Design Engineering students

Key information

Duration: 21 months full-time
Start dateOctober 2021
Campus: South Kensington
ECTS: 180 credits

Apply directly to the Royal College of Art
Find out more about this course on the RCA websiteRoyal College of Art Online Application System


Global Innovation Design is a joint Master's degree between Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. You receive a double Master's – an MSc from Imperial and an MA from the RCA.

It is a unique, transnational initiative which brings together three major centres of design, culture, enterprise and industry: Europe, North America and Asia.

The programme is a world class design collaboration between six internationally-renowned academic institutions. Each partner brings distinct expertise and complementary approaches to design, engineering, technology and business, with an emphasis on internationally-oriented design and innovation.

GID offers a new international style of learning, and unique educational and cultural experiences designed to meet the changing needs of enterprise in the 21st century.

You are able to work in three Global locations with partner universities following one of two routes. Students on both routes will start their GID experience in London, then travel on to Asia, spending a term in Tokyo or Beijing.

After the summer break, you spend the following term in New York or Singapore. All students will spend the rest of their second year together at RCA and Imperial College London. Graduates from the programme are expected to be central to innovation leadership in the 21st century.

Open days

Structured Open Days are held each academic year, so that you can tour Imperial and the RCA, visit teaching programmes and meet staff and students in the studio. For more details please visit the RCA's Global Innovation Design website.


Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this programme is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.


Year 1

  • Critical and Historical Studies Dissertation Programme – an opportunity for you to write a significant piece of written work on a reflective theoretical subject related to your studies
  • London Core – two-term foundation in research-based design theory and methodology, mechatronics, form-giving, design research and anthropological methods, innovation, communication and creation of vision
  • Partner Residency – one-term residency with either Keio University, Tokyo or Tsinghua University, Beijing during the final term

Year 2

  • Partner Residency – a one-term residency with either Pratt Institute, New York or Nanyang Technological University, Singapore during the first term of the second academic year
  • Professional Development – during the final two terms, designers return to London to focus leadership, outreach and business development to cultivate their professional design practice. The course culminates in Final Examination and the Final Show.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

  • Gateway Presentations
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Progress Reviews
  • Work Review Tutorials

Course timetable

This course run across institutions with different structures, the traditional academic holiday periods in the spring term of the first year and the summer holiday between the first and second years do not apply, resulting in shortened vacation periods.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Applications are made via the Royal College of Art's online application system. You can read the full RCA entry requirements.


Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree.

You are required to have an aptitude for design or technology led-innovation.

Professional experience or outstanding creative or technical abilities may be accepted in place of a degree in exceptional circumstances.

Admissions test

Entrance exam part 1: Candidates must submit a portfolio of work. See the RCA's website for guidance on the portfolio.

Entrance exam part 2: Selected applicants are invited for an interview (by Skype if needed) with staff and a student representative and to participate in a creative exercise.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

How to apply

Making an application

All applicants must apply online.

You apply directly to the Royal College of Art (RCA) who jointly deliver this course.

We advise that you apply as soon as possible. Find out about application deadlines to avoid disappointment.

Visit the RCA website to read more about how to apply.

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fee for the MA/MSc in Global Innovation Design is set by the Royal College of Art.

Enquiries should be made to the RCA directly on Students on this programme pay tuition fees direct to the RCA.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you're a UK national, or EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government, if you meet certain criteria.

For 2020-21 entry, the maximum amount was of £11,222. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Find out more about our scholarships to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information

Design Engineering

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