Higher Education Competition

The Great Competition

Join The Great Competition, a new national design and engineering challenge for undergraduates by the Design Museum, inviting submissions that respond to a live-brief on sustainable manufacturing for the 2018-19 academic year.


The Great Competition is a new national design challenge for undergraduates for the 2018-19 academic year. It aims to promote greater industrial innovation and multi-disciplinary collaboration between design and engineering, encouraging students to develop innovative solutions to today’s most pressing social and environmental issues.

This year, undergraduate students are invited to respond to an industry-led live brief on sustainable manufacturing, inspired by the UK Government’s Industrial Society. A judging panel of leading experts across design, engineering and related fields will select the short-listed and winning submissions. Short-listed submissions will have the opportunity to take part in a designer-led masterclass and Awards ceremony in May 2019. The winning submission will also receive a cash prize of up to £3000. The Great Competition is delivered through the generous support of The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

Related event

The Great Competition Launch Event

Join the Design Museum for the launch of The Great Competition, a new national design and engineering challenge for undergraduates, and a keynote talk by Chris Wise of Expedition Engineering.

Design brief

Develop and design a new product, service, system or digital tool that enables or supports sustainable manufacturing and production.

Key Dates

22 November 2018: The Great Competition Launch Event at the Design Museum in London.
14 January 2019: Online registration and submission opens.
16 April 2019: Final registration and submission deadline at 17:00GMT.
May 2019: Judges select short-listed submissions.
30 May 2019: Final Judging and Awards Celebration and Masterclass for shortlisted students.


The Great Competition is open to any undergraduate studying design, design engineering, engineering or any related course or discipline anywhere in the United Kingdom. Entries will be accepted from both individuals and teams. Entries do not have to be developed expressly in response to The Great Competition brief, and may be current coursework, but must be the original work of the entrant(s).

Booking an Outreach Visit

To help support students in developing their response to this year’s brief, the Design Museum is offering free outreach presentations and information sessions to higher education institutions in the UK.

Click here to book a visit to your university or, for more information, please contact thegreatcompetition@designmuseum.org.

Register your interest

Submissions for entry will open on 14 January 2019 and close on the 16 April 2019 at 17:00 GMT. To register your interest in taking part and to receive a reminder when submissions open please fill in the form below.

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I have read and understood the eligibility requirements

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Competition Supporter

The Great Competition is generously supported by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.

The museum is delighted to be collaborating with the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 to offer undergraduates this exciting opportunity to: collaborate with peers and professionals; to deepen their understanding of design thinking and to see their achievements recognised through this prestigious new competition. The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 is a grant-making educational trust, awarding in the region of £4million per year towards Fellowships, Scholarships and Special Awards, for advanced study and research in science, engineering, the built environment and design.

For further details regarding the work of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 please follow this link https://www.royalcommission1851.org/

Contact Us

If you have any questions about The Great Competition or would like to find out more, please email us on: thegreatcompetition@designmuseum.org.