All our programmes follow the Umeå University structure, and
courses and projects are organized into 5, 10 or 20-week blocks.
Within each block there are shorter course modules that offer
specific skills training, theoretical studies and practical
exercises. Project work forms the backbone of the Advanced Product
Design Programme. Each of the first three terms includes a major
project, which is usually carried out in cooperation with an
external partner that can be a company, a research institution or a
local authority. The fourth term is devoted entirely to the degree
project. In total 50 of the 80 weeks of studies are dedicated to
practical project work.
Group and Individual Work
A major part of the pedagogical philosophy practiced at the
Advanced Product Design Programme is the conscious use and mixture
of both group and individual work. All creative courses and term
project involves a combination of group work and individual work.
We have received acknowledgement from our professional network that
this quality is evident and appreciated when our students are
employed or out on internships.
Skill-based and Creative Courses
Both skill-based and creative courses are usually planned in
5-week blocks and are aimed at learning specific skills and
applying them in practical exercises.
Realistic Projects with Industry and External Partners
The goal of the project work is to train the students in
strategic areas of the product development process, and the
projects are structured to introduce theory and skills at points
where they are most relevant, each project has its own theme and
emphasis. The main themes are: Design for user
experience/people-centered design, strategic design and
Projects usually include lectures, study visits, site visits,
group method work, user studies and studio work. The complexity of
the projects increases during the study program to culminate in an
independently conducted MA degree project.
Individual Degree Project
The fourth and final term is devoted entirely to the degree
project and runs for 20 weeks. The degree project is often carried
out in cooperation with a corporate sponsor or other external
partner, usually on the initiative of the student. It is important
that the degree project is seen as collaboration and not as
commission. Students are expected to identify design opportunities,
establish contact with an external partner and write a project
brief that includes a problem definition, goals and wishes,
description of intended work methods, anticipated deliverables, a
time table and a budget overview.
The process of defining the projects starts early in the third
term and is done in dialogue with the programme director.
Facilities Accessible 24 Hours a Day
Umeå Institute of Design is open for the students, 24 hours a
day, 10 months per year. This implies that the students, after
completed training and obtained licenses, are entrusted access to
all the computer labs, various workshops and studios at any
External Tutors for Creative Courses and Projects
Besides the involvement of faculty members, experts and
professional designers are brought in nationally as well as
internationally to provid the best possible knowledge, inspiration
and tutoring within their fields.
Term and degree projects are often carried out in cooperation
with external partners. The project brief is usually drawn up in
detail by UID and typically includes a project description,
expected goals, defined work methods, anticipated deliverables and
a time schedule.
Our students are encouraged to carry out one or more
internships, between their first and second study year.