All our courses follow the Umeå University structure and are
organised into 5, 10 or 20-week blocks. Within each block shorter
course modules offer specific skills training, theoretical studies
and practical exercises.
Studio courses are usually part of a 5-week block and are aimed
at learning specific skills and applying them in practical
exercises. Students work individually or in groups. The duration of
studio courses can range from 3 days up to 2 weeks.
Applied Design Projects
Applied design projects form the backbone of the study
programme. Each of the first three semesters includes a 10-week
project carried out in cooperation with an external partner that
can be a company, a research institution or other organisation.
Projects run for half the semester and are structured to introduce
theory and skills at points where they are most relevant. Projects
usually include lectures, study visits, site visits, group method
work, user studies and studio work. Our faculty cooperates with
external partners to carefully formulate the content and direction
of the projects. Project tutoring is given by our own faculty and
visiting professional designers.
The fourth and final semester is devoted entirely to the
examination project and runs for 20 weeks. The exam project is done
in cooperation with a corporate sponsor or other external partner
usually on the initiative of the student. It is important that the
exam project is seen as collaboration and not as commission.
Students are expected to identify design opportunities, establish
contact with a sponsor and write a project brief which includes
project goals, description of methods, anticipated deliverables and
outline budget. The process of defining the projects starts early
in the third semester and is done in dialogue with faculty members
and the Programme Director. A professional designer is assigned as
external tutor to examination projects.
Major semester projects and examination projects are done in
cooperation with an external company, research group or other
The project brief is usually drawn up in detail by UID and
typically includes project description, goals, suggested methods,
expected deliverables and presentation.
Since the establishment of Umeå Institute of Design in 1989 we
have cooperated with more than a hundred companies including major
corporations such as Volvo Cars, Saab Automobile, Toyota, Scania,
Volkswagen and Komatsu CE and also with many small and medium-size
companies. Projects are also frequently done as part of our
on-going applied research collaborations with Volvo Group (SET) and
Internships are not mandatory but students often take the
opportunity during the summer months or by applying for a gap year.
An elective internship course is offered during the third term. The
students can do their internships at Swedish companies or
organisations but it is increasingly common to work