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MRes RCA: Design Pathway

The School of Design offers a practice-based MRes pathway built on the wide range of our design research exploring the space between society and technology supported by expertise spanning Innovation Design Engineering, Global Innovation Design, Design Products, Healthcare Design, Service Design, Vehicle Design and Intelligent Mobility.

The pathway welcomes a broad approach to design research and encourages experimentation in practice-based methods supported by experienced researchers. Approaches can range from User Centred Design, Ethnographic, Anthropological, Action Research, Participatory Design Research, Cybernetics, Grounded Theory, to Transformation Design, Speculative, and Critical Design. We encourage diverse candidates who want to focus on commercial research, to prepare for doctoral studies and a future career in academic research or use the programme for career change to develop new skills and identify new research interests. Students will be introduced to relevant design research tools, methods, methodologies, theories and epistemologies aimed at supporting the development of a personal research approach. Applicants to the MRes Design pathway will benefit from an advanced practice-based design research culture and enjoy the freedom and autonomy that a self-directed research journey allows.

The School of Design has a long history of design research that can be traced back to Bruce Archer and the NHS hospital bed design in the 1960s through to today’s researchers who are internationally engaged in a broad range of areas from intelligent mobility through to citizen science, the future of making, socio-cultural design, experimental design, design for safety, design policy, service design and artificial intelligence and robotics as well as providing strategic advice to government and agencies. Recent commercial research funding partners have included Huawei, Tata, Airbus, Microsoft, and Intel amongst others with grant-maintained funding from the AHRC, EPSRC and the Lloyds Register Foundation.

We also have an excellent set of visiting experts and a global network of research collaborators that we draw on in our integrated School-wide research culture. These also bring strong synergies with the other RCA Schools and expertise areas including the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design combined with a strong local set of collaborations with the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Design Museum and Imperial College London with whom we share three of our master’s programmes.The pathway encourages experimentation in practice-based research, supported by experienced researchers working on both commercial and grant maintained projects across the School’s major research themes, in areas including mobility, healthcare and the future of making. The training we provide through designing research and researching through design will be suitable for both commercial and academic careers as a stand-alone qualification and act as an accelerator to prepare for doctoral studies.

The School has an excellent set of commercial partners and a global network of research collaborators that we draw on in our integrated School-wide research culture. These also bring strong synergies and collaborations with the other RCA Schools and expertise areas including the Helen Hamlyn Centre and Sustain. Commercial research projects include working with Huawei, Tata, Airbus, Microsoft and Intel amongst others. We also have a strong local network that includes collaborations with the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Design Museum and Imperial College London, with whom we share two of our masters programmes. Applicants to the MRes Design pathway will benefit from an advanced practice-based design research culture and enjoy the freedom and autonomy of a self-directed research journey.

For further information or to arrange a conversation about the MRes degree, email design-mres@rca.ac.uk