MA Design

Hone your critical design practice to create, challenge and re-imagine the world we live in.

MA Design is a research-led practice programme that challenges current conventions of thinking, making and communicating.

In an increasingly complex world, design is positioned at the forefront to propose future possibilities and produce cultural impact. Redefining learning and making approaches through research-led interdisciplinary practices, the programme nurtures students to propose possibilities and question the discipline of design. 

Fielding design and artistic experts, the programme provides an independent learning environment for experimentation and play with design. The programme attracts students who want to break out of the mould of contemporary design thinking.

As technologies progress, societies must evolve for communities to reimagine themselves. The designer is positioned to create solutions, preserving the values and thinking behind them in response to constrained resources and diverse needs.

To emphasise the social, environmental and downstream impact of designed products, services and systems, we need to factor in not just market-driven forces and material possibilities, but what the making process itself means. This is why the practices of design and design research are increasingly important across industry contexts, whereby we rethink not only the makeup of the solutions, but also the process of inquiry that generates them.

Against this backdrop, the MA Design Programme is designed to respond to the important role of design in re-imagining the world we live in. You will be challenging your thinking and making processes. You will emerge fully proficient in being able to articulate and produce design as a force for impact. You will be part of a new generation of research-based creators, innovators and inventors challenging conventions and creating well-informed positions of what design is, what it is able to do, and how it can strategically help to transform lives.

The programme develops design research and practice capabilities through critical analysis, collaborative engagement and intellectual argument. You will learn by doing along the iterative process of research-led design practice. You will hone your critical thinking through the ability to identify problems and formulate solutions, increasing your agility to perform across the roles of thinker, researcher, strategist and innovator.

You will explore research themes through modules on context, discourse, methodology and interdisciplinary design labs in a learning environment that is interdisciplinary and collaborative. You will experience active learning, dialogue and debate with fellow students, and faculty and industry partners with diverse backgrounds, expertise and experience.

In order to support your exploration of the emerging applications of design and where you can best apply your skills towards them, the programme provides a supportive environment full of advanced practical and research-driven opportunities for you to experiment across a wide range of domains.

Course Details

MA Design Course Details

Full-time: 1.5 years
(3 semesters)
Part-time: 3 years
(6 semesters)


Full-time or part-time

Programme structure

This full-time programme spans three consecutive semesters within a 1.5-year duration. Semesters 1 and 2 each have two 30-credit modules. In Semester 2, a 30-credit elective module option is made available to you with a choice to take the module offered by your respective programme or, in consultation with your Programme Leader, select a module offered by another MA programme. The 60-credit module in the final (3rd) semester will support you to develop a thesis or a practice-based project/exhibition based on your research interests.

Semester 1

Research Methods in Creative Arts (30 CP)
Design Lab 1: Design in Context and Integrated Design Practice (30 CP)

Research Methods in Creative Arts
This module introduces you to arts research through a thorough study of research methods and analytical techniques informing artistic and critical practices at the MA level. Research operates within a critical context and this module aims to prepare you to confidently articulate your practice, formulate your own critical arguments, and formulate methods to investigate and probe issues.

Design Lab 1: Design in Context and Integrated Design Practice
This module introduces you to the impacts of design on human civilisation through its changing values in relation to political, social, economic and technological developments. You will be required to identify design beyond the scope of problem-solving or outcome-based activities and analyse it as a form of social critique and self- enquiry leading towards design thinking.

Semester 2

Design Lab 2: Design Synthesis and Hypothesis (30 CP)
Critical Discourse in Design (30 CP)

Design Lab 2: Design Synthesis and Hypothesis
In this module, you will develop your research and design project beyond the initial proposal stage through independent practical work, testing and critical analyses.

You will undertake a Residency Programme which will take place off-site during the June-July semester break. The focus of the Residency Programme is to provide you with a platform to test new ideas and engage in further research and scholarship within the creative industry and academic community.

Critical Discourse in Design
This module examines an interdisciplinary area of study discussing and analysing the theoretical foundations of design and the cognitive processes and methods used to explore, develop and communicate design solutions. You will be expected to question issues surrounding the nature of design, the processes guiding design, knowledge of design and theories developed from neighbouring disciplines that inform design.

Semester 3

Final Research (60 CP)

Final Research
This module requires you to contextualise and present a substantial body of creative design work and/or written thesis, informed by the critical and conceptual thinking developed over the previous two semesters and supported by a research-led, critical discourse.

Part-time mode

In the part-time mode, the programme spans six consecutive semesters within a 3-year duration. You are required to complete one 30-credit module each in Semesters 1 to 4. The Final Research 60-credit module will span the last 2 semesters in the final year. Part-time students will begin with the Research Methods in Creative Arts module as this establishes core principles and skills necessary across all MA programmes, while also introducing techniques of research, and enables you to present and write analytically and critically across relevant issues in your field of study. You will undergo academic guidance from your Programme Leader to organise your course of study.

More Information

Postgraduate research

LASALLE has a long tradition of practice-led research in art and design. The College aims to assume a significant role in Singapore for practice-led research in visual, performing and literary arts, and aspires to add the distinctive viewpoint of Singapore to research into artistic practice in the 21st century.

The Research Methods in Creative Arts module is a common module which all students are required to undertake. You will have the opportunity to interact with one another in the first term (7 weeks), to network with peers in other MA programmes and foster a stronger community of research practice that enhances your respective discipline of study as well as within the College.

You will be introduced to relevant professional methods of research and creation which may include profiles of and/or dialogue with creative professionals, critical/theoretical discourse, action research, visual object analysis, textual analysis, case studies, historical and ethnographic research, interviews, life-stories/autobiographies, etc. You will also be introduced to research practices such as literature reviews, process-based discovery, bibliographical searches, quantitative & qualitative methods, citations and the construction of research questions

Postgraduate students are constantly exposed to first-hand experience in current practices of research and creation, leading to the acquiring powerful knowledge and of a wide set of skills by the time you graduate. You will have opportunities to develop expertise in accordance with your research interests.

Programme highlights

The programme focuses on helping you to develop a research-led design practice with developmental opportunities to stimulate interdisciplinary exchange. You will examine and contextualise analytical and systematic approaches to design research methodology and formulate a design discourse in three broad areas:

  • Research in Design
  • Research-based Design
  • Research through Design

Through the programme modules, you will examine, critique, and propose contemporary, emerging ideas through design practice using one or more of four research themes:

Contemporary Cities
Design influences the social world through a set of values or symbols through which culture is constructed. This research theme focuses on how designers can transform everyday urban experiences and the worldviews of urban dwellers. We will explore how the contemporary city can be both local yet global, and how it encompasses complex economic, political, social, environmental factors at play. This theme gives you a critical vocabulary to create opportunities for dialogue between various social, technological, economic or political aspects influencing urban growth and development, to propose new ideas of how we will live in cities in the future.

Objects and Representation
How individuals perceive and understand designed objects is socially and culturally dependent. The study of material culture has long been rooted in cultural and historical research. This theme focuses on designed objects and their various effects on the material culture of today so as to open up discussions on history, philosophy and the relationships between people, objects and representations. As design evolves, so does the value of objects. Thus we will explore interesting interactions, narratives and relationships between people and their objects.

Citizen Designer
Citizen designer is a term coined by design critics Steven Heller and Veronique Vienne (2009). It is about designers questioning how they can affect political or social change, what it mean to be a social designer or to be design-conscious against the fast-changing environments of Asia and beyond. This theme questions the impact of design on citizenry by raising issues existing in the minds of conscientious designers dealing with issues at the educational, individual, corporate and grassroots levels.

Future Identities
The emerging design issues of today are typified by complex and interdependent problems. In the era of globalisation and growing digitalisation, the concept of design is blurred in terms of its methodological and professional boundaries. Reflective design is about proposing new creative perspectives and critical paradigms for design futures. In this theme we will explore what the future might hold for design and develop innovation strategies to address changing markets, competitive forces, organisational capabilities and business objectives. We will explore changing trends and new research models on how design can be applied to improve our human and built environment.

Graduate career paths

The MA Design Programme at LASALLE builds upon the dynamically evolving design culture in Singapore and the region. As part of an increasingly important but scarce pool of talent, you will participate in the positioning of Singapore and Asia as a rigorous environment and connection point for innovative design-based education.

As a graduate of the programme, you will be sought after for your ability to understand the multi-faceted cultural, communicative, production, management and business demands so as to contribute across a spectrum of creative industries and business contexts.


Tap into the illustrious minds of our faculty members who are movers and shakers in their own disciplines. They will impart, challenge and encourage, as they share their invaluable expertise and experiences with you.

Dean, Faculty of Design
Head, School of Design Communication and Programme Leader, Diploma in Design for Communication and Experiences and BA(Hons) Design Communication
Programme Leader, MA Design
Senior Lecturer, Design Communication
Lecturer, School of Design Communication
Lecturer, Cultural and Contextual Studies

Admission Information

Important Dates

January 2022 intake

MA Arts Pedagogy and Practice
MA Arts and Cultural Leadership
MA Asian Art Histories
MA Creative Writing
MA Design
MA Fine Arts

Apply by 15 Aug 2021.
Applicants are to submit all supporting documents by 22 Aug 2021.
Assessment period: 25 Aug – 8 Sep 2021
Application outcome will be announced by: 22 Sep 2021
Start of semester: Jan 2022

August 2021 intake

MA Art Therapy

Start of semester: Aug 2021
Application has closed.

Entry Requirements


You must fulfil the following requirements: 

Academic requirements

  • A Bachelor's degree from a recognised local or international institution.
  • A minimum of IELTS 7.0, TOEFL iBT 100 or PTE Academic 65 for applicants from countries where English is not the first language or whose qualifications are obtained from institutions where English is not the medium of instruction.

Statement of Purpose

  • In 500 – 1,000 words, highlight your reasons for applying to this programme and how they relate to your future plans. You should also include a brief description of your research intention / interest(s) that you are keen to explore.

Reference letter

  • Provide a reference letter to support your application. 


  • Your portfolio should contain relevant and substantial creative work in either written or visual form. You may include projects (including sketches, process, experiments, and iterations) and visual documents to reflect your research interest(s) and provide evidence of sufficient technical skills and evolved critical and creative thinking in design. You are required to upload your portfolio online.


  • All applicants will attend an interview. During the interview, you are required to participate in a dialogue regarding the purpose of your application. Please be prepared to talk about your background, what inspires you and your influences. We would like to find out what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment in your areas of interest. You should also share how you think the programme will benefit you in your future career choices or develop your research interests.
  • International Applicants: if you are unable to attend the interview at LASALLE, an online interview will be arranged for you.

Tuition fees (per annum)


Programme Duration Fees per semester Total fees
Years Singaporeans Singapore PR International Singaporeans Singapore PR International
MA Art Therapy 2 S$10,300 S$10,300 S$11,660 S$41,200 S$41,200 S$46,640
MA Arts Pedagogy and Practice 1.5 S$10,300 S$10,300 S$11,660 S$30,900 S$30,900 S$34,980
MA Arts and Cultural Leadership 1.5 S$10,300 S$10,300 S$11,660 S$30,900 S$30,900 S$34,980
MA Asian Art Histories 1.5 S$10,300 S$10,300 S$11,660 S$30,900 S$30,900 S$34,980
MA Creative Writing 1.5 S$10,300 S$10,300 S$11,660 S$30,900 S$30,900 S$34,980
MA Design 1.5 S$10,300 S$10,300 S$11,660 S$30,900 S$30,900 S$34,980
MA Fine Arts 1.5 S$10,300 S$10,300 S$11,660 S$30,900 S$30,900 S$34,980
All MA Programmes (Part-Time Mode*) 3 S$5,150 S$5,150 S$5,830 S$30,900 S$30,900 S$34,980
Note for postgraduate fees:
  • * With the exception of MA Art Therapy – only available in full-time mode.
  • Fees include 7% GST.
  • Fees are subject to change. Correct as at August 2019.

Application fees

A non-refundable application fee (inclusive of 7% GST) is chargeable per application. Please ensure your application fee is paid and documents are submitted within seven working days from the submission date of your online application.

Singaporeans / Singapore Permanent Resident applicants International applicants
S$60 S$120


Basic materials for learning are provided by the College.

Students as developing artists are required to have certain items that are particular to them and cannot be shared. Such items include books, dance shoes, rehearsal clothes, safety boots, portable musical instruments, paints, canvas, basic tools, design software, cameras, etc., that will support students through their three-year learning journey. The College does not encourage the purchase of extravagant or costly materials or equipment. Lecturers will provide students with affordable suggestions.

Students are encouraged to have their own laptops for their education. For those who are unable to, computer labs are available on campus with requisite software for them to undertake their work.

There may be opportunities for students to undertake extra-curricular study trips to enhance their overall learning. Trips are not compulsory and may incur additional costs to students.

More information

Fee Protection Scheme (FPS)

Fee Protection Scheme (FPS) serves to protect students’ fees in the event a Private Education Institution (PEI) is unable to continue operations due to insolvency and/or regulatory closure. The FPS also protects students when the PEI fails to pay penalties or refund fees to the students arising from judgements made against it by the Singapore courts.

In seeking to be an EduTrust-certified PEI, LASALLE is required to adopt the FPS to ensure full protection to all fees paid by their students. Therefore, the FPS is compulsory for students who are taking BA(Hons), MA and Certificate programmes at LASALLE.

Diploma programmes offered by LASALLE are exempted from FPS under the EduTrust requirements of the Committee for Private Education (CPE).

More information on the Committee for Private Education

Medical Insurance Scheme (MIS)

All full time students of LASALLE are required to be covered under the Medical Insurance Scheme. The coverage includes $20,000 annually for school related activities throughout the programme duration.

The current premium rate is $23.54 payable each semester. This premium rate is subject to change based on the prevailing premiums charged by the insurer.

Accepted modes of payment

All payment to LASALLE must be made in Singapore Dollar. In line with the Singapore government's move towards a cashless society, online payments are strongly encouraged. Below are the payment modes acceptable by LASALLE:

Payment method Payment mode

Online payment

  • MasterCard
  • Visa
  • Flywire
  • iBanking
  • PayNow
  • SAM (kiosk, web or mobile)

Walk-in payment at LASALLE McNally Campus
LASALLE College of the Arts
Finance Counter
Block E, Level 2
1 McNally Street
Singapore 187940

Operating Hours:
9am to 3pm (Mon – Fri)

Closed on public holidays and weekends

  • MasterCard
  • VISA
  • Cheque*
  • Bankdraft*
  • NETS
Mail-in payment
LASALLE College of the Arts
Division of Admissions
1 McNally Street
Singapore 187940
  • Cheque*
  • Bankdraft*

* Cheques and bankdrafts must be made in Singapore Dollars (S$), crossed and made payable to “LASALLE”. Please do not send in post-dated cheques. Kindly write your name, NRIC/passport number, online application number and contact number on the reverse side of your cheque/bankdraft.

Scholarships & Financial Support


In recognition of outstanding academic excellence, leadership potential, and a passion for creativity and innovation, LASALLE offers a variety of scholarships to new and current students.

Application dates for scholarships will be reflected in the various scholarship page. Other externally sponsored scholarships are also available to students. Enquiries and applications may be directed to the respective organisations.

Please note that miscellaneous fees are not covered by scholarships, bursaries or the Mendaki Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy (TTFS).

View Scholarships Offered


We are committed to providing a quality education for all our students, and believe that no deserving student should be denied admission because of financial difficulty.

A range of financial assistance schemes, grants and loans are made available to help meet a portion of the educational expenses of students.

Please note that miscellaneous fees are not covered by scholarships, bursaries or the Mendaki Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy (TTFS).

View Bursaries Offered


Frequently Asked Questions

Download Prospectus

Postgraduate Prospectus
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MA Design Prospectus
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Take the next exhilarating step with our MA Design Programme.