Medical Device Design

Medical technology needs innovators who are able to generate great ideas and produce great designs for successful products. Innovators who understand the need for empathy with users and the technologies needed.

The MSc Medical Device Design is a one-year full time taught masters. The course teaches fundamental approaches, methods and tools related to the design of medical devices, experiences, systems and services with a focus on users and context of use. The MSc is studio-based with students engaging in lectures, seminars and workshops along with projects with industry and clinical collaborators. The studio environment is an essential component, fostering collaborative peer-to-peer learning while exploring the complexity of medical care.

The MSc Medical Device Design brings together candidates from a range of fields including design, health care, engineering and business, and prepares graduates to play a leading role in the development of emerging medical devices.

The programme focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of Medical Device Design, covering topics ranging from basic medical science and bioinstrumentation to product design and human factors. At the core of the programme is a focus on the needs of people in healthcare. Through a range of studio projects students learn to conduct human centered contextual research, extract meaningful insights, create and visualise concepts, and develop and evaluate prototypes, all in the context of the complex and highly regulated world of medical device design. Covering the theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline, the course encourages students to design from a human centred perspective while gaining a deep understanding of the underlying science, technology, materials and manufacturing processes which underlie medical device design and development.

The MSc in Medical Device Design programme consists of a combination of taught modules and studio-based project work. In semester one Basic Medical Science is taught at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) while taught modules covering Research Methods, Human Factors, and Materials for Medical Device Design are delivered at NCAD. For a number of years we have collaborated with the UCD Veterinary School and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in the production of simulators for surgical training. This project immerses students in the human factors involved in completing a surgical procedure. It is also an excellent opportunity for the students to become familiar with building models in the workshop and presenting complex tasks in a visually engaging manner. Each year the students collaborate with the MA Interaction Design students on an intensive real-world project. For a number of years this project has been in conjunction with the Mater Hospital with students working on real world problems which staff within the hospital have identified. This collaboration is followed at the end of semester one by an industry project where we work with an industry partner to generate innovative human centred solutions to clinical needs.

Entry requirements


The programme is open to graduates with an Honours degree award of 2.2 or higher, or an equivalent academic or professional qualification across various disciplines including design, engineering, science, art, the humanities, social science, computer science, engineering and business. The college also takes into consideration prior learning and experience.

Students who have not been educated through English must show proof of achieving IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 in the writing section on the Academic Version) or an equivalent score in another accepted test.

Application dates

Priority Deadline
The proprity deadline for receipt of applications to postgraduate programmes starting in Sept. 2022 is Thursday 31st March 2022.

Applicants who wish to be considered for a scholarship (where applicable) must submit their application before the priority deadline.

International applicants are encouraged to submit their applications before the priority deadline.

After the priority deadline, NCAD will operate a rolling closing date for postgraduate applications for 2022 - 23. Applications will be reviewed on receipt, and offers will be sent on a rolling basis. A waitlist will apply to over-subscribed courses.

Please contact the Admissions Office for further information

1. A Statement of Interest - 500 words framing your reasons for applying to the programme. Please indicate a subject/discipline area that you believe can best advance your practice.

2. A recent CV

3. Certified transcripts of previous programmes followed

4. Certified copies of degree/ certificates and/or other appropriate third level qualifications bearing the official stamp of the institution.

5. Reference 1 (Academic - Head of School/Department preferred)

6. Reference 2 (Tutor or Current/Recent Employer)

Note: Please supply the reference. Some referees prefer to submit the reference directly to the college. If this is the case, please instruct your referee to email a standard reference for the attention of Fiona Cleary to

Please make sure all references contain the letterhead and the institution contact email address for the referee.

7. Applications for studio based programmes must be supported by visual documentation or other documentation that best represents your practice. Applicants are requested to upload a document via the online application with access to your portfolio. This document can include a link to an on-line portfolio or a link to a folder on Google Drive.

For applications to the MA Interaction Design, MSc Medical Device Design, MA Service Design, we do require evidence of previous work undertaken, even if your background is not Design related. This will depend on the experience and background of the candidate making the application. Feel free to submit any material you feel showcases an aspect of your skill-set that is relevant to the programme you are applying for. We are open to reviewing written work or documentation of a project that might be more theoretical or technical in nature. Some candidates chose to describe projects they have been involved with in a "case study" format, eg. for MA Service Design if they have been involved in improving an aspect of customer service in a business, they describe the process they engaged with to do so.

There is no set requirement on the number of pages or projects - this is up to each individual applicant.


90 ECTS credits / Taught Masters


A one-year taught masters in Medical Device Design in conjuction with science and engineering at UCD and TCD.

Enrolment dates

To find out more about the entry requirements, application process and tuition fees visit -

Post Course Info

Graduates of the MSc in Medical Device Design are sought after in the medical device industry and design practices. While some graduates go on to register for a PhD the majority go on to work in industry or design practice. Recent graduates have an excellent employment rate and can be found working across design practices and the medical device industry in Ireland and abroad. Graduates have found employment in companies such as Design Partners, Cook Medical, Dyson, Medtronic, Teleflex, Starfish Medical, Dolmen and Trulife.

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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time

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