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MA in Design Education


People with a high level of personal mastery live in a continual learning mode. They never ‘arrive’….
Personal mastery is not something you possess. It is a process. It is a lifelong discipline. People with a high level of personal mastery are acutely aware of their ignorance, their incompetence, and their growth areas. And they are deeply self-confident. Paradoxical? Only for those who do not see that ‘the journey is the reward..
- Peter Senge

Building wireframes for a digital platform to promote conversations amongst educators, parents and public in general, in the context of NEP 2020: A design challenge to initiate reading and interpreting educational policies for advocacy. Source Credits: Padmini Nagaraja


What if…..? design educators embraced a philosophical inquiry.
How can design sensibilities enable creation of tools and approaches to emerge new learning societies?

Design practices are increasingly coming under scrutiny for the most pressing concerns of the 21st century world, that of ecological crisis, socio-political ideologies, cultural shifts and power relations. Shifting the design spotlight from the industry-consumerist-scale mindset to reimagining a more pluralist, deliberate, and creative inquiry stance is urgent.

This places demand and expectations on postgraduate studies in Design Education programs to enable design practitioners and researchers to navigate complex realities, confront established notions, revitalizing and reconfiguring their own practice to spearhead both transformation for themselves and within the world. More importantly with the growing number of design institutions there is a need for design educators in higher education who integrate practice with scholarship.

The program is also relevant to edu-preneurs, education providers, policy makers and educational start-ups. This includes practitioners in allied educational fields such as museums, interpretation centers, galleries, zoos, publishing houses and content and creative designers for textbooks, toys, gaming and education materials.

This course is led by the questions:

  • How do we go beyond personal and professional schisms, discourses of scale, efficiency, solutionist stance and outcomes in formal and informal settings of design education?
  • How do we nurture within ourselves a disposition to embrace uncertainties and become facilitators of transitions?
  • How can a philosophical inquiry enable creative practice?

We envision the postgraduate space in Design Education as a learning opportunity for those who seek to meet the dynamic and changing needs of learning societies and a vehicle for supporting their critical and reflective practice. Therefore, the vision is to develop and enhance professionals, researchers and practitioners in education and allied fields of learning and design who are:

  • lifelong inquirers about their self and practice
  • designers of new learning worlds
  • creative innovators within emerging design research and educational paradigms and frameworks
  • active and networked members in communities of critical and reflective practitioners and,
  • seekers of personal mastery

This course conceives of a future of learning that is foregrounded in ideas of complexity & systems thinking, slowness and ethics.

Contemplative practices include introduction to different forms of meditation, art therapy and journaling to unfold inquiry and slow thought. Source Credits: Padmini Nagaraja & Arzu Mistry

Course Structure

  • Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary studios
  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Lines of Inquiries (Field work, Case Studies, Investigations, individual or Group Projects, Transdisciplinary Research)
  • Theory and Understanding
  • Independent Study
  • Open Elective
  • Practice
  • Exhibitions
  • Culminating Performances of Understanding (Portfolio, Transdisciplinary research, Projects, Colloquium, Capstone/Dissertation)
  • Knowledge Enhancement (ability or skills)

Jayshree Ganguly examines the rise of language dilemma, the relation between employability and culture etc. in the light of NEP 2020 through causal loop diagrams to illuminate the predicament of the Bodo tribe education as part of her Capstone. Source Credits: Jayshree Ganguly

Learning Approaches

Learning at the postgraduate level is inquiry based learning that is enacted through studio-based learning, workshops, theoretical reflections, and field work. This approach is grounded in setting and pursuing a personal vision towards practice as mastery.

  • Making, Mindfulness and Reflective Practice
  • Compassionate, Critical and Collaborative Learning Communities
  • Interdisciplinary and Trans-disciplinary Approaches
  • Personal and Professional Mastery

This course will provide opportunities for educators to be facilitators, designers, DIYers (do-it-yourself) and DIWOers (do-it-with-others), curators, hackers, gamers, artists, digital natives, storytellers, travellers and critical and creative thinkers.

Capability Sets

Upon successful completion of this course graduates will have developed the following capabilities:

  • Generative learning (e.g. conceptual sketches, prototypes, journals, discussion forums, digital platforms, portfolios, podcasts, videocasts, construction of proto-theory etc) through questions, drawings, play, dialogues, reason, imagination, beauty and aesthetics.
  • Adapt and self- revitalise by seeking new experiences, engaging with diverse traditions of thought, experiment and reconfigure own practice
  • Go beyond vulnerabilities by setting & sustaining personal purpose, goals & vision pertinent to own reality, in formal and informal settings
  • Practice inclusive and humanising pedagogies through participative approaches (facilitation, co-design, co-create & DIWO) and emergent and wholeness disposition versus end driven


Graduates of the Postgraduate in Design Education course will be equipped to work:

Within the Higher Education Sector as

  • Design Educators in Design institutions
  • Lectures/ Professors/Institutional Leaders
  • Curriculum Designers/ Instructional Designers
  • Design Thinking Consultants
  • Specialist/ Advisors/ Educational Consultants
  • Innovators/ Entrepreneurs

Within the Non-formal Education Sector (in formal and informal learning centres, art & craft collectives, environmental organizations, publishing houses etc) as

  • Content Developers
  • Program Developers
  • Facilitators

Within the Corporate/for-profit education sector/ (publishing houses, training units, entrepreneurial ventures in the fields of digital platforms & applications) as

  • Content Developers
  • Institutional Designers
  • Instructional Designers
  • Design Thinking Consultants
  • Learning and Organisational Development Professionals

Within the Public Sector

  • policy and decision makers
  • human resource developers
  • public education government officials



Disciplinary Intersections

The program is informed by the following learning disciplines:

Research and Collaboration

The focus area in Design Education course offers its students opportunities to connect with artists and designers from a range of research and practice labs and centres based at Srishti Manipal. These include:

Students will also have opportunities to intersect with partner organizations working in areas such as environmental conservation, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, stories and place as pedagogies, oral histories and more.



Design Education is concerned with how design thinking and design tools processes and tactics can be used to inform and recompose problems of teaching and learning design. This has implications on how we rethink the role of experiences, mind, materials, technology and methods in learning courses, enterprises, spaces, relationships and more.

The course in Design Education is different to the traditional B.Ed. or M.Ed. course in its curriculum and approach to educational practices. This course is strongly anchored in ideas of design and draws upon learning frameworks such as construction, universal design for learning, critical making, story as pedagogy as well as dwelling upon the philosophical thoughts and debates from within India.
The curriculum for this postgraduate course will focus on:
 - Tools, strategies and methods for understanding learners, their needs and learning experiences
 - Unpacking thinking and different ways of learning, knowing and understanding
 - The value and use of thinking tools and routines; visual ways of learning and representation of information; mindfulness and creative exploration 
 - Designing learning experiences that draw upon the power and potential of: story and storytelling; art and science of making; ill-defined problems; real-world contexts; digital platforms, new media and technology.

This course primarily uses a studio-based approach where doing, thinking about, reflecting and critiquing what you do are important. It will include opportunities to learn via workshops, tutorials and seminars. There will be individualized learning opportunities and forums for peer learning. Developing transdisciplinary approach as well as practice-based research is critical in this course. Independent study sustains learning. Students will also develop a portfolio of their own learning over a two-year period.

This course prioritizes practice-based learning. Having some regular opportunities to connect and apply your learning and experiences from the course in an environment where you can engage with people who are learning or with developing processes or artifacts for learning will be an advantage.

You must have access to good broadband connectivity at frequent intervals (at least) in order to complete course assignments. While you may be able to download and complete some assignments, there will be those that require you to be online with others.

Students will receive feedback and be assessed on assignments they complete from time to time. Their portfolio of work, participation and contribution to seminars/webinars will also be assessed. At end of the program students will submit a dissertation based on research and field work, pass a viva voce and participate in a graduate exhibition.

This course will provide you with an opportunity to enrich your own professional practice through the use of design thinking approaches and by becoming conversant with important pedagogical principles and practices.

You will find unique opportunities in all types of educational institutions, public institutions and outreach organizations, educational start-ups and enterprises, NGOs doing educational programming and more.

With growing value of design in the country, universities and design schools are seeking design educators with a masters or PhDs. This program provides the platform during the capstone to also develop a proposal towards doctoral research; this will enable build critiques and new knowledge that can inform design practices.