comprises:

  • Project Briefs
  • Workshops
  • Design Sprints
  • Lectures
  • Invited Speakers Programme
  • Placement (optional and if appropriate to the student’s learning journey; maximum of 12 weeks).

You will also be encouraged to engage with Design Festivals (e.g. London Design Festival, Dundee Design Festival), business enterprise opportunities and competitions, and entrepreneurship masterclasses.

How you will be assessed

  • Assessment will be through the completion of coursework produced for each module
  • Coursework may include practical work, placement, written assignments and oral presentations


Learn how to be an influential team player, a leader and develop your entrepreneurial skills 

Modules -Semester 1 and 2

DJ51032 - Accelerator

Semester 1: 20 credits

This module aims to accelerate students’ learning around the core values of the Design for Business programme enabling them to fast-track a collaborative and interdisciplinary community that will build a shared platform for understanding their learning journey through the programme.

DJ51036 - Changing Populations

Semester 2: 20 credits

In this module, students will learn about people’s lives, their changing capabilities and experiences in the context of design. Students will also be introduced to different design research methods to help understand and empathise with the people for whom they are designing.

DJ51038 - Leadership and Culture

Semester 1: 20 credits

Students will gather new theoretical and practical understanding of design management and what it means to employ design as a strategy for transformation in organisational contexts. Students will gain a deep understanding of how design and its use of creative methods, can inspire business and motivate culture.

DJ52010 - Prototyping: Insights to Innovation

Semester 1: 20 credits

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the “conventional” and “unconventional” use of prototypes and methods of prototyping in academic and commercial practices and to be able to differentiate the two in problem finding/solving situations.

DJ52040 - Business Enterprise & Entrepreneurship

Semester 2: 20 credits

In this module, students will undertake futures thinking, service innovation proposition and apply the contemporary notion of strategy and scenario planning to identify opportunities, and develop the skills to support social, economic, cultural and-or environmental transformation(s) in business. They will actively learn about models of basic business enterprise acumen, such as; marketing and media, management, planning, customer relationship management, organisational performance and growth.

In this module, students will be introduced to Marketing and the wider environment, consumer behaviour and how to design and communicate customer-led brands and business ventures internally as well as externally through all marketing channels, e.g. advertising, PR and digital media. The module can be delivered in close collaboration with the School of Business (BU52008 - Marketing Management and Strategy). 

Semester 3

Semester 3 provides students with the studio environment or the chance to gain a placement with a professional business/organisation to undertake a major project in an area of professional interest chosen by them. Students will demonstrate their ability to realise a project to Masters Level either within their studio practice or placement. 

DJ52031 - Studio Practice: Independent project

Semester 3: 60 credits

Students will demonstrate their ability to self-manage their own learning and to design and develop a highly resolved design that explores and harnesses socially relevant and meaningful responses. This module will help students to position themselves for a professional career in design and management within contemporary industry sectors.

DJ53014 - Master's Placement

Semester 3: 60 credits

This module aims to enable students to contextualise the theories, principles and concepts learnt during the Master's programme and apply these in a real world setting.  The opportunity to undertake this module will be subject to negotiation and agreement with the Programme Director. Note that the work placement is unpaid as this is a credited component of the degree.

Graduates could go on to successful careers within professional design and/or management organisations, business enterprises, leadership and management roles in the private, public and voluntary sector, or further their academic study.

Designing for business requires innovation and a rigorous approach at the earliest stage of concept development. I received industry sponsorship from the V&A of Design Dundee to undertake a PhD and also undertook a placement with their organisation. This has given me direct insight into unique organisational practices within a dynamic creative environment.

Dr Jo Bletcher
DJCAD graduate and Design for Business Innovation Researcher, V&A Dundee

Honours Degree at 2.1 or above in an Arts, Humanities, Social Science, or Management related discipline. Applicants with other qualifications or relevant professional experience will also be considered.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5
Listening 6.0
Reading 6.0
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.0

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

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 statusFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £7,300 per year of study
Rest of UK students £7,300 per year of study
International students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study
Fee statusFees for students starting 2020-21
Scottish and EU students £7,650 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £7,650 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
International students (non-EU) £18,150 per year of study
See our scholarships for International applicants

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students will increase by no more than 5% per year for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

Postgraduate Students Allowances Scheme 

Scottish and EU applicants for this course may be eligible for a PSAS tuition fee loan

As part of the application process, you are also required to submit a proposal for an innovative design or business idea. It will be requested on receipt of your UCAS application.

Consider the following, when developing your proposal:

  • What is the business or design idea that you want to propose/sell/implement? It could be a product, service, a strategy or a solution to a design or business problem.
  • Justification: Why do you think it is relevant? Who is your audience?
  • What is your strategy and what role could design play in helping you achieve your goal?

You are free to present your idea in a video (2 - 3 mins) or in text/image format (2 - 3 pages). It should convince us of your ability to present a complex subject matter supported by appropriate materials, which may include references, objects; images; visualisations; drawing; writing; etc. Make sure that your proposal is your own work.

You apply for this course through our Direct Application System, which is free of charge. You can find out more information about making your application when you click Apply Now below

  Degree Course Code
Apply nowDesign for Business MScP060458

Course Contact

Ms Sharifa Latter
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design
+44 (0)1382 381926