find your perfect postgrad program
Search our Database of 30,000 Courses

Arts University Plymouth: Disruptive Design

Institution Arts University Plymouth View institution profile
Department Critical and Cultural Studies
Study type Taught


Plymouth College of Art has been granted full university status and formally recognised with the new title of Arts University Plymouth, following approval by the Privy Council. This makes us the City of Plymouth’s first specialist arts university.

The title of Arts University Plymouth signifies a change to the way that the world will see us, our position within the sector and the mobility of our graduates; but not a change in the way that we see ourselves or what we do. Arts University Plymouth will build upon the existing strength of our unique culture and incredible community; we have no plans to change the specialist focus of the work we do together. The name Arts University Plymouth will appear on our qualifications, making it easier for employers and peers to recognise that our students were taught at a leading specialist arts university.

In May we were awarded the Best Small or Specialist University at the 2022 WhatUni Student Choice Awards, coming top in a list of well-respected specialist UK universities, based on unbiased and honest reviews from students across the UK, in a category that highlights the quality of our provision as a specialist creative university.

This MA programme is unique in the UK. Its focus is on design that is transgressive, operating beyond subject silos and without borders. The subject focus of traditional design disciplines is dissolved, allowing you to engage with new thinking about contemporary issues and the local or systemic impact that design can have on the world.

Ethos As a global consumer society we currently use twice as many resources as the planet can sustain. How will designers continue to improve life experience within the planet’s means? This programme challenges creative makers and thinkers to propose new responses and solutions to such questions through design practice. Our MA Disruptive Design programme draws upon sustainable systems design to enable the cross-disciplinary exploration of ideas, proposing new concepts, problems, schemes and design proposals that will shape society and impact upon lifestyles. Working at the interface between physical and digital design processes, the programme encourages innovation with an understanding of contemporary shifts in sustainable, ethical and open design principles. Sustainability and ‘jugaad’ (frugal innovation) are critical dimensions of this programme.

Outline You will develop a critical framework that will enable you to assimilate diverse ideas, work with complexity and ambiguity, and respond to commercial demands. This is an ideas-driven programme, devised to assist you in developing a unique creative position in relation to product design and society. You will engage in design thinking and research-centred projects, developing conceptual thinking and visual literacies through iterative design. Taught delivery within the programme provides a mix of discipline-specific methods and cross-disciplinary approaches that can be applied across creative and commercial sectors. Our shared module structure allows you to develop a dialogue with creative practitioners across the Graduate School.

Supported practices This programme supports sustainable design, product design and system design practices.


Arts University Plymouth


Winner of Best Small or Specialist University at the 2022 WhatUni Student Choice Awards.

Voted as the top Arts University in the UK in the National Student Survey (NSS 2022). Overall student satisfaction is 81% at Arts University Plymouth, significantly above the national average of 76%.

Founded in 1856, the institution has been granted full university status and formally recognised with the new title of Arts University Plymouth following approval by the Privy Council, becoming the city of Plymouth’s specialist arts university. Arts University Plymouth is a specialist arts university offering a comprehensive range of undergraduate and …

View Profile

Scholarship Opportunity with

Are you a PG student at this University or have you applied to study a postgraduate program at a university in Europe? Tell us your plans and qualify for a £500.00 PGS Scholarship.

Click here