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MRes Halthcare & Design Studio


Clinical–design collaboration

Key details

  • 180 credits
  • 2 year programme
  • Part-time study

School or Centre


  • Kensington

Next open day

Application deadline

  • 11 Oct 2023

Gain the tools to lead design innovations in a broad range of healthcare environments

This unique interdisciplinary programme draws on the complementary expertise from the RCA's School of Design and Helen Hamlyn Design Centre, and the healthcare expertise from Imperial College London’s medical faculty and the Helix Centre based at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington London.

You'll develop an awareness of the role and value of design in solving healthcare challenges, as well as a multi-professional perspective on problem-solving and the importance of clinical/design collaboration. The programme uses a range of research techniques, tools and frameworks in the fields of design and innovation, and offers an environment in which to develop design-led skills to rapidly research, synthesise and prototype a solution to a healthcare challenge.

Applications for the September 2024 intake are now open.

Explore further

Catch the replays from our online Open Day.



The School of Design is based across our Battersea and Kensington sites.

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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.

  • Emotion Mapping Charing Cross Hospital Brest Screening Unit

    Emotion Mapping Charing Cross Hospital Brest Screening Unit

  • Helix Design Dash at St Marys Hospital

    Helix Design Dash at St Marys Hospital

  • Behaviour Change

    Behaviour Change

  • Interdisciplinary team work and strategic planning

    Interdisciplinary team work and strategic planning

  • Healthcare & Design innovation cards

    H&D Innovation Cards

More details on what you'll study.

Find out what you'll cover in this programme.

What you'll cover

In the first year, you embark on four taught modules: Design Led Innovation in Healthcare, Principals of Design and Innovation, Research Toolkit and a Helix "Design Dash".

Teaching takes place in each module during one-week intensive sessions and includes interactive lectures, seminars, tutorials, case-based discussion, technology demonstrations and practical team-based workshop projects. You will have the opportunity to participate in a range of formative and summative individual and group-based activities.


  1. Design Led Innovation in Healthcare
  2. Principals of Design and Innovation
  3. Health Research Toolkit
  4. Helix Design Dash

In the second year, you take four further modules, including innovation, design for behaviour change and leadership.


5. Innovation
6. Designing for behaviour change
7. Health Business Toolkit
8. Leadership

Each module concludes with an assessable presentation and a piece of coursework.

You will conduct a major personal design research project throughout the two years of study. The personal research project supervision is led by the RCA with support from expertise at Imperial College. You can undertake the research project in your workplace (with support from employers) or select a self-directed project theme under guidance from our staff. The major research project is assessed via a viva with design projects and a thesis.


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 will consider 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.

What's needed from you

We welcome applications from a diverse range of disciplines into healthcare and design. Our reviewers have experience looking through work from many different fields ranging from art, design and innovation to healthcare, engineering, sciences, business and enterprise.

A portfolio can include a wide range of work, projects, constructions, concepts, experiments and research from professional and academic areas alongside hobbies and interests that best represent your skills and capabilities. We are interested in process and thinking as much as the end results.

Please avoid using portfolio templates and heavy backgrounds. We recommend creating a portfolio that promotes the individuality of your work, skills, projects and thinking processes. It is important that your own original work and projects are made clear in the portfolio.

Please submit a portfolio with no more than 30 pages as one single PDF file. When submitting group projects, please state your role and impact on the work.

If you are not from a design or creative industries background, you are welcome to submit a statement not greater than 1,000 words of your professional practice along with any images in PDF format instead of a portfolio.

We ask that you upload a two-minute video recorded on your phone or laptop, speaking to us directly. High production qualities are not needed. We will review the work in your portfolio, so keep your video simple.

Your journey should explain your motivation for applying to the programme, what you hope to learn and achieve and how this will support a future career in healthcare design.

We recommend avoiding background music and to keep the focus on yourself. There is no need to present work as we will already have seen that in the portfolio. Ideally, do this as one take to avoid heavy editing. You are also welcome to discuss your ideas and motivation for the major project proposal.

If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need the equivalent of an IELTS Academic or UKVI score of 6.5 with a 6.0 in the Test of Written English (TWE) and at least 5.5 in other skills. Students achieving a grade of at least 6.0, with a grade of 5.5 in the Test of Written English, may be eligible to take the College’s English for Academic Purposes course to enable them to reach the required standard.

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.

Find out more about English-language requirements

If you require a Student Visa (part-time route) for the MRes Healthcare & Design programme, you will have work restrictions and will not be allowed to work in the UK during your studies. If you are currently employed on a Tier 2 visa you can apply for the part-time MRes Healthcare & Design programme as long as you can continue to work for the same employer who is sponsoring you, otherwise you would need to switch to a Student Visa (part-time route) and would no longer be allowed to work in the UK.   

For more information please see Student Visa or contact our Student support team

Fees & funding

For this programme

Fees for new students

Fees for September 2024 entry on this programme are outlined below. From 2021 onward, EU students are classified as Overseas for tuition fee purposes.

£9,850 per year
£19,700 total cost*
Overseas and EU
£23,350 per year
£46,700 total cost*


New entrants to the College 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.

Overseas and EU

Progression discount

For alumni and students who have completed an RCA Graduate Diploma and progress onto an RCA Master's programme – MA, MA/MSc, MFA, MDes, MArch, MEd or MRes – within 10 years, a progression discount of £1,000 is available.

* Total cost is based on the assumption that the programme is completed in the timeframe stated in the programme details. Additional study time may incur additional charges.



The RCA scholarship programme is growing, with hundreds of financial awards planned for the 2024/5 academic year. Examples of financial awards offered in 2023/24 are given below.

For: All programmes excluding short courses

Eligibility criteria: Home fee status; Black or Black British Caribbean, Black Or Black British African, Other Black Background, Mixed - White and Black Caribbean, Mixed - White and Black African

Value: Full-fee & contribution to living costs

Applying for a scholarship

You must hold an offer to study on an RCA programme in order to make a scholarship application in Spring 2024. A selection of RCA merit scholarships will also be awarded with programme offers. 

We strongly recommend that you apply for your programme as early as possible to stand the best chance of receiving a scholarship. You do not apply directly for individual awards; instead, you will be invited to apply once you have received an offer.

More information

External funding

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.

Ask a question

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more or have any questions.

Email us at
[email protected]
RCA Kensington cafe