MA Transportation Design

The MA in Transportation Design emphasises the design of niche and alternative fuelled forms of transport that explore our evolving relationship to mobility in a shrinking world.  Design strategies aim to encourage free thinkers who are prepared to challenge received wisdom in the pursuit of excellence in vehicle design.  

Key Facts

Course Length:
3 Semesters

Swansea College of Art
Contact Name:
Paul Morrow
Contact Email:
Language Choice:

facebook  twitter  youtube  Instagram  UCAS

This programme explores the inter-relationship of form and emotion in the design and development of all forms of transport.  The programme provides a platform for students to further their knowledge of the nature of vehicle design and the necessity for its application in the design of sustainable forms of transport, bridging the gap between human interaction and innovative transportation solutions.  The programme provides graduates with the opportunity to develop their expertise to make them a mover effective and reflective design practitioner. An interdisciplinary approach is adopted, allowing the students the freedom to challenge conventions through cross collaborative experimentation and lateral thinking, with a goal of harnessing design ambiguity into a tangible outcome.

The programme is about pushing the envelope of Transportation Design by educating the next generation of visionaries and implementers, who will embrace, reflect and address environmental, economic and social-cultural challenges through the medium of creative dialogue.

An interdisciplinary approach allows the students the freedom to challenge conventions through cross collaborative experimentation and lateral thinking, with a goal of harnessing design ambiguity into an entrepreneurial outcome. It is our intention to promote the growing reputation of the School by embedding a culture of design led research activity closely supported by local, national and international organisations.

The MA Transportation Design programme aims to educate designers for professional practice with the modules in Part 1 focusing on design thinking and the development of the student’s creative and philosophical attributes, with Part 2 allowing the student freedom to deliver an in-depth investigation to a self-defined question. Students will explore the evolving relationship between humans and mobility in an ever shrinking world, challenging the current conventional approach and proposing new directions for getting from A to B.

The programme is a platform for students to further their knowledge and application in the design of sustainable forms of transport, bridging the gap between human interaction, innovative transportation solutions and the creative approach to new vehicle aesthetics, providing graduates with the opportunity to develop their expertise to make them a more effective and reflective design practitioner, reflecting society’s future needs.

Core Modules

  • Collaborative Dialogues (20 credits) 

  • Co-Existent Perspectives (20 credits) 

  • The Thought Experiment (20 credits) 

  • Explorative Research Praxis 
(60 credits) 

  • Confirmative Praxis (60 credits) 

The MA Transport Design programme within the Contemporary Dialogues portfolio offers an exciting and innovative re-thinking of Postgraduate provision that reflects the strategic thinking of Swansea College of Art. The portfolio facilitates migration between diverse thematic disciplines, exploring new ideas and conceptual approaches to allow young artists and designers to confront the issues that face society today and into the future.

The portfolio’s ethos of collaborative dialogues through material practices provides an innovative model of design and applied arts education. This development allows students from all pathways to experience and share creative practices and innovative mind-sets through inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary dialogues. This ethos is enhanced within each programme to stimulate ‘collaborative’ practices and experimentation across a broader spectrum of specialist fields, developing graduates with the contextual awareness, creative thinking and technical skills to operate at the forefront of their discipline.

During the course of your studies you will be supported by specialist staff, leading professionals and practicing artists through lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. We have exceptional traditional and digital facilities, housed in spacious purpose-build workshops. Through these, we encourage creative freedom within all of our students and support you in challenging conventional thinking and established practices and facilitate new technological advances across a broad range of disciplines. We have found that through collaborative experimentation and innovative design thinking our students are able to produce work that meets the challenges and respond to the demands of the 21st century.

Facilities include:

  • Firing kilns for glass and ceramics
  • Printmaking, Screen Printing and Digital Textile Technologies
  • Traditional and Digital Stitch
  • Wood, Metal, Clay
  • Cutting Etching and Engraving Technologies - Waterjet, Laser, Plotter
  • 3D Printing and CNC
  • Chemical and Digital Darkrooms
  • Specialist computer facilities with commercial standard software

The main modes of assessment used on this programme are; studio projects, written assignments and seminar presentations.  

Assessment at postgraduate level is reflected by your ability to reformulate and use relevant methodologies and approaches to address problematic situations that involve many interacting factors. It includes taking responsibility for planning and developing courses of action that initiate or underpin substantial change or development, as well as exercising broad autonomy and judgement. It should also reflect an understanding of the relevant theoretical and methodological perspectives and how they affect your area of study or work.

All students that enrol on the programme will have a great desire to explore Transportation scenarios for the future. It is expected that the typical student would be familiar with the core skill set for implementing and disseminating design opinion in their associated field. Students at this level need to be curious, broad-minded, open to new challenges and seriously self-motivated, with the ability to be an inventive problem-solver and lateral thinker with a ‘can do’ attitude. In addition applicants would be expected to demonstrate the intellect and emotion to propose change with regard to transportation infrastructure and the individual needs.

The normal entry requirements for admission to the MA programme are:

  1. An Honours degree (ideally 2:1 or above) or equivalent in an appropriate discipline
  2. For Graduates of non-UK universities, sufficient command of spoken and written English to meet the demands of the programme (e.g. TOEFL 550 or equivalent).

The nature of the programme is such that candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds will be considered.

This programme is written from an employability enhancement perspective, creating the platform for students to embrace the spectrum of commercial and cultural opportunities available, encouraging real life engagements, networking and other activities.

One of the guiding principles and enhancements of this programme is a commitment to flexible learning, with creative flexible learning and teaching relationships and discourses in order to make sure that the student’s individual needs and projected career opportunities are at the centre of their activities. This flexibility and concentration on individual needs and opportunities within learning is placed primarily at the service of employability.

Students will be encouraged to embrace professional networks and create links with enterprise – locally, nationally and globally, as well as connect with external agencies and organisations. Additionally the postgraduate programme has great potential to contribute to the commercial, academic and applied research aspirations of the University and its desire to contribute knowledge to the field of innovation, product and transportation research and development.

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities. However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing.

The programme is not accredited by any single professional body. The programme team encourages students to participate in the work of professional bodies such as the Chartered Society of Designers and the Royal Society of Arts. The programme also benefits from close collaboration with industry through annual live projects. This flexible relationship with industry and the professions allows students to engage with events and projects from a broad spectrum of external bodies.


During your time with us you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.

Study Abroad

Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.

For more information please click here.

To keep in touch with day-to-day life in the School you can follow us on Instagram: #discoverdesignautomotive

Product, Automotive & Transport Design Prospectus:

Swansea College of Art Video:

For further information please contact the Course Director