Image: Erik Abel

Master's Programme in Transportation Design

  • Number of credits 120 credits
  • Study time 2 years (full time)
  • Level Master’s Degree
  • StartingAutumn Term 2024

Transportation is an integral part of any society, with population growth and environmental degradation creating challenges demanding new and innovative solutions. Throughout the education you will learn how to develop conceptual ideas in collaboration with external partners while applying sustainable design methods and systems thinking to address the complexity of mobility in the 21st century.

Admitted to the programme

Here you will find everything you need to know before the programme starts.

Why study the MFA Programme in Transportation Design?

Hear students talk about their MFA TD experience

While studying

The Master's programme in Transportation Design at Umeå Institute of Design is unique in covering general transportation problem areas and their relation to the transport industry worldwide. The study programme is based on the Scandinavian design tradition, which emphasises the understanding of the users' interests and needs as a key to successful products.

Modern methods and aids

The studies convey the ability to work with conceptual ideas, genuine knowledge of work development in the automotive industry, and a good comprehension of the use of modern methods and aids in transportation design. During your studies you develop specific knowledge in areas like presentation techniques, strategic design, visual storytelling, physical and digital development.

Project work with external partners

The programme combines theoretical and creative workshops and intensive skill development. A great deal of time is devoted to project work in collaboration with external partners like research institutions or design department from different companies. During training, the student receives constant feedback from experienced industrial designers working in the industry. All instruction is in English.

Aquapod - A Degree Project

Zain Kadri's concept Aquapod explores how marine tourism could be reimagined in a sustainable way

Degree project event with invited companies

All degree projects are presented at a large event, UID Design Talks & Degree Show, where students from all design programmes participate. In addition to students, relatives and friends, the audience includes representatives from a number of multinational companies.


Internships allow further development of professional skills and the expansion of one's own business networks in preparation for a future career in transportation design. Over the years our students have been taking advantage of the school's broad network of industry connections, engaging in voluntary internships during the summer months between the first and second year in the programme, or by applying for a full gap year sometime before the final thesis project. The school encourages a period of practice in connection to the master education and for this reason an elective third term internship is also a formal possibility in the programme syllabus.

Career opportunities

Many graduates are today employed in major global corporations like Volvo Cars, Volvo Trucks, Scania, Geely, Toyota, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Bentley, Kia Motors as well as design consultancies like Semcon, Kiska and Cliff Design.

During your education you have the opportunity to enrol in industry placements (internships) which will help you develop your professional skills as well as your own network in preparation for the design career.

Depending on your performance and professional experience upon completion of the studies, you may join these companies as junior, senior or freelance designer.

Further studies?

Following your degree you can continue with PhD studies in the Umeå Institute of Design PhD Programme.

Prospective Student FAQ

How well should I be able to communicate in English?

Your English proficiency should be equivalent to English 6/English B from the Swedish upper secondary education.

Are there any grants or scholarships for design students?

Accepted students that come from non-EU countries are offered the possibility to apply for a reduction of the tuition fees.

What should my portfolio contain?

The Master's programme in Transportation Design has special requirements for the portfolio. You can find more information on the admission website

Do I need a degree in industrial design to be eligible?

Holding a degree in industrial design is considered a positive but is not a requirement. 

The basic entry qualifications are 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 in the field of design + Portfolio. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6.

Am I eligible without 60 ECTS credits in the subject of design?

You are unfortunately not eligible if your degree does not include at least 60 ECTS credits in the subject of design. To be eligible you need to do additional studies where you can get the required credits in the subject of design.

Can you look at my diploma/transcripts to see if I am eligible?

It is the Umeå University Admissions that looks at and approves academic documents. Umeå Institute of Design only looks at the portfolio. Umeå University Admissions only assess academic documents if/when you have completed an application and uploaded the requested documents.

Can you look at my portfolio before I apply?

We are not allowed to give any pre-assessments. We start to look at portfolios after the application deadline.

Can I apply to the programme if I´m in my last year of bachelor studies?

Yes you can. You need to submit an official document from your current university stating that you are likely to be awarded your bachelor's degree by the start of the programme. Please see the information provided by Umeå University Admissions for specific information on how to do this: final year of bachelor's studies.

Do I have to be able to speak Swedish to study at UID?

No, our MFA programmes are taught completely in English. The only educations in Swedish are the three-year BFA programme and most of the short single-subject courses. The daily language of communication and information at UID is English.

Can I start the programme, or be a guest student, during the spring term?

Due to the nature of the programme and its sequence of activities, a number of obligatory basic skills are taught in the fall semester. If the student has not passed these courses they cannot participate in several of the courses that follow. Thus, in principle we do not accept applications for the spring term.


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Please be aware that the University is a public authority and that what you write here can be included in an official document. Therefore, be careful if you are writing about sensitive or personal matters in this contact form. If you have such an enquiry, please call us instead. All data will be treated in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation.

Programme is given by:
Faculty of Science and Technology
Contact persons for the programme are:
Alessandro Argenio, programme director

Application and eligibility

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