Undergraduate Course in Industrial Design Intensive


Program Description

Course Package - Industrial Design Intensive (Undergraduate)

Industrial Design Intensive is a one-year course package that runs over a whole study year, from autumn to spring term. The autumn term is dedicated to basic methods in industrial design with focus on the product design process, while the spring term includes basics in interaction design, service design and design management.

The goal of the course is that the student should acquire basic knowledge about, and understanding of, the methods and proceedings that are used within industrial design. Special attention is given to the product development process but other areas of industrial design are also integrated in the course, such as interaction design, service design and design management. The course is mainly focused on methods for analysing problems, methods for ideation and creativity and methods for visualisation, presentation and communication.

The course does not give competence to perform industrial design professionally but is aimed at giving students a basic competence of working within the design field. Upon completing the course students are well equipped to work in design related areas on the basis of their previous field of study and with specific knowledge of the design process.

If your goal is an MA degree after IDI studies, please note that in order to apply to a MA programme in Sweden, it is necessary to already hold a Bachelor level degree. The Industrial Design Intensive course will not give you a Bachelor level degree in itself, but is possible to include in a BA level degree within another field of study.

If your goal is an MA degree after IDI studies, please note that in order to apply to a MA programme in Sweden you need a Bachelor degree.

Study Method

The curriculum is structured in four ten-week course elements, in which the students will work individually or in small groups. The education stresses the importance of group learning and the processes in which learning is situated in both theory and practice. Therefore, attendance in class is mandatory daily at least three and six hours per day. The study language is English.

We work with small study groups and high teacher density. Permanently employed teachers and programme leaders, as well as supporting staff are present daily at UID during office hours. Students are encouraged to contact staff and teachers in person when they need assistance, tutoring or have other study related questions. Contacts between staff, teachers and students are easy and informal in character. Our firm belief is that this is one of the foundations of a creative and open study environment where students from different programs, courses and study levels have continuous contact with each other and with staff, both informally and in learning situations.

Pedagogical Foundation

Our pedagogic strategy of combining theory and practice through conducting most of the education in realistic projects with external partners was established when UID was founded in 1989, and has been developed and improved ever since. We strive after a close cooperation with the surrounding community - nationally and internationally - in these student projects. Therefore, we also strive to have a wide variety of external lecturers and consultants with extensive professional experience from their respective subject areas, from society, industry and the university who instruct parallel with the permanent UID teachers.

A gender equality perspective that is built into admission, education and examination characterizes the pedagogical outlook. In Umeå Institute of Design's articulated profile of user perspective and process orientation, diversity and equal opportunity perspectives are central in both project descriptions and completion of projects. A variety of educational methods and processes are employed, such as problem based learning, case-studies, learning by doing, balance and variation between theoretical and practical sections, studying and tests, advising in project form, lectures, discussion seminars and self-reflection. In general, students are expected to take responsibility for their learning process through methodical preparation before, active participation in and self-reflection after all types of teaching and learning situations.

One pedagogical building block is the students' work with "realistic" projects with experienced supervision, often together with an external collaboration partner. The students work independently in the different phases of the design process and they have the possibility to reflect on successful and unsuccessful methods and results. The work with different phases of the design process in project form is in itself an example of problem-oriented learning.

Group Learning

Another pedagogical building block is based on the observation that the students often learn as much from each other as from the tutors or teachers. We believe that knowledge to a large extent is built through group processes and that individual’s experiences and knowledge are valuable starting points for collective learning. As part of this view on group learning, Umeå Institute of Design applies openness at presentations and advising so that all students have the possibility to partake in and learn from each other and from the teachers’ and advisors’ comments to other students. For this reason we also strongly emphasize that all work should take place at the school during the study hours, between 8 am and 5 pm.

All study results are reported individually most often in the form of oral, visual and written presentations but the process is often based on moments of collaboration in student groups. The importance of student group collaboration, group dynamics and group processes are included in the teaching. In the teaching framework we strive to discourage competition and rivalry between students and instead encourage students to share with one another and help each other because the success of the project is based on the sum of the many parts that each and everyone contributes. Therefore, we work actively with keeping an open, investigative and encouraging atmosphere in all learning situations and in the day-to-day activities.


Design process basics, 15 ECTS credits

The course provides an overview of and introduction to the methods and processes used in the field of industrial design and in the product development process. An introduction to visualisation techniques in 2D (sketching) and 3D (modelling techniques), as well as in graphic design, is given. Focus is on the design process in development of physical products and on the visualisation and communication of ideas and design concepts. The perspective of Design for all and sustainable design are introduced in relation to the design process. The aim is that the student understands and performs a basic application of design methods and processes in supervised projects.

Design Implementation, 15 ECTS credits

The course provides a deeper exploration into methods and processes applied in industrial design, with a special focus on ergonomic design, user studies and form development. The sub-cours includes applied studies in project form, in which the main focus is on methods for analysis, problem solving and evaluation in relation to user foucus, Design for all, ergonomics and branding in the product development process. Visualisation skills focused in the course include sketching and computer aided digital modelling and physical 3D modelling (sketch models and presentation models). A basic introduction to working systematically with colour in design is given, and an elective part of the course gives the student an opportunity to choose to develop specific design skills or areas.

Interactions and expressions, 15 ECTS credits

The course includes work in project form with the design process in interaction design and development of non-physical products, in relation to basic cognitive ergonomics, prototyping and visualisation through different 2D and 3D techniques. The course also focuses work with form, styling and visualisation in reference to transportation design, including modelling techniques, and integrating this in project work. During the course students work with producing a portfolio, and are trained in different graphic and visual tools in order to express personal skills as well as processes in a design professional context.

Design communication, 15 ECTS credits

An aim of the course is that the student shall be able to communicate design problems, design processes, design concepts and the role of the industrial designer through different media and in different situations: in exhibitions, in oral presentations and in digital or printed visual and written materials. The design process in service design is introduced and a project in the area of service design is carried out, in relation to both product development and interaction design. Students conduct stduies of consultancies, companies and other institutions relevant to design management and design education, in relation to both design communication and the role of the industrial designer. The role of the industrial designer is examined from a strategic perspective and related to the historical context of the industrial design profession.


Admission is based on the application, academic requirements, language proficiency and home assignment. A selection committee evaluates the applications.

Please note that applications that reach UID after January 15 will only be considered if study places are still avaliable on the course after the first round of applicaton reviews and selection. Should you wish to hand in a late application, please contact us.

Notification of selections results is given via universityadmissions.se

We do not give acceptance notice by phone, nor do we have the possibility to review or comment on home assignments.

A maximum of 20 students are admitted.

Application Deadline

The final date for application is January 15.

Programme Pre-requisites

Students must previously have conducted, and passed, a minimum of one year of full time university studies, 60 credits (60 ECTS) or the equivalent.

Students are required to show a high level of English proficiency (equivalent to English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School).

Tuition/Application Fees

Tuition and application fees is charged for students outside the European Union.

Application fee

Application fee costs 900 SEK (Swedish kronor)(≈ €96 or $129). In order for your application to be processed, the application fee has to be paid in full.

The application fee will cover the costs associated with the processing of an application.

Students who are registered for a course or programme at a Swedish university at the time they submit their application will not be required to pay an application fee.

The primary method of payment will be online with a credit or debit card. This is by far the best method of payment as it is quick, efficient and secure. The application fee of SEK 900 is to be made online.

Tuition fee

The tuition fee for one study year at Umeå Institute of Design is SEK 270 000 (≈ €28 700 or $38 800)

Methods of payment for tuition fees

Students that are required to pay tuition fee will receive an invoice from Umeå University after the notification of admission has been sent out. Details about payment will be updated in the near future.

Important Dates

January 15 Final date to apply.
Step 1. universityadmissions.se

February 1
Step 2. Deadline for home assignment

February 1 Final date to pay application fee or submit documentation of your citizenship status to confirm that you do not need to pay application or tuition fees.Deadline for supporting documents (previous education) to arrive in Strömsund.

End of March: Notification of the selection results sent out via universityadmissions.se

April: Last date for accepted students to reply to offer of study place.

Middle of April: Second notification of the selection results is sent to applicants on the reserve list.

Late applications

Please note that applications that reach UID after the deadline will only be considered if study places are still available on the course after the first round of application reviews. Should you wish to hand in a late application, please contact us.

Last updated Jan 2019

About the School

Umeå Institute of Design provides five academic programmes focusing exclusively on industrial design and related specializations. Programmes range from Bachelor’s to Master’s and Doctoral levels. We o ... Read More

Umeå Institute of Design provides five academic programmes focusing exclusively on industrial design and related specializations. Programmes range from Bachelor’s to Master’s and Doctoral levels. We offer highly competitive, professional and international industrial design educational programmes supported by exceptional technical facilities and resources. Read less