Disability, Design and Innovation MSc

London, Stratford (UCL East)

The MSc Design, Disability, and Innovation at UCL is the flagship programme for the Global Disability Innovation Hub (www.disabilityInnovation.com), which brings together world leading expertise in disability, technology, and innovation from across the three founding partners: UCL, Loughborough University London (LUL), and the London College of Fashion (LCF). It naturally blends hard engineering and design skills with the necessary understanding of the global policy and societal contexts of disability.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree (or international qualification of an equivalent standard) in engineering or social sciences, or five years' experience of working in international development, design or assistive technology development. Applicants entering via the experience route will be required to attend an interview before being offered a place. For applicants without an engineering background, successful completion of an online preparatory course is compulsory. This will be delivered over the summer and will fully prepare applicants for the technical components for the programme.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

As a student on the MSc Design, Disability, and Innovation, you will learn core research methods, combined with a solid base in technology, disability, and development. You will develop skills in team working, project planning and communication though working in small groups. You will develop your ability to build both marketing and business strategies to ensure products, services, or programmes are capable to delivering a sustainable, positive difference to disabled people’s lives.

Students on this programme will take modules to the value of 180 credits, on successful completion of which they will be awarded MSc Design, Disability, and Innovation.

Who this course is for

Not applicable.
The programme is intended for students who want to make a fairer world through disability innovation. One of the strengths of the programme is its diversity, which values students from occupational therapy, user experience design, international development, human computer interaction, product design, neuroscience, diplomatic service, medicine, disability activism and many other disciplines.

What this course will give you

  • UCL received the highest percentage (96%) for quality of research in Computer Science and Informatics in the UK's most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).
  • UCL Computer Science graduates are highly valued as a result of the department's strong international reputation, strong links with industry, and ideal location close to the City of London.
  • UCL Computer Science contains some of the world's leading researchers in computer graphics, geometry processing, computer vision and virtual environments.
  • The programme team takes an experimental approach to our subject, enjoy the challenge and opportunity of entrepreneurial partnerships, and place a high value on our extensive range of industrial collaborations.
  • The MSc Design, Disability, and Innovation at UCL is the flagship programme for the Global Disability Innovation Hub.
  • 2021 saw GDI Hub become the world's first WHO Collaborating Centre on Assistive Technology

The foundation of your career

Alumni have been employed in, for example, the NHS, inclusive design, digital accessibility, UX design, product design, and professional development, whilst others have gone on to pursue further study or a career in academia.


The programme is designed to prepare you to pursue a career in the international development job market, to understand how innovation and technology more generally can be harnessed to improve the lives of the world’s one billion disabled people, and to apply design thinking to the challenges that disabled people are often confronted with.

The research-based curriculum promotes strong research skills, which you will develop through your final research project/ dissertation; you will be well equipped to undertake doctoral research.

Teaching and learning

You will be assessed through a range of methods across the programme, which will vary depending on any optional or elective module choices. The programme’s core curriculum is typically assessed by methods including coursework, lab work, individual and group projects, class tests, written examinations, oral assessments, and, in all cases, culminating in a final research project/ dissertation.

Contact time takes a variety of forms, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervisions, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, visits, placements, office hours (where staff are available for consultation), email, videoconference, or other media, and situations where feedback on assessed work is given (one-to-one or in a group).

Each module has a credit value that indicates the total notional learning hours a learner will spend on average to achieve its learning outcomes. One credit is typically described as being equal to 10 hours of notional learning, which includes all contact time, self-directed study, and assessment.

The contact time for each of your 15 credit taught modules will typically include 22-30 hours of teaching activity (classroom based and/ or online) over the term of its delivery, with the balance then comprised of self-directed learning and working on your assessments. You will have ongoing contact with teaching staff via each module’s online discussion forum, which is typically used for discussing and clarifying concepts or assessment matters, and will have the opportunity to access additional support via regular office hours with module leaders and programme directors.

Your research project/ dissertation module is 60 credits and will include regular contact with your project supervisor(s), who will guide and support you throughout your project. You will dedicate most of your time on this module to carrying out research in connection with your project and writing up your final report.



The MSc Design, Disability, and Innovation is a one-year programme.

In term 1, you will study topics in research methods, design thinking, and future global technologies for disability and development.

In term 2, you will study topics in applied business and marketing strategy for disability developments, undertake group project work, and choose from specialist optional topics, which include inclusive design and environments, and accessibility and assistive technologies. You will also begin preparation for your final research project/ dissertation.

In term 3, you will focus on your final research project/ dissertation.


Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Disability, Design and Innovation.


There will be fieldtrips as part of the Inclusive Design and Environments module (subject to UCL safety regulations).


Not applicable.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £16,500
Tuition fees (2022/23) £32,100

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Students will require a modern computer (PC or Mac). The preferred specifications should be 8GB RAM and 500GB SSD storage. A computer with the stated specifications will cost approximately £500.

Students will also require low-fidelity prototyping materials (e.g., sketchbook, pencils, foam board, Lego) and optionally, Arduino kit and basic electronic components depending on the topic of each student's final research project/ dissertation. It is anticipated that this will cost no more than £100. 

The department will be understanding about local availability and student resources.

Not applicable.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For more information about funding opportunities for Department of Computer Science taught postgraduate programmes, please see the department's scholarships webpage.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver. Your application will be judged entirely on the evidence you provide. Your personal statement should include: Why you want to study Disability, Design and Innovation at taught postgraduate level. Why you want to study Disability, Design and Innovation at UCL. What particularly attracts you to this programme. How your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme. Where you would like to go professionally with your degree. Due to competition for places on this programme, no late applications will be considered. Students with visa requirements or applying for scholarships are advised to apply early.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. The programme may remain open if places are still available after 31 March 2022 and will be closed as soon as it is full or by 30 June 2022.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021