Interactive App Development at UCA

UCA's new MA in Interactive App Development will give you the specialist skills to take the lead in this rapidly growing market.

The speed at which users have shifted from personal computers to hand-held devices such as smartphones and tablets has been unprecedented, and apps are now an integral part of the user experience, from gaming, streaming and shopping, to health monitoring, music services and photo enhancement.

Based at UCA Farnham, this course is designed to hone your skills in this niche area, showing you how to create apps for a range of uses.

The MA is also available as an MFA route which offers a further enhanced opportunity for students wanting to develop their professional portfolio to the highest level, or to build a proposal for Doctoral level study, and pursue an academic research career path. Applicants can apply to undertake the full MFA, or undertake an MA and transfer to the MFA at the end of the MA period.  

Please note, all routes are suspended for September 2024 entry.

 

Course entry options

Select from the following options to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

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Campus
UCA Farnham
Start date(s)
September 2025
Duration
1 year full-time
Entry requirements

Honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in the subject/related discipline
and/or
Relevant work experience

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Campus
UCA Farnham
Start date(s)
September 2025, January 2025
Duration
2 years full-time
Entry requirements

A recognised bachelor degree or 3 year diploma with a strong portfolio in a relevant subject

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Campus
UCA Farnham
Start date(s)
September 2025
Duration
2 years full-time
Entry requirements

Honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in the subject/related discipline
and/or
Relevant work experience

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Campus
Start date(s)
Duration
Entry requirements
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Campus
Start date(s)
Duration
Entry requirements
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Start date(s)
Duration
Entry requirements
What you'll study

What you'll
study

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Pre-Masters year. On this course you’ll prepare for postgraduate study with a mix of online and face-to-face learning that will give you the study skills required to complete a Master’s, and you’ll also improve your English for academic study.

Fundamentals of Interactive App Development
This unit provides an overview of the different approaches to build applications (native, hybrid, web) and introduces you to key concepts, standards, data formats and development tools in integrated application development, covering both frontend (client-side) and backend (server-side) technologies.

You will develop a series of increasingly complex and feature-rich applications, enabling you to apply theoretical knowledge in practical exercises, develop best-practice development skills, and build your own portfolio of working code examples.

Research Methods for Creative Technologies
You will learn to synthesise theoretical research methods and industry practices of interactive app evaluation to provide a critically informed and reflective toolset for analysing and critically assessing applications, interactive experiences, and their practice. 

You will learn about a range of methods for analysing interactive applications on the level of their content and form and develop an understanding of qualitative methodologies for capturing and evaluating the interactive experiences of a diverse range of users. 

In tandem, the professional practice strand of this unit will provide you with industry and practitioner-led insights into how interactive application design practices are analysed and assessed within the development process.

Web-Based and Native Application Development
You will be introduced to development frameworks and learn about web-based and native application development. By the end, you will be able to independently research and appraise development frameworks and related ecosystems and tools, and to develop both progressive web and native application with advanced capabilities.

You will be guided through researching and using industry-standard tool chains and frameworks for frontend and backend development, coding up complex and feature-rich web and hybrid applications.

App Lab
In this unit, you will learn about aspects supporting your computing and creative technology development, such as user-centred design methodology; prototyping; evaluation methods and accessibility guidelines. This will help you become familiar with user-centred design methodology and be able to iteratively design and systematically evaluate user interfaces that meet industry-standard usability and accessibility guidelines. 

Professional Practice
In this unit, you can choose from two options:

A collaborative professional practice group project - This is expected to involve groups of students across the postgraduate portfolio collaborating on a project which may be based on an industry brief.

A creative business start-up option - This is being developed by the Business School for the Creative Industries which will also lead on the delivery. The Creative Startup component is based on active-reflective learning. A real-world practical business experience is at the core of the unit component, but it will also encourage you to adopt a critical and reflective approach to your work and specific behaviours.

Final Major Project
The Final Major Project is a culmination of your skills, passions and creativity as developed across your MA education. The final major project, and your role in it, should be ambitious but achievable, and framed by how you want to promote yourself as an App developer.

Through this final project you will either utilise proposals you have been working on in other units or develop an entirely new proposal.

 

MFA – Advanced Practice 
The extension of your degree to an MFA means studying this Advanced Practice unit in addition to the units listed above. This unit is dedicated to developing, extending, and furthering your professional practice. Through advance research methods, you will have to demonstrate the skills, knowledge, confidence, and originality that you have developed as a curatorial practitioner. You will be supported in preparing PhD applications, curating exhibitions, organising public events, and seeking external platforms to work with artists and engage audiences.  

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Fees & funding

Fees & financial support

Tuition fees

MA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (full-time): £10,500

MFA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (full-time, year 1): £7,000 

Tuition fees

MA course:

  • 2024/25 entry: £10,500  (see fee discount information)

MFA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (year 1): £7,000  (see fee discount information)

Tuition fees

MA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (MA): £18,000
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - Sept & Jan): £17,500
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - May): £8,750

MFA course:

  • 2024/25 entry (MFA year 1): £11,700

Please note: the fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. For more detailed information about our course fees please see our fees and finance pages

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of financial support information available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

Current UCA students and alumni may be eligible for a tuition fee discount.

Financial support

There are lots of ways you can access additional financial support to help you fund your studies - both from UCA and from external sources. Discover what support you might qualify for please see our scholarships and fee discounts.

Additional course costs

In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials.

These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. 

Explore our gradshow

Each year, we’re privileged to be able to share our graduates’ incredible work with the world. And now’s your chance to take a look.

Visit the online showcase

Facilities

This course has dedicated studios which offer spaces for group tutorials and personal working. There are campus digital media suites with Macs and PCs with latest programmes for film editing as well as general design work. There is also a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, special collections and online resources.

View 360 virtual tour

Studios, UCA Farnham

Print studio, UCA Farnham

Library, UCA Farnham

Digital Media suites, UCA Farnham

Career opportunities

Career
opportunities

Our programme is designed to help you develop the skills needed to rise to the challenge of leading in the rapidly developing market. Graduates may go on to work in a variety of different roles. These might include:

  • App developer
  • Mobile App developer
  • Software developer
  • Mobile App tester

You may also wish to progress onto a PhD or MPhil research degree.

Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio
requirements

MA course

  • A good honours degree or equivalent qualification in a related discipline

and/or

  • Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

Consideration will also be given to applicants who can make a strong case for admission in relation to a particular project and can demonstrate their potential to satisfactorily complete the course.

Portfolio requirements

For this course we will need to see your portfolio for review. You can either submit a digital portfolio or request an in-person portfolio review with the course team. Further information will be provided once you have applied

MA course

The entry requirements for these courses will depend on the country your qualifications are from, please check the equivalent qualifications for your country:

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application.


MA course with Integrated International Pre-Masters course

A recognised bachelor degree or 3 year diploma with a strong portfolio in a relevant subject.

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

For this course we will need to see your portfolio for review. We request students to prepare 3-5 pages portfolio showcasing your utilisation of computer skills within a creative field. Please highlight experiences that may have developed your creative or visual skills, problem-solving abilities, design thinking, or visual communication, even if they aren't directly connected to the course. Further information will be provided once you have applied.


English language requirements

To study at UCA, you'll need to have a certain level of English language skill. And so, to make sure you meet the requirements of your course, we ask for evidence of your English language ability, please check the level of English language required:

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

Apply now

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