Interaction Design, Master's Programme (Two-Year)

Summary

Interaction design concerns the design of digital artifacts and digitally mediated communication, with a focus on use experience.

Interaction design is a rapidly changing discipline, and we maintain the relevance of our education by working with real-world design cases and external clients including local industry partners and cultural and civic organizations. Navigating a shifting design landscape also requires the critical mind-set of a scholar, and we foster reflective design by teaching research skills and involving students in active research projects.

The two-year master's programme aims to produce designers who can articulate and develop cutting-edge practices in key areas of interaction design: tangible and sensor-based interaction; wearable and embodied interaction; game design; participatory design practices; critical design; social innovation; and collaborative media development. Students approach these genres within a broad context that considers the social, political and ethical consequences of their designs.

We have offered master's degrees in interaction design since 1998, with graduates moving on to positions as designers and strategists in ICT and media industries around the world, as well as to entrepreneurial endeavours.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree or equivalent in subjects relevant for interaction design. Examples of relevant subjects include, but are not limited to: computer science, informatics, information systems, human-computer interaction, new media arts, fine arts, design (industrial, product, graphic, interaction), communication studies, media studies and cognitive science.

Approval of the following submitted material: two work samples of previous, relevant work and an individual response to the application assignment. Please see the 'Selection' tab on this page for further information.

General eligibility + the equivalent of Swedish higher secondary school English course B.

Selection:

Applicants are selected in order according to precedence from work samples, design assignment and a letter of motivation in combination with interview if needed.

Note
There are specific instructions regarding eligibility or selection on the next tab on this page, called Selection. Please, make sure that you read the instructions thoroughly!

About

Interaction design at Malmö University

We educate designers who can articulate and develop cutting-edge practices in key areas of interaction design: tangible and sensor-based interaction; wearable and embodied interaction; game design; participatory design practices; critical design; social innovation; and collaborative media development. Students approach these genres within a broad context that considers the social, political and ethical consequences of their designs. Our education is studio-based, bringing students into close contact with our design professors. 

Who are you?

Interaction design requires the fusion of multiple skill sets. We recruit students with different backgrounds, from design, media, engineering, the arts, and social sciences. Our teaching focuses on creating disciplinary synergy in concrete design work.

Practical design skills and academic research 

Interaction design is a rapidly changing discipline, and we maintain the relevance of our education by working with real life design cases and external clients that include local industry partners as well as cultural and civic organisations. Navigating a shifting design landscape also requires the critical mindset of a scholar, and we foster reflective design by teaching research skills and involving students in active research projects.

Collaboration with the "real world"

Design is a collaborative process, where users and other stakeholders contribute their expertise and values in the joint task of shaping future products, services, media and spaces.

Internationally recognised

Our programme was founded in 1998, making it one of the more established programmes of its kind. We focus on areas where our design and research excellence is internationally recognised: tangible and sensor-based interaction; wearable and embodied interaction; game design; participatory design practices; critical design; social innovation; and collaborative media development.

Content

The programme comprises full-time study for two academic years. Click on the Syllabus tab for more information on courses.

Teaching methods

The programme is based on learning-by-doing pedagogy. This means that we encourage an iterative practice of experimentation and reflection. As teachers, we view ourselves as coaches guiding you in this process.

Studio-based

The programme is studio-based. You will also have access to computer labs, a materials workshop and a prototyping lab for electronics, sensor and microprocessor programming.

Group work in multidisciplinary teams

The primary method of learning is through group work in multidisciplinary teams with classmates and stakeholders. The ability to work in teams and with others — including user communities — is an important part of our curriculum, and several projects are organised in order to practice these skills.

Humanistic approach

With our humanistic approach, you will be practicing qualitative research approaches to support your design of tangible artefacts as well as digital and interactive services, systems and artefacts. We emphasise an understanding of people in their use situations.

Reflective and experimental design thinking and practical doing

Prototyping in the studio and in real world contexts is an integral part of becoming an interaction designer.
 
To practice reflective and experimental design activity, our projects and courses integrate seminars and hands-on workshops introducing students to, among other things, ethnographic fieldwork, visualisation, low and high-fidelity prototyping, microprocessor programming and video sketching, as well as evaluation of use qualities. All these practices are backed up by literature references and examples.

The thesis project

Your thesis project will be a combination of a design project and reflective writing that will involve communicating and discussing your own design work. 

Here is an example of a student's thesis project.

Working environments

Students have access to studio space, and we encourage a healthy studio culture. This is where we conduct group-work, seminars, workshops, presentations and discussions. Close by, there is a well-equipped materials workshop and a physical prototyping lab for electronics and sensor work. Additionally, we often use the facilities at the MEDEA research centre for final presentations, exhibitions, seminars and programme-meetings.

Career opportunities

Most alumni move on to positions as interaction designers, user experience specialists or usability architects in the ICT, telecom and media industries. For some, this involves fine-tuning the interfaces and interactions of current products to users' needs; other interaction designers work on concept development for future products and services. Other alumni find their calling in strategic positions where the role of interaction design is considered in relation to market and business development.

Some interaction designers can also be found in change agent roles in public organisations and NGOs. 

Connections to world-class research

Finally, thanks to the close connections to world-class research, the programme prepares its graduates to enter academic research institutes. A fair number of alumni have moved on to PhD studies and positions as university teachers and researchers, in Sweden as well as abroad. 

 

Interviews

Selection

Once you have completed your application with your academic credentials and English proficiency, you also need to submit work samples, a response to our design assignment and a letter of motivation. 

Deadline to submit the documents for autumn 2019 is February 1st. Only submissions using the document form below are accepted.

To complete your application follow the steps below:

  • create an account and apply to the programme via Universityadmissions.se. 
  • upload your documentation on Universityadmissions.se. You will need to show both a bachelor degree in a relevant field and English proficiency to be considered eligible for the programme. Applicants in their final year, who will receive their diploma before the programme starts, can also apply but must follow specific instructions.
  • submit your letter of motivation (max 800 words) + two work samples (max 10 pages) + response to our design assignment (max 2-3 pages) online to University Admissions. You need to use the template document below and upload it as one pdf for it to be accepted.
  • Fill out the form below with links to your work samples and response to the design assigment. Note: This is mandatory.
  • when submitting your two work samples or portfolio pieces, make sure they show your craft, skills and your ability to execute a project. For each sample, we would like you to breifly explain why you chose it and what you think it says. If it is joint work, be sure to indicate your contributions clearly.

Download the document to fill out here

Save your documents as one pdf and upload it to your account on Universityadmission.se. See Universityadmission.se for more information.

Syllabus

Syllabus for students admitted autumn 2019

Programme Code:
TAIND revision 13
Language:
English
Date of establishment:
10 December 2006
Date of ratification:
02 December 2011
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
03 September 2012
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
02 December 2011

Entry requirements

Bachelor's degree or equivalent in subjects relevant for interaction design. Examples of relevant subjects include, but are not limited to: computer science, informatics, information systems, human-computer interaction, new media arts, fine arts, design (industrial, product, graphic, interaction), communication studies, media studies and cognitive science.

Approval of the following submitted material: two work samples of previous, relevant work and an individual response to the application assignment. Please see the 'Selection' tab on this page for further information.

General eligibility + the equivalent of Swedish higher secondary school English course B.

Organisation

The programme comprises full-time study for two academic years, divided into eight courses as follows:
Year one:

  • Introduction to multidisciplinary interaction design (15 credits)
  • Embodied interaction (15 credits)
  • Collaborative media (15 credits)
  • Graduation project (15 credits).
Year two:
  • Design and social innovation (15 credits)
  • Play and ludic interaction (15 credits)
  • Design-based research (15 credits)
  • Thesis project two (15 credits).
In year two, the studio courses on design and social innovation and play and ludic interaction can be substituted with studio courses on equivalent contemporary topics in interaction design research. This is possible after individual approval by the Study Programmes Board, in order to facilitate exchange with comparable education programmes in Sweden and internationally.

With regards to design methodology, there is a progression from participatory approaches with heterogeneous groups in public settings to participatory approaches where the border between design and use is dissolved, and further to design practice as part of academic knowledge production.

Academic maturity is developed throughout the course, as students work towards an advanced independent project in the first year, and, in the second year, towards state-of-the-art approaches to practice-based research within interaction design.

Content

Courses

For programme with start Autumn 2019:
Autumn 2019 - Semester 1
Spring 2020 - Semester 2
Autumn 2020 - Semester 3
  • -
Spring 2021 - Semester 4
  • -

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
In order to receive a master's degree in Interaction Design, the student shall demonstrate:

  • a broad understanding of the field of interaction design: its transformative character, history and development;
  • substantial knowledge of current research themes and different genres within interaction design, including a broad repertoire of design examples from these genres, and the situations and qualities of their usage;
  • substantial, in-depth knowledge of the individual research area chosen for the second year thesis project;
  • broad knowledge of the various materials used in interaction design, including their properties, limitations and possibilities;
  • substantial knowledge of design methods, approaches and practices when designing for interactions, in individual, multidisciplinary and collaborative settings; and
  • sound understanding of the relationship between details and overall strategies when designing (networks of) products, services, tools and/or events for experiences and interactions.
Competencies and skills
In order to receive a master's degree in Interaction Design, the student shall demonstrate:
  • the ability to apply a design practice of learning-by-doing;
  • the ability to contribute to multi-disciplinary interaction design work;
  • the ability to engage with users and other stakeholders in iterative co-designing processes;
  • the ability to formulate and re-frame fruitful design problems, challenges, openings and questions in complex design situations;
  • the ability to reach beyond design assignments as originally stated and to explore a range of possibilities as a means to ground design decisions;
  • the ability to select and use relevant methods, techniques, tools and approaches in design work, including a broad repertoire of techniques for representing interaction designs;
  • the ability to evaluate and critique design concepts, prototypes and finished systems with regard to functional, spatial, aesthetic, sustainable and ethical aspects of quality, with a particular emphasis on methods and theories focusing on use situations;
  • the ability to reflect upon the design process and its results, and to promote a conceptual development of the interaction design field by articulating knowledge contributions on a research level; and
  • the ability to account for and discuss knowledge contributions developed through design work, including the arguments for these contributions, spatially, verbally and in writing, with various target groups.
Evaluation and approach
In order to receive a master's degree in Interaction Design, the student shall demonstrate:
  • the ability to exercise judgement accounting for relevant societal and ethical concerns within interaction design as an area of knowledge development;
  • insight into the roles of interaction design in society, and the responsibility of interaction designer to develop meaningful technologies, services, tools and experiences from a humanistic standpoint; and
  • the ability to reflect upon and learn from group work and individual design processes and practical experiences, in order to identify new knowledge needs, and thereby take responsibility for one's own continuous learning.

Degree

Master's Degree (120 credits).

Master of Science (120 Credits) with a major in Interaction Design.

Contact

The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the department School of Arts and Communication.

Further information

Enquiries about the Interaction Design, Master’s programme should be directed to K3student@mah.se, including questions about work samples and design assignments related to admissions.

If you have other questions about admissions, requirements or documentation, please contact the Admissions Office at Malmö University, admissions@mah.se / +46 40 665 75 00.

If you need study or career guidance related to the programme, please contact Student and Career Advisor Viktoria Brännström (viktoria.brannstrom@mah.se).

Application

02 September 2019 Day-time 100% Malmö Application code: mau-92014

International application round

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 200000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 400000 SEK

Application deadline 15 January

Apply

03 September 2018 Day-time 100% Malmö Schedule

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 200000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 400000 SEK

28 August 2017 Day-time 100% Malmö Schedule

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 200000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 400000 SEK