The IDEA program enables you to design for the future, using the emergent technologies of today.

Technology has a profound effect on culture. The printing press enabled today’s literacy and mass communication. The internet is the digital backbone of modern life. These technologies were developed from their beginnings into ubiquitous technologies by people with the vision, drive and determination to design a better world.

The IDEA program trains you in the skills to nurture emergent technologies for successful commercial and cultural applications. You will experiment, evaluate and apply the most recent advances in technology. A studio-based teaching environment challenges you to design new technologies and interactions. You will work closely with leading researchers to embed computational possibilities into our physical world - blending the digital and the real.

This understanding forms the core of the IDEA program’s design philosophy: technology that is designed to delight its users. This cutting-edge program infuses the latest technological innovation with a human-centred design thinking. The result is an understanding of how to design for technologies that will have lasting cultural and commercial importance.


It’s exhilarating but exhausting to keep up with the latest technology. The IDEA program teaches you to predict where the next major innovations will be and position your skills to respond to the changes they bring.

You learn to predict which technologies will disrupt and revolutionise industries. By designing innovative strategies that capitalise on these changes, your work will fuse high-level technologies with a distinct expressiveness. Your best works will reflect your design ethos while exceeding user’s expectations for functionality.

With access to our constantly updated, cutting-edge and experimental technologies, the IDEA program best positions you to interact with the technologies you want, the way you want.


Lavie Sak

I left my management consulting career and the States with the intent on only learning about new UX principles and design processes through the M.IDEA program, but in reality, I learned something far more applicable and important. I learned that design is so much more than what most people think. It means thinking about problems in new and unique ways, realizing there are a multitude of solutions, and thinking about thinking.

With the help of the teaching staff and their broad range of expertise (art, technology, filmography, user experience, curation, etc.), I was able to explore and develop my own ideas. The program’s flexibility allowed me to excel.

Since graduating, I founded Shot Stats, which was accepted into the leading hardware based accelerator, HAXLR8R, in Shenzhen, China. Shot Stats provides valuable metrics using an on-racket device with accelerometers and gyroscopes. The M.IDEA program is a great place to for creative solutions, like Shot Stats, to originate and flourish!”


I have a degree in information technology and I’ve been working for some years in the software industry as both a programmer and technical resource for sales. I wanted to find a degree where I could use my technical background at the same time as developing design skills and be creatively challenged. I’ve always had an artistic side to me and this degree seemed to be perfect.

I’ve really enjoyed playing and experimenting with such a wide variety of technologies. I’ve especially enjoyed working with sensor based interfaces – making things talk using electronics combined with software.

For anyone considering this degree I’d say no matter whether you come from a technical or a more creative background, as long as you have a passion for design, and like working with ideas and cutting edge technologies, this degree would be a good choice.


The IDEA program uses an innovative structure of core studios and laboratories. It’s an approach the enables you to combine advanced technical skills with personal projects that best demonstrate your interests.

Laboratory subjects train you in core technical competencies. You will learn skills in programming, application development, electronic engineering and experimental interface design. We extend your proficiency in these areas by encouraging you to use your skills in new and innovative contexts that drive technological development. Once you have these core skills, you are trained to analyse and evaluate their application in a range of design challenges. This evaluative approach is what enables IDEA students to recognise the emergent technologies that will become ubiquitous parts of our everyday life.

Studio units are at the centre of the program. Studio content changes each semester, to keep pace with the latest advances in technology. In studio, you work individually or in teams to design and build new devices and experiences. These studio projects give form to your expression and may form the basis of prototype products, patents or even startup services.

Career Prospects

IDEA graduates are primed to take leading positions in innovative commercial enterprises. The unique blend of design thinking and technical application fostered by the program positions graduates to provide a range of implementation and consultation skills to business. IDEA skills are applicable to the creative industries, design and interaction consultancy and new product development.


Qualification Core Option Elective Total
Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts 48 00 24 72
Graduate Diploma 36 06 06 48
Graduate Certificate 18 00 06 24
IDEA Studio 1 12 IDEA Studio 2 12
IDEA Research Project
Potential research projects 2013
12 IDEA Research Project
Potential research projects 2013
IDEA Dissertation 12 IDEA Dissertation 12
IDEA Research Internship 12 IDEA Research Internship 12
Design Thinking 6 6
Students are also encouraged to choose electives from any graduate program. CURRENT CLASS TIMETABLES Students are also encouraged to choose electives from any graduate program. CURRENT CLASS TIMETABLES


Applicants for the Master and Graduate Diploma programs must hold a Bachelor degree. Applicants for the Graduate Certificate must demonstrate the knowledge and aptitude required to undertake the course.

The program can be taken as a Graduate Certificate (six months full time), Graduate Diploma (one year full time) or Master degree (one and a half years full time). Part time study is available for Australian citizens and permanent residents, and must be completed within the maximum limits of 10 years for Masters, 4 years for Diploma and 3 years for Graduate Certificates.

Students may apply to upgrade at the completion of their program from the Graduate Certificate, through to the Diploma and then to the Masters by maintaining a 70 weighted average mark over the course of study.Masters and Diploma students may also opt to graduate with a lower level of certification once the required units are complete.

Student Work

Stephanie Fynn
Ingrid Pohl
Heather McKinnon Jonathan McEwan
Chris Law
Simon Macias


Temporalas makes use of the latest interactive technologies of top down projection mapping, cutting edge hand tracking and spatial movement tracking technologies developed by our team. It encourages individual’s exploration of their relationship with the surrounding environment.

When you approach Temporalas, light swirls from your feet. The light manifests as evocative imagery and continues forward, leaving a projected path for you to follow. This pathway invites you closer to sculpture, drawing you into further interactions.

Martin Tomitsch
Wendy Davis
Glen Anderson
Jorge Curtidor
Bettina Easton
Stephanie Fynn
Luke Hespanhol


Chromapollination is a centerpiece installation for Vivid 2012. Students from the Master of Design Science (Illumination Design) and the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts at the University of Sydney have combined to conceive an engaging and playful lighting installation.

Chromapollination is an interactive light sculpture that will reclaim a neglected urban space in Sydney’s CBD and transform that space into a playful and inviting city organism. Sprawling from cracks in the concrete, giant glowing dandelions will project colour and motion onto and around passersby and festival participants.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate studies can now be completed easily online.

Visit Courses Online to get started.

Applications must be accompanied by original transcripts of study ( or copies issued and certified by the issuing institution), together with certified copies of your Identification. (Birth Certificate or Passport).

Where students are applying for a certificate level based on industry experience, please attach a CV and any other supporting documentation which may assist in the assessment of your application.

Just want to study one unit of study as professional development?

Visit the CPD page for more information on Professional Development courses.