Show/Hide Images

OCAD U's e-Leo exhibit, a collaborative project between OCAD Un's DFI program and artist Marina Abramović, 2013. Photo by Christina Gapic.

Digital Futures (MA, MDes, MFA)

Participate in the creation of a digital revolution that integrates thought leadership and inclusive cultural change with disruptive technologies and new approaches to programs of local and global significance.

“Yiyi Shao (MDes, 2019), “RABBOT - Exploring Shared Awareness in Virtual Reality”. Digital Future’s Graduate Exhibition 2019: “What the Futures”. Photo by Chris Luginbuhl and Kristy Boyce.

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. 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 the following:

  • Critical thinking
  • Research and practice
  • Business and innovation studies
  • Computing and emerging digital methodologies

This is a full-time, 8-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 MA flips that focus, with an emphasis on a scholarly research thesis and a supporting creative project.

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:

Fall 2019 Elective Courses

DIGF-5003 Interactive Exhibition: Part 1 (0.25 Credits)

DIGF-5005 Femtech Toolbox (0.5 Credits)

DIGF-6013 Digital Fabrication (0.25 Credits)

DIGF-6043 Affect & Emotion in Practice (0.5 Credits)

Winter 2020 Elective Courses

DIGF-5002 From Data to Perception (0.5 Credits)

DIGF-5004 Interactive Exhibition: Part 2 (0.25 Credits)

DIGF-6042 Possible Futures (0.5 Credits)

DIGF-5008 Interactive Documentary (0.5 Credits)

Contact Info

Josh Paglione
Graduate Program Coordinator (Digital Futures & Inclusive Design)
416-977-6000, Ext. 423

Kate Hartman
Program Director, Digital Futures
416-977-6000, Ext. 4652












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.


Program Course Offerings

For a complete list of courses for this program,
please see the applicable program guides:

View Program Guides