Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

Technology is becoming closely interwoven into everyday life. How we create and design these interactions is crucial to their success and the positive impact they have on our lives. This understanding forms the core of the IDEA program’s design philosophy: technology that is designed to delight its users.

We aim to infuse the latest technological innovation with a human-centred design thinking to solve complex problems. The IDEA program promotes a creative and critical approach, within the framework of research-driven interaction design and user experience methodologies. The result is an understanding of how to design interactive products, services and systems that will have lasting cultural and commercial importance.

In a foundation first semester, you will develop the essential industry knowledge and skills for working as an interaction or user experience designer, at ease with web and mobile applications. Once you have these core skills in human-centred design thinking, web/mobile interface design and software programming, you are trained to analyse and evaluate their application in a range of design contexts. This evaluative approach is what enables IDEA students to create meaningful interactive experiences that will become ubiquitous parts of our everyday life.

In the second semester, you will engage in design studio projects to extend these skills, both conceptually and technically. We offer a studio-based teaching environment in which you work individually or in teams to creatively solve design challenges. You will learn to design across multiple platforms and scales - from natural, tangible and wearable user interfaces to interactive architecture, creative robotics and urban informatics. Your ideas may even become the basis of prototype products, patents or start-up services.

You can adapt this program to suit your interests and passions by taking electives from other faculties. You will also build a compelling design portfolio showcasing not only your design skills but also your understanding of how best to convey the user experience of new products and services.

The course culminates in a capstone research project, industry internship or graduation design project. The Faculty draws on industry and alumni contacts to enable opportunities to build your professional network. These factors combine to position you as a well-connected creative industry specialist with expertise across the strategic, creative and technical domains.

The course is timetabled to suit your busy schedule. Subjects are run either in the evening or in intensive mode (a block series of Fridays and Saturdays). You can also study part-time. The course has embedded qualifications, enabling you to graduate after the foundation first semester with a Graduate Certificate, or continue on to Graduate Diploma or Masters level.

For more information on units of study and links to current student work, please visit the M.IDEA program page.

Course outline

Unit of Study information on faculty page

Study plan


Candidates for the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts complete 54 credit points (cp) made up of at least five core units of study (54cp) including four 12cp studio units, two optional units (12cp) from within the course, and one elective unit (6cp) offered by the faculty, subject to meeting prior learning requirements and timetabling. Areas of study include the four studios within the course: installation, device, screen and virtual. You will also complete core labratory based units in areas of experimental interfaces, physical computing, virtual worlds, and time-based media.

Embedded courses

Further course information

Progression rules

The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning will monitor students for satisfactory progress towards the completion of their award course. In addition to the common triggers used to identify students not meeting academic progression requirements, students must pass any unit of study identified in the course resolutions as being critical to progression through the course.

Capstone experience

A capstone experience comprises one or more units of study designed by the faculty to provide you with an opportunity to draw together the learning that has taken place during the award, synthesise this with your prior learning and experience, and draw conclusions that will form the basis for further investigation, and intellectual and/or professional growth. For the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts students complete a graduation studio for the capstone experience. This requires the development of a graduation design project based on the theme from the concurrent studio. Alternatives to the graduation studio include enrolment in IDEA9311 Research Internship or participation in an approved international exchange.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Graduates of the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts will become proficient in the creative use of new technologies which they can then utilise in a practical way in a wide range of professional and artistic settings. Areas studied in this course will prepare them to perform in roles such as interaction designer, usability engineer, new media artist or creative director.

Further study

The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning places a high emphasis on its research activity. We have a vibrantly diverse community of scholars and practitioners, many of whom have taken national and international leadership roles in their fields. The faculty offers the opportunity to pursue research degrees, both MPhil and PhD in four disciplines: architecture and allied arts; architectural and design science; design lab; and urban and regional planning and policy.
You may elect to study in any of these fields, or to pursue interdisciplinary studies in a combination of fields with the faculty or between the faculty and elsewhere in the University. The University and the faculty have formal links, including exchange agreements and memoranda of understanding, with institutions throughout Asia, Europe, Scandinavia and North America. These translate into research opportunities for students as well as staff.
These degrees are supported through a wide range of resources, including extensively equipped laboratories and comprehensive workshop facilities.

Other study options

The Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning runs continuing professional development short courses, including an online program, which provide a valuable opportunity for professionals to update their knowledge to enhance career pathways or for personal interest. All of our courses qualify for CPD points with AIA, SBSE/EA and AIRAH members.

If you are considering further study it is also an opportunity to try a subject from a course to gauge its suitability. You have the choice to either complete the assessment work or not. If you do successfully complete the assessment work you will be eligible to receive 6 credit points per subject towards a future degree. For more information please see the faculty website CPD Page.

Admission

Admission requirements

A successful applicant for admission to the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts will have a bachelor's degree with a credit average.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty.

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply (i) directly to the University, or (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

This 2015, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.

Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents

Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.

International students

International tuition fees for postgraduate students

This 2015, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.

Annual review

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.