UCL Graduate degrees


Disability, Design and Innovation MSc

Disability Innovation has huge potential to make a fairer world for everybody. To accelerate this movement we need a new generation of pioneers who understand the big picture and can bring together the stakeholders needed to make a difference. Disability, Design and Innovation MSc, are looking for exceptional students with the drive and determination to push the boundaries of this new area of study spanning disability, design, innovation and international development.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

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

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

Term 1 equips you with Research Methods, Design Thinking and a foundation in Future Global Technologies for Disability and Development. Term 2 follows with a group design project, business and marketing and an option module.  In term 3 you work full-time on our flexible dissertation module.  MSc DDI develops your ability to deliver projects making 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 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), for term 2

  • 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 (subject to UCL safety regulations).

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.


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 Computer Science Scholarship

Deadline: 7 June 2021 at 9am (BST)
UK Home fees, maintenance grant, plus travel and equipment grants (1 year )
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.



MSc DDI is designed to help you tackle and solve complex problems in disability, innovation and development using a creative design thinking approach. You may consider solving complex problems in the inclusive design of products or software; using your understanding of technology, disability and international contexts  to develop realistic and holistic service accessibility policy; or in international development where you might oversee the implementation of new assistive technology in a low-income context. The knowledge and skills gained help you to solve problems and support aspirations of people with disabilities using design, technology and innovation, making a fairer world for all. 

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.

  • Led and awarded by UCL with teaching across Loughborough University London and the UAL, London College of Fashion. 
  • The programme harnesses academic excellence, innovative practice and co-creation to tackle global challenges from a new perspective. 
  • In this rapidly growing area students will learn from global experts, live research projects and high profile global collaborations.

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.

Who can apply?

We are looking for people who want to make a fairer world through disability innovation. One of the strengths of the programme is its diverisity which values students from occupational therapy, user experience design, human computer interaction, product design, neuroscience, diplomatic service, medicine, disability activism and many other disciplines.

Application deadlines

All applicants
31 May 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 28 August 2021