This new programme offers a studio-based, interdisciplinary approach to design, with collaborations tackling societal challenges. Established and innovative design concepts are incorporated in a unique interdisciplinary setup across campuses.

Businesses, organisations and government agencies are facing ever more complex challenges that require innovative approaches. Increasingly, the field of design is expected to come up with answers and help achieve progress. The purpose of this programme is to train qualified and confident designers who can enter these complex contexts, take on a leading role and co-create solid sustainable solutions.

We are reaching out to students with different backgrounds – not necessarily with previous academic design qualifications, but with excellent design abilities and a desire to develop design beyond specific materials and disciplines.

Please be advised that this programme has a multi-campus setup, with courses offered in Linköping and Norrköping, as well as online.

Theoretical courses and studio work

This programme incorporates established and innovative design concepts in a unique interdisciplinary setup. Studio courses form the backbone of the programme, providing the fundamentals of working with societal challenges. The challenges are defined on a yearly basis, ranging from Food Waste and Civility to Nomadic Welfare.

Theoretical courses and design projects run alongside studio work. You develop generic design skills and knowledge of design facilitation, co-creative practices and design history. You learn about designing and change and how to make design a strategic practice that is embedded in organisations. Projects are carried out in mixed-competence groups, sometimes with students from other programmes, across campuses with blended learning, using physical and digital resources. You interact with companies, organisations and entrepreneurs.

Three tracks

Elective courses are structured into tracks allowing you to develop skills within an area of speciality.

The current tracks offered are:

Sustainable Futures

Design of sustainable systems, with accompanying business models, products and services. Project-based exploration of future solutions that may promote a transition to a sustainable society and empower people interacting with those systems.

Transformative Service

Design and innovation for the service sector, including welfare and industrial service. Engaging humans at the centre for design projects and developing service concepts and social innovations to facilitate the transformation of practices and co-creation of value.

Visual Media

Design of interactive visual environments, going beyond screens and handheld units towards augmented and immersive approaches. Studio-based exploration of advanced concepts at the intersection of graphic design, interaction design and information visualisation.

A leading design research university

For your thesis, you are expected to undertake an individual project that comprises practical design work and writing a thesis.

Linköping University is one of Sweden’s leading design research universities, with world-class research into the design for services, a state-of-the-art facility for visual media research, and a strong team devoted to design and sustainability.

Syllabus and course details

The backbone of each semester is a challenge-based studio course in which students apply and develop design skills and knowledge to create an understanding of the challenge and work towards solutions.

Challenges, such as Food Waste and Nomadic Welfare, vary across semesters and are supported by a set of core courses. The studio courses also provide a platform for collaboration and engagement with citizens, companies and organisations, as well as with other programmes.

The first-semester challenge will focus on Food Waste, supported by core courses covering the knowledge areas of Co-Design and Design Research Methodologies. Track courses entail knowledge areas Sustainable Strategies, Contemporary Forms of Value-Creation, and Advanced Visualization.

The second-semester challenge will focus on Nomadic Welfare, supported by a core course covering knowledge on Design and Business. Track courses entail knowledge areas such as Smart Systems, Thinking with Representations, and Augmented Information Spaces.Electives will cover knowledge areas such as Wood Innovation, Norm-Critical Design, and Entrepreneurship.

The third-semester challenge will be announced during 2017. Track courses entail knowledge areas Sustainable Strategies, Contemporary Forms of Value-Creation and Advanced Visualisation. Electives will cover knowledge areas such as Wood Production and Entrepreneurship.

The fourth semester will mainly consist of the final project and your thesis. For your thesis, you are expected to create an individual project consisting of practical design work as well as a written research piece.

Career opportunities

You may find employment

  • as an interaction designer or product designer
  • designing for service or policy
  • in the public or voluntary sectors
  • as an entrepreneur or with start-ups
  • with social innovation initiatives
  • in urban planning or design for sustainability
  • in the communications field
  • with established industrial actors seeking to overhaul their innovation processes.

Naturally, you will also be eligible for a career as a PhD student in Design.

Program taught in:

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Last updated October 22, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
2 years
252,000 SEK
Applies only to students from outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland
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Start Date
Sep 2019
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