purpose of the IAU Master of Arts in Design is to prepare
students to significantly influence and lead the development
of the visual arts and design professions thus contributing
to the country's global position and status. The program
offers 36 credits in research, theory and studio courses
in parallel to the development of a self-initiated thesis
Master of Arts in Design program allows the student to disengage
from the daily pursuit of tasks in their fields that are
normally carried out under constraints, and which may limit
their exploration of the subject in a holistic sense. Instead,
the student is able to look in depth into the history, theory,
practice and achievements of design on local, national and
addition, the students will utilize a variety of methodologies
appropriate to the subject/s under investigation in order
to create a basis for further pioneering and exploratory
addition to the university admission requirements for graduate
students, the candidate must submit a portfolio of work
for assessment and schedule an interview with MA course
faculty. In addition, applicants for the graduate program
may be granted a maximum of nine transfer credits of graduate
studies taken at another accredited institution of higher
education provided that the transfer course(s) correspond
to the IAU course requirements. In order to be accepted
into the program, the students must take a minimum of 6
credits per semester as a part-time candidate and 9 credits
as a full-time candidate. The maximum number of credits
per semester is 12 credits.
applying with a bachelor degree outside of design should
first fulfill the undergraduate requirements of the university
admission policy. Students with a degree other than design
will have to consult with MA course faculty.
seeking the degree of Master of Design must meet the university
graduation requirements and complete 36 credits with a cumulative
average of at least 3.0/4.0.
Degree Requirements (36 Credits)
MAD 615. Design Research Methodologies (3)
survey of current design thinking and research methodologies
to aid the student in the development of projects in response
to a critical content framework. The course is intended
to offer the student support and direction in the formation
of the critical thinking that will inform their written
and visual solutions. Includes lectures, readings and discussion
of contemporary issues in design in social and cultural
616. Contemporary Issues in Design (3)
seminar in which topics of current relevance to design practice
and critical thinking will be explored and analyzed. The
course content will change each semester to remain up to
date within the profession.
625. Design Research Development (3)
of conceptual and analytical skills for the self-initiated
design research which will culminate in a written proposal.
Prerequisite: MAD 615.
626. Cultural Issues in Design (3)
seminar that will consider the relevance of culture to design
particularly in the Lebanese context. An introduction to
recent theories in various disciplines concerning cultural
understanding of design. The course content will change
each semester to remain up to date within the profession.
Prerequisite: MAD 616.
627. Design Studio II (6)
visual application of the topics and ideas covered in Cultural
Issues in Design. The course will be a platform for experimentation
and exploration of concepts from the seminars. Focuses on
the role of design objects as cultural artifacts and their
reflection of social diversity on both designers and audiences.
Includes creation, reproduction, distribution and reception
of messages. Co-requisite and/or Prerequisite: MAD 626.
635. Thesis I (3)
course will support and assist the student in the development
and preparation of their research into a comprehensive written
document that will complement the visual work to be undertaken
in Thesis II. The two components will interrelate to support
the theories, hypothesis and conclusion/s. Prerequisite:
636. Special Topic (3)
course is given by an invited instructor to explore topics
of current interest. Prerequisite: MAD 627.
645. Thesis II (6)
course will provide guidance during the development of the
visual application of the design thesis. The final outcome
should serve as the solution/answer to the written thesis.
Prerequisite: MAD 635.
OF ARTS IN DESIGN (By Direct Research)
Course Duration and Availability
Minimum one year full-time or two years part-time, post-BA
Mode(s) of Study: Full-time, part-time, distance education
and mixed modes.
Students without formal research skills may be required
to undertake a bridging unit prior to commencing the course.
Non Standard Semester Delivery
The course is offered in open and flexible modes of study
to cater for the needs of practicing designers and professionals
in other related fields.
Description of the Program
This Master of Design by Research provides an opportunity
for designers, educationalists and professionals in other
related areas to develop research skills and knowledge and
to carry out design research. Knowledge in the design field
is advanced through independent investigation or the examination
of a hypothesis and the development and presentation of
a thesis or creative design project.
Design is a multi-disciplinary activity which requires highly
developed critical and analytical thinking and conceptual
and communication skills. This program focuses on those
critical faculties and the creative synthesis of independent
work or experimentation in producing a contribution to knowledge
that is well grounded in findings from a research activity.
Study modes are flexible and negotiable with opportunities
provided for candidates to complete the program on or off
campus through the electronic communications protocols established
by the School of Design and the Distance Education unit
and/or to attend intensive short courses.
The course accords with various national, university and
and complements other degrees already available in the School
as a focused professional degree that offers a distinctive
and rigorous practical/creative program for research in
the design field.
The aims of the Master of Design by Direct Research are
a. Advanced level research and inquiry skills for professionals
related to the design field.
b. A program of study related closely to professional practice
in design, which is research focused and directed towards
practical outcomes that should contribute to the growth
of a professional body of knowledge in the design field.
c. A professional support infrastructure which provides
students with access to information and resources at the
international level as an integral part of the course of
On completion of the program the student will:
a. Have a professional command of the theory and knowledge
central to their professional/ creative discipline;
b. Have developed the skill of self-criticism and have acquired
the ability to process and respond to others' constructive
comments, such that the revision of work can be reasoned
as well as intuitive and be appropriately 'reflective';
c. Have demonstrated the ability to produce sustained high-quality
professional/creative work at a postgraduate level; and
d. Have demonstrated the ability to engage and interact
with the relevant international and local design/professional
Applicants would normally have completed an undergraduate
degree or postgraduate diploma in design or related fields.
Refer to the Regulations (3) for the Degree of Master by
Research available from the School.
In recognition of the comparatively recent opportunities
for design practitioners to gain a bachelors degree, applicants
who have significant practical experience (normally a minimum
of 3 years following the award of a bachelor degree, and
a minimum of 5 years following a 3 year Diploma) will be
considered for admission to the course. Candidates who do
not have formal research experience may be required to undertake
a bridging unit prior to commencing the course.
A Doctoral degree is the highest degree that can be obtained
by undertaking supervised research, and implies that the
holder is an authority in design and can make a worthwhile
contribution in their field.
A thesis of approximately 60-80,000 words is a normal outcome
for a PhD.
The research degrees are governed by the University Humanities
Divisional Graduate Studies Committee and supervision and
facilities are provided by the School of Design at the College
of Arts and Sciences. Application should be made through
the School or International Office whichever is applicable.
Applicants should provide a short outline of their proposed
research project with their application. Full details of
application procedures and Scholarships which may be available
for MA or PhD by Direct Research in Design, can be obtained
through the Graduate Studies Office or International Offices
of the University.