Digital Futures (MA, MDes, MFA)

The graduate program in Digital Futures responds to the increasingly important and sophisticated role of digital technology as a catalyst for change.

Digital Futures has an international student cohort and faculty. The program features collaborative overseas eGlobal courses with world-wide educational and industry partners. A global perspective is key to securing our graduates’ futures in the eclectic international creative digital industries, encompassing design, arts, creative services, entertainment, media, and cultural industries. The Digital Futures program is offered in partnership with the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab.

The Digital Futures student-centred learning approach applies to both research and practice. The curriculum ensures that you gain core digital knowledge and skills as you explore your specific areas of interest through electives, industry internships, residencies and independent study.

The program focuses on practice-based learning and prototyping, with an enterprise component and supporting thesis research. Industry partnerships help students to build a career runway in advance of graduating. You are encouraged to work with industry partners in internships which lead to mentorship for your thesis research.


Who should apply?

You should have a background in design, technology, culture and/or enterprise as demonstrated by an undergraduate degree and relevant work experience. Our students are designers and artists, filmmakers, architects, journalists and media specialists, scientists, engineers and business people. This diversity drives peer learning and collaboration across disciplines in the program.


The Master’s Degree in Digital Futures

The Master's in Digital Futures is a two-year full-time program. In the program you will develop practice-based and scholarly research in technologically advanced design, art and media through:

  • critical thinking
  • research and practice
  • business and innovation studies
  • computing and emerging digital methodologies

This is a full-time 48-credit program comprising:

  • Foundational courses in computation, business creation, innovation and leadership
  • Core courses in digital methods, research, theory and practice
  • Intensive digital project and prototyping courses
  • Individual research and creation overseen by a principal advisor and supervisory committee
  • Summer internship and/or study abroad
  • Elective choices
  • Creative digital thesis project and supporting paper (MFA / MDes) or a written thesis and supporting creative project (MA)

Students declare their intention to pursue the Master of Design (MDes), Master of Fine Arts (MFA), or Master of Arts (MA) at the time of application. The outcomes of the chosen degree are distinctive. The MDes and MFA focus on practice-based research creation with a supporting thesis. The MFA flips that focus, with an emphasis on a scholarly research thesis and a supporting creative project.

Check out the program’s yearbook to learn more about recent student work and what you’ll be doing in the program.


Elective choices

New elective courses are continuously created in response to trends and emerging technologies. These cutting-edge courses cover theory and practice in design, art, media, technology and enterprise. Some examples include:

Where might your graduate degree in the Digital Futures Program lead you?

As a Digital Futures graduate you’ll be qualified to work in positions such as:

  • App, web, and games designers and developers
  • Digital project leaders
  • Cultural industry producers
  • Managers and coordinators between art and design departments and IT
  • Creators and developers of your own start-ups
  • Film, television and digital transmedia producers
  • Digital strategists and educators

Graduates of the Digital Futures program will be poised to play leadership roles in research and development in the media, arts, technology, entertainment and education sectors.


Some recent outstanding Digital Futures graduate’s thesis projects:

Busker App

How do you pay a busker or donate to a charity kettle in a cashless society? Digital Futures Master’s graduate Areen S. Kahn has developed an app to pay buskers or donate to charities which allows people to pay with their smartphone by tapping the busker's donation hat.

You Control the Camera

Wouldn't it be cool to watch a movie where you control the camera? Digital Futures MDes Graduate Han Yang has created an interactive film that takes control from the director and lets the viewer take charge of the camera through the character's perspective, inspired by 'first person shooter' video games. 

Digital Story Telling

Using Microsoft Kinect full body sensors, Digital Futures MFA graduate Laura Wright uses digital storytelling to give participants insights into what it's like to be a twin.

Helping Kids with Autism

Imagine an app that helps improve the lives of children living with autism. Digital Futures MDes graduate Paula Aguirre has developed an augmented reality app that acts like interactive IBI therapy.

2015/2016 Program Overview

MA, MFA and MDes Overview

Graduate Diploma

(Full Time)

Graduate Diploma

(Part Time)