MA Industrial Design

Applications for 2016/17 entry are now closed.

Application for 2017/18 entry will open in November.  Please check back in November when online applications will open for new applicants.  We look forward to receiving your application.

MA Industrial Design applies intellectual development directly to design practice, empowering you take on a strategic role, to identify and respond to trends, to initiate new design approaches, and to thrive in multidisciplinary teams.

Central Saint Martins' Product and Industrial Design courses are recognised for world-class excellence by the award of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education 2013.

This course is part of the Product, Ceramic & Industrial Design Programme.

Scholarships, Awards and Funding available:

The David Peacock Trust
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Industrial Design Studentships

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships:
Home/EU | International
Jane Rapley Scholarships
Rodney Fitch Scholarship

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Meet Course Leader Nick Rhodes and students.

Queen's Anniversary Award awarded for Innovation in Design Education.

Reasons to Apply

  • MA Industrial Design enables you to pursue your studies whilst also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities. You are expected to commit 30 hours per week to your studies typically, and taught input will normally be scheduled over two to three days per week during term time.
  • The course collaborates with external businesses and social enterprises.
  • Benefit from a multi-disciplinary art school environment made up of an exceptionally diverse community of creative individuals.
  • Explore and develop new perspectives and design methods in an intense and challenging curriculum.
  • Use the world’s most cosmopolitan city as a living resource. We’re right at the heart of London’s incredible range of galleries, museums, bars, businesses and sub-cultures.
  • Engage with some of the world’s finest active practitioners from a range of design disciplines, as well as others who may be writers, philosophers, anthropologists, performers or sociologists.
  • Graduates from the course work in design consultancies and manufacturing industries worldwide. Some go on to take PhD studies or commercial research, others are distinguished and influential designers or design managers in global companies.


Course Leader

Nicholas Rhodes

Course Location

King's Cross, London. 

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course LengthExtended Full Time: 2 years (60 weeks)
Home/EU Fee

Tuition fees for 2017/18: £4,900 per year. Please note that fees for second year of study will be subject to inflationary increase.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. 

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

International Fee

Tuition fees for 2017/18: £12,365 per year.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. 

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Start DateSeptember 2017
Autumn Term DatesMonday 25 September 2017 – Friday 8 December 2017
Spring Term DatesMonday 8 January 2018 – Friday 16 March 2018
Summer Term DatesMonday 16 April 2018 – Friday 22 June 2018
Application Route

Direct application

Content and structure

Flexible, imaginative, innovative and collaborative, industrial designers must respond to rapid commercial and technological change. Increasingly, designers are called on to take a proactive role in industry and to get involved in strategic decision-making.

This course is part of the Ceramic, Industrial and Product Design programme. MA Industrial Design students anticipate and initiate change in all areas of industrial design - in consumer-durable and capital goods, in transport, packaging and sanitary ware, in furniture for private, corporate or public environments, in architectural space, in interface design and design management, and in strategies for corporate and governmental development.

The relationships between industrial designers, manufacturers, retailers, purchasers and users are constantly being renegotiated, demanding greater flexibility and wider knowledge of industry and commerce. Against this backdrop, managerial skills are often as important as the engineering and creative skills required to develop design concepts. MA Industrial Design emphasises self-directed and peer-group learning, benefiting hugely from the range of cultures and backgrounds represented by our students.

About this course

  • MA Industrial Design lasts 60 weeks structured as two consecutive periods of 30 weeks each (i.e. two academic years) in its 'extended full-time mode'.
  • MA Industrial Design is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises 2 units. Unit 1 (60 credits) lasts 20 weeks. Unit 2 (120 credits) runs for 10 weeks in the first year and 30 weeks in the second year.
  • Both units must be passed in order to achieve the MA, but the classification of the award of MA derives from your mark for Unit 2 only.

You are expected to typically commit 30 hours per week to your studies, within which, your taught input will normally be scheduled over three days. MA Industrial Design has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue your studies, whilst also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities.

Course outline

MA Industrial Design is comprised of two Units. The first consists of a series of projects varying in length from one to six weeks. These introduce you to a variety of research methods and issues relevant to the discipline, which are then directly implemented in the creation/realisation of design work.

Unit two sees the process become less closely defined in the brief, as you are given more freedom to explore a 'theme' in the transitional project. Together, these projects form the structural and contextual basis from which you plan and then undertake your own project. You define your own research question, aims and objectives and decide on an appropriate research methodology. Through an iterative process of planning, research, design, making, testing and evaluation, your project will evolve to a point of partial or complete resolution for the final assessment.


Course Leader:Nick Rhodes

Critical Design Practice Tutor:Professor Ralph Ball
Contextual Studies and Dissertation Tutor:Dr Stephen Hayward

Course Coordinator: Dr Matt Malpass


Most MA Industrial Design graduates work in design consultancies or manufacturing industries worldwide. Some go on to do PhD studies or commercial research. Others are distinguished and influential designers or design managers in global companies.

MA Industrial Design provides a professionally oriented environment that applies intellectual development directly to design practice. It enables students to evolve as designers able take on a strategic role, to develop their ability to identify and respond to social, technological and economic trends, to initiate new approaches to design, and to participate at a high level in the work of multidisciplinary teams.

MA Industrial Design has recently enjoyed collaborative projects with BT, Camper, Dior, GlaxoSmithKline, Hermès, J Paul Getty Museum, London Underground, the Metropolitan Police service, Rémy Martin and Virgin Megastores.

Employers of recent MA Industrial Design graduates include: Fitch, Tangerine, Seymour Powell, Nokia, LG, Samsung, Herman Miller, Nestle, The Future Laboratory, Tangerine, Lenovo, BenQ, Acer.

For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit the Student Jobs And Careers section.

Entry requirements

MA Industrial Design entry requirements are: a relevant Honours degree; evidence of experiential learning equivalent to a degree; and normally at least one year of relevant professional experience.

  • Relevant fields are: product design, three-dimensional design or furniture design.
  • Applicants are also considered from related disciplines such as ceramic design, interface design, architecture, jewellery design, engineering and ergonomics.
  • Portfolios from these areas must demonstrate some proficiency in industrial design skills, however, and demonstrate that personal and professional aspirations are compatible with the aims of the course
  • Applicants normally have at least one year of professional experience.


David Peacock Trust. A small registered charity (number 1080160), established in 2000 in memory of David Peacock, an industrial designer who became Chairman of a UK-based manufacturing and service group that achieved international success under his leadership. The Trust’s objective is to support the advancement of education in the field of industrial product design in Britain, focusing on support for postgraduate students on selected UK courses. For further details please visit the David Peacock Trust website.

Royal Commissions for the Exhibition of  1851 Industrial Design Studentships. Background: To stimulate industrial design capability among the country’s most able science and engineering graduates. About eight Industrial Design Studentships are offered each year for outstanding engineering or science  graduates who wish to develop their capabilities in industrial design and who aspire to becoming leading designers in British industry.

For further information please see the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 website. (NB application deadline 26 April 2012)

English language requirement

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you send us an English language test score together with your application to prove your level of proficiency. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please clearly indicate this on your application form. When you have received your test score, please send it to us immediately. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the Language Centre website.
Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the External English Tests page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.

Student selection criteria

Applicants will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • That you can generate and communicate a range of ideas
  • You can analyse a design problem from a number of perspectives and generate a range of design responses to a particular problem
  • That you can show that your personal and professional aspirations are compatible with the aims and objectives of MA Industrial Design
  • That you can demonstrate the necessary fluency in your design process to be able to benefit from the postgraduate course

How to apply

You can apply for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide. 

Required information for all postgraduate course applications 

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form: 

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • Referee details (this course requires two references, at least one of which should be an academic or professional reference).

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation email that includes links to where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Personal statement

Please give your reasons for applying to your chosen course (provide details of your particular subject interests, relevant experience or abilities, what you wish to achieve on the course, and your career aspirations).

Portfolio (international students only)

International applicants are required to submit an online portfolio demonstrating:

  • The full range and level of your design, technical and practical skills
  • Your thinking and decision making in the design process
  • Your personal vision and approach to design

You can submit text and as many website links as you need to, but the portfolio form does not allow you to upload files.

Start your application now

Due to the high level of interest in MA Industrial Design we recommend that you return your application as soon as possible after 1 January 2017, and before the end of May 2017 at the latest.
You can submit your application after this closing date, but if the Course is full at that point it will be filed as a late application, and you will only be interviewed if and when a place becomes available.

We start interviews in January.

Deferred entry

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry.

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

What happens next?

We read and consider all application forms and personal references. Please note we give particular attention to your references.

Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application form, preliminary selection is based on your study statement and documentation of work and supporting information. You may then be invited to attend an interview. For candidates applying for external funding, interviews will be scheduled prior to funding body deadlines.

Can't attend the interview

All interviews are conducted by telephone.

Open days

Open days are a great opportunity to meet staff and students and to find out at first hand about courses, teaching and student life. Visit the open day section for dates to book your session. Bookings can only be made online, not by phone or email. 

Industry collaborations

The Course has extensive experience of collaboration with with external agencies.

Recent projects have been undertaken with Roche Bobois, Microsoft, Orange, and Camper.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

Make an enquiry