Master of Design

Over the past fifty years, the designer’s role has shifted from a preoccupation with form and style to a focus on solving problems of communication and human interaction, and on the creation and support of human activities, services and processes through the mediating influence of products.

The Master of Design is a 42-credit program taken over a period of three semesters or one calendar year. At the core of the program are three graduate design studio courses in which the students work select projects. In appropriate circumstances, these projects may be for outside clients.

In addition to the required course work, students undertake a thesis/degree project, which should be a substantial piece of original practice-led research. The Division of Design considers "design research" to be rooted in the practice of design; Thesis Projects should have a theoretical foundation but will be primarily visual and practical, with an emphasis on the application of design thinking.

For Students whose First Language is not English
For qualified students whose English abilities are not at Canadian university level, we offer conditional acceptance to enable students to complete an ESL program before entering one of NSCAD’s programs.

How to Apply

Student Work


NSCAD Interdisciplinary Design Facebook page


Summer Semester (15 credit total)
Students do 15 credits of coursework. In addition, students will choose a thesis/degree project topic and present a project plan.
MDES 6200 Graduate Design Studio 1 (6 credits)
MDES 6030 (9 credits)

Fall Semester (12 credit total)
Students complete 12 credits of coursework: A Project Advisory Committee is established for each MDES student and a Project Report is delivered to the Committee in the first week of December.

MDES 6600 Graduate Studio 2 (6 credits)
MDES 6110 Graduate Design Workshop (3 credits)
MDES 6112 Thesis Project Research Methods (3 credits)

Winter Semester (15 credit total)
Students complete their final semester with 15 credits of coursework. The Thesis Project First Draft is delivered before the Winter Break, and final presentation are made near the end of the semester. If students organize a Graduate Design Research Exhibition it is held in the Anna Leonowens Gallery, also before the end of the semester.

MDES 6800 Graduate Studio 3 (6 credits)
MDES 6900 Graduate Design Thesis Exhibition / Review (9 credits)

Application Deadline
Master of Design
January 15

Ready to Apply?
Find out more about applying to Graduate Studies

Application Deadlines

Master of DesignJanuary 15

Master of Fine ArtsJanuary 15

Ready to Apply?

Find out more about applying to Graduate Studies

MDes Class of 2010