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Degree project in Transportation Design, 30 Credits

Swedish name: Examensprojekt i transportdesign

This syllabus is valid: 2020-05-11 and until further notice

Course code: 5ID200

Credit points: 30

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Industrial Design: Second cycle, contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)

Grading scale: Two-grade scale

Responsible department: Umeå Institute of Design (UID)

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2020-05-04


The course objective is for students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to work professionally as a transportation designer. 
Module 1. Research (6 credits) 
The first thesis phase includes gathering of facts where the focus is on exploring the problem area, define relevant design problems and to plan the further design work. 
Module 2. Independent design work (19.5 credits) 
The second thesis phase is performed as a design process. The focus of the course is to demonstrate the ability to communicate and collaborate in a professional manner with experts in the same or other fields, with project partners and prospective users of the intended product. As part of the examination, the student should in a professional manner account for the design process, argue for relevant facts, social context and a user focus to justify the methods, techniques and tools used to perform, explain and visualize the process and the result. 
Module 3. Presentation (4.5 credits) 
The course results are presented in writing as a Master thesis, as well as in exhibition form.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student shall be able to:

Knowledge and understanding 

  • Identify and define a complex design opportunity within the field of transportation design and argue for its relevance with regard to both professional and societal contexts with a clear user focused approach. 
  •  Independently plan and conduct a vehicle or transportation system design project for the defined complex design opportunity showing professional project management skills in accordance to a time and activity plan proposed by the student and agreed with all parts involved in tutoring the work. 

Competence and skills 

  • Show ability to independently and creatively formulate new questions within the transportation design field and contribute to the professional evolvement of design knowledge, relating this to the ability to identify the own need of knowledge and take responsibility for the own development of knowledge and skills. 
  • Communicate professionally with both experts and non-experts in the design field, as well as professionals in other fields during different stages of the project, showing maturity in methods of processing and evaluating input given to the project. 
  • Independently create developmental form studies and advanced three-dimensional presentation models. 
  • Demonstrate an ability to, with an evolved personal expression, create and realise the own design ideas by choosing adequate means of visualisation and testing in relation to the project. 
  • Visualise and demonstrate basic technical understanding about the vehicle (or transportation system) use and operation as well as illustrate the final design proposal in its context and from the users perspective. 
  • Orally and in writing using English language, clearly account for, analyse and reflect upon the own design process and final result in relation to both the specific project and to the educational and future design professional context. 

Judgement and approach 

  • Assess relevant artistic, societal and ethical aspects and apply these in the design process. 
  • Reflect about personal learnings and own artistic development and account for future actions connected to the insights and feedback obtained during the course. 

Required Knowledge

A Bachelor's degree or equivalent first-cycle qualification comprising of at least 180 ECTS or a corresponding qualification from an internationally recognized university. Specific entry requirements are: 60 ECTS credits in the field of Design. Student must have passed all previous courses on the Master`s Programme in Transportation Design at Umeå Institute of Design. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6.

Form of instruction

An important part of the learning during the course consists of the students own time planning and diligence during a 20 week period. Thus, the course is to a large extent student driven and individual, with support in the form of tutoring by the project tutor(s) and supervision by the course responsible. Education is carried out in English.

Examination modes

Examination is carried out in the form of individual presentations - oral, visual and written - at specific gateways during the course and as a Master thesis at the end of the course.
After completing the course, one of the grades Fail (U) or Pass (G) is awarded the student. Students receive a grade of either Pass (G) or Fail (U) for each gateway, and for the final examination. In order to obtain credits for the course, the student must have produced an approved project brief with problem statement and time plan as conclusion to Module 1, made approved oral and visual presentations that describe the design process half-way into the course and a final exam presentation that includes a model as conclusion to Module 2. Credits for Module 3 are given upon the approved submission of a master thesis.

For students in need of special pedagogical support due to disabilities, individual adaptation of examination forms should always be considered based on the student's needs. The examination form is adjusted within the framework of the course syllabus' intended learning outcomes. The course coordinating teacher shall, upon request from the student, consult with the examiner to quickly decide on an adjusted form of examination. The decision shall then be conveyed to the student.

For students who have not obtained the grade Pass, other examination sessions will be arranged. A student who for two consecutive examinations for the same course or sub-course has not been passed, has the right to have another examiner appointed, if there are no special reasons against this (Higher Education Ordinance chapter 6, 22 §). The request for a new examiner shall be made in writing to the Head of Department at Umeå Institute of Design.

Equivalency credits cannot be given to this course since it is a concluding course and a summary of the knowledge the students has assimilated during the studies at Umeå Institute of Design.


Valid from: 2021 week 41

Reference literature

Design : intelligence made visible
Bayley Stephen, Conran Terence
London : Conran Octopus : 2007 : 335 p. :
ISBN: 9781840914771
Search the University Library catalogue

Harari Yuval Noah
Sapiens : a brief history of humankind
First U.S. edition : New York : HarperCollins : c2015 : 443 s. :
ISBN: 9780062316097
Search the University Library catalogue

Harari Yuval Noah
Homo deus : a brief history of tomorrow
First U.S. edition. : New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers : 2017. : [6], 449 pages :
ISBN: 978-0-06-246431-6
Search the University Library catalogue

May Rollo
The courage to create
New York : W.W. Norton : 1994 : 143 s. :
ISBN: 0-393-31106-6
Search the University Library catalogue