MSc Disability, Design and Innovation at UCL

Technology has the potential to change lives, no more so than in the emerging area of disability innovation. We're looking for the next generation of pioneers in this groundbreaking field. Visit UCL prospectus to apply now for September 2020.

The course

Multidisciplinary - Design engineering meets global policy and the societal context of disability. A unique opportunity to study across three top London institutions; UCL, Loughborough University London and the London College of Fashion. The MSc will be awarded by UCL.

World-leading - Delivered by renowned experts in a dynamic learning environment, where theory is taken into practice. Join the GDI Hub Research and Teaching Centre at UCL; harnessing academic excellence, innovative practice and co-creation to tackle global challenges from a new perspective.

Accessible - Developed with accessibility in mind, our assessment methods are innovative, supporting a wide range of students.

Pioneering - at the forefront of the Global Disability Innovation movement, this programme will create a new breed of graduates able to apply design thinking to the complex problem of disability.

Career options

Students graduating from this MSc will have the skills and expertise required to pursue careers in Inclusive Design and Innovation, Global policy and Research, Disability Rights, International Development, Accessibility and Assistive technologies or develop their own start-ups.

Snowdon Masters Scholarships - now open

  • x1 Gold Award - £30,000 scholarship available (up to £15,000 towards fees and a £15,000 allowance whilst studying)
  • x2 Silver Award - Up to £15,000 towards fees only

For disabled students with with a passion for learning and the determination to succeed. Individuals with a strong desire to help improve the lives of others and the potential to become a leader of the future.

The Snowdon Trust helps support disabled people study in the UK, offering scholarships and grants for higher education. Founded by the First Earl of Snowdon, a prominent disability rights campaigner who had polio as a child, the trust supports disabled people nationwide to excel in their chosen area of study.

Applications are now open. Prior to completing the online application form students should read the below Qualifying Criteria and Applicant Questions. It is recommended that applicants formate their answers in a word document before completing the online form.

On this programme students will

  1. Acquire a systematic understanding of the unique challenges of emerging technologies in an international development context
  2. Gain the ability to apply engineering design and systems thinking to complex problems; taking into consideration social, political and ethical contexts in which the problem exists.
  3. Apply the theory of appropriate technology production to specific disability-focused projects.
  4. Receive hands-on experience of making products with embedded sensors and have expert knowledge in the challenges faced when deploying technology in the eld.
  5. Develop a business and marketing strategy for a range of products and services for both commercial and third sector organisations.
  6. Plan studies, analyse data and explore methods of visualising data sets.

Connect to research projects

Students will work alongside the GDI Hub's live programmes, including AT2030 - Life Changing Assistive Technology for All - a £20m global programme, lead by the GDI Hub to reach 9 million people directly and 6 million indirectly through increased access to Assistive Technology and innovation.

The programme seeks to transform access to life-changing assistive technology such as wheelchairs, prosthetics, hearing aids and glasses by creating partnerships with the private sector to build and shape markets testing innovative approaches and backing ‘what works to get AT to those who need it the most.

About UCL

A top 10 world university (QS 2019). Students will experience the facilities, expertise and resources of this famous institution including;

UCLIC - a world leading Centre of Excellence in Human-Computer Interaction teaching and research, studying interactions between people and technology, drawing on the best scientific traditions in Computer Science and Human Sciences, and working collaboratively with the research community and industry.

Institute of Making - a multidisciplinary research club for those interested in the made world: from molecules to buildings, synthetic skin to spacecraft, soup to diamonds, socks to cities.

UCL at Here East - new state of the art facilities in the innovative tech ecosystem of East London. Based at the Broadcast Centre for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, UCL at Here East brings together architects, engineers, computer scientists and many others to work side by side. It's also the home of the Global Disability Innovation Hub.


The GDI Hub is committed to partnership delivery. As a research center we work alongside world leading global organisations including NGOs and DPO’s (WHO, UNICEF, International Committee of the Red Cross, and Leonard Cheshire Disability).

We also engage with innovative business driving forward the disability agenda (Microsoft, Barclays). Governmental departments (Department for International Development) and leading academics, innovators and influencers.

UCL Friends and Alumni Association Scholarship - now closed

  • Funding $20,000 to a US student

The UCL Friends & Alumni Association is a US non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and support for research, education and innovation at University College London (UCL). Additionally, the UCL Friends & Alumni Association works to connect talented American students with the opportunities offered at UCL, providing funding for Masters scholarships in global health, crime science and public policy.


Register your interest by emailing:

Meet the Teaching Team

General Information

  • Fees: UK/EU: Full-time £13,640 Overseas: Full-time £30,400
  • Further module detail and information can be found on the UCL Computer Science site.
  • Application for the MSc DDI 2019/2020. Click here to apply.
  • Closing date for Snowdon Bursary applications: Closed for 2019
  • Closing date for UCLFAA Scholarship applications: Closed for 2019
  • Closing date for applications: 10 July 2020
  • Click to download the MSc DDI Leaflet
  • For further information please email:

Virtual open days

The GDI Hub hosts virtual open days to provide prospective students with further details about the course. If you are unable to join an open day, you may find it helpful to view our latest session on YouTube.

Five students seating by a workshop table at UCL Here East. One of them is a wheelchair user..
Students working at UCL Here East workspace
Smart glasses innovations
Smart Glasses product development

“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 Masters 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.”

Dr Catherine Holloway, Academic Director of the GDI Hub

Student working at Here East
MSc Student at UCL Here East campus
Entrance of Here East building
Main campus building at UCL Here East
Branded entrance door to UCL Here East
Entrance to UCL Here East
MSc students sitting watching presentation in seminar
2019 seminar