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Storytelling in Design, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Storytelling i design

This syllabus is valid: 2019-12-30 and until further notice

Course code: 5ID227

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Industrial Design: Second cycle, has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Two-grade scale

Responsible department: Umeå Institute of Design (UID)

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


This course provides both theoretical and practical information related to visual storytelling used for conceptual design creation, visualisation and communication. It includes storytelling theory, movie editing and a creative project work. 
Module 1 Visual Storytelling Theory 3 credits 
During the first part of the course students are introduced to the theory, methods and techniques used in visual storytelling. Students also learn about video editing using professional digital tools. 
Module 2 Creative Assignment 4,5 credits 
In this section of the course students develop a creative assignment from which the outcome is an individual or a group presentation. The objective of this creative project is to apply storytelling techniques to generate an advanced visual presentation that communicates the main inspiration or motivation behind the design of a new vehicle or transportation system.

Expected learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course the students should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding 

  • Account for the purpose of storytelling in relation to the design process. 

Competence and skills 

  • Plan and execute a storytelling assignment showing skills in time and project management. 
  • Propose and present an original visual story that causes an expected emotional reaction on a target audience. 
  • Create an original presentation involving a visual sequence that explains a concept, idea or context in which a new vehicle or a transportation system could be developed. 
  • Produce digital material in time-based media format, suitable for web publication. 

Judgement and approach 

  • 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 need to have passed all previous courses on the Master`s Programme in Transportation Design at Umeå Institute of Design or the equivalent. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6.

Form of instruction

Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, creative exercises and literature studies. 
Education is carried out in English.

Examination modes

Students are evaluated through oral presentations and the creative project will be examined based on the completion of a list of deliverables, typically an illustrated story-board and the final time-based media containing the original visual story. 
In order to obtain credit for the 7.5 credit course, all modules and assignments must be successfully completed. Students receive a mark of either Pass or Fail for each assignment and module.

For students in need of special pedagogical support due to disabilities, individual adaptation of examination forms should always be considered based on the students 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.

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 (www.student.umu.se/english) 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.


Valid from: 2021 week 41

Course literature

Miller Carolyn Handler
Digital storytelling : a creator's guide to interactive entertainment
3. ed. : Burlington, Mass. : Focal Press : cop. 2014 : 546 s. :
ISBN: 978-0-415-83694-4
Search the University Library catalogue

Reference literature

Reference literature is not mandatory.

Roam Dan.
The back of the napkin : solving problems and selling ideas with pictures
Expanded ed., 1st ed. : New York : Portfolio : 2009. : xv, 282 p. :
ISBN: 978-1-59184-306-1
Search the University Library catalogue