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MA, PG Cert, PG Dip Human-Centred Design

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Push your design thinking and design practice beyond existing boundaries, towards interconnected, holistic, and systemic approaches addressing human and planetary challenges, and make a positive contribution to society, health, and planet through ethical and systemic design interventions.

Idrees Rasouli Watch video

60 Second Seminar

Dr Idrees Rasouli considers how our use of creativity has changed.

Already have an ARU degree? You may be eligible for our Alumni Scholarship for students starting postgraduate courses.

In a world with so many changes in so short a time, future design professionals have never played such a central role in responding to ethical, political, social, and ecological concerns - through systems-shifting design approaches to everyday physical and digital life that are agile, digital, context-specific, and connected, and also address the complex issues of security, safety, and trust.

Study MA Human-Centred Design at ARU, and develop the theoretical, practical, and leadership skills, understanding and knowledge that are critical to creating dynamic and connected modes of engagement with the everyday physical and digital life; the climate and nature; and business.

You’ll gain a broad understanding of people, culture, and context from the perspective of design, and tackle human and planet-related issues in a global context by introducing new forms of process, tools, and methods.

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Fees and Paying for University

Facilities and showcase

Drawers of movable type in a printmaking studio

Industry-standard equipment

All our students have access to:

  • the full Adobe Creative suite
  • Apple iMacs
  • wide-format printers and scanners
  • vintage printmaking presses
  • letterpress machine
  • a 3D workshop
  • photography equipment, including digital cameras and lighting kits.

Our team of technical officers will be on hand to offer training and support.

Students around a table discussing a model of a moose

Futures Lab and workshop equipment

Our new digital workshop includes a variety of computer aided manufacturing machines, helping you learn up to date manufacturing and design processes as well as supporting many traditional techniques. These technologies include:

  • 3D printers and scanners - FDM printers; material-specific extruders; SLA Formlabs printers; SLS Formlabs Fuse1; structured light 3D scanners
  • 2D printing and cutting machines - laser cutters; Roland BN20 vinyl printer & cutter; Gerber substrate cutter; Mimaki TX300P sublimation printer.
Artwork by Cami Rouhonen - a person' s head seen in profile with the top of the head portrayed as a mountain peak; on the mountain a person is looking through a telescope

Take a closer look

Our Creative Showcase shines a spotlight on what makes ARU creative and cultural – our spaces, places and people. Find out more about our community, the difference we make, the stories we tell, and the things that inspire us. You can also explore the work of our graduating students in our digital graduate showcase.


Our MA Human Centred Design will help you achieve a career within the public, private, and third sector in roles such as:

  • Human-Systems Designer
  • Ethical Researcher and Interventionist
  • New Product Designer
  • Innovation Designer
  • UX/UI Designer/Researcher
  • Human Behaviour Strategist
  • Human-Service Designer
  • Experiential Designer
  • Human-Machine Designer
  • Usability Specialist
  • Policy Designer
  • Mobility and Environments Designer.

All of our modules integrate professional practice, and you’ll be introduced to different aspects of the design industry by the teaching team and external guests. This will help you develop an appreciation and awareness of the changing role of designers, and the increasing responsibilities within possible career paths. Your awareness of current practices and responsibilities will develop at an early stage of your studies, particularly in the Design Ethics and Design Practices modules.

You’ll also use the Personal Development Planning (PDP) tool to record, map and review your employability skills and experience across the course, and through the self-initiated and self-directed Human-Centred Design project, develop your own personalised employability plan. Supported by academic and technical staff as well as the ARU Employability Service and ARU Enterprise and Innovation, you’ll develop project-specific business plans, commercialisation and intellectual property objectives, as well as CV and interview skills. These in-house centres also provide:

  • daily drop-in sessions
  • careers advice and guidance
  • workshops covering job search, making applications, and designing CVs
  • interview preparation
  • Job Fairs, employability events and presentations from employers
  • job opportunities, internships, and work placements.

Graduation doesn’t have to be the end of your time with us. You could choose to continue your academic career with a PhD programme at ARU. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and save £400 on your fees.

Apply now for MA, PG Cert, PG Dip Human-Centred Design

Get in touch

If you're thinking about applying to ARU or have questions about your application, contact our Admissions Customer Service Team.

Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm
Friday 9am-4.30pm
Please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training

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Benefits of postgraduate study

Improve your employability, progress in your career, and take on an intellectual challenge with our flexible postgraduate degrees.

Postgraduate study at ARU