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2019/20 competition Open for Entries

The 2019/20 RSA Student Design Awards competition is officially open for submissions!

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University students and recent graduates anywhere in the world can enter the Awards – now in their 96th year – which challenge participants to tackle pressing social, environmental and economic issues.

How might you design ways to make fashion circular, engage diverse communities through food, or transform health using AI? How could you unlock joy at train stations, make active travel accessible, harness the potential of woodlands or help displaced people to find safety and dignity? These are some of the challenges posed by the nine design briefs in this year's RSA Student Design Awards.

The awards include over £25,000 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?

  • Monday 20 January 2020 - Competition opens for submissions – entrants can submit their work via the submissions form from this date
  • Wednesday 12 February 2020 - Deadline for Early Bird submissions by 4 pm GMT, with reduced £25 entry fee
  • Wednesday 11 March 2020 - Final deadline for submissions by 4 pm GMT, regular £35 entry fee
  • March - May 2020 - two-stage judging: anonymous shortlisting, followed by interviews with finalists
  • May 2020 - Winners announced
  • July 2020 - Awards Ceremony at the RSA

Who can enter?

The nine 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 2019
  • 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. 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 two 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.

What do the actual Awards consist of?

Winning entrants receive practical and financial support to develop their careers; this year’s Awards include over £25,000 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 Kate Dundas – 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 if you have a question for a member of the team.


Aug 2019 – Briefs launch online + registration opens

Mon 20 Jan 2020 – Competition opens for submissions via

4 pm GMT, Wed 12 Feb 2020 – Deadline for Early Bird submission at reduced entry fee of £25

4 pm GMT, Wed 11 Mar 2020 – Final deadline for online registration and submission (£35 entry fee)

Mar - May 2020 – Judging (2 stages: shortlisting and interviews with finalists)

July 2020 – Awards Ceremony