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Ask questions in the comments section of the blog and post or write to me at soumitri.varadarajan@rmit.edu.au and I will answer through this blog.

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So want to do a Masters?

( here is the text in my words)

Exploration – explore this blog and the links.
These are the first steps
1. See the Pathways (link in sidebar) for the various masters areas in Industrial design.
2. See Research (link in sidebar) for the research culture in the School.
3. See the RMIT International Site for the application process 4. See the links to ‘reps’ in your city. And go and meet the reps or go directly through RMIT International.
5. Through discussions with either one of the local reps or RMIT International ensure that you meet our entrance requirements for post graduate study.

Next Steps: Once you have decided that YES you want undertake a masters at RMIT – Industrial Design and yes you are eligible, here is what you have to do.
1. There are two application forms, one for RMIT International and one for the School, download these from RMIT International and School of Architecture and Design . Do not complete these application forms yet but use them as a reference for the following steps.
2. Decide upon your research topic. Work out a sketchy proposal – detailing your proposed project; focus on the what, how and why. Use the school application form as a guide.
3. Select a supervisor, see pathways, and send the proposal to them with a CC to Malte (malte.wagenfeld@rmit.edu.au) who is the research coordinator in Industrial Design.
4. Get an in-principle agreement from your chosen supervisor.
5. Now complete both application forms.
6. Contact RMIT International to put in your application and supporting material.
7. Follow up remaining steps to make your journey to Australia.

The Industrial Design Community at RMIT and other such

The ID program at RMIT is a 250 (approx) strong community. Of the staff (faculty, teachers are referred to as staff here) there are ten continuing (meaning permanent staff) and another 30 odd sessional (meaning visiting, part time, semester wise) staff.
The ten continuing staff each has an area of specialization (their research and teaching focus) and they teach (guide) their projects from these perspectives. You can see pictures of all these staff in the people section of the Industrial Web site – but of course these days this is under maintenance.

The program has a workshop (modeling laboratory is what we call it here) (approx 1000 sq yards) – that is equipped to handle all the model and prototype making needs of the students and staff. The workshop has three continuing (permanent) staff. Each semester for the model making courses teachers/ tutors are drawn on from the pool of visiting/casual staff of the program.

The student community now: At the undergraduate level there are about 230 students and at the PG level (masters and PhD) level there are currently 15 (approx) students. Approximately 30% of the community is female. A good 20% of the community is international students – mainly from SE Asia. A number of students typically from Europe and the US also come to spend a semester or so as exchange or study abroad students. About 10-15% of the students are “mature age: – which means they have not come straight out of school – but are looking at a career change. Among the mature age students are: a doctor, a chef, a vehicle mechanic and an engineer.

This makes for a complex and diverse community. And teaching is a challenge of a particular sort. The ethnic diversity is also huge. You will se students of Italian, greek, indian, chinese and middle eastern ancestry. In one class in 2004 I asked for a show of hands for students of pure English ancestry – and one hand went up.

Sid (Siddharth) Marwah is a recent graduate who teaches CAD these days in the program. He worked for many years as a security guard to make money while he was a student. In December last year he went to Delhi and worked with Nexus (Devesh and Pratyay). His relatives live in Gurgaon and Sahibabad.

Nirmal Menon is in the first year. He transferred out of the RMIT engineering program after the first semester. He is from Singapore and was in a class I taught this semester.

There are many more Indians in Engineering than in Design. In fact the city is literally swarming with young Indians doing a second degree after completing their Engineering degree in india. Many taxi drivers I have encountered have been students doing their MIT (masters in info tech). Many of them are in the hope of getting a PR- permanent residency. They very rarely speak about returning to India. It appears that the 2year masters is a transition period into living and working in Australia. They often speak of the better life in Australia. Soumitri are you working for immigration?

Indian food in the city is still not refined. You can’t get a decent dosa – you can get pretty average ones all over town.

What Does Masters by Research at RMIT cost?

Go to RMIT International site (link in sidebar) – and click on the corresponding program. For Masters by research choose “Design and Social Context” and “Masters by Research” in the appropriate place. You should see a chart with all the courses – click on (industrial design).
Or go to the rep in your city and they will navigate through this.

So want to do/transfer to a Bachelors at RMIT?

Contact rep in your city, and/ or Contact RMIT International. Things will happen from there.

You have questions!

1. Should you be looking for a Masters by Research if you already have a masters degree? Some people have done a second masters. Ajay for one did ID after his auto engg masters. So this is not so rare.
2. What is the minimum qualification? An UG degree, in a design related area.
3. Can you work when you are studying? Masters students seem to. Some have done teaching in the UG program.

What is Masters by Research

Click on the Masters by Research link in sidebar. Also see candidate abstracts in the Graduate Research Conference section of Research. (http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=3d4oicvct01)

RMIT Industrial Design does not have a masters by course work. It only has a masters by research. These are of two types – by thesis and by project.
In one sense it is like a two year long final thesis or diploma project that you may done during your ID education. But that is not all- the premium is on innovation. And in that sense it is valuable – like a small PhD type study. There is also an emphasis on a risky and innovative adventure. Your masters project has to have an edge (!), a spirit and a strong angle to it.