Programme, master’s level
120 credits
Malmö daytime 100%
30 August, 2021 - 4 June, 2023
Full tuition fee: 450000 SEK
Open for late application
Apply now

About the education

Interaction design concerns the design of digital artefacts and digitally mediated communication, with a focus on user experience.

Interaction design is a rapidly changing discipline, and we maintain the relevance of our education by working with real-world design cases and external clients including local industry partners and cultural and civic organizations. Navigating a shifting design landscape also requires the critical mindset of a scholar, and we foster reflective design by teaching research skills and involving students in active research projects.

The Interaction Design master’s programme at Malmö University was founded in 1998, making it one of the most established English-language design programmes in the Nordic region. The programme provides a learning experience that is grounded in Scandinavian design traditions while simultaneously embracing transformations within the vibrant, international and interdisciplinary field of interaction design. Students who complete the degree will have a Master of Science in Interaction Design (two-year, 120 credits).

The two-year programme trains students to respond to unprecedented societal needs and professional challenges, teaching the practical, theoretical and critical skills necessary for designing relations between humans and technologies. With small classes of individuals from all over the world, students will become part of an interdisciplinary group exploring how interaction design methods and approaches can respond to the complex times in which we live.

Students enter the programme with different kinds of expertise, from art and design to engineering and social sciences. Upon graduation, they will have built a strong understanding of how their particular skills can be applied to interaction design and how these merge with the specialities of their fellow designers. Students will be ideally situated to work in industry, the public sector, or as researchers.

Please note that we offer one- and two-year versions of our master’s degree in Interaction Design. The degree granted for the one-year degree is Master of Science (60 credits). The degree granted for the two-year degree is Master of Science (120 credits).

In our 1 + 1 degree programmes, the first year of both programmes is identical for all incoming students. The curriculum difference between the two-year degree programmes is the additional four courses in the second year. To help choose the programme that feels right for you, please consider:

The one-year programme offers you a quick exit to industry, as well as the chance to deepen your understanding of the field at an advanced level for a year.

The two-year programme offers you a deeper dive into the field of interaction design in terms of content and approaches, further academic preparation, and is a must if you are considering PhD studies.

Once enrolled, transitioning between the programmes is an available option.

One-year master's programme

This master’s programme emphasises both studio-based design practices and theoretical engagement with the issues at the heart of design processes. Navigating a shifting design landscape requires agility in concept development and prototyping, as well as the critical mind-set of a scholar. This is achieved by structuring the education around courses that require both collaborative group projects and individual writing. Each year ends with a self-directed thesis project, comprising both practical design work and a written thesis. 

Course content includes: participatory design and social innovation; tangible and sensor-based interactions; relational and embodied interactions; design-based research; and design theory. Students will work with real-world design cases and external stakeholders, including local industry partners and cultural and civic organisations. They will experiment with a range of design materials: from digital to analogue, organic to inorganic, electronic to imaginary, and social to bodily.

Courses are taught by faculty members with active research and professional profiles. The real-world relevance of interaction design is not far removed from teaching, as students are frequently involved in ongoing research projects, many of which emphasise the social, political and ethical consequences of design.

f you are interested in how designed artefacts, systems, relations and infrastructures can shape our world, and what we might do with them as designers and fellow human beings, bring your background in design, computer science, community development, arts, humanities or social sciences to work with others to make the vision of fair, caring and sustainable futures a reality.

Graduates can choose to direct their careers within a range of industries, including the political sector, or transition to academic/professional research. This programme is consistent with Malmö University’s vision of integrating academic learning with social change; creating powerful ties between teaching, research and the society at large. The programme aims to provide the tools, techniques and conceptual basis to enact change in the world, not just for the next few years, but for the next 50.

The programme comprises full-time study for two academic years. Click on the Syllabus tab for more information on courses.

Teaching methods

The programme is based on learning-by-doing. This means that we encourage an iterative practice of experimentation and reflection. As teachers, we view ourselves as coaches guiding students in this process.

Studio-based

The programme is studio-based. Students will also have access to computer labs, a materials workshop and a prototyping lab for electronics, sensor and microprocessor programming.

Group work in multidisciplinary teams

The primary method of learning is through group work in multidisciplinary teams with classmates and stakeholders. The ability to work in teams and with others — including user communities — is an important part of our curriculum, and several projects are organised in order to practice these skills.

Humanistic approach

With our humanistic approach, students will be practising qualitative research approaches to support their design of tangible artefacts as well as digital and interactive services, systems and artefacts. We emphasise an understanding of people in their use situations. Students will be taught to develop a critical perspective based on: the close reading of relevant academic texts; participation in seminars; and writing of academic-style research papers. Two thesis projects will challenge students to deepen their practice and thought processes.

Reflective and experimental design thinking and practical doing

Prototyping in the studio and in real-world contexts is an integral part of becoming an interaction designer.
 
To practice reflective and experimental design activity, our projects and courses integrate seminars and hands-on workshops introducing students to, among other things, ethnographic fieldwork, critical and performative methods, low and high-fidelity prototyping, microprocessor programming and video sketching, as well as evaluation of use qualities. All these practices are backed up by literature references and examples.

The thesis project

Students’ thesis projects at the end of each year will be a combination of practical design processes leading to a prototype and a written document, plus the presentation and discussion of their design work in front of peers and an examiner.

Working environments

Students have access to studio space, and we encourage a healthy studio culture. This is where we conduct group work, seminars, workshops, presentations and discussions. Students have access to a well-equipped materials workshop and a physical prototyping lab for electronics and sensor work. There is a vibrant culture of seminars at the faculty and the Medea Talks series frequently hosts high profile design researchers. Additionally, spaces in the University’s buildings (such as Storm and Niagara), and in central Malmö, can be used for final presentations and exhibitions.

Graduates of this programme have moved on to professional positions around the world in the design, media and ICT industries, as well as to academic research and entrepreneurship.

Many alumni take up positions as interaction designers, user experience specialists or usability specialists in the design, ICT, and media industries. For some, this involves critiquing or fine-tuning the interfaces and interactions of current products to users’ needs. For others, it comprises concept development for future products and services.

Some alumni choose strategic positions where the role of interaction design is considered in relation to market and business development, while others apply interaction design perspectives and methods to envisioning change or ‘future-making’ in politics, public organisations, the heritage sector, and NGOs. 

Admission requirements and supporting document

Here you can find the admission requirements for the programme. Please note that you need to submit a supporting document with your application in order to be admitted to the programme.

For general admissions enquiries please contact the Admissions Office: admissions@mau.se

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree or equivalent in subjects relevant for interaction design. Examples of relevant subjects include, but are not limited to: computer science, informatics, information systems, human-computer interaction, new media arts, fine arts, design (industrial, product, graphic, interaction), communication studies, media studies and cognitive science.

Approval of the following submitted material: two work samples of previous, relevant work and an individual response to the application assignment. Please see the 'Selection' tab on this page for further information.

General eligibility + the equivalent of Swedish higher secondary school English course B.

Selection

Applicants are selected in order according to precedence from work samples, design assignment and a letter of motivation in combination with interview if needed.

SELECTION

Once you have completed your application, including your academic credentials and English proficiency, you will also need to submit work samples, a response to our design assignment and a Letter of Motivation. Please note that we only accept submissions that use the document form below.

For students applying in the first application round, the supporting document must be uploaded to universityadmissions.se by February 1. Supporting documents submitted after this date will not be accepted.

To complete your application follow the steps below:

  • create an account and apply to the programme via Universityadmissions.se 
  • upload your documentation on Universityadmissions.se. You will need to document both a bachelor's degree in a relevant field and English proficiency to be considered eligible for the programme. Applicants in their final year who will receive their diploma before the programme starts can also apply, but must follow specific instructions.
  • submit your Letter of Motivation (max. 800 words) + two work samples (max. 10 pages) + your response to our design assignment (max. 2-3 pages) online to University Admissions. You need to use the template document below and upload it as one pdf for it to be accepted.
  • fill out the form below with links to your work samples and response to the design assignment. Note: This is mandatory.
  • when uploading your work samples or portfolio pieces, make sure they show your craft skills and your ability to execute projects. For each sample, we would like you to briefly explain why you chose it and what you think it says. If it is joint work, be sure to indicate your contributions clearly.

Download the document to fill out here

Save your documents as one pdf and upload it to your account on Universityadmission.se. See Universityadmission.se for more information.

Designing to enrich and improve lives

For Kevin Ong, studying interaction design has allowed him to engage with marginalised communities and reflect on what it means to design inclusively.

Designing to enrich and improve lives

For Kevin Ong, studying interaction design has allowed him to engage with marginalised communities and reflect on what it means to design inclusively.

Breaking away from the desk in Texas

Before starting the master’s programme, Kevin was working at a design agency in Texas.

“I worked in industry for a year after my bachelor’s degree, but so much of my time was spent at a desk in front of a computer screen and I missed working with my hands. I wanted to break out and learn more about the field, which this programme has definitely given me the opportunity to do.”

Kevin has dual citizenship between America and Sweden, so Malmö was a natural choice.

“My mother came to Sweden as a refugee following the Vietnam war, so I have a lot of family in Malmö and knew the city pretty well,” he says.  

Design is not an island

One of the main things that appealed to Kevin about the course was the diversity of the classroom.

“The fact that our professional and geographical backgrounds are so different means you learn not only from the programme, but from what each individual has to offer.

“Team work is also really important, and we are continuously reminded that design is not an island. Interaction design is not just about the way we interact with digital media but about the way we interact with others and bring people together in this new age,” says Kevin.

One of his own projects — creating a light installation in a socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhood of Malmö — reflects this sentiment.

“The idea behind the installation was to create a network where people in the community could share their skills. By meeting and getting to know each other, the hope was to close the generational and cultural gap in the neighbourhood.”

He also appreciates how broad the programme is in its scope and opportunities.

“For example, during our last project one person created a game, one worked with immigrants, another with machine learning, while I worked with food. I just love how interaction design can be augmented into all these different aspects of our lives with the goal of enriching and bettering it.”

In it to win it

Kevin was recently selected as one of nine finalists selected to compete at the Student Design Challenge, an international contest held in Lyon. His team impressed the judges with their take on designing for people with disabilities, and took first prize. 

“I heard about the competition through one of my lecturers. I’ve never submitted anything to competition before so when I was chosen as a finalist, it was a pleasant surprise.

“The experience was exhausting but also incredibly rewarding. It was amazing to see brilliant minds come together, and know that there’s such a large community out there that are passionate about interaction design.”

Contact

For more information about the education:

email icon K3student@mau.se