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Collaboration at our core

We work with businesses, government, charities, academic institutions, museums and galleries, and designers to help realise the benefits that design contributes to society.  By working with us, organisations and individuals gain access to internationally recognised expertise in design research and practice, and to students who are impressive visual thinkers.

Our students benefit, too. They enjoy learning from industry professionals, working with staff on research projects for external clients, and being exposed to fresh ideas that grow from our partnerships. These help them see the many kinds of impact design can have. When our students graduate, they are already part of a network of experts in a range of fields, giving their careers a great start.

Academic institutions


The University’s Study Abroad programme links our students with academic institutions around the world. We have special study abroad relationships with DHBW Ravensburg in Bavaria, Germany and Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada. 

We also collaborate with universities, research institutes and other academic bodies in the UK and internationally on research projects, doctoral training, scholarly exchange, and the development of educational practices in our field. 

If your institution would like to work with us, let us know by emailing

Public and private sectors


Our work, research, and areas of interest mean we connect with organisations and agencies across the public and private sectors. These include healthcare, government, heritage, entertainment, and the environment. 

We also enjoy collaborations of many kinds in the arts and culture sector, including with international, national, regional and local museums, arts organisations, galleries and libraries. 

Collaborations often develop through our expertise in the history and technology of our field, and through our collections and archives. They support knowledge sharing, demonstrations, loans for exhibitions and film production, and expert contributions to broadcasting and the media. 

We’re always looking to expand our connections, so get in touch by emailing

Design professionals


Our international reputation and network of successful graduates enables us to invite design professionals to co-teach projects. 

  • Designers from the BBC, for example, have revamped with us a first-year web design project. 
  • Adobe sponsors a week-long technical workshop for our MA Communication Design: Typeface Design students.
  • Colleagues at IBM help us keep our user experience (UX) project for second-year students at the front edge of industry practice.
  • Connections with Oxford University PressDorling Kindersley and other specialist publishers give us ongoing access to publishing industry insiders.

Every collaboration keeps our teaching fresh and gives students a feel for the excitement of design in the real world. 

If you’d like to contribute to our teaching, we’d like to hear from you – email us at

Real Jobs


Our Real Jobs scheme, running now for more than five decades, gives students the opportunity to work one-on-one with real clients on live briefs. 

Recent projects include:

If you have a project that would benefit from student design input, contact us by email on

Workshops and masterclasses

Our experience and expertise in teaching and research, our networks within design and beyond, and our outstanding collections and archives enable us to conduct workshops, masterclasses, demonstrations, and study days on a wide range of topics in our field. 

Bringing together students, academics, design professionals and international experts, these events variously combine in-depth knowledge, learning through doing, and insights gained from artefacts and material history. 

If your organisation might benefit from events like these, email


Our research


We collaborate with other educational institutions and non-academic partners on pioneering research and knowledge transfer with real-world applications.

Our collections


The outstanding collections and archives we hold are the basis for partnerships with a number of institutions including Musée de l'imprimerie in Lyon, St Bride Library, and the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

Our staff

Our academic staff work with a range of organisations on ambitious projects with everyday relevance. Find out more about their areas of interest.