The management consulting services industry is expected to grow at an average rate of ten percent year-on-year, reaching a size of approximately 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars by 2026 (Statista 2022).

This exciting course will give you a transformative educational experience that combines design thinking, entrepreneurial leadership and real-world client briefs from start-up charities to Fortune 500 corporations to develop your innovative and entrepreneurial mindset.

You will learn in a creative environment and undertake live projects across the whole year, working with our academics and researchers alongside real-world clients in the designated design studio that replicates an agency environment.

Key facts

  • Available as an MA or MSc, depending on the research methods used in your thesis
  • Northumbria University is ranked top 20 in the UK for Art and Design (Complete University Guide 2024)
  • Develop creative confidence and expertise in business insight to successfully lead organisations and communities to survive and prosper
  • Enhance your employability & expand your professional network by working directly with potential employers and have between 5-7 client projects to add to your CV
  • Be supported and coached by the Innovator in Residence at the design studio which replicates an agency environment
  • Graduates from this course have gone on to secure senior roles in large organisations, started their own businesses and charities, or gone on to PhD level study and academic careers

Hear from the team at Northumbria University:

Please note the programme title has since changed to MA/MSc Innovation and Creative Strategy

What will I study?

The MA/MSc Innovation and Creative Strategy programme is about using design-led innovation and entrepreneurial leadership to make the world a better place.

You will be taught by experts, work with leading professionals, and be coached by an innovator in residence/studio leader at our design studio to develop high-level employability skills combined with creative confidence and an entrepreneurial mindset.

This Masters covers all stages of the innovation process, from research and exploring problems, through to developing strategies, presenting your ideas and analysing the outcomes. By the end of the course, you will be confident in putting your innovative ideas into practice.

Due to meaningful innovation happening when different disciplines work together, students from any discipline and background can join the course and benefit from gaining high-level employability skills combined with creative confidence and entrepreneurial agency.

How will I be taught and assessed?

  • Teaching is delivered through a mix of lectures, seminars, and tutorials, totalling around 12-20 hours per week at our design studio, simulating an agency environment.
  • You’re expected to engage in independent work and study on your live brief for the remaining time, totalling around 40 hours work per week.
  • Supported by the Innovator in Residence/studio leader who will use their expertise to demonstrate how to be a responsible innovator and develop creative solutions to real-life problems as you work on live briefs.
  • Assessment is based on portfolios, assignments, and reports, giving you multiple methods to show your understanding of the course material.
  • Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is embedded throughout the course with tools such as the ‘Blackboard’ eLearning Portal and electronic reading lists that will guide your preparation for seminars and independent research.
  • Benefit from weekly academic support sessions designed to build your ability and confidence as an academic learner.
  • You will be assigned a guidance tutor at induction who you will meet with regularly during your studies.

Careers and further study

This programme will enable you to engage directly with potential employers where you will showcase your skills and develop your confidence, capabilities and employability whilst building your professional network.

At the end of this course, you will be prepared to take on strategic roles by adding your critical thinking skills, strategic innovation, and research projects to your CV that you have undertaken with organisations from the likes of micro-charities to global corporations.

Previous graduates from this course have secured senior roles within large organisations, including roles such as:

  • Creative Account Manager
  • Innovation Strategy Consultant
  • User Experience Researcher
  • Global Category Manager

Regardless of your discipline, Innovation and Creative Strategy opens the door to many different options post-study. These can include finding an innovation-based career in a consultancy, starting up an enterprise or even a small business.

Hear from the team at Northumbria University:

Please note the programme title has changed to MA/MSc Innovation and Creative Strategy


Hear how we work with external organisations:

Please note the programme title has changed to MA/MSc Innovation and Creative Strategy


Enquire now

Academic requirements

  • Minimum 2:2 honours degree, or equivalent, from a recognised university in any subject

English language requirements

  • IELTS 6.5 (or above) with no single element below 5.5 or equivalent.

If you don’t meet the academic requirements

Applicants with non-standard prior learning and or relevant work experience and training are encouraged to apply. A CV (curriculum vitae) made up of prior work experience and training would need to be submitted for consideration by our faculty alongside the standard application.

Candidates coming through the non-standard route, such as through relevant work experience or old qualifications, will be invited to discuss their application.

All applications will be considered on an individual basis.

Please note that if your qualifications are not in English, we might need certified translations in order to proceed with your application.

International entry equivalencies

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Please visit our entry requirements page for country-specific qualifications.

Please note that if your qualifications are not in English, we might need certified translations in order to proceed with your application.

Masters Foundation programme

Alternatively, you may also be eligible for one of our Pre-Masters courses. These are pathway programmes designed specifically for students who require additional support to meet the entry requirements of their chosen Masters degree.

Enquire now

All modules on this course are core and 60 credits unless otherwise stated.

This module provides a grounding in the concepts, methods and principles of three key fields of knowledge: Action Research & Reflective Practice, Cross Cultural Collaboration, and Innovation & Enterprise. You will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

Through this module you will learn about the three fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed. You will learn about action research methods and will build your own action research process models and recording templates that you will apply in practice to facilitate your development as a reflective practitioner.

In parallel you will learn about theories of enterprise and innovation and will apply this knowledge in action by exploring business models and intellectual property. You will also learn about cross-cultural collaboration by applying relevant concepts from literature whilst working in multi-cultural teams.

The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied in the context of a collaborative project with industry or other organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of working in multi-cultural/multi-disciplinary teams.

During this module, you will be introduced to and undertake design-led innovation practice. You will develop a detailed understanding of the principles and a range of approaches to innovation practice, through the phases of: Set-up, Problem & Solution Exploration, Strategy Development, Pitch, and Unpack. You will learn about the range of methods and resources that support design-led innovation practice and be encouraged to challenge and adapt them.

You will be introduced to key knowledge and concepts about the practicing professional, his/her self-development and the broader contexts of the team, the organisation, and the commercial environment. You will enter into the process of personal and professional development within the context of multidisciplinary innovation teams, and in the aspects of project planning, coordination and management.

You will tackle, as part of a multidisciplinary team, a range of innovation projects, working with external organisations and communities. During these projects, you will be coached, supervised and challenged as you learn how best to contribute your knowledge and expertise within a multidisciplinary team. You’ll learn about different forms of innovation and design-led co-creation, by practicing:

  • Project scoping and planning.
  • Creative research and insight development.
  • Reflective practice and collaborative workshops.
  • Ideation, concept refinement and evaluation.
  • Strategy development and communication.
  • Value definition and impact assessment.
  • Client pitches and reporting.

This module will enable you to carry out design-led innovation projects, and demonstrate your strategic innovation practice. You will learn how design-led innovation facilitates co-created strategy, develops new organisational creative functionality and establishes strategic insights and assets. You’ll also design innovative policies, systems, services, products, communications, strategies and ways of working within a team.

You will also be introduced to key concepts including understanding and leading teams, communities of practice, and competitiveness and strategy. Other key areas of focus will be the aspects of brand development, strategic goal setting, and business modelling.

In this module, you will develop your understanding of different forms of innovation and design-led co-creation, by:

  • Practicing meaningful value creation
  • Understanding interconnected perspectives through stakeholder mapping
  • Creating cohesive arguments using the outputs of design-led innovation methods
  • Building compelling narratives to shape and support project outcomes
  • Practicing integrated strategy mapping to influence positive change
  • Creating and presenting innovation pathways that highlight the link between local issues and mega trends

During this module, you will undertake design-led innovation practice with a particular focus on responsibility. Through practice, you will learn how to lead organisations and communities; responding to their local issues in the context of mega trends; developing a proposal informed by the impacts and consequences of innovation.

Within a multidisciplinary team, you will go through design-led responsible innovation framing and address a complex innovation project within your client’s context. Individually you will produce a change plan for enabling your team’s proposal.

You will identify key concepts related to responsible business practice, resilient communities, and mega trends. You will also focus on the aspects of innovation horizons, local, national and global policies, and knowledge and transformation economies.

Within this module, you will refine your understanding about the value of design-led co-creation, by producing a responsible business proposal that justifies a vision and resourcing based upon:

  • Understanding of a complex issue
  • A critical appraisal of current action and initiatives
  • An innovation strategy
  • Personal reflexive positioning of drivers, competencies, and future action.

Enquire now

The course information displayed on this page is correct for the academic year 2024/25. We aim to run the course as advertised however, changes may be necessary due to updates to the curriculum (due to academic or industry developments), student demand or UK compliance reasons.

Tuition fee 2024/25

  • UK/Home students: £9,250 per annum
  • International students: £18,250  per annum

Please note that your tuition fees do not include the cost of course books that you may choose to purchase, stationery, printing and photocopying, accommodation, living expenses, travel or any other extracurricular activities. As a Northumbria University London Campus student, you will have full access to our online digital library with over 400,000 e-books and 50,000 electronic journals.

The modules you will study do not require you to purchase additional textbooks although we recommend you allow an additional £100 for the duration of your studies should you choose to purchase any additional reading materials.

Information for international students

Northumbria University is committed to providing the best possible experience to all our students. To ensure you secure your place with us, we require our international students to pay a deposit towards their fees. More information can be found here.

Your tuition fees cover far more than your time in class with our expert academics, it covers the cost of providing you with excellent services and student experience.

  • Contact time in class – typically in lectures, seminars and tutorials
  • Access to facilities, including computers, on-campus Wi-Fi, printers, vending machines, quiet study spaces
  • The support of our Careers & Employment Service who help you to become more employable, secure placements and run workshops
  • Academic support – our ACE Team run multiple sessions on academic writing, presenting, exam techniques throughout the semester, as well as 1-2-1 appointments and drop-in sessions
  • Student support services such as our Ask4Help Service. Find out more about the services available to you on our Student Support page
  • Access to online resources, including 24/ 7 Library with over 400,000 e-books and 50,000 electronic journals.


Scholarships and bursaries for international students

If you are an international student and choose to study this programme, you may be eligible for a either bursary or academic scholarship.

All of our scholarships and bursaries are automatically applied when we process your application and our team will be able to confirm your eligibility.

London Cost of Living Bursary

Eligible international students will receive an automatic bursary for £1,334, covering one month’s living costs in London*, applied at the Conditional Offer as a fee discount. This bursary is effective for intakes in May 2024, September 2024, January 2025 and May 2025. This offer excludes Pre-sessional English, standalone Graduate Certificate programmes and sponsored applicants.

If you receive this bursary, you may still be eligible for additional bursaries and scholarships, these will be confirmed at the Unconditional Offer stage. Full maintenance costs still need to be evidenced when applying for your visa.

This bursary is only available for international students from specific countries. Please visit our Scholarships page for more information.

*As defined by UKVI

Scholarships and bursaries

Payment plans for self-funded students

If you need to spread the cost of your tuition, you may be eligible for our payment plan.

Payment plans

Government Loan for Masters study

If you are a UK or Home student, you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000+ from the UK Government. Click here to find out more about the loan and whether you are eligible to receive it.

Postgraduate Loan
Enquire now

How to find out more

Enquire now to find out to find out more information about the course, studying with us, the application process, and to ask any other questions you may have.

Enquire now

How to apply

Once you’re ready to apply, you can apply online to study 1 year MA/MSc Innovation and Creative Strategy. This method allows you to upload your supporting documents at the time of application and automatically receive your student application number.

Apply for September
Apply for September 2024


We strongly recommend that you submit your application as early as possible to allow you to complete all of the preparations needed to study your programme. After receiving an offer it can take time to arrange your finances and apply for your visa (if required) and it is important that you arrive in good time to enrol onto your course. Please refer to the Dates and Fees page.

Supporting documents

For us to assess your application in a timely manner, it is important that you provide us with the following documents:

  • Fully completed application form
  • Personal email address must be included on the application form
  • Transcripts and/or certificates (including a certified translation if not in English)
  • Passport – copy of personal details page
  • Proof of financial sponsorship if applicable
  • Reference
  • Confirmation of immigration history including copies of previous and current visas if applicable

You can check more information on how to apply here, including guidelines for the application forms.

Information For Disabled Applicants

At Northumbria University London we welcome applications from disabled students and are committed to ensuring an equal and accessible application journey. Your application will be considered on an equal basis to all other applications. Please contact us if you require any assistance. This website is continually optimised to adhere to accessibility best practice guidelines; tools to assist users with specific accessibility requirements have also been provided. More information is available in our accessibility statement.


Innovation and Creative Strategy is a one-year masters course, either available as an MA or MSc, which focuses on teaching students how to use design-led innovation practice to tackle complex problems with creative solutions. Students will benefit from being coached by an innovator in residence at our design studio where they will experience an agency environment and work on live-client briefs.

This Innovation and Creative Strategy course is available to students from all disciplines and backgrounds, allowing you to grow your professional network in class and at industry events, as well as work alongside like-minded students and clients.

This Innovation and Creative Strategy programme is perfect for anyone looking to expand their current skills and knowledge, or are looking to embark upon a new career. Innovation skills such as Creative thinking, Analytical thinking and Systems thinking are highly sought-after in a wide range of occupations, so the expertise you’ll learn in this course will apply to a variety of job roles.

You will receive a Master’s Degree either in a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MSc), depending upon which research methodology you develop for your thesis, as well as the experience of working on between 5-7 live client projects which will boost your employability when added to your CV.

Previous graduates from this course have secured senior roles within large organisations, started their own businesses and charities, or gone on to PhD level study and academic careers. With the knowledge, skills and experiences you’ll learn on this creative course, you’ll be at an advantage no matter the path you choose.

If you have more questions you would like answered, please enquire below and a study advisor will be in touch with you shortly.

Enquire now

Dr Daniel Harrison – Programme leader

Daniel is a designer, computer scientist, social scientist and ethnographic researcher who currently works as a programme leader at Northumbria University. Daniel has a cross-disciplinary background and research interests in human-computer interaction, behaviour change, health informatics, personal tracking and the application of AI, with experience in design and clinical settings.


  • Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in Design and part of the CoCreate research group
  • PhD in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) from the UCL Interaction Centre (a world leading Centre of Excellence in HCI)
  • Worked at the Georgia Institute of Technology and in the Human Experience and Design (HDX) group at Microsoft Research Cambridge


Mr Charlie Richardson – Innovator in Residence

Charlie has been working as a lecturer for Northumbria University since November 2019, following his time working with many diverse businesses and backgrounds post-graduation.

Charlie has a strong passion for human-centred design and business innovation with experience in successfully launching a start-up business.


  • BA in Design for Industry
  • MA in Multidisciplinary Innovation
  • Worked in London as a Content Manager for a Cryptocurrency start-up company
Apply Now Download PDF

1 year MA/MSc

Level of study:


2024/25 Tuition fee:

UK/Home Fee: £9,250
International Fee: £18,250

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:2 honours degree, or equivalent, from a recognised university in any subject

English language requirements:

IELTS 6.5, with no single element below 5.5 or equivalent

Mode of study:

Full-time classroom


1 year

Assessment methods:


Scholarship or bursaries:


Student finance:


Payment plan:



January, September

Quick contact

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Full Name:

In future QA Higher Education would like to contact you with relevant information on our courses, facilities and events and those of our University Partners. Please confirm you are happy to receive this information by indicating how you would like us to communicate with you below:


Please note, this will overwrite any previous communication preferences you may have already specified to us on our website or websites relating to our University Partners. You can change your communication preferences at any time. QA Higher Education will process your personal data as set out in our privacy notice

Hidden Fields