Digital Design and Communication MA

Year of entry

Study 100% online when and where it suits you

Find out more about the benefits of studying your degree online to advance your career prospects. Learn more

Start dates
March 2024
May 2024
July 2024
Delivery type
Online exclusive
24 months part time
Entry requirements
A First or 2.1 (hons) bachelor degree in any subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
Online learning fees
See fees section below

Course overview

person sitting at desk looking at a laptop with design patterns on PC screen at the side

Become a leader in the global digital design and communication industry with our unique online course that integrates digital communication with digital design and covers all aspects of digital design for the virtual environment.

From specialist modules in Applied Design, Communication and Case Studies, through to Creative Design Thinking, and Design in a Digital World, this Masters will introduce you to emerging trends, and you’ll use professional design tools and graphic design software, study web, UX, and UI design, and expand your knowledge of creative industries all while drawing on expertise from leading academics at Leeds School of Design.

By studying our digital design online course, you'll learn creative problem-solving and strategic thinking within the field of digital design and communication. You’ll be equipped to drive innovation and solve complex communication problems in the digital design sector and other creative industries. If you understand the importance of combining digital design skills with a range of soft skills, this course will give you the skills and knowledge to accelerate your digital design career to management level.

You can choose to complete the online digital design MA in a minimum of two years or up to a maximum of four years. By the time you’ve graduated, you’ll be well placed to enter a wide range of exciting careers in digital design and communication, from working across a variety of creative companies, joining an agency, or setting up your own studio as a freelancer.

Why choose the University of Leeds? 

5 reasons to study Digital Design and Communication.

We are one of the top 100 universities in the world and ranked in the top 15 in the UK  (QS World University Rankings, 2023) with a global reputation for excellence in research and teaching. 

 Through links with various industry partners worldwide, we provide you with a strong combination of higher education and careers support. Our team of high-profile academics create an exceptional study experience guided by industry-leading knowledge and research. 

A global reputation for digital design

Our online Digital Design and Communication MA is delivered by academics from Leeds School of Design. We are ranked 8th in the UK for Art and Design (Complete University Guide, 2023), and the School’s research submission achieved 100% ‘world leading’ status for the research environment (Research Excellence Framework, 2021).

We’re an interdisciplinary school bringing together expertise from a range of design and technology specialisms.

The School is particularly renowned for its robust research in a wide range of fields and is organised into the following key groups which our staff and postgraduate researchers are members of:

  • Practice as research.
  • Design history and material culture.
  • Colour technology.
  • Communication and experience design.
  • Fashion marketing and management.
  • Textile and fashion design.
  • Textile technology.
  • Visual communication.

Creative thinking and innovation are at the heart of both our teaching and research as we aim to develop new design ideas and provide solutions to issues faced in industry and society. Our school’s academic staff work closely with industry partners in different sectors such as healthcare, education, environment, and many more.

Course details

Our distance learning digital design MA will begin with a two-week online induction designed to prepare you for online learning at the University of Leeds. It will introduce the study skills you will need to successfully complete your degree and access some of the top digital design and communication jobs.

Delivered online, the course offers a flexible schedule of modules that are designed for working professionals looking to develop a successful career in the digital design and communication industry. The full digital design MA course consists of three compulsory foundation modules, six development modules, and a design project.

The modules cover a variety of subject areas such as Design and Research, where you’ll learn about the research process and which quantitative and qualitative methods can be used to develop effective design solutions, and Design in a Digital World, where you’ll explore current digital design practices and techniques to execute your outputs to a professional level.

On finishing studying the nine 15-credit taught modules you will then complete a 45-credit design project over 24 weeks.

Design project

You’ll create and produce your design solution in response to a specific challenge through prototyping, and test with suitable users for evaluation. You’ll then produce a written report where you will discuss the project and its findings in a relevant design context or topic within the digital design and communication areas.

You can take the course at your own pace and adapt your studies to fit around your work and life commitments. To give you flexibility, it is possible to pause your studies and take them up again at a later point.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Digital Design and Communication MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Design and Research 15
Creative Design Practice 15
Design in a Digital World 15

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Data, Analytics and Design 15
Human-centred Design 15
Design in a Dynamic Team 15
Digital Design Trends 15
Applied Design, Communication and Case Studies 15

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Design project 45

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Data, Analytics and Design 15
Human-centred Design 15
Design in a Dynamic Team 15
Digital Design Trends 15
Applied Design, Communication and Case Studies 15

Learning and teaching

Join our powerful learning network

Push the boundaries of design anytime, anywhere with this online digital design Masters. Your learning will be delivered by Leeds online via our award-winning virtual learning environment (VLE), Minerva. Each week you will study through live face-to-face sessions with our module tutors in a mixture of structured and open-ended learning techniques.

We recognise that professionals have busy lives, so with a 100% online delivery mode, you can manage your learning around your busy personal commitments and full-time employment, without the need to disrupt your life. You will study with a world-leading UK institution without the additional overseas cost of living. We will also provide many tools, including study planners, to help you track your progress and better manage your time.

Minerva can be accessed on different devices, whenever and wherever it suits you. The platform has been designed by a team of experts to ensure your online learning experience is of the highest quality and prepares you for success, both academically and professionally.

You’ll have access to:

  • The Pathways to Success induction course designed for online learning students.
  • In-course communication tools, such as discussion forums and announcements, to facilitate collaboration with peers and module tutors across the globe with ease.
  • Online advice and support services for Minerva.
  • Tools to help self-monitor progress.

You will also be able to submit assessments and receive feedback from module tutors during their office working hours.

We recommend a high-speed broadband internet connection with a minimum speed of 1.5 Mbps. You will need regular access to a desktop computer, tablet, or laptop, with a webcam. You will also need the ability to view PDF documents and work in Microsoft Office (software provided).

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Assessment methods will emphasise not just knowledge, but essential skills development too. These will vary from module to module, with examples including:

  • Individual projects including design research-led projects.
  • Group discussions and assignments to build on your real-world experience.
  • Live and pre-recorded student presentations with imagery and scripts.
  • Portfolios demonstrating design outputs.
  • Literature reviews, using extensive online resources via the library.
  • Digital creative logs.
  • Essays/written reports.
  • Formative assessment.


Entry requirements

  • First or 2.1 (hons) bachelor degree in any subject.
  • If you hold a 2.2 (hons) bachelor degree in any subject, or professional qualifications equivalent to bachelor with honours/Masters we’ll consider your application for the MA course if you have at least two years of relevant work experience in a professional environment.
  • If you hold professional qualifications or Higher Education qualifications equivalent to Level 5, we’ll consider your application for the MA course if you have at least five years of relevant work experience in a professional environment.
  • Professionally qualified candidates who do not meet the formal qualifications will also be considered but assessed individually.
  • We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, please contact our Enrolment Advisors at:

Required English language qualifications:

In exceptional circumstances applicants can provide alternative proof of English language proficiency rather than a standard English test. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. You should discuss the criteria with your Enrolment Advisor to see if this can be considered.

Applying from China

Due to the large numbers of applications we receive, we’re only able to offer places to applicants who have attended selected Chinese institutions. With regret, any applications we receive from applicants awarded a qualification in China from an institution that isn’t on this list will be rejected.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.

How to apply


The Digital Education Service requires all applicants to provide proof of their identity at the point of application. Accepted forms of ID are:

  • Passport photo page, or
  • Driving licence, or
  • National identity card.


  • March 2024 start: 13 February 2024
  • May 2024 start: 16 April 2024
  • July 2024 start: 11 June 2024

All suitably qualified candidates will be interviewed by telephone or online as part of the selection process.

Applications for this degree programme are handled by our Enrolment Advisors. Please contact them to find out more about the programme and to start the online application process. Email:


Contact us

Enrolment Advisor team

Telephone: +44 (0)113 341 1262


The following fees apply to those starting their course between May 2023 – 31 August 2024.

  • UK/EU and International: £15,000

The fee (which can be paid on a module-by-module basis) is composed of:

  • Nine taught modules (15 credits each): £1,415 per module
  • Design project module (45 credits): £2,265

*If you are receiving a student loan or your fees are being paid directly to the University of Leeds by your employer or sponsor you will not be able to pay on a module-by-module basis. Please check with our Enrolment Advisors.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

Graduates of the University of Leeds (or an affiliated institution) are entitled to a 10% bursary towards tuition fees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

UK students may be able to apply for a UK government-backed loan of up to £11,836 and there may be specific terms and conditions for online courses. Applications should be made through the Student Loans Company. Find out more.

Career opportunities

Whether you are looking to start your digital design career or advance in your current role, this course opens a range of opportunities to develop a challenging and rewarding career in the digital design and communication industry. If coupled with relevant work experience you may be able to progress/take on roles in a wide range of industries (creative, technology, fashion, government, healthcare) listed below, but this is based very much on individual circumstances:

  • UX/UI Design Manager.
  • Digital Design Manager.
  • Digital Animation Artist Manager.
  • Digital Graphic Design Manager.
  • Social Media Design Manager.
  • Interaction Design Manager.
  • Web Design Manager.
  • App Design Manager.
  • Graphic Design Manager.
  • Product Design Manager.

Discover more about some of these roles.

The Leeds School of Design has an employability lead for postgraduate taught courses, and as an online student you’ll benefit from: 

  • A range of events on careers and employability run throughout the year that include CV preparation and job applications. 
  • Alumni focused events with recent and past graduates talking about their career journeys.
  • Career networking opportunities through industry related events. 

We are committed to supporting you to get the most out of your postgraduate study so that you graduate with excellent career prospects in digital design and communication. Our career support will help you in both approaching companies and throughout the application process.

 As a Leeds student, you will also have access to the University of Leeds Careers Service’s extensive online resources including:

  • Access to a database of employer events.
  • Career planning guidance.
  • CV writing tips.
  • Job application support.
  • Key interview skills advice.
  • Tailored one-to-one support via an e-Guidance service which can provide advice by appointment via telephone, or virtual meeting.

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