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Welcome to the RSA Pupil Design Awards

What are the RSA Pupil design awards?

The RSA Pupil Design Awards is a free, national design competition for secondary school and sixth-form pupils aged 11-17.

Pupils are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination to tackle real challenges facing people and the planet.

Download the Teacher Resource Pack including lesson plans (pdf, 11MB)

Schools are provided with lesson plans, training, and mentors to support participation. Teams or individuals submit design proposals and material explaining how they approached their problem.

Finalists pitch their ideas to industry expert judges for prizes in three year group categories (Years 7 & 8, Years 9 & 10 and Years 11 & 12).

What changes have been made to the RSA Pupil Design Awards in response to Covid-19?

  • We have amended our timelines and criteria for submitting entries
  • We have re-opened registration for any new schools who would like to take part
  • We have made our teachers' resources pack available online to parents who would like to support remote learning
  • Judging will now take place online
  • Submissions can now be made in a variety of formats

How do pupils enter the RSA Pupil Design Awards?

Entrants must be registered and are then required to submit an entry before June 12th. For more details see the full competition timetable.

As in previous years, we encourage schools to register with a lead teacher via our online registration form. 

Can pupils enter the RSA Pupil Design Awards without a participating teacher?

Yes. This year, when many pupils are learning from home, it will also be possible for pupils following the RSA Pupil Design Awards lesson plan at home to enter the competition.

For pupils without a participating teacher a parent, carer or guardian must register on a pupil’s behalf.

Participating pupils are required to submit an online entry in response to a design brief. The entry should include:

  • Evidence of the research pupils have done to understand the problem, including both human-centered research and desk-based research
  • A description or demonstration of the process undertaken to focus on an opportunity and refine the ideas
  • The final proposal, demonstrating a creative approach to solving the problem.

For more detail on entry requirements, please read the Competition pack, and the Teacher Resource Pack.

Can I use the resources for home learning without entering the competition?

Yes. Our Teacher Resource pack is now available for any parents who would like to download it to support pupils learning at home.

You do not need to enter the competition to benefit from these resources.

Download the Teacher Resource Pack (pdf, 11MB)

Download the Design Briefs

Can Year 11 pupils enter the Pupil Design Awards?

As part of the changes to the Awards made in response to Coronavirus, Year 11 pupils will be able to enter the competition this year in a new category for Year 11 and 12 pupils.

When is the deadline for entries?

June 12th. Note that entrants must be registered before submitting an entry.

See ‘How do pupils enter the RSA Pupil Design Awards?’ for more details.

Do pupils need to use A3 Boards to submit their entries?  

No. Entries are usually required to be in the form of six A3 Boards, as described in the Competition pack.

However, due to school closures, we are loosening the submission criteria for entries. Pupils will no longer be required to submit six A3 boards: we will accept other evidence of work such as photographs, jpegs, scanned pdfs of drawings/designs.

For more details please see the competition page.

How do I find out more?

For more details please visit the competition page.

If you have a question about the changes in response to Covid-19 which is not answered on this page, please email us at