Project Type: Teaching

Themes: Assistive Technology, Inclusive Design

MSc Disability, Design and Innovation at UCL

Location: UK

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

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.
  • Closing date for Snowdon Bursary applications: Closed for 2020
  • Closing date for applications: Applications have closed for 2020
  • For further information please email:

Design engineering meets global policy and the societal context of disability, this multidisciplinary programme takes theory into practice - harnessing academic excellence, innovative approaches and co-creation to tackle global challenges from a new perspective.

Delivered by leading global experts this MSc is a unique opportunity to study across three top London institutions; UCL, Loughborough University London and the London College of Fashion (awarded by UCL). Graduating students will have the skills and knowledge to apply design thinking to the complex problem of disability.

Teaching for the 2020/21 MSc will be delivered digitally, with students able to fully participate remotely. Find out more at UCL and the impact of COVID-19.

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.

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.

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. Develop a business and marketing strategy for a range of products and services for both commercial and third sector organisations.
  5. Plan studies, analyse data and explore methods of visualising data sets.
Cathy Holloway is standing giving a presentation to students that are gathered by a workshop table.
2019 seminar

Remote teaching and student experience

Digital teaching enables greater flexibility, allowing for additional guest lectures, expert input and the opportunity to hear from those delivering at the highest level in disability innovation. We'll be developing a digital social programme to build a strong sense of community across the cohort and develop peer relationships that will go beyond study and into the workplace.

In these unprecedented times Global Disability Innovation Hub has been using its expertise in innovation to rapidly support the most pressing needs. The team behind the MSc are responding to the immediate challenges of COVID-19, supporting the global movement for collaboration and facilitating better outcomes for disabled people and society as a whole.

Students can expect to join a dynamic agile research centre, at a time when disability equality is more important then ever;

  • 2020/21 DDI MSc lectures will be delivered digitally providing a unique opportunity for global participation and accessible learning
  • All students will be able to participate remotely facilitating those shielding or in lock-down around the world
  • Interactive sessions will take place online or in person ensuring that all students will be guided and challenged in discussions alongside their peers
  • Small-group seminars may take place on campus; but those unable to attend will be given alternative options to engage
  • Digital and physical social engagements will ensure the highest quality of student experience; for both those that choose to study in London and students based further afield
  • Global content to a global audience - digital based learning will provide an opportunity for additional guest lecturers, digital content and career development
  • Clubs and societies will continue to operate with a variety of engagement opportunities, enabling students to access a wide range of the extra-curricular activities alongside their studies
Entrance of Here East building
Main campus building at UCL Here East

Research centre and collaborations

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.

The GDI Hub is committed to partnership delivery. As a research and practice centre, we work with 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 and leading academics and innovators.

Smart glasses innovations
Smart Glasses product development

Meet the Teaching Team

Snowdon Masters Scholarships - closed

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.

A number of scholarships of up to £30,000 were available for the 2020/21 Academic Year for exceptional disabled students with a passion for learning and the desire to become a future disabled leader. The application process has now closed.