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Mr Clive Hilton

C Hilton vector drawing

Profile summary

Professional biography

Prior to rejoining The Open University, at Coventry University I collaboratively redesigned the former MSc Industrial Product Design course and changed the qualification to MA Product Design Innovation. The curriculum redesign is now the validated template for all postgraduate design courses at Coventry University. I introduced the use of project video output as an alternative to written formats to mitigate English language deficit among affected students.

Research interests

My research interests and PhD study centred around why Chinese design students studying in the UK, statistically under-attain in comparison to other international and domestic students.

Thesis title: An Examination of The Factors Influencing the Attainment Gap Among Chinese Product Design Students Studying at Coventry University.

Wider research interests:  Internationalisation of curricula. Internationalised design pedagogy in higher education. Online design course delivery paradigms. Hybrid learning spaces. Mechanisms for overcoming language limitation among international learners. Transferrable creativity. Processes of ideation. I have presented at workshops and conferences in China, Turkey, Denmark, Finland, UK.

Teaching interests

Pragmatic design pedagogy. Special interest in international students and techniques for narrowing attainment gaps.

Impact and engagement

Student Competition Successes

In international competitions, students and alumni of the MSc IPD programme have won three Red Dot Awards (2014 – 2015), including Best Concept 2014, Best of Best Concept 2014. At the time, unrivalled attainment for any UK University.


Proactive in forging collaborations with institutions abroad – Tongji University, Shanghai; Communication University of Zhejiang, Tongxiang; Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou; Shanghai Open University, Shanghai; Raffles, Singapore.


Audio feedback in distance design education (2022-03-04)
Jones, Derek and Hilton, Clive
Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, 27(1) (pp. 113-135)

How language limitations affect conceptual thresholds among Chinese design students in the United Kingdom (2016)
Hilton, Clive
Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education, 15(2) (pp. 135-143)

Re-thinking learning spaces to foster collaboration between Chinese and Western students (2019)
Hilton, Clive
In: Simmons, Claire ed. Teaching and Learning Excellence - The Coventry Way (pp. 77-80)
ISBN : 978-1-84600-092-8 | Publisher : Coventry University Group

It’s the Cultural Difference That Makes the Difference: International Collaboration in Multidiscipline, Transcultural, Design Pedagogy (2021-12-27)
Hilton, Clive; Muxing, Gao and Rong, Wei
In : DRS LearnX 2021: 6th International Conference for Design Education Researchers (23-29 Sep 2021, Shandong University, Jinan, China) (pp. 432-438)

Utilising Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) as a Pedagogical Framework for Design Thinking Projects (2021-09)
Glyn-Davies, Adela and Hilton, Clive
In : DRS LearnX 2021 (23-29 Sep 2021, Shandong University, Jinan, China)

The Evolution of the Design Studio: Hybrid Learning Spaces (2020-08)
Hilton, Clive
In : DRS LearnX 2019: 5th International Conference for Design Education Researchers (9-12 Jul 2019, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey) (pp. 281-290)

A Response to the Challenge of Internationalization of Design Teaching: Hybrid Learning Spaces (2019-05)
Hilton, Clive
In : Cumulus Rovaniemi. Around the Campfire: Resilience and Intelligence (27 May - 1 Jun 2019, Rovaniemi, Finland)

Place, Space, Face: Student Participatory Reticence: An Intervention (2018-09)
Hilton, Clive
In : E&PDE 2018: 20th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (6-7 Sep 2018, London, UK)

Language Limitations - Cultural Difference or Situated Behaviour? (2017)
Hilton, Clive
In : Faculty of Art and Humanities, Inaugural Research Conference (6 Jun 2017, Coventry University)

Cross-Disciplinary Pedagogy: From Chinese Fan Dance to Designing a Bandstand (2016-09)
Hilton, Clive
In : E&PDE 2016: 18th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (8-9 Sep 2016, Aalborg, Denmark)

Anglo-Sino Pedagogy - Learning Benefits (2016)
Hilton, Clive
In : Confucius Institute Inaugural Symposium (Feb 2016, Coventry University)

Role and Competence of Teachers in ODL (2016)
Hilton, Clive
In : International Visiting Scholars Conference (15 May 2016, Shanghai Open University, Shanghai)

Why Internationalisation of Design Education Benefits UK Students (2015-09)
Hilton, Clive
In : E&PDE 2015: The 17th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (3-4 Sep 2015, University of Loughborough)

Randomness in the Creative Process (2015)
Hilton, Clive
In : BURSA Innovation and Design Event (2015, Turkey)

The confidence to create a quick fix to a new way of thinking - can it be done? (2013)
Bull, K. and Hilton, C.
In : UKCGE 2013 (UK Council for Graduate Education) (Jul 2013, Birmingham)

Design in a Nutshell (2013)
Hilton, Clive
OpenLearn, The Open University