Interaction Design

Key Facts

Staff

Programme Overview

How to Apply

Institution Name: GSA
Institution Code: G43
UCAS Code: W280

Award

BA (Hons) Interaction 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.

Assessment

Coursework, essays, practical design projects. Formative assessments take place at key points throughout the year with summative assessments at the end of each academic year.

Facilities
We have dedicated bright and well-supported flexible studio and crit/group work spaces with a range of equipment including computers, VR and sound facilities, AxiDraw plotters, 3D printers, cameras, tracking systems and numerous creative sensory peripherals.

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.

Graduate Destinations
Interaction Design graduates go on to work in a variety of different roles for a diverse mix of employers and organisations, including Arup, ISO Design and Refunc. Others continue into further postgraduate study or work as independent new media artists and designers.

Progamme Leader
Paul Maguire


Lecturer in Physical Computing and Interactive Prototyping
Jen Sykes


Lecturer in Interaction Design
Gillian Moffat

Programme Overview

The Interaction Design programme at The Glasgow School of Art combines technology with visual thinking and creative problem-solving. As a student of Interaction Design,

you will learn to work with creative code to generate engaging interactive digital media for a wide range of platforms. You will graduate with a diverse range of skills enabling future career opportunities in interactive art, design, motion graphics, app development and more.

We are characterised by actively engaging with creative coding and digital culture. The course is highly experimental allowing students to develop their own approaches within an art and design context. We consider our materials to be computers, cameras, sensors, lights, motors, projectors, networks and more. By framing the use of technology within a creative context, students learn practical and technological skills as well as how to articulate creative ideas and meaning behind work.

More information on the type of work students create can be found on the Interaction Design blog. 

Benefits of Interaction Design include:

  • High staff to student contact time
  • Ability to bridge both the creative and technological worlds
  • Varied graduate destinations such as museum interactives creators, VR developers, graphic designers, new media artists
  • Studying in an open, bright, shared and agile space
  • Access to great shared facilities: computers, audio facilities, VR, rapid electronic prototyping using Physcial Computing, 3D printing, and more. 

Live Projects and external partners

The programme aims to include at least one project per year in year 3 which involves working with real-world clients and collaborators. Past examples are such projects are the live-streamed Dream On performance event with The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 2017, Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust AV installation in 2018, and Glasgow Central Station Tours in 2020. We have strong connections to key digital media industries such as engineering companies,  motion graphics and interactive media agencies and have a wide range of international visiting lecturers and guest speakers. This network of partners also facilitates student internships and work experience opportunities.

General monitorship

Students requiring learning support are fully accommodated with agile teaching practice tailored to individual needs. Each student also is assigned a departmental contact tutor who acts in an advisory and pastoral capacity in relation to progress.

Degree Show and beyond

The final year project culminates in an end of year GSA Degree Show, a large-scale and key annual cultural event attracting attention from public and professionals alike. Post-degree show there is an opportunity for students to participate in a group graduate exhibition in London – New Designers. This week-long event is hugely attended and often results in students making contact with employers and collaborators.

Preparing a portfolio 

All folios for any art school application should demonstrate involvement with traditional materials and methods such as drawing, mark-making, explorations of colour, form, structure, etc. We seek applicants with questioning and analytical approaches as these fit well with our teaching. An engagement with the wider subject area of digital culture is very attractive to us as is an interest in the creative application of technology. We do not require you to have previous coding experience in order to apply, however we do look for a willingness to actively engage in the learning of these new and challenging creative skillsets.

Hardware and Software Costs

As a student of Interaction Design you should aim to be digitally agile. This usually means using a laptop computer which allows flexibility and ambition in approach to briefs. Your GSA email grants you significant reductions is the cost of a new laptop and the use of flexible payment plans. Your GSA email facilitates the use of free educational licenses of some software including Autodesk Maya and Maxon Cinema 4D. Students are also expected to budget for the greatly-reduced educational monthly licensing of the Adobe Creative Suite of products (please check Adobe website for details).

Design History and Theory

An element of the programme is delivered by the department of Design History and Theory. For most of the four years of undergraduate programmes in design, one day per week of the student timetable is allocated to Design History and Theory. More information on the department and staff profiles can be found here.