What if I enter the RSA Student Design Awards? - RSA

Blog: What if I enter the RSA Student Design Awards?


  • Design

"Receiving the RSA Student Design Award was an amazing experience. It allowed me to travel and eventually led to my job at Apple, which I love. I think it goes to show that winning this award can be truly life-changing." - Richard Howarth, Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that the RSA Student Design Awards is the leading awards scheme for students looking to apply design thinking and skills to today’s most pressing social, environmental and economic issues, but you may also be preparing an entry into this year’s programme and are wondering what happens next... 

I’d therefore like to use this opportunity to tell you – or rather, have past winners and judges tell you – about what happens when you enter. 


In this short film, you’ll hear from past winners at various stages in their careers – including the Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple – just what entering the RSA Student Design Awards meant to them. 

And, as we gear up for this year’s RSA Student Design Awards entry deadline (10th March 2016 at 5 pm GMT), I am also delighted to announce the 2016 judges. Each RSA Student Design Award brief is judged in person by a panel of designers, industry experts and social innovators. Our judging panels this year include lead designers and senior managers from Airbnb, Arup, GlaxoSmithKline, IDEO, Microsoft, Policy Lab at the Cabinet Office, Unilever, Waitrose and many more. 

View the 2016 RSA judges

Once all the entries are in, the two-stage judging process begins.

  • At the first stage (beginning 21st March), the juries for each brief meet separately at the RSA to view all the submissions in the same brief category and arrive at the shortlist. All entries are viewed anonymously at this stage and the panel of judges views each entry and judges it against the criteria listed on the brief. It generally takes a full day of viewing the work and deliberating for the judges to arrive at the short-list.
  • The second stage is a series of interviews (beginning 9th May), where short-listed entrants are invited to the RSA to discuss their competition entry and some of their other work with the judging panel.  

Find out more detailed information about the judging process.

Winners will be announced on 1st June, and all entrants who participated in the RSA Student Design Awards are warmly invited to a Winners' Ceremony on Thursday 23rd June at the RSA in London. More information will be posted on our website and Twitter in coming months.

Best wishes and good luck to all entrants and we look forward to receiving your submissions!

As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any queries. 

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