Programme Overview

Global Innovation Design

Five Global locations – Two Routes

For applicants wanting to join the Global Innovation Design (GID) programme in 2017, students are able to work in three Global locations following one of two routes. Our global partners are Pratt Institute in New York, Keio University in Tokyo, Tsinghua University in Beijing and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. Students on both routes will start their GID experience in London, then travel on to Asia, spending a term in Tokyo or Beijing. After a summer break, they spend the following term in New York or Singapore, respectively. All students will spend the rest of their second year together at RCA & Imperial College in London.

The information below describes the programme's current structure.

Note: These details may be revised, and changes are subject to validation by the RCA and Imperial College London

GID offers a new international style of learning and a unique design and cultural experience. The global paradigm shift from a knowledge society to a creative society has led to the demand for inspired individuals who are able to identify social and enterprise needs from various international perspectives and bring exceptional innovation to society. The GID vision is to provide a postgraduate experience that is unparalleled in the world which nurtures internationally-oriented design leaders to be creative catalysts delivering positive social, environmental, economic and cultural change through synthesis of multinational perspectives and approaches.  

GID revolves around leading international centres of innovation which collectively offer students a unique educational mix characterised by multidisciplinary intakes, shared values, complementary approaches and distinct expertise. The programme is designed to foster innovation that provides practical solutions to real-world issues. Project themes in each location reflect the local design culture, commercial interests and social challenges. Students will accrue high levels of international awareness to create global-scale innovations that offer tangible benefits to society with outcomes that extend beyond the confines of traditional university education.      

GID is a multidisciplinary, collaborative programme designed to attract highly motivated, visionary designers and thinkers welcoming a diversity of students from various backgrounds and nationalities. GID graduates will have wide-ranging abilities and international communication skills equipping them for leadership roles in global companies, for future entrepreneurship and to be creative catalysts designing innovation-led solutions for social change.

Programme Overview

The Global Innovation Design programme provides a double Master's degree with Imperial College London. All graduates receive an MA from the RCA and an MSc from Imperial College London.

London Induction Programme

In its current structure, the programme begins in July with a five-week induction period at RCA/Imperial in London. This provides a London orientation experience for new students and an introduction to RCA/Imperial staff and resources. Please note this is currently under review: under the proposed revision, Induction will begin in October, following standard RCA term dates.

Currently, induction includes four short modules (Welcome Week, Global Innovation Design, Disruptive Market Innovation and Technology & Innovation). Students’ support needs are assessed (e.g. English Language and Dyslexia) and support arrangements are put in place. Students are assigned and meet Personal Tutors. Students are introduced to RCA CHS staff who will guide them in the dissertation process and the students will also join some CHS lectures and seminar discussions. The CHS programme runs throughout the entire first year of the programme and culminates in the delivery of a 6,000–10,000 word dissertation on a subject of the student’s choice. For the CHS programme support and guidance is provided by RCA CHS staff.

GID New York programme

Fifteen-week programme that exposes students to philosophies of the Pratt Institute and local environs of New York. The first international section to the GID programme is held at the Pratt Institute in New York, USA. The host department is the Industrial Design Department which is Chaired by Steve Diskin PhD. GID Masters students from the RCA/Imperial attend Pratt ID in the Fall Semester. The Pratt Institute Industrial Design (Pratt ID) graduate classes are taught or run in parallel at the Pratt Institute Brooklyn Campus in New York City. The main choices and descriptions of the classes are as follows:

  • GID International Project
  • Graduate 3D I: an understanding of abstract visual elements in 3D.
  • Grad Colour I: exploring human perception of light and colour.
  • Grad Studio: a project and seminar based series.
  • Other electives: e.g. History of Industrial Design
  • Students are also required to follow the CHS programme

Further information on the Pratt Institute can be found at

Inter-sessional Period

The semester arrangements at Pratt and KMD mean that students have a 16-week period between finishing the study block at Pratt and starting the study block at KMD. Students will devote at least six weeks of this period to a self-initiated technology project. Support is provided remotely by RCA/Imperial staff. Also students carry out at least three weeks of this period on the CHS Dissertation programme. For CHS during the inter-sessional period students research and submit a proposal for their research, then a first text (minimum of 1,000 words and bibliography). Tutorials are held by teleconference facilities with CHS tutors. In addition during the inter-sessional period students engage in a programme that serves as an introduction to the language and culture of Japan in preparation for their period of study in that country. GID staff will provide pastoral support through the personal tutorial programme during this period. Note: Apart from the ‘Introduction to Japan’ session this part of the programme is non-residential and students locate themselves where they please.

GID Tokyo programme

Sixteen-week programme that exposes students to the philosophies of a Japanese design institution and the local environs of Tokyo. This second international section to the GID1 programme is held at Keio University’s Keio Media Design Graduate School in the Hyoshi Campus, Japan. The Dean of Keio Media Design is Professor Masa Inakage. Students on the GID programme when visiting KMD take classes as follows:

  • Crash Camp: three-day introductory programme
  • GID International Project:
  • Theory/Strategy Course: a lecture-based module
  • GID Theory/Strategy Course: a lecture based module, designed for GID
  • Innovators’ Course: lectures by KMD faculty and prominent guest speakers
  • Skills Modules: classes to improve skills in KMD core areas.

Further information on KMD can be found at

London Graduation Programme

The full final year re-introduces returning students to the RCA/ICL and pushes them further along the Master’s trajectory towards solo graduation projects. The second year of the GID programme is held at RCA/ICL South Kensington campus, London, UK. Accommodation is arranged by the students.

RCA/ICL courses are taught or run in parallel. Students undertake all modules. The description of the modules are as follows:

  • Re-Induction: (1 week) After returning from their year abroad, students will re-engage with their surroundings and various available resources during an induction week. During this period they also complete and hand-in their CHS dissertation.
  • Module 1: Diagnostic Solo Project (three weeks) Each student will complete a diagnostic solo project to help assess their individual design skills.  Within a meta theme determined by the tutors (e.g. future of making, technology futures, sustainability), students will set their own brief and objectives based on their personal evolution, development and skills acquisition. 
  • Module 2: Commercial Group Project (12 weeks) Students work in teams on a project brief set by external partners, and often the project is run in collaboration with other RCA/Imperial departments. Each group will identify, investigate and research an area of interest within the commercial client’s brief. Project work will be assessed during the Work in Progress (WIP) show and results are taken into account for the Final Examination.
  • Module 3: Solo Project (20 weeks) The Solo Project is carried out on an individual basis and runs all year.  Students develop their own project proposal and conduct extensive research, investigation and development. Students produce exhibition pieces for the ShowRCA as well as a detailed Solo Project report that provides a full description of the project development and results.  The Solo Project is assessed at the end of the year in the Final Examination.
  • Module 4: GID lecture series (schedule varies across the year) GID Lectures cover a range of design, engineering and innovation subjects and skills.  They also provide a break from the intense creative demands of the course modules and projects. The lecture and workshop programme elements include: GID Core (sustainability, design, engineering, enterprise and leadership); GID Skills (drawing, CAD and other delivery skills) and GID Inspire (speakers describe their work or approach).

Tuition Fees

Students on this programme pay the tuition fees direct to the RCA. In addition to the standard RCA postgraduate masters fee this programme is subject to a supplementary fee (£2,000 per annum) because of the higher costs involved in delivering a programme in three countries. For further information visit Tuition Fees.

In addition to the tuition fee, students will need to cover other non-academic costs such as flights, accommodation, insurance and general living expenses.


In order to assist students in settling in to the overseas elements of the programme as quickly as possible both Pratt and Keio will secure accommodation for each arriving student in the respective locations. Students will need to pay for this accommodation locally.