Ph.D. in Design

Ph.D. - Design

Program details

The Ph.D. in Design program offered by UPES School of Design is a pioneering initiative in India, catering to both full-time and part-time students. With a minimum duration of three years, as per UGC guidelines, the program is structured to foster design academics at the doctoral level, spanning diverse fields within design. The curriculum aims to channel creative minds towards cultivating design philosophies that address context-led concepts, transforming them into practical solutions that positively impact individuals, society, and the environment. 

The essence of the program lies in encouraging in-depth research and the synthesis of knowledge from various fields, fostering creativity within a framework that combines art, science, and technology through design thinking. The course emphasizes the development of critical research skills, covering statistics, research practices, ethics, ergonomics, human factors in design research, and scientific paper writing and presentation. Scholars delve into the intricacies of design, be it in fabric, furniture, products, or space communication, honing their ability to think innovatively and translate ideas into real-time problem-solving solutions with well-founded philosophical justifications.

The core focus of the program is to generate new knowledge by testing and applying innovative materials, methods, procedures, and validating design concepts. Scholars have the freedom to choose thesis topics aligned with their interests, spanning consumable utility products, space organization, fashion and textiles, vehicle and transportation systems, graphics, animation, craft, communication, service design, AI issues, and more. The Ph.D. in Design program at UPES School of Design is designed to produce human-centric, creative, and innovative scholars, preparing them to navigate the complexities of the ever-evolving field of design. It equips them with the skills and mindset necessary to contribute meaningfully to the advancement of design knowledge and practice.

Program Highlights

  • The Ph.D. in Design program emphasizes the development of strong research skills, guiding students in crafting impactful theses that contribute to advancing design knowledge and introducing fresh perspectives to industry practices.
  • With a structured curriculum spanning 3 to 5 years for full-time students (up to 7 years maximum), the program allows for comprehensive skill development, ensuring a thorough understanding of research intelligence, creativity, innovation, intercultural competency, problem-solving, decision-making abilities, autonomy, and accountability.
  • Post-coursework, Ph.D. scholars benefit from the flexibility to choose research topics aligned with their interests. The collaborative approach between scholars and mentors fosters a customized research journey, enabling in-depth exploration of chosen design themes.
  • The coursework places a significant emphasis on honing various skills, including research intelligence, creativity, innovation, intercultural competency, problem-solving, decision-making, autonomy, and accountability, preparing students for diverse roles in the field of design.
  • The Ph.D. in Design program encourages students to go beyond conventional approaches, pushing boundaries in design trends and practices. The resulting theses not only contribute to the academic domain but also bring fresh perspectives to the evolving landscape of design.
  • The collaborative decision-making process between scholars and mentors ensures a supportive and tailored learning environment, allowing Ph.D. students to benefit from the expertise of mentors while pursuing research topics of personal interest.


The Ph.D. program in Design at UPES School of Design is dedicated to cultivating a profound exploration of ideas, expressions, and skills, aiming to contribute significantly to the realms of design collections, objects, communication, services, and strategies. Through rigorous contemplation and investigation, the program strives to advance design, design education, and design practice by introducing fresh concepts and information. The emphasis on research methodology and advanced statistics equips candidates with the tools to make novel and noteworthy contributions to the scientific knowledge foundation in their respective fields. The overarching goal of the program is to facilitate the design of interventions and services that enhance quality of life while preserving the environment, reflecting a commitment to the broader impact of design on business, education, and society.

The future scope of a Ph.D. in Design is highly promising, propelled by the widespread integration of digital media across diverse fields such as products, transportation systems, textiles, and human connection. The expanding role of designers is marked by a growing demand for both aesthetic appeal and efficient communication. Current design trends emphasize the incorporation of biophilic elements, digital manufacturing, user-centric design, smart technology integration, and sustainable design practices. As the design landscape continues to evolve rapidly, a Ph.D. in Design equips scholars to delve into cutting-edge research and innovation, positioning them at the forefront of addressing the dynamic challenges and opportunities presented by the intersection of technology, aesthetics, and sustainability. Pursuing a Ph.D. in Design opens avenues for in-depth exploration and contribution to the transformative forces shaping the future of design across various industries.

Career Opportunities

Completing a Ph.D. in Design opens doors to coveted teaching and research roles in design institutes or universities, positioning individuals as valuable assets in academia. This qualification imparts extensive knowledge, research acumen, and expertise crucial for guiding aspiring design professionals and conducting advanced field research. Furthermore, it unlocks a diverse array of career paths across industries, where graduates often serve as design experts contributing to research and development initiatives. Their adeptness in design proves instrumental in crafting innovative, market-accepted solutions, revitalizing existing work, and elevating the overall value of products or services. This holistic approach not only meets market demands but also enhances living experiences for end-users, making a substantial impact on design's future and innovation.

Admission Details

July 2024 Intake
Key TimelinesImportant Dates
Last Date to ApplyJune 3, 2024
RET ExamJune 10, 2024
RET Result DeclarationJune 21, 2024
Submission of Research Proposal
on - approx. 1000 words
June 26, 2024
Online Interview Booking/SchedulingJuly 3th, 2024
InterviewsJuly 18, 19 & 22 July, 2024
Interview Result DeclarationJuly 30, 2024
Last date to Pay FeeAug 4, 2024
Registration DateAug 8, 2024
Orientation DateAug 9, 2024
Commencement of SessionAug 12, 2024

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