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

Design for Business MSc

  • Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 or 24 months
  • Study Abroad: No
  • Study Mode: Full Time+Part Time
  • UCAS: P060458
design for business
design for business
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.

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*.

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

  • There are no examinations associated with this programme,
  • 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 

Semester 1

Semester 1 will cover core skills for people, design and management and modules will be delivered in three 4 week blocks, consisting of the following:

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 1: 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.

Semester 2

Semester 2 enables students to evaluate their skills and design ability in the context of a Research & Development (R&D) project. The following modules will be taught in the conventional pattern of delivery over 12-weeks:

DJ52010 - Prototyping: Insights to Innovation

Semester 2: 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.

DJ51036 - Changing Populations

Semester 2: 40 credits

In this module, students will undertake futures thinking to identify opportunities, and develop the skills to support social, economic, cultural, environmental and business transformation(s). They will actively learn about models of basic business enterprise acumen.

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. To help kick-start their projects, the module will be frontloaded with group activities closely aligned to Design for Business service and events at V&A Museum of Design Dundee.  Students will have the option to choose one of the two modules below.

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 2018-19
Scottish and EU students £6,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £6,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Overseas students (non-EU) £16,450 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants

Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Funding

This is an initiative from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) designed to support key sectors in the Scottish economy to develop a high-level skills base, the University of Dundee is pleased to offer 60 fully-funded places to eligible students across ten taught postgraduate programmes.


Only those UK/EU students who have been resident in Scotland or the EU for the preceding three years and not for the purposes of study are eligible for this funding.


This funding covers the full tuition fee cost for your chosen programme of study.  You can study one year full time or two years part time on selected programmes.

How to apply

There is no formal application to complete, when you apply for your chosen programme please indicate on the UKPASS application form that you would like to be considered for the SFC funded places.   If you have not indicated this scholarship on your UKPASS application if you meet the eligibility criteria your application will automatically be assessed for this funded place.

Funded places will be awarded competitively to applicants with the strongest applications in the judgement of the programme leaders. This will principally be based on a student's prior academic performance, but equivalent work experience may also be taken into account. 

As part of the application process, you will be required to submit a filmed 3-minute pitch on a design or business idea.  This will be requested via University of Dundee Applicant Portal, on receipt of your UKPASS application.

You apply for this course via the UCAS Postgraduate (UKPASS) website which is free of charge. You can check the progress of your application online and you can also make multiple applications.

You'll need to upload relevant documents as part of your application. Please read the How to Apply page before you apply to find out about what you'll need.

  Degree Course Code
Apply NowDesign for Business MScP060458

Course Contact

Dr Louise Valentine
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design
+44 (0)1382 384036