Design (by Research) - 3111

Design (by Research)

Research master degree

Whether you want to get ahead in your career faster, or improve your knowledge, a Monash postgraduate degree can give you a distinct advantage.

At a glance

Course Details

  • On-campus at Caulfield: Full time & part time
  • 2 years (full time)
  • 4 years (part time)
Start date First Semester (February)
Qualification Master of Design (Research)
Course Handbook

Design empowers societies with creative, innovative and people-centred solutions to known problems and emerging challenges. At MADA we advocate a higher purpose for design that adds value beyond the aesthetic; to make contributions that are significant culturally, economically, environmentally and socially. The Master of Design (by Research) positions designers as the leaders of change. This course is offered in the principal research areas of communication design and industrial design, with focus on human-centred product design, transport design, digital design, new media, interaction design, experience design and interior architecture. The course requires students to develop a research project that leads to the production of a new body of creative design work with accompanying written and visual commentary that outlines the development of the project and its findings, and provides a critical context within which the work may be understood and valuated. The written component will be between 10,000 and 20,000 words, along with a visual record of the design process and creative outcomes. Written work is not examined separately but critically assessed together with an exhibition of design works. To support the development of the research project, students also undertake two coursework units in research methods, which will assist them with forming appropriate research design for their particular project.

Career opportunities

Through their research, identification and application of appropriate research and creative methodologies, master's graduates have demonstrated advanced skills and application of specialist knowledge to the attainment of practice-based design-focused outcomes. Master's graduates work as creative and cultural producers: industrial designers, graphic designers, interior architects, new media content producers and developers and as academics, researchers and service design consultants for specialist companies, leading corporations and manufacturers, advertising agencies, governments; and as independent creative practitioners.

Entry Requirements

You need to satisfy the following entrance requirements to be considered for entry to this course.

Minimum Entry Requirements (Domestic students)


An applicant for admission to the research master’s degree must have qualified as follows:

  • an Australian degree of bachelor with a minimum upper H2B (a mark of 65 or above) in an honours year in a relevant field, or its equivalent from a recognised tertiary institution;
  • in special circumstances, GRC may admit an applicant who lacks any of the qualifications listed above, but whose publications and other experience is considered by the Faculty to be equivalent research training in the proposed field of study. Such applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis;
  • all applications must be accompanied by a research proposal of 200–300 words;
  • all studio-based research degree applications must be accompanied by a folio of 10–15 images of recent work.

English requirements

Applicants must also meet the English language requirements.

University entrance requirements

Minimum entrance requirements for admission to Monash University Australia.

Making the application

Future students

Semester one (February)

Prior to submitting a formal application for a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) course at MADA, prospective applicants are required to submit an Expression of Interest. Following consideration of the Expression of Interest by the Faculty, suitable applicants may be invited to apply.

Details about MADA's Expression of Interest and Application to Higher Degree by Research Process can be found here.

This course is not available for Second Semester (July) entry.

For applications Direct to Monash

Apply directly to Monash with this course code: 3111

Self assess for credit eligibility

Check for study credit using the "Credit search" link on the Credit for prior study page


Research Training Program (RTP)

This course is supported by the Australian government's Research Training Program (RTP). Under the RTP, domestic students are awarded an RTP Fees Offset which exempts them from tuition fees for the normal duration of the course. This exemption is valid for up to four years for students enrolled in a doctoral program and up to two years for a research master's degree.


We offer over 200 types of scholarships, valued at up to $70,000. Some scholarships offer one-off payments while others continue for the length of your course. Learn more about Monash Scholarships.

Other fees

The Student Services and Amenities Fee applies to some students each calendar year.