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2018/19 competition Open for Entries

The 2018/19 RSA Student Design Awards competition is officially open for entries! (Submissions now closed)

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University students and recent graduates anywhere in the world can enter the Awards – now in their 95th year – which challenge participants to tackle pressing social, environmental and economic issues.

How might we design ways to transform emergency healthcare, address the loneliness crisis, reimagine train stations or kitchens, or enable citizens to shape the decisions that affect them? How can we rethink sustainable food and farming, encourage greater equality in childcare, or break down the barriers people with hidden disabilities face in society? These are some of the challenges posed by the 10 design briefs in this year's RSA Student Design Awards.

The awards include over £30,000 in cash prizes and paid placements at sponsoring organisations, which include a broad mix of industry, charity and public sector partners:

sponsors and partners

So… What are the key dates?

  • Mon 14 Jan 2019 - Competition opens for submissions – entrants can submit their work via from this date   

  • Wed 13 Feb 2019 - Deadline for ‘early bird’ submission by 4 pm GMT, with reduced £25 entry fee

  • Wed 13 March 2019 - Final deadline for submissions by 4 pm GMT, regular £35 entry fee

  • March - May 2019 - 2-stage judging: anonymous shortlisting, followed by interviews with finalists

  • May 2019 - Winners announced

  • June 2019 - Awards Ceremony at the RSA

Who can enter?

The 10 briefs in this year's competition are open to entries from:

  • Currently enrolled students studying on any recognised higher education course, anywhere in the world

  • Recent graduates, who graduated in or after March 2018

  • Individual and team entries – the fee is per entry, not per person

How do you enter?

All submissions should be made digitally via the submissions form on the RSA Student Design Awards website – click on the pink ‘Submit Now’ button above the top navigation menu, and see the Rules and Entry Guidelines for further details on submissions and eligibility.

How does the judging work?

Each brief is judged at the RSA House in London by a tailored panel of designers and industry experts in 2 stages: anonymous shortlisting, followed by interviews with finalists. The full list of judges will be announced in the coming weeks – for now, you can read more about the judging process here.

What do the actual Awards consist of?

Winning entrants receive practical and financial support to develop their careers; this year’s Awards include over £30,000 in cash prizes and paid industry placements.

Winners are also presented with a weighty ‘stepping stone’ physical award (designed by the Royal Designer for Industry Robin Levien) at the Awards Ceremony. Last year the awards were presented by past winner Clive Grinyer – here’s a recap and photos from last year’s awards ceremony. On top of that, winners get lots of media exposure and receive complementary RSA Fellowship, which means access to the RSA’s networks and resources.

Need more info?

Take a look at our Rules and Entry Guidelines, follow our Facebook page and @RSADesignAwards on Twitter for updates, or email [email protected] if you have a question for a member of the team.


Aug 2018 – Briefs launch + register your interest online

Mon 14 Jan 2019 – Competition opens for submissions via

Wed 13 Feb 2019, 4 pm GMT – Deadline for ‘early bird’ submissions at reduced entry fee of £25

Wed 13 Mar 2019, 4 pm GMT – Final deadline for online registration + submissions (£35 entry fee)

20 Mar 2019 – Judging begins (2 stages: anonymous shortlisting + interviews with finalists)

May 2019 – Winners announced

Jun 2019 – Awards ceremony