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Degree Project in Advanced Product Design, 30 Credits

Swedish name: Examensprojekt i avancerad produktdesign

This syllabus is valid: 2013-12-30 valid to 2014-01-05 (newer version of the syllabus exists)

Course code: 5ID201

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: Pass course only, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Umeå Institute of Design (UID)

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2014-01-16


The course objective is for students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to work professionally as a product designer.

Section 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.

Section 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.

Section 3. Presentation (4.5 credits)
The thesis presented in writing as a report, orally and visually as a presentation, as well as in exhibition form.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student shall be able to:
  • identify and define a relevant design problem of high complexity within the subject advanced product design, and argue for its relevance in relation to both professional field and social context with a clear user -focused approach.
  • demonstrate advanced skills in project planning, by independently establish and carry out a design project meant to find a solution to the defined design problem. The project plan must include an individual schedule and project budget.
  • communicate expertly with both experts and laymen within the design area, as well as with professionals in other fields during different phases of the project.
  • demonstrate maturity in the selection, execution, analysis and documentation of the methods used in the initial investigation and in user and field studies, as well as in evaluating the initial design concept and approval of the final design solution.
  • demonstrate the ability to, with a developed own expression, create and implement their own ideas by choosing the appropriate tools for the visualization of the project.
  • independently visualize the final result of the design project in the form of advanced three-dimensional presentation of models and sketches of project development
  • visualize and demonstrate basic technical understanding of production, function and use of the final design proposal as well as to illustrate it in context and from the user's perspective.
  • orally and in a written report in English, clearly describe, analyze and reflect on their design process and the final outcome in relation both to the specific project and the education and future design professions context.


Required Knowledge

Univ: In order to be admitted to the course, students must have completed a BA in Industrial Design or the equivalent as well as all previous courses on the Master`s Programme in Advanced Product Design at Umeå Institute of Design.
Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B (IELTS (Academic) with a minimum overall score of 6.5 and no individual score below 5.5. TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test) with a minimum score of 575 and a minimum TWE score of 4.5). TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) with a minimum score of 90 and a minimum score of 20 on the Writing Section).

Form of instruction

An important part of the learning during the course consists of the students own time planning and work during a 20 week period. Thus, the course is to a large extent student driven, 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 presentations – oral, visual and written – at specific gateways during the course and as a final presentation 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 credit for the course, the student must have produced an approved project brief with problem statement and time plan, made approved presentations at mid-review and 5-weeks-before review, and made a final oral and visual presentation of the project including a presentation model and an exhibition poster.
A written report, documenting the work process and the final result, have to be handed in to the Programme director.
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.

Students have the right to request that previous studies, or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in a professional, work-related capacity, be validated and transferred into credits on an equivalent course or programme at Umeå University.  Applications for credit transfer should be addressed to Student Services/Degree Evaluation Office. More information can be found at the Umeå University student web site ( and in Chapter 6 of the Higher Education Ordinance.  Appeals may be made to the Higher Education Appeals Board (ÖNH) against a decision by the university not to approve an application for credit transfer (Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 12), even in cases where only a part of the application has been rejected.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.