Too little awareness of management courses

The Design Council’s June eBulletin refers to the Design Industry Skills Development Plan. In the Parliamentary preview, David Worthington – deputy chairman of the Design Skills Advisory Panel – says we don’t have university courses that take on board project management, account management, research, semiotics, consumer behaviour, finance etc.

I would like to invite him and his colleagues to find out more about the MA in design management at the University of Central England in Birmingham. The aim of the course is to bridge the gap between design and business, designers and non-designers. The course explores the strategic role of design, while collaborating with companies and organisations involved in design.

We work with designers wanting to develop their business skills, and non-designers involved in design.

The course embraces all that Worthington mentions, and more. Of particular interest to employers wishing to develop their employees, participants are able to study while remaining in design practice via a unique ‘learning contract’.

The contract is constructed around an individual’s personal and work-related goals and takes into account the work context. It also gives credit for time spent at work. The course can be studied either full time or part time.

It’s frustrating that the course has such a low profile in the UK and recruits only a handful of UK and EU students, while at the same time being inundated by overseas applicants from the very economies the UK is fighting to compete with.

Caroline Norman, Course director, MA Design Management, University of Central England, Birmingham B42 2SU

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