Master's Programme in Design, 120 credits



Please note: This page is currently under review. Updated information will be available here in mid-October so please check back.


This programme offers a studio-based, interdisciplinary approach to design, tackling societal challenges. Established and innovative design concepts are incorporated in a unique collaborative setup across campuses.

Design, Master's Programme

Autumn 2019, Full-time, Linköping

Design, Master's Programme - Second admission round mainly for Swedish and EU/EEA students

Autumn 2019, Full-time, Linköping

Design, Master's Programme

Autumn 2020, Full-time, Linköping

Application period 16 Oct - 15 Jan

Businesses, organisations and government agencies are facing ever more complex challenges that require innovative approaches. Increasingly, the field of design is expected to come up with answers and help achieve progress. The purpose of this programme is to train qualified and confident designers who can enter these complex contexts, take on a leading role and co-create solid, sustainable solutions.

We are reaching out to students with different backgrounds, not necessarily with previous academic design qualifications, but with excellent design abilities and a desire to develop design beyond specific materials and disciplines.

Please be advised that this programme has a multi-campus setup, with courses offered in Linköping and Norrköping, as well as through blended learning.

Theoretical courses and studio work

This programme incorporates established and innovative design concepts in a unique interdisciplinary setup. Studio courses form the backbone of the programme, providing the fundamentals of working with societal challenges. The challenges are defined on a yearly basis, ranging from Food Waste and Civility to Nomadic Welfare.

Theoretical courses and design projects run alongside studio work. You develop generic design skills and knowledge of design facilitation, co-design and creative practices and design history. You learn about designing and change, and how to make design a strategic practice that is embedded in organisations. Projects are carried out in mixed-competence groups, sometimes with students from other programmes, across campuses with blended learning, using physical and digital resources. You will work and interact with companies, organisations and entrepreneurs.

Sustainability, service and visuality

Elective courses are structured into tracks allowing you to develop skills and knowledge within an area of speciality.

The current tracks offered are:

  • Sustainable Design
    Design of sustainable systems, with accompanying business models, products and services. Project-based exploration of future solutions that may promote a transition to a sustainable society and empower people interacting with those systems.
  • Service Design
    Design and innovation for the service sector, including welfare and industrial service. Engaging humans at the centre of design projects and developing service concepts and social innovations to facilitate transformation of practices and co-creation of value.
  • Visual Media Design
    Design of interactive visual environments, going beyond screens and handheld units towards augmented and immersive approaches. Studio-based exploration of advanced concepts at the intersection of graphic design, interaction design and information visualisation.

A leading design research university

Linköping University is one of Sweden’s leading design research universities, with world-class research into design for services, a state-of-the-art facility for visual media research, and a strong team devoted to design and sustainability.

Syllabus and course details
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The backbone of each semester is a challenge-based studio course, where students apply and develop design skills and knowledge to create understanding of the challenge and work towards solutions.

Challenges, such as Food Waste and Nomadic Welfare, vary across semesters and provide a platform for collaboration and engagement with citizens, companies and organisations, as well as with other master’s programmes.

Studio courses are supported by a set of core courses, currently covering knowledge areas of Co-design, Design Research Methodologies, and Norm-Creativity. Track courses allow you to engage with a specific knowledge area. We currently offer the following knowledge areas:

  • Sustainable Design
  • Service Design
  • Visual Media Design

During the second and third semester, you also have the opportunity to select three single courses from our wide range of course offerings across all faculties. This gives you a chance to explore knowledge areas that you are curious about, or to dive deeper into a familiar subject.

The fourth semester will mainly consist of the final project and your thesis. For your thesis, you are expected to create an individual project consisting of practical design work as well as a written research piece.

Further information

A detailed syllabus, curriculum and information on courses, including literature, can be found in our study information database via the link below. For entry requirements and tuition fees, please click the ”Admission requirements” tab at the top of the page.

Upcoming webinar – register now!
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Career opportunities
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You may find employment

  • as interaction designer or product designer
  • designing for service or policy
  • in the public or voluntary sectors
  • as an entrepreneur or with start-ups
  • with social innovation initiatives
  • in urban planning or design for sustainability
  • in the communications field
  • with established industrial actors seeking to overhaul their innovation processes.

Naturally, you will also be eligible for a career as a PhD student in Design.

Student testimonial
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Lyn Cao - China - Current student

International student ambassadors at Linköping University.

”Social integration in both small and large contexts is my goal. Design is about making things work better. It's about understanding people and creating empathy for what individuals need and want. In service design, we try to understand the big picture of holistic service systems and create solutions with the stakeholders to improve the current services or create new ones. This is a quite new major and it includes knowledge from many disciplines. Also, the process is great fun and full of unexpected surprises! Being fully aware of how design can be used to solve problems in the world, that's what I am going to do.”

Stories from the programme
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Application & admission
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We are accepting about 30 students to this programme each year. Admission is based on your portfolio, an essay assignment and other documents.

In order to apply, you must meet the basic entry requirements. Read about them here. 

To register a full application to the Design master’s programme, all steps below must be completed. Partial/incomplete applications will be rejected.

  1. Apply at no later than 15 January 2020.
  2. Prepare the following documents:
    a) Your resume
    b) Your portfolio, curated and annotated to demonstrate why you are a suitable candidate for the MSc Design programme. What we are looking for is your aptitude for interdisciplinary work, your ability to explore and learn through design, and your craft skills in design process execution, finishing and presentation. Make sure to indicate your individual contribution to all team-based portfolio items. Here are some guidelines on how best to prepare your portfolio.
    c) An essay of 300-500 words on what you find to be a design-worthy challenge, and how the MSc Design programme and the track of your choice would help you in addressing that challenge.
    d) Samples of academic writing (if available). You may include up to five samples. Your bachelor’s thesis can be a very useful sample. You can also submit term papers and other academic writing assignments. Please include a clear statement on your individual contributions to all multi-authored texts.
  3. Upload your documents via this form no later than 3 February 2020.


All texts must be in English, except the academic writing samples (2d). Documents and work samples should be in PDF format. Files can be zipped.

Submission of digital material and additional advice on the application process