M.A. Design

University of Gothenburg | Gothenburg, Sweden
The long tradition of art education at HDK has contributed to making Swedish design world famous. Nowadays, HDK is also the home of contemporary, innovative design research which continues to build on Sweden’s long-standing commitment to social welfare.



The long tradition of art education at HDK has contributed to making Swedish design world famous. Nowadays, HDK is also the home of contemporary, innovative design research which continues to build on Sweden’s long-standing commitment to social welfare. This is the foundation on which we have constructed our new design programme at the second cycle level. The programme was launched in September 2012.

The main focus of the programme is to further develop your creative and artistic skills by finding design solutions to complex and challenging issues, in particular where social implications are important. Practical projects, both individual and team projects, are at the core of your studies. The atmosphere of the programme is explorative and experimental.

You will be part of an on-going discussion with fellow students and teachers, critically investigating how artefacts communicate meaning through design and how users and other stakeholders make sense of artefacts. We will explore new and challenging ideas of how designers can work to promote solutions for a sustainable society in the future.

You will engage in current issues through public exhibition projects and you will frequently collaborate with external partners. The programme has a holistic approach to design and includes students from a range of design backgrounds, e.g. product design, industrial design, graphic design and interior design.
The language of instruction is English.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline 15 Jan
Tuition fee

Tuition fee, for citizens from outside of the EU/EEA and Switzerland, is 196 300 SEK/academic year

Not specified
Start date
Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

Semester 1

This semester starts with a course (15 hecs) that introduces to you the key pedagogical tool in our programme – the personal project. You will start getting familiar with how to identify and formulate your own project, how to account for your process and your outcome. You will also familiarize yourself with written and spoken reflections as a tool for learning. The second course (15 hecs) is about how to critically deal with visionary projects and visualisations of future possibilities. We will work groupwise with a live project in a wider societal context.

Semester 2

This semester starts with a course (7,5 hecs) that continues the topic of communication and investigates the exhibition as a media for communication through design. The next course (15 hecs) focuses on your advancement in your own field of interest and the development of your artistic skills and methods in a long personal project.
We select a live situation as a common frame of starting points for all projects. There are also workshops and reflection assignments on creativity in the course. The last course before summer break (7,5 hecs) investigates theoretically and practically how designers can act and intervene in social change in society.

Semester 3

This semester contains a long course (22,5 hecs) that once again focuses on your own advancement in two long personal projects, one is explorative and experimental with an open starting point, the other is oriented towards a design solution. You will also have reading assignments and you will write an essay that will advance your knowledge in your own field of interest. The course at the end of the semester (7,5 hecs) will train you in identifying and formulating an adequate idea for your degree project.

Semester 4

This whole semester is one long course consisting of the most advanced personl project of your studies, the degree project. You will on your own formulate, plan and carry through a practical project. At the end of the course you will organize your own documentation of the project and your reflections into a project document. This semester and your two years of studies at HDK ends with the degree show where you will exhibit the outcomes of your degree project.


You are eligible to the programme if you have a Bachelor’s degree in Design and English B level or English proficiency equivalent to:

  • IELTS 6.5 no part under 5.5 or
  • TOEFL paper-based score 4,5 (scale 1-6) in written test, 575 p or
  • TOEFL internet-based score of 20 (scale 0-30) in written test, total score of 90

This requierement does not apply to students with a BA degree from an English speaking university or to students having passed English level B at Swedish/Nordic Upper Secondary School.

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

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