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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

Studying on BA (Hons) Design Interactions, you will be at the forefront of future-focused design. You will experiment and develop emerging technology such as AR/VR (XR), AI, game engines, electronics, sensors, Internet of Things (IoT), 'Big Data' and robotics. You will play a role in shaping the world around us with free thinking ideas and opportunities.

Studying on Design Interactions (with Foundation Year) is a great way to introduce yourself to the university experience should you not have either an art and design background or enough UCAS points.  

Your first year is the foundation year which will bring you up to speed and introduce you to all the areas in art and design. Alumni often remember the foundation year with the fondest memories. You get to learn a great deal in a fun environment. You get to learn alongside Fine Art, Photography, Design and Illustration students. So if you're not 100% about your direction or can't choose between subjects (maybe your enjoy more than one) you can use it as a diagnostic year to help you choose. One of the major benefits of all our foundation courses is you are free to switch direction should you change your mind. 

As progress into the main subject in year two, you will join students who will be at the forefront of future-focused design. You will experiment and develop emerging technology such as AR/VR (XR), AI, game engines, electronics, sensors, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and robotics. You will play a role in shaping the world around us with free-thinking ideas and opportunities.  

Interdisciplinary collaboration with students from e.g. Fine Art Technology, Graphic Design, Illustration, Animation and Photography allows you to exchange skills and to access technical support and subject expertise across disciplines.  
 
You will be supported by the yearly employability initiative Detour Ahead: Roadmaps for the Art and Design Industry, week-long inter-disciplinary guest talks offering you industry insights as well as guidance on subjects such as freelancing, copyright and tax.  
 
You will gain fresh perspective and approaches (divergent thinking) giving you edge in the competitive creative job market, skills for the fourth industrial age (4iR).  

What makes this course different

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Flexibility

This course allows you to study in an area which is expanding giving you an advantage in industry. You can also take up the optional placement year

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Career focused

You will work alongside and share modules with BA (Hons) Graphic Design and BA (Hons) Fine Art Technology students gaining fresh perspective and approaches (divergent thinking), giving you the edge in the competitive job market for Industry 4.0 (fourth industrial age)

Computer laptop

Experiment and develop

Experiment and develop emerging technology such as AR/VR (XR) in a design context

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

Through learning by doing, problem solving and exploring, you will use practical training and theoretical knowledge to succeed in design interactions. 

You'll gain a critical understanding of the technical, historical, theoretical and political potential of the medium and an understanding of the collaborative nature of the medium and skills to identify, reflect and develop employability competencies and professional skills to enter the creative industries.

You will be at the forefront of future-focused design, experimenting and developing emerging technology such as AR/VR (XR), AI, game engines, electronics, sensors, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and robotics. You will play a role in shaping the world around us with free-thinking ideas and opportunities.

Studying design interactions will teach you confidence in visualising ideas and briefs, will enable you to create and maintain professional online portfolio/presence/promotional skills and will set you up with life and work skills for Interpersonal, team working, collaborative and negotiations.

MODULES

  • Core Modules
  • Core Modules
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    Contextual Studies 1

    Contextual Studies in the first term equips students to understand the history of fine art, fine art technology, graphic design, design interaction, illustration, animation, photography and creative writing and its relevance today. The module comprises thematic lectures, seminars, screenings and field trips as well as keystone research and writing skills such as the use of citation, referencing and academic integrity appropriate to undergraduate study. The module content will support development of students’ practical work on the adjoining modules. At the end of the module, students would have developed the skills for analysing and contextualising their own work, and that of their peers.

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    Practice 1

    The module serves as a rigorous introduction to a creative practice, an overview of fundamental skills that will enable experimentation and application, developing their own working practice. The module aims to provide students with an introduction to practical and critical study, to understand the role of research in creative practice and in supporting the development of creative projects. The approach aims to imbue an experimental and open-minded attitude that enhances levels of production, strengthens adaptability, personal confidence and the ability to creatively solving visual ideas. Through experimental and production of work, students become to understand their work in relation to research and feel empowered. The module allows students to discuss and develop their work with the help of group critiques and views of others in the enhancement of ideas through to creative outcomes.

     

    At the end of the module students will be able to begin to self-manage the development of a creative practice, and to disseminate ideas.

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    Experimentation and Application 1A

    The module introduces the student to a range of processes and practices, skills and knowledge, through a series of workshops and projects. The module equips the student to discover a range of techniques working within context of their discipline and support their developing practice.

     

    The module focusses on process, developing skills and practical knowledge encouraging students to discover a range of creative ways of working within the context of their discipline as well as extended practice supporting their developing practice. The module is backed up through regular group tutorials.

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    Experimentation and Application 1B

    The module introduces the student to a further range of processes and practices, skills and knowledge, through a series of workshops, projects and electives to extend their practice.

    Technical introductions and workshops enable the student to broaden the scope of their skills and practice, as well as specific workshops pertinent to contemporary processes and methods, including a range of analogue and digital tools.

    These skills and processes are introduced and discussed in relation to the development of a visual language applicable to contemporary fine art, graphic design, illustration, photography and animation practice.

    The module allows students to present their work to audiences, testing their ideas and concepts, receiving feedback feeding forward to their practice and to level 5 of study. Cross-disciplinary exhibitions are encouraged as well as inter-disciplinary discourse.

    The module Practice into Research supports the module, and allows student to contextualise their practice in a form of a presentation of their work.

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    Research into Practice 1

    Students will begin to establish an intellectual framework within which they can begin to understand a relationship between theory and their own practice. Students will begin to contribute critically in the seminars, in relation to contemporary and historical research methodologies. The module is supported by one-to-one tutorials. At the end of the module, students would have developed the skills for analysing and contextualising their own work, to be applied further in second year of their study. The outcome of this module is both a presentation of the student’s practice or research area and a written work.

    The lectures are complemented by tutor led discussion focusing on student work in progress, interrogating the practical work within the context established by the lectures in order to promote deeper understanding and extend creative ambition.

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    Professional Life 1 (Mental Wealth)

    Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance are increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to identify the skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in, a range of potential future career areas.

    Herein they will begin to recognise the areas for their own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Central to the developmental process is for each student to cultivate the reflective skills, openness and self- awareness to enable themselves to assess what they are doing, identify areas for improvement, and confidently receive and give constructive feedback. Students will additionally develop knowledge of strategies to advance their own physical intelligence through ‘life style’ and ‘self-care’ approaches to inform their health and wellbeing.

    Having acquired understanding of the key developmental areas, students will have opportunity to join in-house activities as a trainee, mentored and supervised by students from higher years. In this position they will learn and begin to apply the cognitive, cultural and social intelligences developed elsewhere in their studies (and from  external activities) as required in the workplace, namely cognitive flexibility, emotional resilience, motivation, ethical decision-making, managing your audience, coordinating with others, negotiation, creativity, active listening, attention, problem solving, research, synthesis and analysis.

  • Core Modules
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    Contextual Studies 2

    At Contextual Studies Level 5, students will consolidate and continue to advance the theories and research methodologies introduced at level 4. In addition, students will begin to build a critical thinking and understanding of contemporary art and design production, dissemination and reception within an expanded field. By addressing the historical, political, economic, social, environmental and ethical aspects of art and design, this module aims to equip students with the main discussions concerning these issues, and the space to test their understanding of them in relation to art and design practice (their own, and that of their peers).

     

    The module develops students advanced conceptual skills and analytical abilities, research and writing skills appropriate to the study of art and design at this level, feeding directly into key studio project across the year so that the research methodologies we develop may be tested and deeper connections between practice and theory explored.

     

    The module is further supported making use of the opportunities for the first-hand encounter with visual art and design available in London art galleries, museums and art institutions.

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    Practice 2

    The module enables students to expand on the skills and knowledge from level 4, encouraging students to take risks, try new things, not to be afraid of learning through mistakes and failure to develop their practice. This, in turn, will help students to begin to define their individual approach to fine art, fine art technology, graphic design, design interaction, illustration, animation and photography.

    The emphasis of this module will be on research and the development of a body of references that supports practice-based outcomes, supported by Contextual Studies module.

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    Advanced Experimentation and Applications

    The module builds on the technical processes introduced through workshops and technical demonstrations at Level 4, focussing on developing students’ advanced technical skills and locating students’ work in relevant professional and creative contexts. The module equips students to experiment with and make appropriate use of materials, processes, and technologies, showing understanding of quality standards and attention to detail.

    The module delivery includes advanced workshops / masterclasses by tutors who are working in the industry /industry connections/ visits to industry or e.g. professional production companies.

    The module supports development of work in other level 5 modules.

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    Advanced Practice

    The module will allow students to develop their practice as an artist, design thinker, illustrator, animator and photographer. The module develops an individual working practice supported by group seminars and one to one tutorials. It also introduces the student to working collaboratively via presentation of work at the end of year showcase.

    The module enables students to expand on the skills and knowledge from level 4, encouraging students to take risks, try new things, not to be afraid of learning through mistakes and failure to develop their practice. At the end of the module the student will be able to begin to self-manage the development of a creative practice, install and exhibit their work, and disseminate ideas to audiences.

    The module will prepare students to undertake an independent project in their discipline of fine art, fine art technology, graphic design, design interaction, illustration, animation, photography in level 6.

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    Research into Practice 2

    The module continues to build students’ critical thinking and understanding of contemporary art and design production, dissemination and reception within expanded field. The module aims to equip students the space to test their understanding of theories and debates in relation and reference to their own work and practice.

    Students will draw connections between theoretical approaches and students’ own practice in a form of a written piece of work/ document.

    At the end of the module, students will produce a 200-word critical rationale in preparation for student’s choice of a level 6 research into practice route.

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    Professional Life 2 (Mental Wealth)

    Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance are increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to apply several of the skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in, a range of potential future career areas.

    Herein they will advance the areas identified at level 4 for their own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Through engagement with the Career Passport, students will reflect on the success of the strategies that they employed to further develop their reflective skills, self-awareness, ‘life style’ and ‘self-care’ approaches and where necessary improve their approaches.

    Students will have opportunity to select an in-house microbusiness/ life briefs and commissions to join in the role of ‘Producer’. In this position they will take on a specific production role, working collaboratively with peers and academic staff on a live project. In doing so they will apply the cognitive, cultural and social intelligences learnt elsewhere in their studies (and external development) required in the workplace. In addition to the intelligences developed in the level 4 Mental Wealth Module, students will also focus on service orientation, self-discipline & management, reaction & response time, cognitive & muscle memory, managing stress, critical thinking, Complex problem-solving, research, synthesis & analysis.

    Main topics of study:

    The module will enable students to apply and develop further a variety of skills-based competencies explored at level 4, including self-awareness and regulation; mindfulness; emotional resilience; motivation; ethical decision-making; active listening; self-discipline and management; attention; reaction and response time; cognitive and muscle memory; managing stress; physical resilience; subject knowledge. Students furthermore rehearse and apply these skills in their creative practice modules. Students will also apply and develop new competencies including cognitive flexibility; managing an audience; co-ordinating with others, negotiation; creativity; leadership and entrepreneurship; service orientation; critical thinking; complex problem solving; research synthesis and analysis.

    - Working on client briefs / competitions /commissions to a professional outcome that meet the need of the client/ commissioner / audiences

    - Considering their practice through project work that will have positive social impact on the wider society

    - Attending and engaging in the cluster employability initiative Detour Ahead: Roadmaps for the Art and Design Industry. Detour Ahead programme includes a week of inter-disciplinary practitioners talking about their route to professional success. The week also includes professional practice knowledge such as copyright and licencing, freelancing, tax, giving the level 5 students more in depth understanding to apply for their own professional life.

    - Application of creative coding for visual practitioners

    - Performing roles and responsibilities of creative teams including communication, co-ordinating with others, negotiation; creativity; leadership and entrepreneurship; critical thinking; complex problem solving; research synthesis and analysis.

    - Developing and editing creative industries CV and cover letter and the format and tone of this for potential work placements and experience over summer break between level 5 and 6

    - Creation of a digital public profile

  • Core Modules
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    Practice 3

    This module is about preparing students to be fine artists, designers, illustrators, animators and photographers.

    The module does this by introducing choice. We ask students to reflect their idea of what their own practice might be, filling gaps of knowledge or extending their skill set. It’s about them setting the terms and direction of travel, exploring in an extensive and critical way.

    The work in this module will be developed through extensive research and practical testing of ideas and processes, informed by critical, contextual, historical, conceptual, economic, social and ethical research.

    Self-critique and responsiveness to the views of others is important part of the module in the development of students’ ideas and proposal.

    At the end of the module students will have proposed and refined their own agenda for term 2 negotiated body of work to be presented at the degree showcase at the end of the academic year.

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    Research into Practice 3 – Extended Research Project

    The modules in level 6 are designed to be inclusive to students’ discipline, and respond to differentiated assessments needs. The Extended Research project route is aimed as a specific route to those fine art, fine art technology, Illustration, graphic design, design interaction, animation and photography students whose professional practice aims are not covered in e.g. the Global Photography (documentary in nature) and Contemporary Practice in Fine Art (assessed by an exhibition).

    The Extended Research Project route allows students to contextualise their practice through the study of an area of art and design or of a subject that provides potential content for their practical work.

    Students will develop skills in negotiating and making use of research resources, formulate a research proposal and plan a research strategy. They will be expected to demonstrate an ability to synthesise and analyse ideas and apply them constructively to understanding their chosen subject while, at the same time, developing knowledge which will contextualise and support their own practice. They will also gain skills in writing and presentation. The outcome will be a written project, which articulates the findings of their inquiry. Key here is that the students develops a study of an area of art and design or of a subject that provides content for their practical work.

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    Research into Practice 3 – Art & Design 4.0

    The modules in level 6 are designed to be inclusive to students’ discipline, and respond to differentiated assessments needs. The Art and Design 4.0 Research into Practice route is a group research project, responding to the way technologies are changing the interface between art, design and society.

    The Art and Design 4.0 Research into Practice module is a project that aims to test all of the research methods and critical thinking skills students have acquired from level 4 and 5, and contribute them to a visual group research project, live project, prototype or a vaporware that is informed by a shared subject exploring negotiated topic or technology. As well as demonstrating through writing and discussion a level analysis of visual and theoretical subjects appropriate to a students’ final year of study, the aim of this module is to augment academic practice (research, writing, discussion, presentations) with material research based on studio practice (experimentation, skill development, processes and techniques).

    As individuals, students will present their response to the shared research subject together with a supporting document that captures the key research, analysis and argumentation that links theory to their own design or fine art practice.

    Students will produce a final outcome or a prototype based on this presentation, which is public-facing and utilises appropriate media. Each student’s response will depend on their position as a designer and artist who is aware of key concepts and who understands their responsibilities in a contemporary culture.

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    Independent Major Project Part A

    This module is about preparing students to be fine artists, designers, illustrators, animators and photographers. Students produce an independent negotiated project, that enables them to work towards their own agenda and own it. The module allows students to develop and apply advanced creative processes to a professional outcome showcased at a public exhibition of the work at the University. This readies them for their next objective; employment or post graduate study.

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    Independent Major Project Part B

    This module is about preparing students to be fine artists, designers, illustrators, animators and photographers. During part B of the Independent Major Project, students finalise the production of the independent negotiated project, culminating in a presentation at the degree showcase.

    The module allows students to develop and apply advanced production methods to a professional outcome showcased at a public exhibition of the work at the University. Each student will contribute towards planning, production and curation of the Degree Showcase. This readies them for their next objective; employment or post graduate study.

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    Professional Life 3 (Mental Wealth)

    Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance are increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to apply the full range of skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in, a range of potential future career areas.

    Herein they will advance the areas identified at level 5 for their own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Through engagement with the Career Passport, students will reflect on the success of the strategies that they employed to further develop their reflective skills, self-awareness, ‘life style’ and ‘self-care’ approaches and where necessary improve their approaches.

    Students will have the opportunity to select an in-house microbusiness / life briefs and commissions to join in the role of ‘Manager’. In this position they will oversee the successful operation of the enterprise, coach and mentor students new to the programme and lead those working in ‘producer’ roles. Working collaboratively with peers and academic staff, they will ensure the effective delivery of a live project by managing people and physical resources. In doing so they will apply the cognitive, cultural and social intelligences learnt elsewhere in their studies (and from external activities ) required in the workplace.

    Students will have the opportunity to enter external facing industry / live briefs such as D&AD New Blood Awards, AOP Student Awards, Sony student competition, Lensculture, Life Framer etc. in order to leverage their raise and improve their employment prospects.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

Benefit from our progressive approach to learning through forward thinking and inclusive blended/ flipped learning and patchwork assessment, allowing you to make connections between modules, technical skills and research and your practice. This is a practical course, so you'll spend plenty of time in our Docklands-based design studios.

You'll be expected to carry out your own independent study to build on what you learn during lectures, seminars and workshops. To support you, we'll provide digital materials, notes and handbooks and you'll also receive individual supervision and feedback from our experienced lecturers.

Gain insights in our yearly cluster employability initiative Detour Ahead: Roadmaps for the art and design industry, week-long inter-disciplinary guest talks as well as advice about copyright and licensing, freelancing and tax. Gain fresh perspective and approaches (divergent thinking) giving you edge in the competitive job market, and skills for the fourth industrial age (4iR).  

Much of your learning will focus on project work, and you'll sometimes be expected to work as part of a team.

You'll have opportunities to gain valuable work experience during the course to improve your practical skills, understanding and CV. Research will build up the other area of your learning, guided reading and independent research, research skills-based activities with feedback.

Guided independent study

We are investing in key areas beyond your studies including our career services, library and well-being, to be available both face-to-face on campus and online with many of these available 24/7. We have new, modern library facilities on both campuses offering inspirational environments for study and research. Libraries contain resources in print and digital formats, a range of study spaces and dedicated librarian who can assist with your learning.

Academic support

Students are supported with any academic or subject related queries by an Academic Advisor, module leaders, former and current UEL students. 
If you need a bit of extra help with certain skills such as academic writing, maths or IT, our Skillzone and English for Academic Purposes we offer workshops, drop-in sessions and one-to-one appointments to help our students achieve their potential. You can receive advice and guidance on all aspects of the IT systems provided by the university from our IT Service Desks located on all three campuses.

Our Student Support hubs in Docklands and Stratford feature centralised helpdesks to cater for your every need. UEL provides also support and advice for disabled students and those with specific learning difficulties (SPDs).

Workload

Each year you will spend around 300 hours of timetabled learning and teaching activities. These may be lectures, workshops, seminars and individual and group tutorials. Contact hours may vary depending on each module.

The approximate percentages for this course are:
Year 1: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.
Year 2: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.
Year 3: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.

The size of classes can vary depending on the nature of the course, module and activity. This can range from large groups in a lecture theatre setting, to smaller groups taking part in seminars and collaborative work. You will receive your personalised timetable at the beginning of the academic year dependent on your course.

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

Each module has a duration of 12 weeks (one term) and always concludes with an assessment point. We provide feedback throughout these 12-week periods with a specific 'Tracking Week' dedicated to this process midway through each term.

For Practical modules your submission will consist of a Learning Journal (the presentation of your development and experience) and Portfolio (the presentation of your practical output). For Theoretical modules you may be asked to produce a piece of academic writing of a given length and a live presentation.

Feedback is provided within 15 working days in line with UEL's assessment and feedback policy.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Docklands Campus

Docklands Campus, Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Dan Duran

Dan is a Film Maker and Design Thinker. His practice covers a wide area of interest from visual communication to film production.

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Andrew Osman

Andrew Osman is a graphic designer and Senior Lecturer in BA Graphic Design, specialising in vector drawing, layout, typography and typeface design.

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Jonathan Clark

Senior Lecturer Graphic Design | Level 5 Module Leader.

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Bryony Quinn

Bryony Quinn is a writer, editor and Contextual Studies Module Leader and Lecturer on BA Graphic Design.

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Kim Louise Stevenson

Kim Stevenson is an Australian, London based fashion designer, who is the founder of sustainable fashion brand The Autonomous Collections.

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There is always something new to be learning, from new technologies, new techniques and new perspectives. The course really helped refuel my own curiosity for design.

Jackie Normington

Design Interaction

What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

YOUR FUTURE CAREER

The future needs technically focused flexible creatives who can adapt to the ever-changing market.

In 2018, the UK's creative sector broke the £100 billion mark. Within this economy there are a great variety of roles that utilise the skillsets we develop.

Our alumni may work in-house for a large company, in a specialist design studio, run their own business or be self-employed across a variety of industries. Spending three years tracking multiple projects, solving the logistics of production and negotiating within teams of creatives will prepare you for work beyond the subject area.

The University's e-Factor competition offers students resources to develop their own business and the Career Coaching team are always on hand to help students fine tune their CVs and interview techniques.

Industry links

Blind Pig - A multidisciplinary creative studio. Creative director and founder Ric Combline has helped shape the course through his feedback and encouragement for art and design based courses at UEL. 

Career destinations for our students include: Design interaction; interaction designer; information architect; User Experience (UX) designer; User Interface (UI) designer; web designer; app designer; designer/ developer; content strategist; AR/VR designer; exhibition designer; artist.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.