LDoc – London Doctoral Design Centre

AHRC-Funded PhD Studentships in Design Research

The LDoc is an AHRC-funded centre for doctoral training, a collaboration between the Royal College of Art, Kingston University and the University of the Arts London. The Centre offers both full-time and part-time AHRC-funded PhD studentships and enhanced doctoral training, with a focus on practice-led design research. See the LDoc website for further information.

For 2018 entry, we are also offering an LDoc Collaborate Doctoral Award with IBM. For more information, application pack and form for this award, see LDoc Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDA) RCA x IBM.

The Centre partners build on their commitment to developing Design researchers at the highest level in this exciting initiative. See the LDoc website for links through to Kingston University and UAL.   

Applications for entry to LDoc in 2017 through the Royal College of Art are now open. Candidates will be interested to pursue innovative research in all areas of design offered by the Royal College of Art.  

Students currently enrolled at the Royal College of Art who have already started their PhD, and who meet the academic and residency requirements (see below), are eligible to apply for the AHRC studentships on offer, provided that at least half of their total planned period of study will be funded by the AHRC. Students who are new to the RCA are also eligible to apply, but must separately hold an offer to begin their PhD studies in October 2018.

The LDoc programme benefits from the contributions of these creative industry partners: 

AEDAS, British Fashion Council, BT, London Borough of Camden Communities Division, Camira, Creativeworks London, Design Council, Designing Out Crime Association (DOCA), Ford Motor Company, Ian Ritchie Architects Limited, International Flavours and Fragrances, Microsoft Research Cambridge, Sense, Sorrell Foundation, Textile Institute, Topshop, TFL, the United Nations/UNCTAD Responsible Ecosystems Sourcing Platform and the V&A Museum.

Value of Award

Recipients of an LDoc studentship receive a full fee waiver and a maintenance allowance paid in quarterly instalments lasting three years for full-time students. The value of the maintenance allowance provided will be based on the standard RCUK award rate for the year in which the candidate’s studies begin.

The current maintenance rate for awards beginning 2017/18 is £14,553 (plus £2,000 London weighting for full time students, paid in quarterly installments. levels are likely to rise slightly for 2018/19 but have not yet been confirmed.

Full details on the value of AHRC awards can be found here.

Application Procedure

Application forms for 2018 entry are now available to download.

Applicants to the RCA for 2018 will be advised to follow the application procedure below:

Step 1: Check deadlines 

  • You must make your PhD application to the RCA by the priority deadline, Tuesday 5 December 2017, if you wish to be eligible to apply to LDoc
  • You must make your application to LDoc by 11.59pm Monday 5 February 2018

Step 2Ensure that you meet the RCA's eligibility criteria

  • As independent institutions, the eligibility requirements of each LDoc partner may differ slightly.
  • Before making an application to an institution or LDoc, applicants must make sure they meet the relevant eligibility criteria.

Step 3: Ensure that you are eligible to receive an award from the AHRC

Step 4: Make an application to the relevant institution

  • Make a standard PhD application to the Royal College of Art OR already be enrolled at the institution and have started a PhD, with at least 50% of planned time remaining at October 2018.
  • Name the RCA as the institution applied to in your LDoc application form.
  • Please note that the deadline for applications to the RCA is 5 December 2017.

Step 5: Complete the LDoc application forms and submit to the relevant institution

  • Please review the Guidance Notes before making your application.  

Please note that candidates must make an application to one of the three partner institutions before submitting an LDoc application. You will be asked which institution you have applied to (or are studying with) in your LDoc application form.