Design MPhil, PhD

Department(s):
Design
Entry requirements:
2:1 +
Full-time:
3 years (PhD), 2 years (MPhil)
Part-time:
6 years (PhD), 4 years (MPhil)
Start date:
January, April, July, October 2018
UK/EU fees:
£4,195
International fees:
£20,500
Location:
Loughborough

Achievements

2nd

in the UK for Design

Guardian University Guide 2018

4th

in the UK for Design

The Complete University Guide 2018

38th

in the world for Art and Design

QS World University Rankings by subject 2017

Overview

Loughborough Design School has a strong, internationally recognised research community. We have a thriving PhD population of around 60 full time and part time UK, EU and international research students. With a PhD you will become an expert in your field. Successful PhD students typically go on to specialist positions in industry, a career in academia, work for consultancy companies, or set up their own businesses. We welcome all PhD and MPhil applications which are linked to the research interests of staff in the School.

We discover and develop new concepts and ideas in areas related to design, ergonomics and human factors. Annually we attract over £4million in funding from external investors and businesses. This funding helps us undertake a number of research projects which aim to have a real impact on the world around us.

Some PhD projects are advertised by the School and University. In other cases, applicants develop their own ideas and propose these as a potential PhD or MPhil topic. In either case you will be supervised by staff who are internationally recognised as experts in their field. Most applicants do a PhD; however if you would rather do an MPhil, then we also offer these full-time or part-time.

You will be based within a specialist research group, and will have access to the world class facilities you need to complete your studies. The research groups provide an opportunity for students to share ideas with other students and staff working in similar areas, and obtain help and feedback as their projects progress.

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree or its equivalent in a relevant subject. A master's degree is usually preferred but is not essential.

IELTS: a minimum of 6.5 overall, with at least 6.0 in each component. However a higher level of English language proficiency is preferred.

Who you'll be working with

Your supervisors will be the members of staff in the Design School who can provide you with the topic and research expertise that you need. Where this is appropriate for the PhD, supervisors may be drawn from different schools across Loughborough, or occasionally, from other Institutions. The Design School at Loughborough will always try to support multidisciplinary PhDs that operate at the intersection of different disciplines.

Research areas

Design Ergonomics Research Group

The Design Ergonomics Group has a strong international reputation in research across a broad range of areas including inclusive design, transport (particularly vehicle ergonomics), health and wellbeing, construction ergonomics, human modelling and people’s emotional engagement with products. The group’s research and consultancy activities impact industry and end users, making a positive difference to people’s lives.

Design Practice Research Group

This is a multidisciplinary team of academics with expertise in the methods, tools and technologies of design and designing. The research focuses on new and improved design processes with results contributing to scholarship and practice in areas such as design education, methods and management and emerging technologies.

Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre

The Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre studies the interaction of people with their physical environment. This can be an indoor or outdoor environment, in the context of work or leisure activities. The interactions studied can range from comfort to stressful experiences addressing issues such as thermal comfort, human performance, vibration and noise exposures and issues related to vision. The group also addresses issues around patient handling and safety in healthcare.

Human Factors in Complex Systems Research Group

This group addresses the interactions between people, products, technologies, services, procedures, policies and culture which, when combined, form complex sociotechnical systems.

Sustainable Design Research Group

This group is leading the development of cutting-edge theory which advances the emerging field of sustainable design. We aim to facilitate the integration of sustainable practices into design, resulting in improvements in overall environment performance and quality of life.

User Centred Design Research Group

The User Centred Design Research Group conducts world-leading research into products, services, equipment and environments to ensure they meet the needs of the end users. The Group draws upon 40 years of expertise in the development and application of user centred design methods in the home, at leisure, in the workplace and on the move.

User Centred Design Research Group

The User Centred Design Research Group conducts world-leading research into products, services, equipment and environments to ensure they meet the needs of the end users. The Group draws upon 40 years of expertise in the development and application of user centred design methods in the home, at leisure, in the workplace and on the move.

Design for Digital Fabrication Research Group

The Design for Digital Fabrication Research Group focuses on new ways of designing that maximise the potential of the latest automated, computer controlled manufacturing processes. This includes research into new design methods, techniques and tools as well as the psychosocial and economic impacts of these processes. We are one of the world’s leading research groups in the field of design for additive manufacturing and 3D printing but we also explore other digital fabrication processes.

Behavioural Safety Research Group

The Behavioural Safety Research Group strives to improve safety through design using research expertise in human factors, engineering, psychology, health sciences, education and social sciences. A key focus of the group is understanding behavioural aspects of road users and how this impacts on road safety but we also have an interest in understanding the implications of behaviour in the workplace and how this might impact on workplace health and safety.

Transport Collision Research Group

The Transport Collision Research Group’s aim is to better understand how road traffic collisions and injuries occur in order to improve safety for road users, including their vehicles and roads. The research findings are used by vehicle manufacturers to improve road safety.

Centres for Doctoral Training

Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) integrate three years of PhD study with one year of research training and have strong industrial links. The School is a partner in the AHRC funded Design Star, with the Universities of Brighton and Reading, Goldsmiths and the Open University and also participates in EPSRC funded CDTs in Additive Manufacturing, Embedded Intelligence and Fuel Cells and Their Fuels.

Find out more

Your personal and professional development

Support from your supervisor

Our academic staff are internationally renowned experts in their fields. These staff bring a diverse mix of specialisms and backgrounds to the School which our PhD students benefit from immensely.

We will provide you with everything you need to help ensure you have a great experience and are successful in your studies. You will have the opportunity to become part of an exciting community of students, academic staff and researchers. Each student is provided with two supervisors who will provide expert guidance during your PhD.

The Doctoral College at Loughborough provides an addition point of support for students, including a range of training programmes aimed specifically at PhD and MPhil students.

Skills and experience

We also provide regular research seminars and training courses, opportunities to support undergraduate teaching, special tutor sessions in your first year, and student led initiatives to provide support throughout your studies.

Future career prospects

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Loughborough University, Lecturer
  • Deloitte, Experience Design Consultant
  • AMEC, Graduate Human Factors Consultant
  • Team Consulting Ltd, Human Factors Engineer.

Fees and funding

UK/EU:
£4,195
International:
£20,500

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Our facilities

Based in a £21 million state-of-the-art building, we have a wealth of in-house facilities, including a fully equipped ergonomics laboratory sited nearby on campus. Our practical and theoretical teaching and research spaces ensure a professional and inspirational experience.

We will also provide: IT equipment including state-of-the-art design and ergonomics software, regular research seminars and training courses, opportunities to support undergraduate teaching, special tutor sessions in your first year, and student led initiatives to provide support throughout your studies.

How to apply

If you can't find a suitable PhD opportunity that fits your interests and experience from our funded (studentships) and unfunded opportunities, you can submit a research proposal to the Design School in the hope of finding a supervisor who will work with you on your dream project.

At Loughborough Design School we welcome applications from students who are interested in any aspect of design or ergonomics.

A student who wishes to study for a PhD or MPhil usually has a strong interest and skill in a particular area of design or ergonomics that they want to further develop expertise in.

Some PhDs are used to explore or discover new things, others are used to develop theories or to expand a discovery or idea. Some are focused on methodologies, whereas others are more focused on application areas. All PhDs are based on defining and then tackling research questions that make a contribution to the field.

You should write a two page research proposal that summarises the background to your intended research, the objectives, proposed methods, and what you hope the outcomes of your research might be. Applicants should email this proposal to ds.phd@lboro.ac.uk and discuss your research topic with the Design School before submitting an application.

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