M.Sc. Strategic Product Design

Delft University of Technology

Application deadline: April 1 (EU and Non EU)
Tuition fee:
  • € 1,835 / Year (EEA)
  • € 12,916 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2014
Credits: 120 ECTS
Duration full-time: 24 months
Languages:
  • English
Location:
Disciplines:
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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Description

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The focus of the MSc Programme in Strategic Product Design is on the `fuzzy´ strategic stage that precedes the actual development of a new product or service. The programme puts emphasis on translating corporate strategy in coherence with market developments and market opportunities into a sound product development portfolio.

Mastering the front end in product development

Great products don´t just happen. Behind the best products is a process which begins with careful consideration of market needs, the competitive environment, consumer preferences, corporate strategy, the existing product and brand portfolio, and of course, form and function. The Master´s Programme in Strategic Product Design gives you the tools to successfully explore and exploit market opportunities - and create great products - by thinking strategically about product design and development.

With the help of techniques such as market and trend analyses and consumer research, and by giving consideration to future scenarios, government policies, environmental requirements and new technologies, you gain insight into the processes that drive strategic product design and the informed selection of suitable market opportunities to pursue. The programme covers product launch, analysis of economic rationales, project leadership and the international dimension of product development. You will learn how to transform intangibles such as the corporate mission and brand identity into successful product concepts.

What you will learn

Ultimately, you will acquire the skills to help companies to conceptualise, develop and introduce strategically sound, sustainable and commercially successful products and services for clients and customers who live and act in the real world.

Career prospects
Graduates of the programme are prepared to move into all aspects of product development; usually in a commercial environment. They have strong practical design skills, extensive knowledge of the innovation process, and a deep understanding of the strategic underpinnings for commercial success.

Graduates are ready to move into positions as strategic designers, product or brand managers, new product development project leaders, innovation consultants, design and brand consultants, and innovation managers. Some graduates choose to go into research, either in the commercial world or in academia.

Contents

The heart of the SPD programme consists of basic courses aimed at design and research methodology and professional design practice (a total study load of 72 EC). In addition there are elective specialisation courses (totalling 18 EC) which may be taken throughout the two years of the programme. Each semester begins with an introductory week. Students complete the programme with an individual Graduation Project (33 EC) undertaken either in the private sector or in one of the Facultys research groups.

First year
The first year focuses on the role that strategy, brands and marketing play in product development, as well the importance of academic and applied research for the strategic phases of product development.

Fall semester: you will learn about brand-driven innovation, investigating and understanding user contexts, and learn to apply these theories while working on a project in a commercial environment.

Spring semester: it focuses on some specific forms of SPD-related research and on theories around commercialisation and creative processes.

Second year
The second year is dominated by two large projects:

The multidisciplinary design project

In the Joint Master Project you will work together with students from other MSc programmes. The design assignment, in collaboration with a real company, covers the entire development process from a strategic product plan and concept development to building a prototype. The project ends by devising a plan for implementation and market introduction.

The Graduation Project

The final semester is devoted to your individual Graduation Project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty adviser, a mentor from the faculty, and a mentor representing the hosting company or research group.

Sample graduation projects

For an international company in the field of navigation devices, a student developed a future product portfolio. Based on explicit, implicit and tacit brand values, scenarios were developed that examined the future of navigation devices and user support requirements.
For Philips Design, a student studied the sleeping behaviour of toddlers. Based on the results, new product concepts were developed for the purpose of helping toddlers to fall asleep.

Requirements

What is required to be considered for admission to an MSc programme? Please note: if you do not meet all the formal requirements, it is no use applying.

1)A. A good university Bachelor's degree in a main subject closely related to the MSc programme to which you are applying, with good grades on the key courses.
orB. A proof that you have nearly completed a Bachelor's programme in a main subject which is closely related to the MSc programme to which you are applying, with good grades on the key courses.

Exceptions: Management of Technology, Engineering and Policy Analysis and Science Education & Communication, to which all students holding any Bachelors of technology or science / engineering degree may be admitted.

2)A Bachelor's Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 75% of the scale maximum, unless specific requirements are defined for the country in which you obtained your Bachelors degree:

* Countries A - H
* Countries I - P
* Countries Q - Z

Please note: if you have not graduated yet your CGPA must meet the requirements at the time of application.

3)Proof of English language proficiency:

* A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of at least 90 (internet-based test). Please note that we only accept the TOEFL internet-based test.
* or IELTS (academic version) overall Band score of at least 6.5.
* or proof that you have passed the University of Cambridge 'Certificate of Proficiency in English' or the University of Cambridge 'Certificate in Advanced English'

Only nationals from the USA, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada are exempt from the proof of English language proficiency requirement. Applicants who obtained a bachelors degree in one of the mentioned countries, are also exempt from the proof of English language proficiency requirement.

Certificates older than two years are not accepted. As the whole process of collecting information, registering for the tests and receiving the test results may take several months, we advise you to register for the IELTS or TOEFL several months before starting your application.

It is allowed to send us a copy of your test results, please check the application documents for detailed information.

* For EU/EFTA nationals, the English language certificate may be submitted until 1 July provided that all other required hard copy documents are received before the application deadline of 1 April.
* Nationals of the Peoples Republic of China only: for visa purposes you need a Nuffic certificate as proof of your English language proficiency. In order to obtain the Nuffic certificate you will need to take the IELTS or TOEFL internet-based test.

4)A clear and relevant essay in English (1,000 - 2,000 words) addressing the following:Your motivation for taking the MSc programme of your choice.

* Your motivation for taking the MSc programme of your choice.
* Why you wish to pursue this programme abroad and/or in the Netherlands in particular.
* Why you are interested in TU Delft and what you expect to find here
* If there are optional specialisations in the Masters programme of your choice: which specialisation(s) interest you most, and why?
* Describe your hypothetical thesis project; what kind of a projectwould you prefer if you were free to make a choice? Also briefly explain what you would want to explore in your thesis project. Provide a maximum of three hypothetical thesis topics and elaborate on your particular interests in them.
* A brief summary (maximum 250 words) of the thesis work or the final assignment (to be) done for your Bachelors programme, including information on the credits earned, grade, and full workload.


5)Two reference letters in English, French, German or Dutch:

* one from from a professor or an assistant professor from the faculty from which you graduated.
* one from your employer, if you already have work experience.

If you have not yet graduated or do not have work experience, you need to provide two letters from professors or assistant professors from the faculty at which you are studying.

6)An extensive résumé (curriculum vitae) written in English.

7)Proof of identity

8)Please note:Applicants for Architecture Urbanism & Building Sciences, Design for Interaction, Integrated Product Design and Strategic Product Design are required to upload a digital portfolio. Please note that only uploaded portfolios will be processed. The programme specific portfolio requirements are described on the following pages:

* portfolio requirements for Architecture Urbanism & Building Sciences (and its five tracks)
* portfolio requirements for Design for Interaction
* portfolio requirements for Integrated Product Design
* Portfolio requirements for Strategic Product Design

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

60 (Grade C)
TOEFL iBT® test: 90

Funding

Numerous scholarships are awarded to admitted students with exceptional promise and outstanding academic achievement by the university, its faculties, departments and industry partners. Consideration for these scholarships requires students to have been admitted to their MSc Programme. Make sure you submit your application as early as possible to be in time for all the scholarship deadlines. More information:

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