Master of Arts in Design

Zurich University of the Arts, Department of Design

Program Description

Master of Arts in Design

Zurich University of the Arts, Department of Design

Master of Arts in Design

Situated at the heart of a thriving urban environment, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) is ideally suited to delivering a cutting edge Master of Arts in Design. Our programme aims to promote skills excellence and to meet the demands of a complex, design-oriented environment. Coursework prepares students for their future professional careers through nurturing individual interests based on innovative thinking and situational action. Our programme therefore focuses on elaborating research-driven and application-oriented design solutions.

Course contents and structure

Our MA Design consists of five fields of excellence. Students may major in any of these fields. The core component of each major is the individual MA project.

Developing comprehensive identities, visual systems and editorials, visualising scientific knowledge and conveying knowledge in images.

Product and conceptual development for sports, mobility, leisure, and tourism, with special reference to innovation, contexts, trends, technologies and materials, social and geographical conditions.

Concept and system design for computer games, physical computing, and visual interfaces. Core focus on human-machine interaction design and optimisation.

Coursework focuses on the development, staging, and designing of social and business events and cultural interventions in media, urban, and social environments. Emphasis is placed on spectacles and shows and their production, analysis, and critical reflection.

Analysis, critical reflection, and visualisation of trends within the chain of socio-economic conditions. Coursework centres on the creation of lifeworlds for the design industry and other business sectors.  

In addition to majoring in one of the five fields of excellence, MA Design students pursue a minor subject focused on the theory of methods in the  areas of “production,” “communication,“ and “research.”  The MA Design provides close collaboration with research and industry.

Career pathways

MA Design students need to be self-motivated and well-organised. Coursework further enhances these prerequisites and qualifies graduates for leadership in the design business, self-employment, teaching, and research. Graduates may also progress to PhD programmes and academic careers.

Admission requirements

-- Professional requirement:  skills assessment in the chosen field of excellence

-- Motivation and project-based requirement: candidates are required to submit a project proposal that provides a convincing outline of their project and its research-oriented approach.

Portfolio-based admissions are also possible.

The MA Design at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) welcomes applications from candidates seeking professional and personal development, and from talented graduates in the fields of technology, media, economics, culture, architecture, and the arts.

Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Feb. 2017
Full time
Start date Feb. 2017
Switzerland Zurich
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