What is the role of design and the designer in today's fast-changing world? As technologies progress rapidly, so do the possibilities of what constitutes design expand. Along with the growth of societies, as communities reimagine themselves, the designer's canvas evolves as well. Not only do we create solutions, we also preserve the values and thinking behind them in response to constrained resources as diverse needs increase.
As design exists within an increasingly complex and interconnected world, we need to emphasise the social, environmental and downstream impact of designed products, services and systems. We will 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 those solutions as well.
The complexity and unpredictability of the problems we face means that solving them will require us to bring multi-disciplinary skills, expertise and processes to bear on any one problem, as not one domain of expertise has the monopoly on the solution. As more individuals and organisations recognise this, designers today are applying their craft in a staggering variety of contexts, from products to services, organisations, systems and policies, beyond the previous conventional domains of design.
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 help strategically transform lives.
The programme develops design research and practice capabilities in 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 and ability to identify problems and formulate solutions, increasing your agility to perform across the roles of thinker, researcher, strategist and innovator.
We provide a learning environment for interdisciplinary, collaborative processes. You will explore research themes through modules on context, discourse, methodology and interdisciplinary design labs. You will experience active learning, dialogue and debate with your 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.
Full-Time: 1.5 Years
Part-Time: 3 Years
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.
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.
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.
Final Research (60 CP)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
The MA Design Programme at LASALLE builds upon the dynamically evolving design culture we are seeing in Singapore and the region. Singapore is now home to more than 7000 multinational corporations, where an estimate of over 227,000 jobs were created for both local and foreign talents. In recent years, Asia has become a major player in design and has been influential to the creative economy. Places like Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore are emerging as major players on the creative world stage, due to the richness and sophistication of their cultural heritage. 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.
January 2019 Intake
MA Arts Pedagogy and Practice
MA Arts and Cultural Leadership
MA Asian Art Histories
MA Creative Writing
MA Fine Arts
- Application deadline for international students: 12 Nov 2018
- Application deadline for local students: 30 Nov 2018
August 2019 Intake
MA Art Therapy
- Applications deadline: 30 Apr 2019
ADMISSIONS TESTS/PORTFOLIO AND INTERVIEW REQUIREMENTS
Applicants for this programme of study should have:
- A good undergraduate degree (equivalent to a 2nd class honour classification) in any related discipline from a recognised tertiary institution.
- Expansive folio with relevant and substantial creative work (written or visual form).
- Preferred professional work experience either in full-time or part-time capacity or any other substantial related work experience.
- A satisfactory score in written and spoken English OR a minimum of IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL iBT 100 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.
- Applicants who come from non-design fields but with the interest and relevant background to develop research work in related design fields can apply as well. Applicants are selected on the basis of their research proposal and interest in design. Applicants should have sufficient technical skills to realise intentions and show evidence of commitment to the study.
All applicants will have to submit a research proposal and will attend an interview to discuss their application. The applicant must outline their interest in design and how they wish to push the boundaries of design in related or non-related domains.
The written research proposal should consist of the intended design research enquiry and a brief study plan (1,000-1,500 words).
The proposal should include:
- A brief background research including contextual framing and a proposed design brief.
- Any visual examples as reference.
Tuition Fees (per annum)
POSTGRADUATE DEGREE IN ARTS TUITION FEES 2018/19 INTAKE
|Programme||Duration||Fees Per Semester (S$)||Total (S$)|
|Programme||Years||Singaporeans||Singapore PR||International||Singaporeans||Singapore PR||International|
|MA Art Therapy||2||10,000||10,000||11,000||40,000||40,000||44,000|
|MA Arts Pedagogy and Practice||1.5||10,000||10,000||11,000||30,000||30,000||33,000|
|MA Arts and Cultural Leadership||1.5||10,000||10,000||11,000||30,000||30,000||33,000|
|MA Asian Art Histories||1.5||10,000||10,000||11,000||30,000||30,000||33,000|
|MA Creative Writing||1.5||10,000||10,000||11,000||30,000||30,000||33,000|
|MA Fine Arts||1.5||10,000||10,000||11,000||30,000||30,000||33,000|
|All MA Programmes (Part-Time Mode*)||3||5,000||5,000||5,500||30,000||30,000||33,000|
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 31 October 2017.
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|
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.
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).
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 $18.20 payable each semester. This premium rate is subject to change based on the prevailing premiums charged by the insurer.
All payment to LASALLE must be made in Singapore Dollar. Below are the payment modes acceptable by LASALLE :
|Payment Method||Payment Mode|
Walk-in Payment at LASALLE McNally Campus
Closed on public holidays and weekends
LASALLE College of the Arts Division of Admissions
1 McNally Street
* Cheques and bankdrafts must be made in Singapore Dollars (S$), 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.
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.
Applications for scholarships open from March to May and October to November for new MA students. 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).
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).
Take the next exhilarating step with our MA Design Programme.