Design Innovation & Environmental Design

Key Facts


Programme Overview


M.Des in Design Innovation & Environmental Design. All GSA degree programmes are validated by the University of Glasgow. Established in 1451, the University of Glasgow is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities and a founder member of Universitas 21, an international grouping of universities dedicated to setting worldwide standards for higher education.


The assessment combines written work, visual and project material produced both by groups and individuals. The assessment formats are designed to develop analytical thinking, creative synthesis and a rigorous capacity for reflection and self-evaluation. There is an emphasis upon collaborative studio working combined with individual exploration and analysis of theoretical positions and discourses.

Innovation School Website

Studio environment and access to GSA technical resources and other facilities.

Indicative Additional Costs
Individual departments levy material fees as indicated on this page. You should budget for each year of your programme of study and should allow for costs over and above your fees and maintenance, particularly if expensive materials or projects are chosen.

Head of School
Dr Gordon Hush

Programme Leader
Jonathan Baldwin

Lecturer & Programme Coordinator
Dr Iain Reid

Research Methods Lecturer
Dr Mafalda Moreira

Programme Overview

This programme focuses on the developing role of the designer in the context of the environment. In recent decades, our experience of space and place has been radically transformed. Across the globe, populations are on the move, with people traveling further and more frequently than at any point in history.

Alongside this, the expansion of digital technology has led to novel forms of environmental interaction. We have more opportunities than ever to explore and communicate with the wider world. As societies shift and adapt, the meaning of place and community are being redefined, presenting designers with an exciting range of possibilities and challenges.

Design for the future

Throughout this pioneering programme, we use design to explore our experience of the physical and cultural landscape so that we can reimagine the potential and possibilities of places and communities. You will learn tools and processes essential in responding to the needs of particular demographics and environments.

Teaching staff

Our staff hold expertise in architecture, visual communication, product design, heritage studies and human geography. Through their guidance, students are encouraged to explore their personal motivations, which, for example, might relate to community development, design for sustainability, place-making or wayfinding.

Course structure

The programme is based in Glasgow and centres on collaborative, multi-disciplinary group work, undertaken in an open studio space. There may also be opportunities to study at the GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus. Students are supported by regular tutorials and review sessions, as well as numerous workshops and lectures. Key areas of learning will include: the application of participatory and human-centred research methods in real world settings; the appropriate communication of design outcomes; and the ability to articulate of the role of the designer as an agent of change.

Career Destinations

It is expected that graduates of the programme will be able to operate across a range of disciplines. Immediate possibilities include positions in UX design, wayfinding design, event design and urban planning. Others may wish to continue careers in architecture or engineering. Through the programme’s emphasis on innovation and the exploration of preferable future scenarios, our alumni are well equipped to make a significant and lasting contribution to the field of environmental design.