Entry requirements

You should normally have (or expect to be awarded) a good 2:1 or 1st class honours degree, and a taught Masters in a relevant subject area.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Months of entry


Course content

We welcome enquiries from anyone who would like to carry out research in any aspect of design or in technology in education.

The MPhil/PhD programme in Design is aimed at practitioners and scholars of design, and those in related disciplines, who wish to develop a theoretically engaged, critically aware and empirically informed approach to design, design education, design research and design practice. The programme builds on and contributes to the Department’s internationally renowned approaches to inventive, experimental, and creative research where design’s relation to the social is placed centre stage.

Practice-based MPhil/PhD

The practice-based programme explores new approaches to, or applications of, existing knowledge by means of design practice. For PhD, the research will create new knowledge by means of practice research. Your thesis will integrate an original body of practice and a written component providing critical analysis of your practice, critical assessment of relevant literature and practice and describe the method of research. Assessment is by thesis and viva voce.

  • MPhil includes a written component of between 20,000 and 30,000 words.
  • PhD includes a written component of between 30,000 and 60,000 words.

Thesis-based MPhil/PhD

provides a written account of your research and contribution to knowledge on a subject related to design. The MPhil thesis will form provide a distinct contribute to the knowledge of a subject related to design and the PhD thesis will provide an original contribution to knowledge on a subject related to design. Both include a critical assessment of relevant literature and describe the method of research. Assessment is by thesis and viva voce.

Recent PhD completions include:

  • Empirical Speculation and Prototyping Futures in the Refugee Crisis
  • The Housing Database Made Visible: Regenerative politics, participation and design
  • Re-scripting Organisations: Inventing the designer-in-residence
  • Curating Issues of Concern: Mediating critically engaged design
  • Making Algorithms Public: Rendering visible the operations and politics of algorithmic systems
  • Space for Boundary – Space as Place: An investigation into the design of architectural boundaries in residential mass housing, in the context of urban sustainability
  • Re-doing Patient Experience Through Design-led Research: Considering the multiplicity and ontological politics of multiple sclerosis
  • Designing the Future? How can speculation play a role in improving foresight for science and technology policymaking?
  • Making Home: Agency, precarity and the internet of things
  • Designing for Ambivalence: A designer’s exploration of the competing discourses offered by smartphones to mothers and their young children
  • Controlled Prototyping Environments: Reconceptualising location through participatory and embodied design practice
  • What's Happening? Explorations in the strategising and unfolding of free-form design events

Information for international students

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and no element lower than 6.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil/PhD
    part time
    48-96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    24-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
+44 (0)20 7078 5300