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Imperial College London Course/Program Name
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MA Innovation Design Engineering (IDE)

 Course Level
Masters / PG
 Type
Full Time

 Duration
1.75 Years
 Start month
October

 Tuition fee

International
28400 GBP
National
9500 GBP
EU
9500 GBP

Application fee

International 0 GBP
National 0 GBP
Department
Dyson school of Design Engineering
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)6.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)92
8

World University Ranking

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About this course

A cutting-edge, creative product development course, which involves experimentation, design, engineering and enterprise activities.

The Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) programme is a leading-edge, creative product development course, which involves experimentation, design, engineering and enterprise activities.

The degree programme has now been running for over 30 years, and has produced some of the world’s leading designers working in companies such as Philips, IDEO, Apple, Sony and Samsung.

A significant proportion of graduates go on to set up their own enterprises on leaving the programme. Recent examples include Omlet, Bare Conductive and Concrete Canvas.

In multidisciplinary teams or as individuals, participants work at the centre of complex and demanding projects with an emphasis on prototyping and proving design and enterprise propositions.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Minimum academic requirement
The minimum academic requirement is a 2.1 Honours degree or higher in any subject, however you must also show aptitude or great potential in design or technology-led innovation. In exceptional circumstances applicants without this degree qualification will be considered (for example, excellent professional experience or outstanding creative or technical abilities).

Some applicants with business or other commercial backgrounds are also considered. Mature candidates with industrial experience are particularly welcome.

The application process and entrance examination (see below) is administered by the Royal College of Art (RCA).

Entrance exam part 1: All candidates are required to submit a portfolio of work to be assessed by the programme team. See the RCA's website for guidance on the portfolio.

Entrance exam part 2: Selected applicants are invited to the programme for an entrance examination which comprises of an interview (15 minutes in duration, with staff and a student representative) and a creative exercise (one hour).

English language requirements

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification.

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

Year 1
In the first year, students embark on a range of taught modules, workshops and master classes to develop skills and experience.

Each of these focuses on a particular aspect of IDE and involves practising design skills, as well as research activities both within product development itself, and in exploring user and broader social issues. In each module you will undertake a design project to a brief, sometimes set and sometimes of your own devising.

The work periods become progressively longer as they deal with more complex problems, and you practice the transferability of the core skills in different design settings.

Students joining the programme have a diverse range of existing skills, and the tutor input ensures that the modules allow students to be challenged and learn whatever their backgrounds. As students find their feet as innovation designers, the intensity of taught skills is reduced and by the third term students are working on longer project modules.

Emphasis is placed on generating imaginative ideas, and on testing prototypes through three-dimensional modelling and feedback from potential users, design and other experts.

During the first year students elect into one of two learning strands:

Disruptive Market Innovations: DMI is core IDE territory and is about delivering innovative products to the market that work.
Experimental Design: EXP is for design innovation at a fundamental level, which may incorporate the exploration of new technologies, new product categories or new contexts.
The learning strands are to allow students to excel at a particular approach to design or to expand their abilities through exploring a way of working unfamiliar to them. The strands are lightly embedded into the programme, especially in the first year, and there is plenty of collaboration between these strands over two years.


Year 2
The programme of work in the second year consists of two projects:

  • Group project, which is a team based activity
  • Solo project, which is conducted on an individual basis

Students choose the theme of these projects themselves. The Solo project runs throughout the year (albeit thin at first), and the Group project runs during the autumn term and a brief period in the spring term.

The Group project is assessed early in the spring term at the Work in Progress show, and the Solo project is assessed at the end of the year in the Degree Show as part of the Final Examination.

The Solo project also forms the subject of a report involving a full description of the project development and results – this is completed and handed in to be assessed towards the end of the summer term.


Critical & Historical Studies
The RCA provides a unique environment for postgraduate art and design students to reflect upon their own practice, and to engage with students from their own and other disciplines. The role of Critical & Historical Studies (CHS) is to support the studio programmes in enabling these critical engagements to take place. The modules offered by CHS to first year studio-based MA students propose an intellectual framework within which they can begin to establish a coherent relationship between theory and practice.

In the autumn and spring terms there are a series of College-wide seminars and lectures. The autumn term series will relate to your particular discipline (though it is possible to elect to join a series being offered to students on other programmes) whereas the spring term series will be more broad-based and cross-disciplinary in nature.

In the spring and summer terms, a CHS tutor will give you individual tutorials to support the development of a dissertation which is submitted at the start of the second year. The dissertation should be between 6,000–10,000 words in length – this is a major piece of work and you will be not be able to submit for the Final Examination until you have passed this assessment.

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

All applicants must apply online.

You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.

Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but popular courses close when they are full, so you should apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.

Check further details on University website

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