Image: Erik Abel


In the PhD programme, a number of mandatory courses in design are included. The Faculty of Science and Technology also offer a portfolio of mandatory, generic, PhD-level courses. More detailed information for enrolled PhD students about current and upcoming courses is given in the UID PhD student handbook. 

Courses at Umeå Institute of Design

Third-cycle studies in industrial design that are to be concluded with a doctoral degree consist of a course component of 70-100 credits which is divided up so that mandatory courses constitute a minimum of 40 credits, of which UID seminar participation constitutes 8 credits. Faculty level mandatory courses comprise a total of 10 credits. The remainder of the credits are comprised of elective courses.

PhD-level courses can be open to PhD students from other environments than UID. If you are interested in joining a course, please contact director of PhD studies Maria Göransdotter:

The subject-specific courses are divided between four thematic areas (at least 5 credits within each area). The mandatory courses are given at UID on a regular basis of 1-2 courses per semester, so that enrolled PhD students can plan their participation in these over the course of their education:

  • Use and users: Deepened insights into user studies, user-centred design, participatory and user-driven design processes, including basic insights into methodology from the behavioural and social sciences.
  • Design histories: The history of design and design research, including basic insights into the relevant research methodologies stemming from historical studies and the humanities.
  • Methodology in artistic and practice-based design research: Practice-based design research, including deepened insights into the research methodologies of artistic and experimental design research.
  • Philosophy of/on/in/through design: Deepened understanding of the theory and philosophy of design, including basic insights into methods and ways of working with theory development.
  • Design research seminar: The research seminar provides a forum for presentation and discussion of ongoing research, as well as and in relation to other work in design research and other relevant discourses.
  • Design ethics: The course explores ethical considerations in design and design research, ranging from specific engagements and interventions to the issues entailed in exploring future possibilities.

Planned PhD Courses

Design Research Methodology, 7,5 cr 18 – Dec. 2023 to 8 March 2024

Design Research Ethics, 5 cr – Maybe winter 2023

Design Theory / Design Philosophy, 7,5 cr – Autumn 2024

Design Histories, 7,5 cr – Spring 2025

Use and Users, 7,5 cr – Autumn 2025

Courses at the Faculty of Science and Technology

Each term, the Faculty of Science and technology gives several of the below mandatory courses. These are announced online. For upcoming course dates, information and application, click here

Mandatory courses

  • Oral Presentation (Muntlig presentation), 1ECTS.
  • Introduction to research ethics, (Etik och redlighet) 2ECTS. 
  • Communicating Scientific Research (Kommunicera vetenskaplig forskning), 3 ECTS.
  • Philosophy of Science (Vetenskapsteori), 2ECTS.  

Elective courses

  • Writing science: How to write and publish scientific papers, (Vetenskapligt skrivande), 5ECTS. 
  • Writing research proposals that get funded, 3ECTS.
  • Innovation and utilization of ideas, knowledge and research results, 2ECTS


If you have any questions or would like to register for PhD-level courses, please contact:

Latest update: 2023-09-27