Information about the Student Design Awards for educators - The RSA - RSA

Information for educators

Student Design Awards Information for educators

2023-24 represents a historic landmark for our celebrated design awards as we launch the 100th year of the Student Design Awards and 10th year of Pupil Design Awards.

These prestigious awards present a unique opportunity for students to get involved in the world’s longest-running competition by creating innovative, design-led solutions that address real-world social, environmental and commercial challenges.

These awards offer the chance for you and your students to learn from, be inspired by, and join a century-old tapestry of incredible changemakers.

The awards are designed to elevate students’ learning experience and are structured to fit within planned curriculum lessons, making it easy for learning institutions and students to participate.

Creativity is at the heart of these challenges, and taking part will bind together the skills and lessons you teach by applying them to a real-world challenge that gives participants the chance to be part of a hopeful collective of innovators creating meaningful impact for our people, place and planet.

For the last century, these awards have been a prestigious springboard for participants’ careers. By taking part, your students will feel like they can weave their own destiny and create a legacy for our collective future. Apply on behalf of your students below.

Key dates


  • Sep: Briefs launched
  • Oct: Free brief information sessions
  • Nov - Dec: Free learning and skills workshops


  • 31 Jan: Submissions open
  • 16 Feb, 4pm GMT: Early bird submissions deadline (£25 entry fee)
  • 28 Feb, 11.59pm GMT: Bursary application deadline
  • 16 Mar, 4pm GMT: Final submissions deadline (£35 entry fee)
  • Mar - May: Judging (two stages: shortlisting and interviews with finalists)
  • Jul: Winners announced and awards ceremony

Educator briefings

If you work in higher education and you’re using the RSA briefs in your curriculum, you can request a briefing from the RSA team.

The challenge questions posed this year can be incorporated across a range of subjects – computer science, engineering, geography, social sciences, media studies and many more. They would also make for excellent self-study for students looking to enhance their CVs and learn more about careers in the social impact space. We welcome educators from any discipline and career advisors to get in touch.

These one-hour sessions provide an overview of the RSA design principles, briefs and competition process. They include examples of winning work along with tips, advice and stories from alumni. In-person and video briefings by the RSA team are subject to our availability.

Alternatively, we have made an online pack which provides a session outline and a selection of film/image content tutors can select from to facilitate tailored briefing sessions.

Bespoke talks and workshops

The RSA Student Design Awards team can be booked to deliver bespoke sessions. We regularly deliver talks and workshops on a range of topics including design education, design thinking and design for social impact.

Please email [email protected] and we'll get in touch to discuss your requirements.

We also deliver free learning workshops for students before submissions open

Needs-based bursary

This student bursary is open to applicants across the globe who may have difficulty paying the entry fee but wish to participate. This bursary covers the cost of the submission fee to the 2023-24 Student Design Awards.

We have up to 30 bursaries available and we encourage all people who think this may support them to apply. To be eligible for this bursary applicants must comply with the entry criteria.

The deadline to apply for the bursary is 11.59pm 28 February 2024. Find out more and apply here to be considered for a bursary.

Individual students can apply but if you are an educator who may need support with your students’ entries, then please do get in touch with us at [email protected] to see if we can share this bursary with you.   

Voucher code system

We have a simple voucher code system for universities and educational institutions to pay for students’ entries. Complete this form and we’ll send you a code to give your students – they can then enter it at the point of payment when completing the online competition submission.

If you are an educator and you or your institution is struggling to pay for their students, please get in touch with SDA enquiries at [email protected] to find out more about bursaries that may be available.

More information on the Student Design Awards

  • Student Design Awards

    We invite young designers from across the globe to answer design briefs that focus on the most pressing social and environmental challenges.

  • The design briefs

    We're challenging students and recent graduates to tackle pressing social, environmental and economic issues through design thinking. See this year's design briefs.

  • About the Student Design Awards

    The RSA Student Design Awards is a global competition that challenges students to apply their skills and creativity to tackle today’s most pressing social and environmental issues.