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University of Limerick

School of Design

Ireland Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Limerick [UL] is to be a distinctive, pioneering and connected university that shapes the future through educating and empowering people to meet the real challenges of tomorrow. The vision is to be internationally known as an institution that provides outstanding student experiences, actively engages in research and is globally and locally connected in terms of its contribution to economic, social and cultural life. This vision is underpinned by a number of core values. The first is to provide an outstanding and distinctive experience for every one of our students to enable them to become knowledgeable, skilled and confident graduates. UL seeks to produce critical-thinking, creative, innovative and entrepreneurial graduates who will be leaders in society and will exhibit strong ethical, cultural and community-focused values. The second strategic goal is to further enhance our research profile and strengthen the impact of our research, both nationally and internationally. Our third strategic goal is to sharpen our international focus in all areas of activity. We will do this by connecting to the global environment in ways that allow us to compete internationally for the best students and staff and develop our research and teaching programmes to the highest international standards. We will provide students with experiences that instil the spirit of European and global citizenship. UL draws on international experience and best practice in order to contribute to the development of the region and the nation. The final strategic goal is to be renowned for the excellence of our contribution to the economic, educational, social and cultural life of Ireland in general and the Shannon region in particular. We will continue to lead collaboration among educational institutions in the region and contribute to stimulating growth in indigenous enterprises and foreign direct investment.

International Role

The University of Limerick has a strong International reputation and this is carried through to the Design@UL programmes. Each programme has independent links with international academic institutions and industry. A large number of students across all faculties avail of study abroad opportunities with over 38 international academic partners offering exchange programmes for UG and PG students. Research links with these academic partners allow for the internationalisation of the curriculum, while strong international industry links ensure the research is applied and transferrable. Specific partnerships and relationships with NID India, Parsons Design School USA, Carnegie Mellon Design School, USA, Art Center College of Design USA, AUT and Unitec New Zealand, Shristi, India, UPC Spain, TU Delft, Aalto University, Loughborough Design School, Virginia Commonwealth University, Northwestern University, KTH Stockholm, Sweden; Ecole d’Architecture de Nantes, France; Sheffield-Hallam University, University of Strathclyde, University of Amsterdam, University of Siegen, University of Trento, Aarhus University, ITU Copenhagen, Stuttgart University, RWTH Aachen, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Waag Society, Ecole d’Architecture de Montpellier, France; Hafencity University Hamburg, Germany; UdK (Univeristy of Arts) Berlin, Germany; Schools of Architecture Granada, Spain have led to Design@UL innovations in both teaching and research. UL is also partner in the EM2STEM Erasmus Mundus programme, with SAUL being the only architecture programme on offer as part of this exchange programme on entrepreneurship and management training in science, technology, engineering & mathematics with West Balkan universities. SAUL is also a member of the Aedes Campus Network Berlin (ACNB). The School of Design is a partner in the ERASMUS + Circular Design programme with UPC, NHL and Linkoping Universities. UL is currently reprsented on the Cumulus Executive Board by the Head of School of Design.

National Role

Design@UL has a rich culture of collaboration with other academic institutions, corporations and government agencies in ways that support mutually beneficial activities. A number of Design-led research and teaching initiatives have allowed the relatively new courses under the Design@UL umbrella to engage with external partners on both local and national levels. These types of partnerships have led to explorations in areas as diverse as mobility, governance, bio-medical device design, health and well-being, community and regeneration, education and new product development. Sustained initiatives such Smarter Travel, The Intelligence Unit, Adaptive Governance Lab, miLKlabs (the Limerick maker space), Bio-Innovate Fellowship Programme, ReForm Sustainable Design Forum and Design Week Limerick have stemmed from the links. These initiatives have been strengthened by close links with Local Regional Authorities and Government Agencies such as: Limerick City and County Council; Mid-West Regional Authority, Enterprise Ireland and Shannon Development. Design@UL has strong industry links with multi-national companies located in Ireland as well as indigenous companies ranging from start-ups, to SME’s and larger corporations. Each year Real-World’ studio projects partner students with industry representatives where briefs are worked through and designs developed to meet the specifications of the ‘client’. Industry partners include: Logitech, Medtronic, Stryker, IQ Content, GraphicMint, MeadWestVaco, Driessen Aerospace and Shortts Engineering. The courses under Design@UL have continuing connections with other local and national academic institutions including Limerick School of Art and Design, NCAD, Dublin Institute of Technology, University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Galway and IT Carlow. The School of Design also has representation on  DEI (Design Educators Ireland) and the National Design Forum.

Main Focus

The primary focus of Design@UL is to harness collective and individual creative talents to develop objects, systems and landscapes that shape our future. Design@UL incorporates the  School of Design , BSc. courses of Product Design + Technology,  [SAUL] Architecture’s BArch and MArch. in Architecture. MSc Design for Health & Wellbeing. The CSIS (Department of Computer Science & Information Systems) BSc Digital and Interactive Media Design.

The Research Activities and Post Graduate and Doctoral studies are progressed through the Design Factors Research Group , SAUL /Fab Lab and CSIS.

Faculties and Departments

Faculty of Science & Engineering

School of Design


Department of Computer Science and Information Systems.

Bachelor Level Programs

BSc Product Design + Technology – 4 years

BArch Architecture  [SAUL] – 5 years

BSc in Creative Media and Interaction Design (Common Entry) (4 years)

B.Sc. Digital Media Design (4 years)

B.Sc. Music Media and
Performance Technology (4 Years)


Master Level Programs

Masters of Architecture M.Arch – 2 years,

MSc Design for Health & Wellbeing – 1 Year

MSc Interaction and Experience Design -1 year

MSc/MA Art & Technology – 1 Year

Masters by Research (in Design) – 2 years


Research Activity and Main Areas

Included but not limited to – Design & Human Factors including Sustainable Design, Design Methods, Human Factor, Design for Social Innovation, Bio-Medical Design, Medical Device Design, Design for Health, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Regeneration and Urban Renewal, Governance and Policy Making, Interactive Media, HCI, Design and Psychology  Design Education. Designing policies: architecture’s impact on planning and local governance; Innovative materials construction technologies and applications; Climate response and user influence on environmental controls; Architecture, Irish landscape and coastal regions. Digital Media research areas include Health Informatics, Patient-Centred Design, Co-Design, DIY, Digital Fabrication, Cultural Heritage, Social Media, Urban Informatics, Community Informatics, Auditory Interfaces and Sonification and Ubiquitous Computing.

Doctorate Level Programs

PhD by Research (All fields)

Practice Based PhD in Design

Structured PhD

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

Product Design, Interaction Design,Design for Health,  Introduction to Digital Media, HCI, CSCW, Interactive Multimedia and Architectural design.

Application Deadlines

30 June for Autumn semester and 31 October for the Spring semester.

Teaching Languages


Semester Dates

Semester 1: 1 September to 16 December Semester 2: 27 January to 16 May.

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)



Bachelor: 800
Master: 20
Doctorate: 6

Exchange Students

Incoming: 20
Outgoing: 20

Teaching Staff

Professors: 2
Lectures: 20
Other permanent teachers: 6
Part-time Teachers: 10

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