The Master’s programme is divided into eight quarters of ten weeks each. The study load for each quarter is 15 credits (= 420 hours). The total study load for the two-year Master’s programme is therefore 120 credits.
The first five quarters of the Master’s programme consist of courses (75 EC); the final three quarters (45 EC) are spent on the Master’s project (thesis).
The exact set of courses in your study programme is dependent on the master track to which you are subscribed as well as your own preferences. Each track contains a number of track-specific and core courses and a Master’s project in line with the track’s specialisation. Furthermore, a student can participate in a selection of Industrial Design Engineering courses and many others optional courses. At the beginning of the Master’s programme, each student discusses the courses of the individual Master’s programme and the Master’s project with the assigned track coordinator. Specific courses may be included in the Master’s programme to enable the student to complete the Master’s project successfully. The entire Master’s programme (courses and final project) requires approval from the track coordinator.
The Master’s programme focuses on the field of Industrial Design Engineering from three different perspectives. These perspectives are represented in the programme’s three specializations. While some overlap between the specializations is possible (and indeed welcomed), you will be encouraged to tailor the programme to your own interests and ambitions through your choice of specialization and electives.
Each specialization contains a number of core courses that reflect its central concerns and a Master’s project that reflects the nature of the specialization. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a wider selection of Industrial Design Engineering courses and some electives beyond the programme. In other words, as a Master’s student you will have ample opportunity to personalize your programme.
Your track coordinator will review your choice of subjects to make sure that your programme has enough coherence and depth before submitting it to the Programme Director for final approval.
The specializations are:
Human Technology Relations (HTR)
The Human Technology Relations specialization is dedicated to the exploration and design of products that serve the problems and aspirations of people on an individual, social or societal level.
The mandatory courses all cover human technology relations from a different angle. Some are focused on society and the cultural context like Science and Technology Studies and Design Histories. Others are more related to the process on how we should design for people, like Scenario Based Product Design and Interaction Design. Whilst Multi-sensory Design and Design for Behaviour Change are primarily meant to extend the repertoire of the designer to develop meaningful solutions. In the last mandatory course before starting with the master assignment – Create the Future – you will have to apply all insights in order to come to a plausible “vision of the future”.
A set of recommended electives is created that fit the core objectives of the track, but other courses can also be incorporated on the basis of individual interests.
Within the track, a master assignment can be executed externally at a company or any other organization where there is something to be designed. If you are interested in doing research, an internal graduation project can be chosen that fits one of the research interests associated with the track. Amongst others these are: Design for Behaviour Change, Participatory Design & Co-Creation, Design History & Culture, Interaction Design & Embodiment, Design for Health & Well-Being, and Design for Brands & Branding.
Management Of Product Development (MPD)
The master track offers the student the possibility to analyse, develop, implement and evaluate generic working methods, but also to elaborate them in a selected area of product development. This area can be very specific, for example, a certain type of product, or a detail of the entire development cycle, or explicitly very broad, for example, an aspect that plays a role in the entire cycle. Therefore, the range of topics is nearly unlimited. To mention just a few: from patents to ergonomics, from design method to biomedical products, or from cost estimation/calculation to human resource management.
The master track includes a number of core courses, such as Governing Product Development and Product Life cycle, in which frameworks for product development cycles are explored. Courses like Packaging Design and Management and Intellectual Property and Design Tools concurrently elaborate a number of important aspects of the development cycle. Simultaneously, the master track explicitly offers room for integration of individual aspects. Students can, for example, select a specific application for closer exploration and relate it to their gained knowledge on product development.
Emerging Technology Design (ETD)
The Master’s specialization in Emerging Technology Design focuses on the introduction of new technologies on the consumer market. New technologies adapted for the consumer market become cheaper when they can be mass-produced. As a graduate of this specialization, you will be able to use new technologies to modify consumer products. Since technologies can differ considerably, various (individual) programmes exist within this specialization.
The students share 25 EC of their courses with the other two master tracks. Two courses (10 EC): 'Sources of Innovation' and 'Surface Engineering for Look and Feel' were especially developed for this track. Within the ETD track there are six pre-defined technology directions in which the student can specialize and finally do the master assignment. Within the technology direction 20 EC of courses have to be chosen in deliberation with the coordinator. Finally 20 EC of elective courses have to be chosen.
More information about the courses can be found in the online education catalogue OSIRIS.
In the Master’s programme, the number of contact hours will depend on your individual programme. On average, your coursework will involve 12 contact hours per week. If you are working on your thesis at an external host organization, the number of contact hours with university staff will obviously be low. During this period, you will have more contact with an external supervisor at the organization. University staff will provide supervision and coaching, though you will be encouraged and expected to work on your thesis relatively autonomously.