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Maynooth University

Department of Design Innovation

Ireland Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

Design Innovation at Maynooth University is a department of interdisciplinary expertise that combines industrial, entrepreneurial and academic excellence in Design. We are focussed on developing research and user-centred, applied practitioners that create impact through design innovation in industries across Ireland and abroad.

We distinguish ourselves from other design courses by placing an emphasis on research methods, user-experience, marketing, business models and the commercial justification of new product proposals, as well as core science and engineering subjects.

International Role

Maynooth University’s strategic plan is to adopt a ‘comprehensive and ethical approach to internationalisation with high levels of student and staff mobility’. The modern campus enjoys an international and multicultural diversity, situated in the historic surroundings of St Patrick’s seminary. The Department of Design Innovation has several Erasmus exchange arrangements across Europe, and as a growing department with new leadership there is a stronger commitment to establish a bigger international research and staff/student exchange programme. Ireland is a European gateway and base for many US multinationals, Maynooth is situated close to Ireland’s ‘Silicon Valley’ and the Department of Design Innovation has established relations with Google, Facebook and Accenture.

National Role

The Department of Design Innovation at Maynooth University is recognised as a unique centre of excellence in Ireland and has been an active member of Institute of Designers in Ireland. It also contributes to the Industry Research & Development Group which is a non-profit, business-led Innovation Network of member companies and colleges, working together to drive excellence in Innovation within Ireland’s industry to create growth, jobs and prosperity. Our industry network covers many sectors: health and medicine, sport, agri-tech, consumer products, financial services and food. Both our BSc and MSc programmes have collaboration projects with many leading companies such as: Accenture, ESB innovation lab, Genesys, SAP, Cook medical, Glambia, Salesforce, Pramerica, Hewlett Packard.

Our award winning MSc Design Innovation programme successfully employs applied social science research methodologies to unearth consumer insight, drawing on design methodologies to deliver strategic choice, and validate through business realities. Our aims are to bring the most enquiring and resilient minds from a range of disciplines to be at the forefront of a new wave of innovators that will use design principles to develop new products and services in industry within pressing environmental and social contexts.

Our ethnography faculty team has worked with some of the biggest companies in the world and they bring a commercial lens to the practice. We teach the power of insights; how to find them and how to use them as a bridge into novel, original and promising new product ideas. Students learn the tools to help (re)design value propositions to incorporate solutions that meet customer needs and sustain competitive advantage. These are further enhanced by studies of new entrepreneurial venture creation using Lean Startup philosophy giving practical experience through field work.

Main Focus

Design Innovation, design thinking, product design, service design,

Faculties and Departments

Faculty of Social Sciences

Bachelor Level Programs

BSc Product Design (Marketing & Innovation) – 4 yr



Master Level Programs

MSc Design Innovation – 1 yr FT, 2 yr PT

Research Activity and Main Areas

Design thinking, service design, health service design, health communication, co-design, design-driven entrepreneurship, user-centred innovation.

Contact us if you are seeking to work with designers and research academics that are motivated by the challenges of the circular economy, reducing human impact on the environment, an ageing population, artificial intelligence and sustaining communities.

Doctorate Level Programs

PhD Design Innovation

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

Product Design (Marketing & Innovation)

Application Deadlines

Autumn/Full Year – 31st May

Spring – 31st October

Teaching Languages


Semester Dates

Semester 1  mid September – mid Jan

Semester 2  start February – end May

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

€500– €750 accommodation 

€300 – 400 living


Bachelor: 120
Master: 20
Doctorate: 3

Exchange Students

Outgoing: 2

Teaching Staff

Professors: 2
Lectures: 4
Other permanent teachers: 1
Part-time Teachers: 12

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