Design Innovation

There has never been a better time to study innovation! Innovation is the no. 1 priority of the Irish government as a driver for economic growth; it is the central pillar of EU and US development strategies. Companies large and small also recognise the essential need for early-stage innovation research that uncovers crucial understanding of user needs, socio-cultural trends and insights, which lead to exciting and differentiating new innovation concepts.

"There is political agreement in Europe that to ensure competitiveness, prosperity and wellbeing, … the progressive shift in emphasis of European innovation policy from exclusive reliance on 'technology push' to more demand and user-driven innovation must continue."

(Design as a driver of user-centred innovation EU Commission, April 2009)

This MSc offers the opportunity to become a leader in Design Innovation for your organisation. The MSc in Design Innovation gives a practical education and experience in the key themes that drive 21st century innovation, such as innovation strategy and deep understanding of human needs, behaviours and socio-cultural trends. You will learn the methods to research, acquire, analyse and present this understanding as well as the techniques and skills to synthesise actionable innovation concepts.

Course Structure
The programme is delivered by assignments, lectures, workshops and dissertation. A large portion of the learning is experiential through case research, workshop discussion, fieldwork and individual or group assignments. A substantial field project is carried out in the third semester, with a written dissertation on completion. All modules and dissertation are 100% continuously assessed, with no end of semester written examinations.

The programme is delivered over 12 months (full-time) or 24 months (part-time). It is structured in a modular format to facilitate part-time study over 2 years while staying in employment. Also, modules may be studied individually with individual certification and for accrual of credits towards a Diploma or Masters award.

Taught modules are delivered in semesters 1 & 2 (Autumn and Spring).

Dissertation project, including field research, is carried out in semester 3 (Summer).

Entry requirements

H2.1 (H2.2 with interview)

The programme welcomes participants from varied disciplinary backgrounds, including graduates of Social Sciences, Anthropology, Design, Business or Engineering. Graduates of other disciplines are also invited to apply. A first class or upper second class honours primary degree qualification is normally required. Exceptionally, candidates with lower second class honours or other degree qualifications may be allowed to join the programme, after interview.

Minimum English language requirements:

• IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score
• TOEFL (Paper based test): 585
• TOEFL (Internet based test): 95
• PTE (Pearson): 62

National University of Ireland Maynooth's TOEFL code is 8850.


MH50K 1 year full-time
MH51K 2 years part-time

Careers or further progression

Career Options
This MSc programme is ideal for anyone aspiring to be an effective radical innovator. In particular, it directly prepares graduates for the roles of innovation leadership, innovation management, product management, strategic marketing, market research, design strategy and new product or service development in a wide variety of sectors such as technology, pharmaceutical, agri-food, design, manufacturing, service industries and all areas of the public service.

Further enquiries

Programme Director Dr. Linzi Ryan
Tel 01-7087589
Address Department of Design Innovation, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare

Subjects taught

Course Structure
Modules include innovation strategy; design thinking; people markets and design; consumer innovation adoption; applied innovation lab and design innovation project.


Design Innovation at Maynooth University brings a design thinking perspective to a wide range of business innovation and product development domains. Expert staff members from Product Design, Business Development, Product Development, Engineering, Marketing and Social Science backgrounds combine to guide teaching and research programmes with a constant pragmatic orientation. By prioritising innovation research and practice with usercentricity and socio-cultural sensitivities, design innovation is valuable for all sectors including manufacturing, services, public service and social ventures.

Application date

All applications should be made through the PAC system.

Closing Date: 31 July 2020

Course fee

In general, there are two levels of fees payable. EU students from EU countries including Ireland pay a subsidised level of fees for both taught courses and research programmes. Tuition fees for students from outside the EU are not subsidised and are thus somewhat higher than for EU students.

Enrolment and start dates

Commences September

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