User Experience Design at UCA

Delve deeper into the world of user experience and explore its creative potential on UCA's MA User Experience Design degree course at UCA Farnham.

This course runs alongside other Master's courses in the School of Communication, to form a suite of specialist and mutually informing areas of research. Through the development of your own personal research and professional engagement, you’ll explore the creative potential of User Experience Design to question and affect the interactive systems that support and inform our digital experiences, including interface design, usability and human computer interactions.

You'll be introduced to and examine the advanced specialist tools, methods, concepts and processes relevant to the practices of User Experience Design through a series of projects, workshops and advanced technical sessions that relate to your own research and aspirations, before forming your ideas and developing your framework to complete your Major Project. Alongside live briefs and industry engagement, you'll undertake a rigorous investigation into existing practices - researching, questioning, challenging, debating and addressing key debates relating to User Experience Design.

Course entry options

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

What you'll study

What you'll

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.

Your launch week is the chance get to know your peers and start working collaboratively, through a range of activities, including design sprint exercises, talks, field research trips and a special focus on international student integration.

Studio 1
Your studies begin with an investigation into expanded forms of practice within Interface and Interactive Design. You will experiment with methodologies and processes, challenging established means of communication. By challenging pre-conceptions and approaches to practice, you will expand your understanding and skills to engage with new audiences.

Research & Professional Contexts 1
You’ll learn the principles of research and the methodological approaches and how all practices are informed through distinct stages of research management.

The hackathon week is an opportunity for students to work across year groups to produce and replicate industry practice. This will take the following format:

  • Live brief set by Industry
  • Design teams set up across the course to enrich confidence and integration
  • Opportunity for students from other courses to form part of teams i.e. – photography or film
  • Students have four days to answer brief and present at the end of the week
  • Celebration event

Studio 2
You will critically reflect on the development of your research and investigate multiple areas of study. A series of practice-based projects will enable you to consider and apply a range of methods, approaches and ideas which will inform and assist you in the development of your practice. By the end, you will have developed your project proposal along with your visual strategy for your Major Project.

Research & Professional Contexts 2
There are two pathways on this unit, both intended to develop industry approaches within the creative industries.

Collaboration – You will investigate the potential for collaborative practice, You will identify and make contact with an external partner, with whom you will agree a project plan and agree outcomes. By working with an external partner, you will have the opportunity to place your work in a wider contemporary context and engage new audiences. 

Creative Startup – In this option you will develop an idea, have it evaluated and potentially win a prize. Based on real-world experience (rather than simulation) of designing and developing a creative startup, you’ll work together with students from all disciplines.

Major Project
The Major Project is a culmination and celebration of your studies. It is your opportunity to demonstrate your advanced understanding and application of the research techniques, concepts, and skills that you have engaged with over the course of your MA. By applying the learning developed from previous units, you will reflect professional acumen, social awareness and contemporary context, and will deliver a portfolio of work that is industry ready.

 You will be required to direct your practice towards a final resolution that could take the form of an exhibition, publication or event.

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

  • 2024/25 entry: £10,500

Tuition fees

Tuition fees

  • 2024/25 entry (MA): £18,000
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - 30 weeks): £17,500
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - 15 weeks): £8,750

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. 


This course has access to 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

Lecture theatre, UCA Farnham

Digital Media suites, UCA Farnham

Library, UCA Farnham

Career opportunities


Graduates of this exciting course might develop their career in a number of different creative and business industries. These might include:

  • UX design manager
  • UX researcher
  • Visual designer
  • Usability tester
  • Interaction designer

You may want to undertake further study or a research degree to specialise even more.

Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio

MA course

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


  • 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 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

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.

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

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you: