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The 2016/17 RSA Student Design Awards are here! This year’s programme has launched with 12 new briefs developed together with our partners and industry sponsors, including UK Government, Unilever, Fazer, GlaxoSmithKline, Waitrose, RBS among many more. The awards include over £45,000 in cash prizes and paid placements at sponsoring organisations.

View and download all the 2016/17 briefs  

As always, by engaging in the RSA Student Design Awards programme, we hope and believe that students and new graduates around the world will feel encouraged by the possibilities that design presents and will seize the opportunity to challenge themselves to develop inspiring solutions that will help move us to a more sustainable, happier and healthier future.

The 12 briefs that form the 2016/17 RSA Student Design Awards programme bring together a range of thematic research areas, notably:

-         Life-long learning and development

-         Sustainability and the circular economy

-         Fostering a more inclusive, tolerant society

-         Empowering people to live longer, healthier lives

To this end, the briefs this year focus on issues including how to increase financial capability (‘Mind Your Money’) and mental agility in older age (‘Agile Ageing’), how to promote opportunities for learning in an ever-changing digital age (‘Learning for life’), how to encourage people to live healthier (‘The Good Life 2.0’), and how to move toward a more sustainable future in our goods and services (‘Rework’ and ‘Circular Futures’), alongside many more.

In addition to the briefs themselves, we’re excited to share what’s coming up in 2016/17. Firstly, we're hosting two launch events this year:

  • Wednesday 14th September is our London Launch, with a keynote by FutureGov Director Carrie Bishop on ‘Design: Now, More Than Ever.’ Book a free place to attend.
  • Tuesday 20th September is our Edinburgh Launch where, together with some of our industry partners, we’ll introduce the briefs for the year. This will also be a good opportunity to hear about the RSA’s activity in Scotland and meet the RSA’s Head of Scotland, Jamie Cooke. Book a free place to attend.

From mid-September we'll embark on our ‘university roadshow’. Any tutor using the RSA briefs in their curricula can request for us to give a (free!) talk to students at your college or university. We are keen to introduce the RSA briefs to student audiences and to share our passion for design for social good.

Find out more and request a university visit.

Finally, we've also enhanced our digital submissions process for this year – and as in previous years, any universities wishing to pay on behalf of their students can request a voucher code from us – we’ve tried to make this process as simple and straightforward as possible. 

Registration for the 2016/17 programme is now open and all prospective entrants are encouraged to register to receive regular updates and reminders about key dates; if you are a tutor or collaborator, please subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates. Submissions will be taken electronically through our online platform – please note the final date for registering and submitting work into the competition is 10 March 2017 at 4 pm GMT. You can find specific guidelines about how to enter when the competition opens in January 2017 on our website. 

The programme continues to attract global interest and recognition, and we’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the programme welcomes entries from currently enrolled students and new graduates from anywhere in the world – we hope that 2016/17 will continue to see more partnerships with educational institutions across the globe and more students sending their work in to the RSA. 

Thank you to the dedicated students, faculties, sponsors and supporters that continue to make the RSA Student Design Awards a success. We look forward to working with you this year and please get in touch with us to find out more.


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