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Postgraduate course

Virtual and Augmented Reality MA

Immerse yourself in the virtual world of augmented reality technologies.

student with VR headset

The rapidly growing industry of virtual and augmented reality allows creative professionals from diverse backgrounds to express themselves and design exciting new digital experiences. This specialist course equips you to join the next generation of digital creators in this emerging field.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of the Arts

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 in a related discipline

    Interview You'll be invited to attend an interview and discuss your creative practice

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021-22 £6,500 full time

    International 2021-22 £12,750 full time

Course overview

If you'd like to refine your skills and specialise in augmented reality, this is the course for you. We will provide the skills and knowledge needed to create digital experiences. Explore your creative ideas and achieve innovative outcomes. 

You'll learn everything you need to know about virtual and augmented reality design. Study the developments in design thinking to establish a core design approach. Investigate how virtual and augmented realities are transforming how we learn and communicate.

Embrace immersive technologies to enhance your creative practice. Using wearable and handheld devices, you'll craft digital experiences for a range of industries. Apply your creative talent and skills to marketing, education, television, gaming and more.

Our unique programme allows you to work with York Business School. You will explore consumer behaviour and strategic branding to inform your project work. Collaborate with industry partners and key practitioners to build a professional network.

Course structure

Level 1 


30 Credits


We deliver this module intensively over one week. After this you will use your time to outline your research ambitions for later modules. During this time a supervisor will support you on a one to one basis. We will introduce you to case studies and design research methodologies. You will be able to apply these to future research projects. This is a chance to reflect on your professional practice and identify areas you would like to specialise in.

15 Credits


We aim to give you an appreciation for the importance of design processes in business. By investigating a selection of design companies, you will gain an understanding of design strategies and how they relate to brand, product and service. To do this you will conduct primary and secondary research and explore themes including:

  • Brand identity and marketing communications
  • Target audiences and unique selling points
  • Procedures for setting up a start-up company.

You will also hear from industry professionals who will share their own experiences of how design has benefited their businesses.

15 Credits


Gain a greater understanding of how design is reshaping the future. Together, we will think about how technology is shaping the world of business and how designers are challenging established businesses to think differently. On the module, you will look at the concept of a Circular Economy and how employing this way of thinking can benefit businesses. You will also look at disruptive technologies and the challenges they present. Some of the technologies you will look at include:

  • Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • Renewable and Clean Energies
  • Smart Products and Wearable Technologies
  • Artificial Intelligence and Automation
  • Intelligent Apps.

30 Credits


On this module you will work with industry experts in immersive technologies. Explore mobile and wearable technologies through site visits and industry field trips. You will explore future design trends and think about their ethical and global implications. All this will inform a design proposal and a continuing personal development plan. 

30 Credits


On this module you will create digital VR/AR/XR using the latest software. You will develop and test new ideas and innovative experiences. Group discussions and critiques will give you the opportunity to get peer feedback. This allows you to gather valuable user opinions to influence your decision making. your work on this module will influence your Major Design Project.

60 Credits


Complete your final project on this module. You can choose to take a practical approach or a theoretical approach to this project. The practical approach involves completing a design project. You'll have to evidence idea generation, development, production and user testing. The theoretical approach involves writing a dissertation on your chosen specialism.

Teaching and assessment

The programme has been designed to meet the needs of students who have just finished Undergraduate courses and those who are returning to learning.

We understand design as a practice-based discipline that also reflects upon itself. We want you to understand the interactive relationship between media and processes, between ideas and issues, and between designer and consumer with attention to critical and contextual discourse. 

You will experience a range of teaching and learning strategies across the modules, including reflective, independent, collaborative and supported learning.

You will benefit from workshops, visiting speakers, field visits, work-related learning, seminar discussions, supervised projects and supported online learning.

You will receive technical supervision to help your academic work and support you as you learn new skills.

Mock assessments  and portfolio reviews will be employed throughout the course. Feedback will be given at key points during your studies to help you reflect and develop as a designer and prepare you for future modules.

Assessment will take a variety of forms including portfolio work, creative projects, presentation of visual works, research reports and case studies.

Entry requirements


Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 in a related discipline

    Interview You'll be invited to attend an interview and discuss your creative practice


Entry onto this postgraduate course requires a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in a related subject.

If your undergraduate degree is not in a related discipline but you can provide a strong portfolio of visual work, your application will be considered.

International Students

International students will need to demonstrate that they have equivalent experience /qualifications as home students (ie the same entry criteria as above).

If their first language is not English they must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.


Applicants are also invited for an interview.

At your interview you will be asked to:

  • Provide a creative proposal for what you may wish to undertake during the course.
  • Present a portfolio of work that demonstrates your existing and current project work, creative practices and skills.

We are happy to arrange interviews via Skype for overseas students.

APEL policy

If you can't meet these minimum requirements it may be possible to take into account evidence of Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) as an alternative method of meeting the programme’s entry requirements. In such a case, appropriate references and records of employment might be presented to support the applicant’s case for admission.

Fees and Funding

UK & EU 2021 - 22

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this postgraduate course is £6,500 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students studying part time, the tuition fee for 2021 entry to this postgraduate course is £3,250 per year.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about postgraduate funding opportunities.

International (non-EU) 2021 - 22

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Student Visa must be studying full-time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

More information about funding your studies is available on our International Fees and Funding page.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021-22 £6,500 full time

    International 2021-22 £12,750 full time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are an alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for Alumni

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.


View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Apply for this course

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Apply now: Full-time

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