Investigating the role of the end user in the design of business solutions for the Circular Economy PhD

Entry requirements:
2:1 +
Reference number:
Start date:
October 2017
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
Open ended



in the UK for Design

Guardian University Guide 2018


in the UK for Design

The Complete University Guide 2018


in the world for Art and Design

QS World University Rankings by subject 2017


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

There is much discussion about the need to move away from a linear economy to one which is circular and restorative.  There are indeed a growing number of exciting industrial case studies which reflect on how businesses are responding to the circular economy through the use of alternative business models which incorporate initiatives such as take back, repair and recycling. 

However current literature provides little evidence of businesses engaging users in the development of solutions for the circular economy.  This despite the fact that the user is one of the key stakeholders and user centred design is a widely recognised approach that has been proven to lead to better product and service outcomes.  It is expected that this PhD will take a case study approach, working alongside industry partners to investigate how the user can be more actively engaged in the design and development of circular business solutions and whether user engagement enhances the solutions generated.


Primary supervisor: Dr Vicky Lofthouse 

Find out more

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Design or a related subject. A relevant master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: ecodesign, sustainable design, circular economy.

Fees and funding


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.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name select Loughborough Design School. Please quote reference number: LDS/VL/2017