Creative catalysts designing innovation-led solutions for social change.
Global Innovation Design (GID) offers an international style of learning and a unique and cultural context. Our vision is to provide you with an experience that is unparalleled in the world, nurturing you to be a design leader and creative catalyst who delivers positive social, environmental, economic and cultural change.
We revolve 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. We foster innovation that provides practical solutions to real-world issues, and our project themes in each location reflect local design culture, commercial interests and social challenges.
Dr John Stevens
Acting Head of Programme
John joined GID at its foundation in 2013. His diverse academic and industry experience is reflected in his commitment to design across disciplines and cultures. His current research includes humanitarian innovation through impactful NGO partnerships.
Students have access to the College’s workshops, with traditional facilities for woodworking, metalworking, plastics and resins, including bookable bench spaces. Computer-driven subtractive milling equipment is available, as well as additive rapid prototyping.
More details on what you'll study.
Find out what you'll cover in this programme.
What you'll cover
An overview of the formally taught elements of the curriculum is as follows:
- GID1 London Core: A two-term foundation in design theory and methodology, physical computing, innovation, communication and creation of vision. This is structured through a series of design-led project briefs and short sprints across the units of Applied Engineering Design, Global Innovation Design Theory and Methodology, Vision, School of Design Platform (Grand Challenge).
- GID1 Critical and Historical Studies (CHS) Dissertation Programme: A key element of the GID Masters programme is the chance for students to produce a significant piece of written work on a reflective theoretical subject related to their studies.
- GID1 Partner Residency: A one-term residency with either Keio University in Tokyo or Tsinghua University in Beijing during the final term of the first academic year. Students will take part in the local curriculum at their host institution and earn credits that are converted into the ‘International Partner Residencies’ unit, where international and national travel restrictions allow. In addition, they will work on their International Project unit which is handed back to staff in London.
An overview of the formally taught elements of the curriculum is as follows:
- GID2 Partner Residency: A one-term residency with either Pratt Institute in New York or Nanyang Technological University in Singapore during the first term of the second academic year. You will take part in the local curriculum at your host institution, earning credits that are converted into the ‘International Partner Residencies’ unit, where international and national travel restrictions allow. In addition, you will work on your International Project unit which is handed back to staff in London.
- GID2 Professional Development: A two-term period directed toward refinement of your body of work and professional development. During the final two terms, GID students return to London to complete the final Major Project unit which focusses on leadership, outreach and business development to cultivate your professional design practice. The course culminates in Final Examination and a public exhibition of graduating students’ work.
Fifth and sixth terms
Major Projects, co-ordinated by the RCA and Imperial College (60 credits each)
This is the main unit for GID2 Professional Development, a two-term period directed toward refinement of the body of work and professional development.
During the final two terms, you’ll return to London to refine your final project.
The course culminates in a final examination and an exhibition.
Critical & Historical Studies (CHS)
All studio-based MA students follow a weekly schedule of Critical & Historical Studies (CHS), a College-wide initiative that provides you with the intellectual framework to build a coherent relationship between theory and practice.
CHS delivers exciting, thought-provoking and inspiring lectures by experts within the programme and high-profile visiting lecturers. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the theoretical background and aspects of your chosen discipline through a tutored dissertation process, as well as receiving individual tutorial support from our team of expert tutors.
What you need to know before you apply
Candidates are selected entirely on merit and applications are welcomed from all over the world. The selection process considers creativity, imagination and innovation as demonstrated in your portfolio, as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high MA standards overall.
To apply to Global Innovation Design you’ll normally need to have at least a UK honours degree at 2:1 level (or the equivalent) in any subject relevant to innovation, and it’s desirable to have some relevant work experience. In exceptional circumstances we will consider applicants without this degree qualification (for example, excellent professional experience or outstanding creative or technical abilities).
What's needed from you
Your portfolio is a showcase of your work as an artist or designer and can be made up of images, videos or writing examples. Your portfolio helps us to better understand your application and allows you to show evidence of your ability and motivation to undertake a given programme.
Generally, we’re looking for you to demonstrate your:
- Creativity, imagination and innovation
- Ability to articulate the intentions of the work
- Intellectual engagement in areas relevant to the work
- Technical skills appropriate to the work
- Potential to benefit from the programme
We are looking for people genuinely motivated to bring positive change to the world through design-led innovation. We want you to compile a single document (PDF, maximum 20 pages) showing us a diverse range of projects, from previous studies, professional work, or self initiated . Demonstrate clear written and visual articulation, and an engagement with issues that matter to you. If you’re a designer, select a few of your most creative, original and ingenious pieces of work, including something of your process and decisions, the skills and tools used, as well as its purpose and final outcome.
If you're not a designer, don’t worry - show us how you’ve achieved excellence in your own field, communicate it visually, and make it personal, evidencing your unique creativity, in whatever form this may take.
In both cases we are interested in how you think, your desire to learn new skills, and your ability to build and grow your ideas.
If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need the equivalent of an IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in the Test of Written English (TWE).
You are exempt from this requirement if you have received a 2.1 degree or above from a university in a majority English-speaking nation within the last two years.
If you need a Student Visa to study at the RCA, you will also need to meet the Home Office’s minimum requirements for entry clearance.
For this programme
Fees for new students
Fees for September 2021 entry on this programme are outlined below. From 2021 onward, EU students are classified as Overseas for tuition fee purposes.
Overseas and EU
Imperial fees, marked ** above, are subject to an inflationary uplift, calculated from the RPI for April 2022 and may vary slightly from the value published here; exact fees are to be confirmed in June 2022.
New entrants to the College for MA, MRes, MPhil and PhD degrees will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit in order to secure their place. This will be offset against the tuition fees for the first year of study.
* GID fees include a £2,000 supplement due to the higher cost of delivering the programme.
Scholarships are awarded for a specific programme and entry point and cannot be deferred without consent from the academic Programme and scholarships panel.
There are many funding sources, with some students securing scholarships and others saving money from working. It is impossible to list all the potential funding sources; however, the following information could be useful.
Tuition fees are due on the first day of the academic year and students are sent an invoice prior to beginning their studies. Payments can be made in advance, on registration or in two instalments.
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.
In addition to the tuition fee, students will need to cover other non-academic costs such as flights, visas, accommodation, insurance and general living expenses.
Change your life and be here in 2021
The Royal College of Art welcomes applicants from all over the world.