MSc Medical Device Design - AD460

The MSc in Medical Device Design is a 1-year, full-time, studio based programme which places an emphasis on human centred innovation. Graduates from creative and technical disciplines study side-by-side in a design studio working in collaboration with clinical and industry partners. There are 2 Postgrad Futures Scholarships 2024 available for 2 students starting in Sept 2024, based on academic merit. One is a full EU tuition fee bursary and the other is half an EU tuition fee bursary.

Download our MSc Medical Device Design by clicking the red button below.

A member of the NCAD Postgraduate Team will be in touch a few days later to answer any further questions


Watch our Postgrad Futures Week Webinar Here!

Interview with Enda O'Dowd, Co-Programme Lead of MSc Medical Device Design

What to Expect

The MSc in Medical Device Design is a one-year full time taught masters delivered in NCAD in conjunction with TCD. The course is based in a dedicated Medical Device Design Studio on the NCAD campus. The programme consists of a combination of taught modules and studio-based project work. Basic Medical Science is taught at TCD, while modules covering Research Methods, Human Factors, and Fundamentals of Medical Device Design are delivered at NCAD. Bioinstrumentation is provided by the team of the Medical Physics Department in St James’s Hospital. Fundamentals of Medical Device Design modules cover diverse topics from the History of Medicine to Biomechanics and Biomaterials. In parallel with the taught modules, a series of studio-based projects are run at NCAD in conjunction with industrial and clinical partners. Industry partners include US multinationals with a base in Ireland along with Irish start-up companies.

In all cases, the design briefs are on live industry projects on which the companies are working. Students present their work to engineers and scientists from the companies at the research, concept and final design stage. This is a great opportunity for students to produce significant work in a real world product design and development environment. Feedback from industry, tutors and practitioners is an invaluable part of the learning process.

The creative, collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of medical device design is emphasised. Students from different disciplines share their research in the early stage of each project. Each student generates their own concepts and final designs, learning how to generate creative ideas and how to analyse and validate them in an iterative cycle of analysis and synthesis. This is all done in a supportive studio environment where peer-to-peer learning is facilitated.

Opportunities to Engage

Industry partners include medical device companies such as Cook Medical, Hollister, Medtronic, Teleflex and Stryker along with leading research hospitals and institutes such as St. James’s Hospital (TCD), The Mater Hospital (UCD) and the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI). There are many opportunities for students to work with these companies, hospitals and other institutions during the course of the year.

Much of the work generated is proprietary to the companies we work with and cannot be placed in the public domain. However, having learned the process of medical device design in conjunction with industry partners, the students have an opportunity to put this knowledge to work on their own final projects. These can often be designed and developed in conjunction with clinicians and it gives the students an opportunity to develop their own products within the NCAD innovation and commercialisation framework. Since the programme’s inception, students have generated many patents and much of the work has progressed to further stages of development. Over the summer months students complete a self-directed major project and dissertation. Students complete the programme with a substantial portfolio of work.


Duration: 1 year
90 ECTS credits/Taught Masters

Educational Standard

All applicants are expected to present an approved Bachelor degree at minimum level of 2nd class honours (2.2)

Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements may be considered on the basis of prior work or learning experience (RPEL). Candidates may be required to pass a qualifying examination set by the relevant department before being accepted to a Masters degree programme. Attendance at selected undergraduate lecture courses at NCAD, together with related written work may be prescribed. 

You may apply for the programme if you are currently completing your Undergraduate Degree. NCAD will review the rest of your application If necessary, we can make you a Conditional Offer. When your degree is completed and you send us final transcripts we will upgrade this to a Full Offer

Essential Supporting Documentation 

  • 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.   

  • A recent CV

  • Certified transcripts of previous programmes followed

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

  • Reference 1 (Academic - Head of School/Department preferred)*

  • Reference 2 (Tutor or Current/Recent Employer)

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

Portfolio/Evidence of Previous Work 

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.

A portfolio is a collection of work that can showcase your abilities.This does not have to be a collection of drawings or design work but can be anything which shows your creative side or ability to collaborate. This could include but is not limited to an interest in making, hacking, ideation, collaboration etc . We would like to gain an understanding of your skillset and how you will work in a collaborative studio environment. Feel free to submit any material you feel showcases your visual and making skills and any materials that you feel is relevant to human centred medical design. We are also open to reviewing written work or documentation of a project that might be more theoretical or technical in nature.

Below is a list we have accepted over the years as an alternative to a design portfolio for review:

  • Undergraduate final year project thesis from different academic disciplines
  • Leaving Cert Art projects
  • Sketching or Art-work you have created as a hobby 
  • Images of projects you undertook 
  • Any posters work you have created 
  • Leaving Cert DCG or technical drawings
  • Photos of anything you have built, fixed or hacked

If you are concerned about this part of the application process, the course coordinators are very happy to set up a call with you and help you navigate this part of the application process.

Document Description

When uploading documents please make sure you clearly label them using the Description Box like in the example below 

English Language Requirements

All programmes in NCAD are taught through English. International Applicants are asked to provide proof of their English Language Proficiency.

Full details of acceptable tests and the standard required can be found at the following link English Language Requirement.

MSc Medical Device Design Student Madison Hawk talks about her experience on the course.

Graduates of the MSc in Medical Device Design are sought after in the medical device industry and design practices. While some graduates progress to register for a PhD, the majority go on to work in industry or design practice.

Recent graduates can be found working across medical device companies and design practices such as Design Partners, Movement, Cook Medical, Dyson, Hollister, Pfizer and Trulife.

Postgrad Futures Scholarships

There is a full EU tuition fee scholarship available for one student on the 2024 programme.  It is based on academic merit. Only those who apply by 31 May 2024 will be reviewed. To apply include a 500 word document with you online application for the course.

There is a second half EU tuition fee available to one other MSc Medical Device Design student in 2024.  This is also based on merit.


For information on tuition fees please follow this link

There is an application fee of €55.00*


Step 1: Click on Apply Now button below | Step 2: Fill in your details

Step 3: Upload your Supporting Documents

  • You can also submit your application even before you upload the necessary documents. 

  • You can not add new documents after you have submitted. 

  • Additional documents can be sent to and we will upload them on your behalf. 

Step 4: Pay the application fee & submit your application to NCAD*

  • If you are applying for multiple Postgraduate Programmes then you are only obliged to pay the application fee once.

    • Complete your application as far as the fee payment page

    • Click save + exit

    • Email and let us know you are ready to submit and we will submit the application on your behalf. 

  • NCAD Graduates are not required to pay the application fee. 

    • Complete your application as far as the fee payment page

    • Click save + exit 

    • Email and let us know you are ready to submit and we will submit the application on your behalf. 

Programme Team:

Enda O’Dowd BSc., MSc.

Enda holds a degree in Polymer Technology and an MSc in Engineering Product Design. He specialises in applying science and technology to design questions, helping designers use technology to develop new and innovative human centred products, and applying his knowledge of materials and technology to bigger questions such as systems thinking and human behaviour.

Derek Vallence BDes., MSc.

Derek holds a BDes in Industrial Design and an MSc in Computer Aided Product Design. He specialises in producing human centred design solutions to technical and engineering problems. Along with design problem solving, Derek’s expertise includes 3D modelling, simulation, prototyping and design for manufacture.

Admissions Staff