Study options

Master's Programme in Design - Collaborative and Industrial Design

The studies in Collaborative and Industrial Design (CoID) focus on design's role in society. Students develop skills enabling them to work as design experts and leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators in a range of roles within industry, business, communities, education, and public sector.
Aalto-yliopisto A Grid / Photo: Unto Rautio

Degree:

Master of Arts (Art and Design)

Application period:

1.12.2021 – 3.1.2022

Language of instruction:

English

Duration:

2 years, full-time

Eligibility:

Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Art and Design

Credits:

120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)
Applying to master’s programmes

General description

Collaborative and Industrial Design is one of the three majors of the Master’s Programme in Design, others being Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design (FaCT) and Contemporary Design (CoDe). In addition, the Master’s Programme in Design collaborates closely with the Master’s Programmes in Creative Sustainability (CS) and International Design Business Management (IDBM). All are two-year programmes, whereby students graduate with a Master of Arts degree in Design.

The Collaborative and Industrial Design study option extends industrial design into interaction design, service design, co-design, and other emerging fields where design activities can enhance the quality of the environment and people’s lives. Students learn empathic, critical, strategic, and technical competencies and capabilities needed in design innovation processes. They are also encouraged to explore novel roles in design and industry. Over the duration of the major studies, students will develop an understanding of design in relation to innovation and contemporary culture, be it local or global, private or public. The students will also develop an extensive ability to design, lead design projects, and collaborate with designers and non-designers, and thus become able to shape change in communities and companies.

Aalto University is now ranked 6th in the world in the field of art and design by QS World University Ranking. The world-class teaching and facilities ensure that, upon graduating from the study option, graduates are able to:

  • Apply design practices to social, environmental, organizational and technological transformations 
  • Apply design strategically in the context of product development and innovation. 
  • Integrate collaborative and human-centred approach into different scales and domains  
  • Use creative design, systems thinking, and participatory approaches to develop solutions accountably and ethically  
  • Provide design expertise and leadership in complex projects in multidisciplinary teams  
  • Articulate and transfer understanding of design process to other design and non-design competencies 
  • Create future oriented products, services and systems as a member of a multidisciplinary or trans-disciplinary team and/or as an individual designer 
  • Combine creativity, curiosity, continuous renewal and expression with analytical skills and practice
  • Understand how to lead and communicate design-driven, often complex processes with empathy, critical thinking and research-founded reasoning
  • Comprehend how design contributes to socio-material transformations for a sustainable future
  • Undertake design research to build knowledge to support and justify the practical work, and to possibly apply for education leading to a Doctor of Arts degree

Language(s) of instruction

In the Collaborative and Industrial Design studies, the language of instruction is English.

Content of the studies 

Overall, the Master’s in Design – Collaborative and Industrial Design comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. Main compulsory studies are selected from the major’s study offering. Students will also participate in joint studies of the Department of Design (12 ECTS) and will produce a thesis project around a design subject (30 ECTS). In addition, students choose elective studies according to their Personal Study Plan.

The first study period is reserved for grounding the students with principles of human-centered design. After this, the study paths become more personal, while a course of interaction design to kick off the Spring semester of the first year is mandatory, independent of the path. The programme provides latitude to select courses from within, or outside the curriculum, to enable tailoring of one’s studies. Some department-level joint studies bring the students of different MA programmes together, for example to focus on Design Research.

During the second year, the thesis project is developed initially in parallel with the course work, and in the Spring often full time. It enables portraying the ability of the student to perform an individual study or project, while most of the projects on courses are team-based and collaborative in nature.

Students are trained in concept design, co-design, strategic design, and design research. They learn skills needed to capture and reframe design briefs and problems to justify their well-founded insights and develop well-grounded design concepts into suitable, validated representations, according to their study interest and path. They also learn strategic skills necessary to manage innovation and entrepreneurial processes and practices in business settings, as well as co-design skills to manage social innovation in organizations and the public sector. As the study paths are quite individual, activity and initiative in creating one are valuable traits. Academic advisor, other staff, and experiences from fellow students are of value in creating one’s Personal Study Plan.

Tracks within the study option 

Despite their specific interests and study path, all students learn empathic, critical, strategic, and technical skills needed in design innovation processes and practices. They are also encouraged to explore roles unforeseen in design and design industry. 

Studies in the field of Collaborative Design focus on people as the starting point for design action, and expands the scope towards collaborative design processes, the use of interactive technologies, and the design of services, in a societal context and in business.  

Industrial Design related courses focus on contemporary product development and manufacturing processes, high-quality form giving, prototyping, and concrete industrial collaboration through projects. The students with this study path are strongly encouraged and supported to participate in a project course outside the department, to expose them to a multi-disciplinary environment. 

Courses on design strategy and leadership focus on the attitude and capability to successfully apply design in the creation, development and management of contemporary business practice. 

Besides the main study contents described above, students can select elective studies either from within the programme, from other degree programmes, or from available minor programmes. Specific study contents are to be agreed upon in the making of a Personal Study Plan. 

Internationalisation 

Upon joining Aalto University, students are welcomed to an international community of competent, creative and responsible individuals. 15% of the students and 40% of the faculty in the University come from across the world, bridging students with the global design network. The School of Arts, Design and Architecture has strong connections to other leading design schools and universities across the globe. Students are encouraged to apply for internships and exchange studies as well as gain experience by taking part in international competitions, exhibitions, conferences and trade fairs to further enrich their personal learning path.

Post graduate opportunities 

The studies at CoID, are strongly grounding in the intended learning outcomes on theory, are well suited for preparing the graduates to continue their studies possibly towards a doctoral degree at Aalto University or at another university in Finland or abroad. 

Career opportunities 

Focusing on design innovation, CoID provides students an in-depth understanding of design’s role in society with advanced skills to work as designers as well as design and thought leaders in various business domains, as entrepreneurs or as innovators in the private or public sector. 

Focus areas of research  

Design research at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture is at the international forefront in sustainable design, practice-based design research, human-centered design and co-design. Our research environment enables and our culture encourages goal-oriented research, imaginative experiments, critical discussion, and transdisciplinary collaboration.

The research teams at the department and beyond contribute to the teaching of many CoID courses directly. Some courses have research project related assignments.

Collaboration 

Multidisciplinary collaboration between the six Aalto University schools is extensive. The School of Arts, Design and Architecture has a long tradition of successfully collaborating with external partners in projects and courses and nurture close relationships with a number of external stakeholders. Companies, research institutes, for profit, not-for-profit and public organizations frequently reach out to Aalto University as one of the leading design schools in Europe to work with students on real-world societal problems and business opportunities.

Study-option-specific evaluation criteria

Applicants meeting Aalto’s general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option. The applications to Master’s Programme in Design - Collaborative and Industrial Design (CoID) will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

Phase I

Academic performance

What is evaluated

Grades of the previous degree(s) [+ e.g pace of studies]

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Applicant shows a progress in studies, and solid academic performance. There may be some weaker areas, especially if there are relevant strong areas visible in the records.

Method of demonstrating competence

Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)

 

Artistic and/or design practice

What is evaluated

Demonstrations of artistic and/or design work or assignments

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

High quality of selected works in the portfolio, both substance (strength of presented concept or solution) and presentation. Relevance of them for the programme objectives. Ability to raise interest by presenting some works concisely, but informatively.

Method of demonstrating competence

Portfolio

assessed together with CV and Motivation letter

 

Relevance of previous studies

What is evaluated

Content and quantity in relation to the applied study-option-specific requirements

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Undergraduate degree in a relevant field

 

Method of demonstrating competence

Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)

 

Suitability

What is evaluated

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies/communication skills

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Well-articulated motivation and reasoning for applying to the programme, including a link to the earlier experiences (studies, work, other). Well-articulated, sensible, and impactful description about the plans going forward after the studies.

Method of demonstrating competence

Motivation Letter

 

 

Other areas of competence

What is evaluated

Work experience and other acquired knowledge/achievements e.g. publications, non-formal education, competitions

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Clearly articulated description of relevant experience in fields relevant to design, and as a productive member of society.

Method of demonstrating competence

Curriculum vitae

 

Phase II

Suitability

What is evaluated

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies/communication skills

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Well-articulated motivation and reasoning for applying to the programme, including a link to the earlier experiences (studies, work, other). Well-articulated, sensible, and impactful description about the plans going forward after the studies.

Method of demonstrating competence

Interview

 

 

Evaluation process

The applicants will be first evaluated based on Aalto’s general eligibility requirements. Applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option.

The selection process for applicants who meet the general eligibility criteria comprises of two phases: 

Phase I

In Phase I, the applicants are evaluated based on the following criteria

  • Admission requirements as stated in the evaluation topic-specific tables above in this document (following topics):
    • Academic performance
    • Relevance of previous studies
    • Recognition and quality of institution
    • Artistic and/or design practice
    • Suitability/Motivation letter
    • Other areas of competence

Only the applicants who fulfill the requirements/are ranked highest in the preliminary evaluation will be invited to phase II in the selection process.

Phase II

In Phase II, the evaluation is based on the following criteria

  • Admission requirements as stated in the evaluation topic-specific tables above in this document (following topics):
    • Suitability/Interview with:
      • Other evaluation topics (above) as they form a coherent picture of the applicant

Part of the applicants are invited to the second phase. The invitation to the second phase is sent to the applicants at latest seven days in advance.

The second phase consist of a face-to-face interview, which can be conducted online.

After the evaluation conducted in Phase II, the best applicants will be selected based on the joint evaluation from Phases I and II.

Study-option-specific documents requested

The documents requested from all applicants are listed on the Aalto University website (https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes). In addition, applicants to this study-option are requested to provide the following study-option-specific documents:

  • Curriculum vitae (see below)
  • Motivation Letter (see below). The lack of this application document will adversely affect the evaluation of your application.

Portfolio

In the portfolio, applicants display work that shows their designerly insights and skills. The portfolio must contain diverse samples of the applicant’s previous scientific, professional and/or design projects.

Designwork can be provided as technical drawings, computer renderings, sketches, illustrations, storyboards or photographs. Include six (6) work samples in the portfolio. The work contained in the portfolio must be catalogued, listing at least the title and/or theme, purpose and year of completion of each piece. The catalogue must also detail where and when the work has been completed, exhibited, displayed or published. Each work should be accompanied by a brief explanation. The contribution of the applicant in the work should be stated in case the work has been completed in a group. The applicant’s name, address and phone number and the degree programme applied for must be indicated clearly on the portfolio.

The portfolio should be uploaded as a single PDF-file. Maximum size for the portfolio is 1.0 GB. Name the file as: Portfolio-surname-firstname.pdf.The intake committee will only evaluate the material displayed in the PDF-file. Links to external material (e.g. website) or video material will not be considered during the intake process.

CV

Applications must include the applicant’s CV indicating personal data, educational background, work experience, exhibitions, publications and articles, awards and grants, study trips and positions of trust.

Motivation letter

Write a motivation letter explaining your reasons for applying for this major and your particular interest(s) in the field as well as your goals and expectations for the studies to be completed at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Describe your strengths and interests, vision of art and design, aspects related to the work and creative goals.

The letter of motivation must clearly answer the following questions:

  1. What is your biggest achievement/success in the field of design?
  2. Why are you applying to Aalto University?
  3. What do you want to learn by studying in the Collaborative and Industrial Design major?
  4. What is the role of the master’s programme for your professional development?
  5. What would you like to do after completing the master’s programme?

Max. 4000 characters

Language of application documents

All the application documents should be submitted in English.

 

 

 

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The application period is open until 3.1.2022 15:00 (UTC+2)

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