M.Sc. Strategic Product Design

  • On Campus
  • 24 months
  • EUR13650 Year (Non-EEA)
  • English (Find a course)
Delft University of Technology | Delft, Netherlands
The focus of the Strategic Product Design (SPD) Masterís programme is on the business context of product and service design. This can be the context of large international corporations, strong design consultancies, or start-up entrepreneurship.

Description of Strategic Product Design


Great products and services donít just happen. Behind them lies a development process that starts with careful consideration of market needs, the competitive environment, company resources, the brand image, and the style and function of the new product or service to be created.

The programmeís emphasis is on translating a companyís strategy and market opportunities into a strong product or service portfolio. SPD provides the insights and the tools to exploit business resources and market opportunities. In other words, it aims at maximising the impact of design on business and markets!

Students learn to apply techniques like market and brand analysis, future scenarios, and technology road mapping as drivers for strategic product design. They also learn to create robust design strategies for business with a strong social and economic rationale. Ultimately, students acquire the skills to help companies conceptualise, develop and introduce socially sound, and commercially successful products and services.


The MSc Strategic Product Design has been ranked by Business Week as one of the worldís top 30 design and business programmes.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline April
Tuition fee
  • EUR 13650 Year (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 1951 Year (EEA)
Start date September  2016
Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time
Intensity Flexible

Course Content

The SPD Masterís programme can be started either in the autumn or in the spring semester. The starting date determines the order in which courses are taken. In the autumn semester the programme focuses on the generation of concepts, while in the spring semester the focus is on design evaluation. The second year starts with a large multidisciplinary design project in which students from all three Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) Masterís programmes participate. The second year ends with establishing, defining and completing the individual graduation project.

Generic and Professional Skills - 3 EC Shared master courseThe 3 GPS days, which take place the first three days of each semester (except for the fourth), consist of group activities, lectures, individual assignments and presentations. Students will practice their teamwork and presentation skills in group and individual assignments, and sharpen their interest areas and formulate proposal ideas for the graduation project.

Context and Conceptualisation - 6 EC Master specific courseThe Master course 'Context and Conceptualisation' deals with the various contexts surrounding the product and the users' interaction with the product. Examples of such contexts are the situation in which the product is used, other people that are involved and the role of the product in the user's life, even when the user is not physically using it.

Brand and Product Strategy- 6 EC Master specific courseThe focus of the BPS course is on the relation between new product and service development activities, performed in companies to create competitive advantage, and the companyís brand. BPS students learn what activities a company (should) undertake to develop new product and service development strategies in such a way that it integrates the internal- and the external envelope.

Design Theory and Methodology - 3 EC Shared master courseThe aim of this course is to help you to gain a deeper understanding "of the principles, practices and procedures of design in a broad and general sense". The course entails a reflective approach to the study of how designers think and behave when designing, what sort of problems they encounter, the use/misuse/non-use of design methods, and the diverse social contexts they might work in.

Customer Research in New Product Development - 6 EC Master specific courseIn order to create products for people, product developers need to know what kind of products people would like. What are their desires, needs and problems with regard to current and new products? This course introduces current methods of customer research that can be used to collect information from customers to support the first stages of the product development process.

Design Strategy Project - 6 EC Master specific projectThis project is the practical part that accompanies the Brand & Product Strategy course. Together with a company, acting as a client, groups of students work on a Design Strategy case. The cases range in different areas of design strategy going from identifying new market opportunities, developing new innovation approaches, investigating how the company can leverage their competences etc.

New Product Economics - 3 EC Master specific courseStudents will learn how to assess the potential of an individual NPD project with the help of financial models, such as return on investment, net present value and cash flow analysis. This course will teach students how to build a solid business case for new product selection decisions that includes the economic evaluation, strategic relevance and overall product portfolio of the firm.

New Product Commercialisation - 6 EC Master specific courseProduct developers need to think upfront in the New Product Development (NPD) process how to introduce the product in the market later on. Students learn different tools and research methods for market, competitor and customer analysis and for each of the marketing mix elements as well as other methods for acquiring and using information to set up a marketing plan.

SPD Research Project - 6 EC Master specific projectThis course aims to teach students to design and carry out an advanced scientific research project in the field of strategic product design. Students participate, in pairs of two, in a faculty memberís ongoing research project. This will give them the opportunity to apply the quantitative and qualitative methodology knowledge provided by the SPD Research Methodology course.

Leading Strategic Design - 3 EC Master specific courseThis course is about leading the strategic dimension of design looking through a process lens and an actors lens. The process lens covers project initiation during the front end of innovation and project termination during implementation of the results. Leading the actors and stakeholders by convincing, canvassing and guiding forms the second lens.

SPD Research Methodology - 3 EC Master specific courseThis course aims to teach you profound qualitative and quantitative research techniques in relation to Strategic Product Design to support you in applying and understanding these so you can (1) successfully perform qualitative and quantitative research projects and (2) critically evaluate the relevance and value of research outcomes with respect to Strategic Product Design.

Strategic Value of Design - 3 EC Master specific courseAt an industry level, we examine how design can contribute to economic performance of product and service firms, explicitly taking environmental and organizational characteristics into account. At a firm level, the course will examine different strategies for design management, examining how design can be organized and evaluated depending on the wider context of the firm.

Internationalisation - 3 EC Shared master courseThe profession of industrial designer has become international is several ways, involving having to face international aspects of product development and management and working in international teams. In order to prepare students for industrial design engineering in the international context, they will be reflecting on the international context of the industrial design engineering profession.

Second year

Joint Master Project - 12 EC Shared master project

The Joint Master Project, carried out in collaboration with students in the Integrated Product Design and Design for Interaction programmes, is a design assignment covering a complete product development process from a strategic product plan and concept development to building a prototype and making a plan for the market introduction.

Graduation Project - 33 EC Master specific project

The last semester is fully devoted to the Graduation Project, which may be undertaken in a company setting or within one of the research groups of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. The graduation project is considered to be a stepping stone to a future professional career. A high level of independence is therefore expected from the student in planning and executing the assignment and in acquiring knowledge, understanding and skills.


In all of the IDE Masterís curricula, 18 EC is reserved for electives. This gives students the freedom and responsibility to shape their own development, to match their professional interests and ambitions. In this way, students can create their own profile. Students who want to broaden their learning can take masterís courses at other universities, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Furthermore, they can take courses at other TU Delft faculties. For those students who want to increase the depth of their development as a design engineer, IDE offers more than 50 different electives. It is also possible for students to sign up for courses from one of the other IDE masterís programmes.

Honours Programme Master

The faculty offers excellent students who have finished their Bachelor programme with an average mark of 7.5 or higher, and/or nominal running students who have shown an excellent performance during their first masterís semester, the opportunity to follow an Honours Programme in addition to the regular Master programme. Altogether, IDEís Honours Programme Master comprises a study load of 21 EC, to be completed in parallel to the regular Master programme and within the regular programmeís time.

English Language Requirements

Requirements for Strategic Product Design

The SPD programme requires design skills, research skills, communication skills, strategic and critical thinking skills and a thorough understanding of the overall product development process. This should be clear in the motivation letter and portfolio.

There is no limit to the number of places in the MSc programmes of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. All students are eligible to apply. Every application will be reviewed on an individual basis by the coordinator of the Masterís programme. Admission will be based on an evaluation of all documents that you are required to send in. An academic credential closely related to industrial design will enhance chances of acceptance. Work experience and non-degree coursework will also be taken into consideration.


The MSc programme in Strategic Product Design starts twice a year. Students can start either in the beginning of September (fall semester) or in the beginning of February (spring semester).

Work Experience for Strategic Product Design

No work experience is required.

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