Course Information

To complete the 30-credit professional master’s degree students must complete

  • 15 credits of core courses
  • 6 credits of facilitated studio / makerspace work
  • 3 elective credits drawn from existing courses or directed studies, and
  • 6 credits of a showcase – capstone project including a mentor / peer / public presentation

Program Timeline

May and June (Summer term 1)

  • DICE 501 (3) Design and Innovation
  • DICE 502 (3) Innovation and Participatory Research: Considerations for Social Entrepreneurship
  • 1 Elective
    • Course suggestions: VISA 520: Indigenous Art Intensive; IGS 501C: Digital Arts Research Methods; IGS 586D: Constructing Perspectives Community Engagement, Social Change, and Equity Theme Seminar; IGS 596: Voice, Justice & Change; CCS 507: M.F.A. Graduate Colloquium

July and August (Summer term 2)

  • DICE 503 (3) Creativity – Visualization and Virtualization of Design and Production Cycle
  • DICE 504 (6) Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation

September to December (Winter term 1)

  • DICE 505 (6) Studio Experience

January to April (Winter term 2)

  • DICE 507 (6) Showcase


The assessment practices support the development of an understanding of domain content, theoretical concepts and competency with practical skills and relevant applications (i.e., processes, software, etc.) The MDes professional program is experiential by design, and students will learn through workshops, seminars and lectures; hands-on experiences, studio time, and ongoing mentorship.

Throughout the program, assessment will consist of a design project notebook, developed with new content throughout, and opportunities for presentations. Rubrics will be used to guide assessment. Each course will be assessed on a Pass / Fail basis with PASS determined at 76%, which is consistent with UBC graduate program criteria. Students must pass all program courses to be considered for the Master of Design.  Specific assessment components common to all MDes courses includes:

Project Design Notebook which reflects iterative development of project ideations and prototypes. The notebook will be graded Pass / Fail.  To achieve a passing grade, students must

    • demonstrate their understanding of the design thinking process.
    • reflect their sustained project iteration.
    • include personal reflections on the process and their project design.

Participation in all seminars. Attendance will be taken and participation will be encouraged based on student participation in group tasks and contributions to discussion forums for asynchronous activities.

Presentations. Situating students’ evolving understanding of MDes components within the context of sustainable and / or renewable design. This includes:

  • Presentation of projects to the class and mentors.
  • Presentation of ongoing projects to the class and mentors at the end of course and participate in the class design critique.
  • Presentation of showcase projects to the class and mentors at the end of program and participate in the class design critique.


Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Develop a real-world solution to implement change by addressing a specific social / community challenge through a cross-disciplinary, problem-based, creative and innovative iterative design process.
  • Produce a business plan / case that effectively articulates relevant arguments both verbally and in writing to address social and community challenges demonstrating ethical principles and practices through a social enterprise model.
  • Demonstrate working practices that are consistent with TRC Calls to Action and are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Demonstrate a human-centered approach in applying critical and practical skills with respect and flexibility while working within an inter-professional and interdisciplinary team

Graduates of MDes will be leaders in their field and will find careers in industry, start-ups, consulting, regulatory agencies, business – small and large, local and globally – and community organizations.