Design Management Innovation MDes

The Design Management course provides the opportunity for you to develop an advanced understanding of the practical application of design thinking and design strategy applied within an organisational, business and global context. 


In the corporate world design managers oversee the development of products and services and manage the innovation process workflow. However, they also have a significant strategic role in managing the articulation of a business strategy, product and service values, requiring continuous improvement of the customer experience and often involving the management of external specialists. Additionally, they may be engaged in broader organisational development issues.

Students studying Design Management Innovation will focus on design thinking, research methods and the development of management, leadership and change management skills. In addition to operational management they will also focus on design thinking approaches to organisational change, behavioural change and transformation programmes.

The MDes Design Management Innovation draws on current Ravensbourne research. This includes rapid prototyping (an increasingly important operational aspect of the design process); business start up; team building and team dynamics; and the more strategic area of new business model development.

You will work regularly with peers from different disciplines to develop interdisciplinary skills and develop your own approach to design leadership, management and innovation. Major emphasis is placed on developing your own specialist subject in order to create original solutions to social challenges, consumer behaviour, organisational and leadership issues. You will be encouraged to engage proactively in the wide range of activities and events and in the opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning offered at Ravensbourne. Of particular importance is industry engagement through live project briefs and work placements.


Marcel Münch's story

I found out about the MDes at Ravensbourne through searching online, and was just what I had been looking for.

Studying the MDes was a career choice for me: making a shift from business administration towards a focus on innovation and problem-solving techniques. I was unsure if I would be able to succeed in the world of design and how much it would really add to business, but it turned out that these concerns were clearly unfounded.

My ambition was to study at postgraduate level as I’d already gathered enough work experience to know that it would be a good time to make a career switch. Furthermore doing a Masters in the UK had the benefit of improving my English and completing the degree in a time. I’m from Germany and the same degree there would take two years full-time.

I like Ravensbourne, the atmosphere of the building is cool and progressive, and I like the spirit and the open culture, which are in stark contrast to more traditional colleges.

The lecturers have been brilliant and I received good support from various services within the college. 

I have already been offered a junior position with a service design agency in Berlin as soon as I graduate. I think the course has helped me in making the career shift come true. In the long term, I am hoping that the value of design for business becomes more popular and by this my degree will be even more recognised, even among non-design disciplines.

About this course


1 year full time/2 years part time


Tuition fee and Scholarship/bursary information

Entry requirements

First or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent non-UK qualifications) in a relevant subject, or an equivalent professional qualification in a related subject area.

If you are applying directly from an undergraduate degree course without experience or professional practice you must be able to demonstrate a good knowledge of your chosen subject area.

In order to be eligible for a course, you will need to be a competent speaker and writer of English. This also applies if you are from the European Union, or if you're from a country outside the EU. You will need a level of IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each section.

Programme specification
Documents showing the detailed specification for the course can be downloaded here.

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Course structure

Course aims

  • To understand the role of design management as a business discipline balancing both leadership roles in terms of innovation, the creation of vision and future directions and management roles in terms of using specific tools, methods and techniques.
  • To approach leadership, organisational and enterprise development from the perspective of design thinking and creative innovation.

Study units

Stage One: developing a knowledge base and new reference points - introduces you to a range of theories and practices in the strategic use of design and innovation, with a particular focus on the method of design thinking in the global context and how it relates to design management. 

  • Unit 1: Cultural and Contextual Design Studies
  • Unit 2: Practical Application of Design Thinking in Design Management
  • Unit 3: Managing Design in a Global Society and Economy

Stage Two: putting new learning into a professional context – develops the practical application of design thinking with a focus on innovation and industry-oriented professional practice based on design management. It also extends your innovation and leadership toolkit.

  • Unit 4: Professional Practice in Management and Consulting
  • Unit 5: Strategic Design and Innovation
  • Unit 6: Studio Practice

Stage Three: evaluating and advancing existing knowledge

  • Unit 7: Major Project.