UCL Graduate degrees


Disability, Design and Innovation MSc

The MSc in Disability, Design and Innovation is the flagship programme for the Global Disability Innovation Hub. It is led and awarded by UCL with teaching across Loughborough University London and the UAL, London College of Fashion. A multidisciplinary course; where design engineering meets global policy and the societal context of disability. Join the GDI Hub Research and teaching centre at UCL, harnessing academic excellence and innovative practice.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 4 June 2021

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£16,000 (FT)
£31,200 (FT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Location: London, Hackney Wick (Here East)

Entry requirements

Either a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in Engineering, Social Sciences from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or, five years' experience of working in international development, design or assistive technology development. Students entering via the experience route will be required to attend an interview before being offered a place. For students without an engineering background, successful completion of an online preparatory course is compulsory. This will be delivered over the summer and will fully prepare students for the technical components for the course.

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

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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.

International students

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.

Select your country:

About this degree

The first term will equip you with core Research Methods, combined with a solid base in Future Global Technologies for Disability and Development. In the second term, you will take part in a group project and choose an option module.  You will also develop your ability to build both marketing and business strategies to ensure your products, services or programmes are capable of delivering a sustainable, positive difference to disabled peoples’ lives.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Disability, Design and Innovation.

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.

Compulsory modules

The programme consists of five core taught modules, one option module and a dissertation in term three.

  • London College of Fashion: Applied Business and Marketing Strategy for Disability Developments (30 credits)
  • Loughborough University: Collaborative Unit (15 credits)
  • Loughborough University: Design Thinking (15 credits)
  • Future Global Technologies for Disability and Development (30 credits)
  • Research Methods and Making Skills (15 credits)
  • MSc in Disability, Design and Innovation Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional modules

Students must choose an option module (15 credits)

  • Accessibility and Assistive Technologies (15 credits)
  • Inclusive Design and Environment (15 credits)

All choices are subject to timetabling and resource constraints.


All students will undertake a dissertation (60 credits). Supervision will be provided by staff from UCL, London College of Fashion or Loughborough University.  


There will be fieldtrips as part of the Inclusive Design and Environments module.

Teaching and learning

The programme aims to be inclusive from the outset. You will learn from through a mixture of group projects, individual making, lectures and seminars. You will have access to experts and practitioner communities to support their learning and we also expect our student cohort to learn from each other's life experiences.

Additional costs

Students will require a modern laptop (PC or Mac). The preferred specifications should be 8GB RAM and 500GB SSD storage. A laptop 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 individual project. It is anticipated that this will cost no more than £100. The department will be understanding about local availability and student resources.

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


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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees-and-funding.


Snowdon Trust scholarships are available to disabled students with a passion for learning. 

  • 1 x Gold Award - £30,000 scholarships available (up to £15,000 towards fees and a £15,000 allowance while studying)
  • 2 x Silver Award - up to £15,000 towards fees only

To find out more and apply click here: https://www.disabilityinnovation.com/education/msc-ddi

For more information about funding opportunities for Department of Computer Science postgraduate programmes, please see the departmental Scholarships page.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

DeepMind Scholarship

UK Home fees, maintenance grant, plus travel and equipment grants (1 year (or 2 years part-time))
Based on both academic merit and financial need

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



Upon graduation, you will be equipped to explore job roles in international development, create start-ups or work within larger corporations in the field of computing, accessibility and assistive technologies. You will understand how technology can be harnessed to improve the lives of the worlds 1 billion disabled people.

Why study this degree at UCL?

By 2050 it is estimated that only 10% of the two billion people requiring Assistive Technology (AT) will have access to the life changing products they need, due to systematic global failures in provision for wheelchairs, hearing aids, prosthetics and other essential disability products. The GDI Hub aims to disrupt how we see disability and the technologies used to assist disabled people globally.

The global potential for disability innovation is huge. New technologies provide opportunities for scalability and access, but to accelerate this movement, we need a new generation of pioneers. The Disability, Design and Innovation MSc is the world’s first course in this rapidly growing area of expertise. Students will be taught in a uniquely multidisciplinary environment, learning from global experts, live research projects and high profile global collaborations. We’re looking for exceptional students with the drive and determination to push the boundaries of this new area of study.

Department: Computer Science

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Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Application deadlines

All applicants
4 June 2021

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.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application, we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Disability, Design and Innovation at graduate level
  • why you want to study Disability, Design and Innovation at UCL
  • what parlicularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with the 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. Applicants who have a portfolio are strongly recommended to submit it when they apply.

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Page last modified on 7 January 2021