Sustainable Design, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English


The Master of Science in Sustainable Design at Aalborg University in Copenhagen challenges future professionals to plan and design products and networks which update and improve systems of consumption and production. Students learn how to find more sustainable solutions, in line with contemporary expectations and needs.

Why study Aalborg’s Master in Sustainable Design?

The Master’s programme in Sustainable Design combines product design with tools from innovation theory, practice theory and user-oriented design. Students learn how to visualise and experiment to develop innovative solutions, and minimise or overcome dependence on ineffective, resource wasting systems for the benefit of contemporary society.

Students will engage in challenging design-oriented problem solving in collaboration with NGOs, companies, public institutions and professional groups. Highlights of such innovative sustainable technologies include energy-efficient mobility, or modernised city waste systems, among others.

Benefits of attending the Sustainable Design degree
  • Informal international environment with high student-staff engagement;
  • Cultivate problem-solving skills;
  • Develop innovative creative thinking;
  • Consider sustainability connected to environmental, social economic, and ethical issues;
  • Learn how to create a business plan and manage a project;
  • Understand the connection between product development and business;
  • Semester study opportunity abroad (traineeship);
  • Guidance from experienced research staff on writing the graduation Master’s thesis.
Job and career

Graduates of the Sustainable Design Master’s degree may find work inindustry,and publicorganisationsto conceive, and carry out innovative processes leading to design and implementation of sustainable products, services and socio-material system solutions.

Graduates of the programme are expected to have many possible career paths, for example:

  • Design engineers who develop sustainable products or systems
  • Process consultant whoproducesinnovative processes
  • Consulting engineer
  • Self-employed entrepreneur
  • Project manager
  • Urban designer
  • Sustainability coordinator
  • Researcher

After completing the Master’s programme in Sustainability Design students will have an easier time finding a job in Denmark. However, they will need to speak the Danish language in addition to holding a Danish graduate diploma.

Project examples for sustainable design professionals:

  • Plan new hospital wards in cooperation with employees;
  • Develop efficient welfare technology;
  • Develop and sell a radical new device to measure blood sugar;
  • Design an IT-based platform that enables carpooling for commuters;
  • Mapping, restructuring and streamlining work processes for a subway infrastructure;
  • Help a business to make their production more sustainable;
  • Design bike airbags solutions;
  • Rehabilitation of older, energy-inefficient mobility or waste systems in cities.

Programme Structure

1st semester: Exploring design and innovation possibilities

The first semester focuses on exploring design and innovation possibilities in relation to the organisation, economics and market. You explore how design and innovation can be realised in organisations and on the market, in a realistic problem definition.

When you have completed 1st semester, you will:

  • know the complexities and interrelation between product/service/system development and business development when bringing solutions to market.
  • know and understand theories of innovation.
  • have an understanding of the elements of a business plan.
  • have knowledge of theories and methods of project management and is able to use them during a design project.
2nd semester: Sustainability challenges

The focus of this semester is on sustainability challenges and how it is possible to face these challenges through a design approach.

When you have completed the semester, you will:

  • have knowledge about a diversity of possible dimensions in the concept of sustainability such as environmental, social economic, ethical sustainability
  • understand current challenges concerned with sustainability on different levels of societal life.
3rd semester: Professional development

During this semester you are given the opportunity to take a semester at another university, do a design project in an international context or do a research project.

4th semester: Master’s thesis

In the final semester, the main focus is on the writing of the Master’s thesis. Students work individually or in small groups, under the guidance of supervisory staff.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • More information Go to the programme website

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

You can apply for enrolment in the Master in Sustainable Design at Aalborg University Copenhagen if you have completed one of the Bachelor educations mentioned below:

  • Design and Innovation (Technical University of Denmark)
  • Integrated Design (University of Southern Denmark)
  • Architecture and Design (Aalborg University)
  • Sustainable Design (Aalborg University)

You can also apply for enrolment if you have completed a similar Bachelor education at a Danish or foreign university. In this case your educational course will be evaluated individually. We emphasise that you have achieved qualifications within the following fields:

  • scientific, technical and engineerical qualifications
  • qualifications within design and visualisation
  • qualifications within the socio-technical field

The Master in Sustainable Design has restricted admission. 40 student places are offered each September. The screening for the student intake takes place based on the following criteria (in prioritised order):

1) Achieved qualifications within the following fields:

  • scientific, technical and engineerical qualifications
  • qualifications within design and visualisation
  • qualifications within the socio-technical field

The qualifications can be documented e.g. through courses or work experience in a technical development department, working with graphic design/web design or working with project development for green NGOs.

2) Knowledge of the education and motivation for studying Sustainable Design at Aalborg University.

3) Grade point average in a qualifying Bachelor education (alternatively with emphasis on the grades achieved at the application deadline if the qualifying exam has not been completed).

Please make sure you send your application form and further documentation via post to the International Office by the required deadline.

Furthermore please note the official language requirements for international students applying to Aalborg University are:

  • IELTS (academic test): 6.5
  • TOEFL (paper-based): 560
  • TOEFL (internet-based): 88
  • Cambridge First Certificate with the grade B

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    12402 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 12402 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

92,200 DKK

Living costs for Aalborg

  • 5790 - 8150 DKK/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.