Schools in UK

I have applied to the following schools in UK for their industrial design/product design masters program. other than CSM i dont know much about how good or bad these schools might be or any other information about the schools.
Can you please provide me with any information which might help me make a desicion.

Central St. Martians
Brunnel university
Birmingham City University
Sheffield Hallam



It depends on what you want. CSM, brunel and loughborough are all very good. Brunel is much more engineering based than the others, so there you will have to make working prototypes, electronics etc. If that’s not your thing I recommend you think more about the others.
The best thing you can do is visit the universities (are you applying from overseas?), talk to the students and have a look at the area and get a feel for the place. Sometimes, it’s not about the best university, but how you feel you’ll fit in. If you’d like to study in a big city like London or want to go to a smaller provincial university like Plymouth (based in Exeter). Location effects whether you’d live in halls with 25 people sharing a kitchen or in a house share with 4 other people and how far away you’d have to live and travel to get in to Uni each day. These things can sometimes have far more of an effect on how well you do, than the university you go to.
Also check out the student portfolios coming out of each Uni - online or at new designers etc as even if you haven’t studied design, you still get a feel for which are the best Uni’s pushing students to do the best work in the areas you’re most interested in.

Try and pm Travisimo as he might be able to add a bit more advice from his experience.

Thanks for the advice i think looking up student portfolios is a good option. Im applying from overseas but i think ill try and visit the schools before.

are u looking for specific MSc programs or would settle for MA too?. if MSc , ur choice is narrowed down to about 10, if MA, its woderful, there are arnd 30~40 imo.

im looking for MS this sept and got offers from bath and aston.

I visit Brunel often and have good connections at UWE in Bristol… not an expert at all, but I’d be happy to help

One other thing to do is to do a search on Coroflot portfolios and linkedIn for graduates and see what there’re doing - could be revealing about opportunities after graduation and student skill levels. You might be able to even get a dialog going with graduates and hear what they thought of their universities


I am open to both MA and MSc, These are the schools i have alredy applied to i live in LA so dont know too much about the schools in UK. Do you know of anyother good schools?

I went to the degree show at CSM last June, and I think the BA programme is much more impressive than the MA programme and most of my mates agreed. Just my two cents

I’ve actually graduated from both Loughborough and CSM so might be able to help. The good news is that you’ve got a good range of schools there - the other good/or bad! news is that what kind of designer you want to be should make the choice for you. Personally, I would discount Birmingham and Sheffield straight away as I know little about the courses and they aren’t in the same league as the others.
I would say that CSM is a good choice if you want to live in london, explore the more creative aspects of design (many students will be concentrating on furniture - if you want to work in product design on this course you’ll need prior experience or a lot of hard work!). However, you need to be very self-directed: like the Royal College of Art, you can quickly make yourself unemployable as a traditional product designer if you go too far down a conceptual, art or furniture path. The cool thing about both RCA and CSM is there is lots of emphasis on your final self-directed project and publicity is easy to come by (if that’s your thing).
Brunel and Loughborough are similar, much more of a traditional engineering bias, though Brunel’s design strategy course is highly regarded. The MA course at Loughborough was not well thought of when I was there - and Loughbrough is also a small town - not the buzziest place in the UK. I’d imagine that these courses are the ones where you’ll get the closest to a traditional design training.
I didn’t know that Northumbria had an MA but you should investigate it - grads from the BA courses have been very good for a few years now. The design training is more aesthetic than Loughborough and Brunel and less technical.

So I suppose the real question is; what kind of designer do you want to be?!

Ultimately, though, the success of any MA programme is up to you - so as long as you know why you’re there and what you want to get out of a course, you’ll be fine.

pm me if you want more info

Good luck!

Dear Jackalus,

Thanks for the info, i got a BA desgree in industrial engineering so i think a school like burnel will be good as it will give a more “traditional” design education and will allow me to learn more about design. I am looking for something that is a good balance between engineering and aesthetics as i feel like im am equally interested/ good at both., so i think it would be better than CSM, I would love to like in londen but i think the cost of a 2 year course there is not feasible.
I was wondering if you have an thoughts on how easy it is to get a job after a masters in the field being an international student. I guess it obviously depends on how good you are and how hard you work, but the general availability of jobs in the field in UK.


I mentioned this on another thread relating to UK MA’s. The standard of undergraduates at the top schools (loughborough northumbria and brunel, ravensborne) are heaps better than the MA’s. I personally would question why the need for the MA. My personal choice if I was to do a masters would be the RCA.

Either way I agree with discounting sheffield and Birmingham, definately not in the same league as the others.

Hi R_mal,
The Brunel course sounds like a good fit for you.

In terms of employability, it is my experience that getting an MA in the UK does not usually make you more emplyable there. Sketchme’s opinion that undergraduates are better than postgraduates is common in the uk and I have found it hard to show people why an MA was worth doing. Few designers and managers have done MAs and therefore struggle to see the value in them - especially because the outcome of many MA courses is often conceptual, intellectual and quite abstract.

However, it is worth doing - as an undergraduate, you are taught ‘how’ to design but it is only while doing an MA that you can really learn ‘why’ you design or ‘where’ design can take you. Movements like Design Thinking did not emerge from undergraduate courses.

Also, I am guessing you’re from outside the European Union. As I understand it, doing an MA will entitle you to a one or two year visa during which you can work in the UK. This will enable you to get jobs in the UK that you would otherwise struggle to get without a visa.

Again, though, I should stress that if you’re good, work hard and use your MA to improve you will find jobs out there. What do you want to do after you graduate and what projects/skills should you do and improve to get you there? If you know this before you start, you’ll be fine.

Good luck!