MA Web Design & Content Planning

Our philosophy

Postgraduate study is a major undertaking and a big investment of time and money — so please satisfy yourself that this is the right programme for you. Most web courses come either from graphic design or from computer programming, and a few are business-related. Our aim is to balance these considerations so that graduates understand what goes to make a good website. On graduation, you will be on course to plan, design, deploy and promote a small website for a small business or co-ordinate a team of graphic, technical and business experts in managing the content of a large corporate website.

Our approach to web design is more correctly called ‘website architecture’. We define website architecture as ‘the art and science of creating good websites’. This requires:

Virtruvian Man

Virtruvian Man
by Leonardo Da Vinci

The Latin words and translations in square brackets are from the oldest surviving European work on design theory: Vitruvius Pollio's Ten books on architecture. Vitruvius deals with buildings but also with towns, harbours, clocks and other facilities. As a relatively new branch of design, it is right that website architecture should aspire to the Vitruvian principles. They were known to generations of designers as ‘Commodity, Firmness and Delight’. Websites should also contribute to ‘the business side of the art’ because websites invariably have a business objective.

The overall aim is high quality. We learn from other design approaches, from design analogies and from design theories. Websites on this programme and designed, built and assessed on the basis of Commodity, Firmness, Delight and Business.

Informed by Industry

It's all very well having a well-defined pedagogy and a solid theory and approach to web design but ultimately, we are educating students who are moving towards a career in web design. To that end, much of the content we teach is shaped by contemporary industry practice and emerging ideas. In order to do this, we listen to what web design professionals are telling us, we invite our graduates back to tell us how things work in the ‘real world’ because many of our students are now working for top agencies at the cutting edge.

Talk Web Design 2016 Speakers

Talk Web Design 2016 Speakers
From left: Ben Foxall (Pusher), Andy Clarke (Stuff & Nonsense), Mike Brondbjerg (Kultur), Rachel Andrew (Edge of my seat/Perch), Brendan Dawes, Carolina Soto, Peter Gasston (+rehabstudio), David Watson (TWD organiser) and Richard Rutter (Clearleft).

Talk Web Design

One of the key events of our academic year is Talk Web Design, a day of talks from leading industry experts. We have good contacts with many of the leading lights in the web design industry and our students get to hear the very latest ideas from those who propose them.

Talk Web Design 2014 Speakers

Talk Web Design 2014 Speakers
Back row from left: Kaelig Deloumeau-Prigent (the Guardian), Pui Ling-Lau (Reading Room), Laura Kalbag (freelance) and Ben Foxall (White October). Front row from left: Peter Gasston (+rehabstudio), Adam Onishi (Architect), Nicklas de León Persson (Rumble Labs) and the Clearleft 2013 interns.

Talk Web Design 2012 Speakers

Talk Web Design 2012 Speakers
From left: Rob Hawkes (Mozilla), Andy Budd and Richard Rutter (Clearleft), Andy Hume (the Guardian), Chris Mills (Opera), Paul Lloyd and Jeremy Keith (Clearleft).

In 2013, talks covered hot topics such as Web Typography, HTML5 and Responsive Design and in 2014 subjects included Sass, designing with empathy and working freelance. You can see speaker's slides and other coverage at our Lanyrd pages:
Talk Web Design 2012
Talk Web Design 2013
Talk Web Design 2014
Talk Web Design 2015
Talk Web Design 2016
and of course we have our own conference website.

Full details of all our speakers can be found on the speaker profile page.

Web Design at the University of Greenwich

The University of Greenwich MA Web Design & Content Planning takes an even-handed approach to the education of individuals who can create good small websites or manage the production of large websites. The programme is based in a design school and draws upon general design principles. We aim to take graduates from the full range of undergraduate disciplines and convert them into website architects, front-end developers or e-Professionals. Applicants might have backgrounds in science, technology, fine art, design or the humanities.

Critical appraisal of website types and the practical design of good websites are key aspects of the University of Greenwich programme in Web Design & Content planning. Electronic publishing offers teachers, textbook authors and others an opportunity for better financial returns than traditional publishing, combined with much more feedback from their readers and wider circulation of their work.

Apply now

MA Web Design & Content Planning (full-time and part­time modes) now recruiting for September 2020.
Find out more…

Talk Web Design

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Student opinion

Most of our students tell us that the programme has exceeded their expectations, some say it has changed their lives. See Our students to find out more or visit our Facebook group to see what they're saying today.


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