Design Academy helps students by creating real-world design briefs, giving them the chance to get valuable experiences that can help them land their first job.

Mustafa Kurtuldu, Design Advocate, Google

Overview

Design plays a fundamental role in innovation and transformation, creating the products we buy, the services we use and the digital and built environments we live and communicate in. Students taking part will develop a range of skills including complex problem-solving and creative and critical thinking based around a real-world challenge. Our Design Academy challenge this year is 'Ageing Well'.

Following intensive research and industry input, Design Academy has been created to complement existing curricula in design, business and engineering schools. Now in its fourth year, it has supported more than more than 400 students to strengthen their employability potential as well as supporting them to thrive in their studies and future careers.

Download the brochure

Download the Design Academy 2018-19 brochure.

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About the programme

Design Academy students will work in multidisciplinary teams to collaboratively develop ideas that tackle the ‘Ageing Well’ challenge. They will apply Design Council’s adopted approach to innovation – known as our ‘Framework for Innovation’. This framework has been used to successfully deliver transformation at scale in thousands of private, public and third sector organisations.

The ‘Ageing Well’ challenge has been designed to respond to the urgent pressure to find innovative, cost effective solutions that better support the health, social and economic wellbeing of people in later life.

It will require creative thinking and collaborative approaches to explore and develop products, services and places that improve the experiences of ageing.

Design Academy: the student experience We caught up with University of the Arts London Design School student Clara Llamas to find out what participating in Design Academy meant for her and her fellow students. We caught up with University of the Arts London student Clara Llamas to find out what participating in Design Academy meant for her.

Feature — 03/04/2018

Who is it for?

Design Academy is a four-day course aimed at second-year undergraduate students through to post-graduate stages. Universities can sign up one or multiple schools to foster greater collaboration between the faculty disciplines.

The course is ideally suited to students with a genuine interest in innovation and willingness to commit time beyond attendance at the workshop days to apply what they learn.

Design is much broader than I had imagined, and it can be applied in many ways and into many products and services.

Renais Mejeh, Mechanical Engineering student, Teesside University

How do I get involved?

If you're a student and are interested in Design Academy, please speak to your university course leader and let them know you are interested.

If you're a university and would like to get involved with Design Academy, or if you have any questions,  please get in touch with the Design Academy team at designacademy@designcouncil.org.uk. You can also download our brochure for more information about Design Academy 2018-19.

Read the report

Download the Designing a Future Economy report – our groundbreaking research on the value of design skills.

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News & opinion

How Design Academy redefined my understanding of design Nottingham Trent University's Ellie Moss writes about how Design Academy made her feel differently about becoming a designer. Nottingham Trent University's Ellie Moss writes about how Design Academy made her feel differently about becoming a designer.

Feature — 15/05/2017