Taught course

Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures

University of the Arts London - London College of Communication · Faculty of Design

Entry requirements

The MA Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures course welcomes applicants who are keen to explore design in terms of its human-centred and strategic approach, its collaborative potential, and as a leading force for driving meaningful and contextually relevant societal and ecological transformation.

Applicants may come from a range of design disciplines or related creative industry experiences with a 2:1 or above Honours degree course, or have other equivalent qualifications.

The course team also welcomes students with relevant technical/ practical background experience who have worked in creative industries and who show a commitment to design and experiential learning, being keen to explore their practice as a place of sustainable action and social transformation.

The teaching team is looking for applicants who value critical thinking and socially and environmentally focused design, and are looking to question the relationship of design industry and the global systems it inhabits.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree at 2:1 or first-class
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

Months of entry


Course content

This course invites people from different creative backgrounds to come together around a shared interest in complex global issues, criticality, collective action and the future of design practice. This course is taught at London College of Communication, at Elephant and Castle, part of University of the Arts London (UAL).

What can you expect?

You will work fast. You will work slow. You will think deeply. You will make quickly. You might fail periodically. You might play intensely. You should learn continuously.

This course has been designed using principles from human-centered design, building on the concept of humanity-centered design. You will delve deeply into research methodologies, prototyping and experimentation, ideation, service design and systems thinking.

Through various forms of collaboration inside and outside the university, you will learn to connect, frame, re-imagine and build for more sustainable futures. You will be exposed to different theories in social innovation and sustainable practice. You will be invited to critique these and build your own knowledge.

You’ll be given opportunities to participate in a diverse range of experiences including workshops, presentations, exhibitions, symposia, knowledge exchange and skills sharing. The course has been designed to be designed. All students involved will be shape-shifting this course through their own critical and practical work.

The Design School at London College of Communication believes in ‘design as the site of action and agency to radically transform our world’. This course will be putting thinking into practice, giving you the chance to make real social impact through a Final Project.

About London College of Communication

The communications sector is evolving fast. Through our world-leading community of teaching, research and industry partnerships, we enable our students to develop the critical, creative and technical excellence needed to succeed and to discover new possibilities and practices. Our Design, Media and Screen Schools produce experts and award-winners across virtual reality, journalism, photography, television and sound, graphic communication, games, design management – and more. The London College of Communication experience is all about learning by doing. Our students get their hands dirty and develop their skills through the exploration of our facilities and technical spaces. Students work on live briefs and commissions, with everything from independent start-ups and charities in Southwark, through to major global companies. Student designers, makers and innovators have worked with Nike, Penguin, the EU Commission, Colgate, Plan International, the National Trust, Nokia and Royal Mail, to name a few.

Information for international students

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application.

If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.

  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 6.0 in speaking and reading, and 5.5 in writing and listening.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Learn more by visiting our funding page.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    15 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Information Centre
+44 (0)207 514 6599