Study overview of Industrial Design Engineering

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Invent and make new or improved products that are useful for people and society.

Many industrial design engineers have clear ideas about how something can be improved, and enjoy making something that people around them can actually use. In this Bachelor’s, you learn to translate the end-users' wishes into a product that works well and looks good. You do this by combining a variety of advanced technologies and a purposeful, systematic approach to engineering with firm knowledge and skills in design. You gain expertise in all the necessary disciplines, from mathematics and electrical engineering to design and marketing. This helps you establish a solid foundation for further specialisation in the Master’s in Industrial Design Engineering.

With your knowledge and skills as an industrial design engineer, you are equipped to design smart, working solutions that make life more enjoyable, easier, better and sometimes even completely different.

Modules Industrial Design Engineering

During this three-year Bachelor's in Industrial Design Engineering, you will follow twelve modules: four modules per year. Each module covers a theme and brings together all the main aspects of your studies: theory and practice, research and solution design, self-study and teamwork.

Overview modules

  • Year 1EC
    • Module 1 | Introduction to IDE15

      In this first module – your introduction to Industrial Design Engineering – you design a consumer product. The project offers a great way to learn about the different phases of an industrial design engineering process. You also gain technical knowledge, with subjects like Statics and Materials. For example, you familiarise yourself with the effects of forces and deformation of products, material behaviour, and choice of materials. Other subjects include Mathematics, Design Sketching 1 and Introduction to IDE.

    • Module 2 | Ideation15

      The focus in the second module is on creating a concept. You learn how to design a consumer product, with an emphasis on generating and visualising (partial) solutions in which you take into account form, functionality and (technical) feasibility. The subjects in this module are Construction, Production 1, Technical Product Modelling 1 and Discovery. 

    • Module 3 | Realisation of products15

      In the third module, you further develop your concept from Module 2 and create a prototype. You look at the relationships between geometry, material and production process, in both single-piece and mass production. You work out a product for mass production in detail on paper. Subjects like Design Sketching 2 and Production 2 are closely linked to the project, as well as Mechanics of Materials. As in the other modules, Mathematics plays an important role.

    • Module 4 | Smart products15

      What should a ‘smart product’ look like? In Module 4, you learn to design a smart product. Together with your team, you apply a combination of mechanics, electronics and software solutions. Your first task is to analyse the target group of the smart product. The next steps are generating several product concepts and choosing the most suitable one. The result is a design with a corresponding prototype. Your challenge is to find the right balance between the partial solutions found in the various domains: mechatronics, sensors and software. You will also look at human-product interaction by carrying out a user test.

  • Year 2EC
    • Module 5 | Human-product relations15

      In this module, you investigate all aspects of the relationship between people and products, such as use, behaviour and styling. This module also deals with the various levels at which these relationships are created: the individual level, the social level (in contact with others), and the societal levels (culture, environment and so on). In preparation for Module 6, you also expand your technical knowledge with subjects such as Production 3, Energy & Heat Transfer and Physical Ergonomics.

    • Module 6 | Consumer products15

      In Module 6’s multidisciplinary project, you team up with students from Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering (ME) and Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) to design a consumer product. This can be anything from a coffee machine to a shaver, and from a beer tap to a multifunctional conference table. An external company provides you with the assignment, while also sharing specific information about the project topic through guest lectures. You cover the corresponding theory in lectures such as Graphic Design, Technical Product Modelling 2 and Product Market Relations.

    • Module 7 | Designing for specific users15

      The project central to this module is all about designing a product for a specific target group. Think, for example, of people with physically strenuous jobs (bricklayers, firemen, or police officers), children, the elderly, or people with a disability. To come up with a good design, you must be able to put yourself in the shoes of the people in your target group. You attend lectures on subjects such as Cognitive Ergonomics, Design & Styling and Linear Algebra.

    • Module 8 | Virtual product development15

      In the final module of the second year, you learn to deal with the large variety of tools available for designers. The focus is on product design, making well-founded scientific choices, and integrating (virtual) tools in the project, such as a product-service combination in a public environment. Concrete examples include a bracelet-based tracking system that allows parents to keep tabs on their kids, or friends to find each other at a festival; a payment system for events; or movable shipping containers fitted with sleeping places for festivals. In this module, the main subjects are Dynamics and Introduction Finite Element Method.

  • Year 3EC
    • Modules 9&10 | Minor30

      The first semester of the third year (30 ECs) consists of your Minor space, in which you can choose various options. We also encourage our students to spend this time abroad. Here are some options:

      Follow subjects to deepen your knowledge of Industrial Design Engineering, or broaden your knowledge with subjects from other programmes, such as  Civil EngineeringMechanical Engineering or Industrial Engineering and Management.

      Spend half a year (two modules, or one semester) studying at another university in the Netherlands or abroad. This experience will teach you to approach issues from different (cultural) angles and to develop the flexibility to work in different teams and conditions.

      Join one of our student teams, like the Green Team, the Solar Team or the Electric Superbike Team. 

      Complete a pre-master’s in preparation for a Master’s degree other than Industrial Design Engineering, such as another technical Master’s, or one of our social sciences programmes.

      Is your ambition to teach? Choose the minor Learn to Teach and get a second-degree teaching qualification. This allows you to work as a teacher at secondary school level.

    • Module 11 | Systems in context10

      In this module, you get to design a complex system in a  realistic situation. Consumers expect more and more products, and product possibilities are continuously expanding. This means that today’s products are becoming increasingly complex. The challenge is to make such complex products in such a way that all the individual system components function properly. To do this, you have to be able to deal with complexity, vague standards and modern technologies. In this module, you will study subjects you can immediately apply to the project: Philosophy and Sociology of Technology, Design and Meaning, and Design of Mechatronics and Systems.

    • Module 12 | Bachelor's assignment20

      During the last four months of your studies, you are busy preparing and implementing a design for a consumer product - either at the university or at a company. Your job is to prove that you can apply the knowledge and skills you have gained during your studies. After completing this year, you can officially call yourself a Bachelor of Science (BSc).

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First time at university

When you are a first-year student, you experience many new things. Here we start explaining a few of them.

  • You complete modules

    During your three-year bachelor's programme, you will take 12 modules (4 modules per year). Each module, you will address a theme that is hot in society, business or industry. This theme will bring together all the components of your study: theory and practice, research, designing solutions, self-study and teamwork.

    A fixed part of every module is the team project, in which you and your teammates apply the knowledge you have acquired to a current challenge and design a workable solution. This learning method is part of the Twente Education Model (TOM): an innovative approach to studying that you will only find at the University of Twente.

  • Study points - how do they work?

    Student workload at Dutch universities is expressed in EC, also named ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System), which is widely used throughout the European Union. In the Netherlands, each credit represents 28 hours of work. You need to acquire 60 credits each year.

    You will receive credits for every assignment you pass. Your programme assigns fixed numbers of hours to each assignment, project report or exam. In the first year, you need to get at least 45 out of 60 points and to fulfill the additional requirements set by the educational programme, to be able to continue to the second year.

  • Did you get 45 EC or more and did you fulfill the additional requirements? Then you can enter the second year

    Our goal is to get you to the right place as quickly as possible, which is why we apply the principle of a binding recommendation. All first-year students receive this at the end of the year. You will receive positive advice if you have achieved 45 EC or more and fulfilled the additional requirements set by the educational programme. Negative advice is binding and means that you have to quit the study programme.

    Do personal circumstances such as illness or problems interfere with your study performance? Please contact the study adviser.

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