Taught course

Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures

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

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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).

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Create real impact - This course invites you to generate work that will have a positive influence and impact on the world. At different scales and in different ways.
  • Collaborate widely - The open studio culture within this course will involve you working with people with a variety of backgrounds and lived experiences, from all over the world, inside and outside the university walls.
  • Expand your network and your mind - The course will introduce you to a range of people and places working in the field of social innovation and sustainable futures. Through workshops, talks, visits, exhibitions and events you will take a critical look at existing practice and theory while developing your own knowledge.
  • Figure out your unique values and purpose - This course will give you opportunities to explore what matters most to you, what change you want to make in the world now and in the future.
  • Future-facing skills - Develop a range of fundamental transferable skills such as design research, impact evaluation, participatory design, social entrepreneurship and critical analysis. Setting you up for your unique professional future as a responsible creative practitioner.

What can you expect?

This course has been designed using principles from human-centered design, and 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 walls, 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.

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

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)20 7514 6500