Programme, master’s level
60 credits
Malmö daytime 100%
29 August, 2022 - 4 June, 2023
Full tuition fee: 225000 SEK
Apply by 17 January
Apply now
Students that complete the education will have a skillset that potentially lets them change and innovate the design field.

Susan Kozel, Professor

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 organisations. 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 (one-year, 60 credits).

This one-year interaction design 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 within industry, the public sector, or as researchers.

The 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 mindset of a scholar. This is achieved by structuring the courses around both collaborative group projects and individual writing. The year culminates 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; and relational and embodied interactions. 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.

If 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 iteractive 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 practicing 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. 

Malmö University also offers the two-year version of the programme which provides you with a deeper dive into the field of Interaction design. 

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. 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.

Two-year master's programme

Students who are admitted to the one-year programme and who wish to continue for another year can apply for admission to a later part of the programme if they meet the entry requirements.

Read more about applying to a later part of the programme

Entry requirements and selection

Here you can find the entry requirements, as well as how the available study places are distributed between applicants in the selection. For general admissions enquiries please contact the Admissions Office: admissions@mau.se

Entry requirements

Bachelor's degree or equivalent in subjects relevant to 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 6.

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.

Apply with supporting document

Please note that you are recommended to submit a supporting document with your application to this programme. If you fulfil the entry requirements but do not submit the supporting document, you can only be admitted if space allows. Please note that we only accept submissions that use the document form below.

To complete your application with the supporting document, 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 supporting document including a 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 document 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.
  • For students applying in the first admission round (international admission round, 18 October to 17 January), the supporting document must be uploaded to universityadmissions.se by 1 February, 23.59 Central European Time (GMT +1). 
  • For students applying in the second admission round, (national admission round, 15 March to 19 April), the supporting document must be uploaded to antagning.se or universityadmissions.se by 2 May, 23.59 Central European Time (GMT +1). 

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. Supporting documents submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. 

When you study with us, you will own your knowledge

Susan Kozel is a professor of Philosophy, Dance and New Media at Malmö University. Her scholarly and professional background is one example of the interdisciplinary perspectives that teachers bring to the Interaction Design programme, where she has been teaching for ten years.

When you study with us, you will own your knowledge

Susan Kozel is a professor of Philosophy, Dance and New Media at Malmö University. Her scholarly and professional background is one example of the interdisciplinary perspectives that teachers bring to the Interaction Design programme, where she has been teaching for ten years.

What makes the programme unique?

“There are three points that make the Interaction Design programme at Malmö University special! The first point is our location, being situated in Malmö opens up a slew of possibilities for students on the programme to work with stakeholders in the region. The second point is our history! We date back to when the University was founded in the 1990s. We built our programme out of the Nordic movement in participatory design which locates the work of the designer in the context where people actually encounter design. This is something we carry with us to this day. We have a very strong, outwardly focused perspective on the world, we look at where design can intervene, where it can support, and where design can promote change in the world. The third point is the crossover of critical thinking and design methods that we teach. We work at teaching methodologies and teaching practices, at the same time as having students cultivate the ability to question why they're doing what they're doing.

“We're offering a design programme that does more than have you fit into the existing design field, it helps you transform the design field. The education will allow you to become a designer, working in areas that might be considered outside that of design. So, through our way of teaching, design skills become relevant in other fields, other industries, like government and policy, working with healthcare, working in the arts et cetera.”

What are the main differences between the one-year and two-year version of the programme?

“The one-year Interaction Design Master programme (IDM) grounds you in the different methods, materials and critical perspectives required by an Interaction Designer. The one year IDM will teach you collaborative processes and how to work with stakeholders. It will provide a basis in digital prototyping and give you the opportunity to develop your ideas in an independent thesis project. If for example you are a designer who wants to change from graphic or industrial design to interaction design, this programme will let you drop down and absorb what interaction design can offer you to then launch back out into your working life.  

In the two-year IDM programme, you get an opportunity to deepen your skills and your judgement so that you are not just contributing to the design field you are helping to shape it. The second year cultivates greater depth, maturity and integration of diverse approaches to design. You will begin to understand design research. When you choose to the 2 year IDM with us, you will start to own your knowledge. If you want to pursue a lifelong career in design, I recommend the two-year masters’ programme!

What kind of career does the programme prepare you for?

“Our students go on to do a wide range of things. They surprise us and that's how we want to keep it! We always have students going into UX design. Some end up working for the bigger organizations like Ericsson, IKEA or Google. There's definitely a route to what might be considered more classical interaction design. But many students find their way into start-ups, like those related to sustainability, social innovation and wearable design. The heritage and museum sector is another big area, and some each year students go on to pursue PhD’s.

What type of student is this programme for?

“We have a strong interdisciplinary group from many countries. I think they have a spirit of exploration, generosity, and a desire to dive into an intense process of learning. You can be an entrepreneur, an innovator or an activist, but you should be a committed to exploring design and have a willingness to be able to work with others and to work hard. We're not going to just tell you what to do. We would like you to come in with your eyes already open to the world, with a sense that you want to do something, to make something, to change something, to learn something. Then we will give you as many skills as we can either in a year or two years and support you into developing your own personal vision as a designer in the world. It is a wonderful time to be an interaction designer.”

Contact

For more information about the education:

K3student@mau.se