Master Design

The two-year part-time Master Design is a creative course in the Dutch language that is centred around doing design. This research seeks answers to a self-defined design question by making.

The Master Design Programme

  • the language of instruction for the Master Design is Dutch
  • focuses on doing self-directed design research
  • requires an interesting field of research from which a relevant research question can be developed
  • is a two-year, part-time programme
  • is for professionals working at least three years in a design or related practice.
  • has a study workload of 20 hours per week (30 ects per year)
  • requires a hbo-level diploma (bsc, bdes, bfa) from a design or related programme
  • is open for EU residents only due to VISA regulations for part-time education
  • the admission procedure is based on an admission document and an interview
  • the deadline for admissions is May 15, 2018
  • admission interviews take place in May 2018
  • the program starts the beginning of September, 2018*
  • find out more about current research projects in the master
  • find out more in the admission document
  • *Due to a policy change our new course starts September 2018, instead of January 2018


Background of the programme

Our society is currently undergoing a number of transitions and paradigm shifts. Globalisation, technological innovations and a multitude of communication systems are all affecting various sectors of society. This in turn leads to changes in processes, services and products, and gives rise to questions about how to organise society. There is an increasing realisation of the need to approach these complex issues through design and design research. Since professional design domains are highly mobile, innovative strategies such as open design and the user as designer, as well as aspects of data design, design research and experience design are all required in order to address these complex societal issues.

The two-year part-time Master Design programme is a creative education programme focusing on doing design research. The goal of this research is to find answers to a self-defined design question within an iterative process. Making and testing with relevant participants is combined with storytelling strategies. On a general level, the goal of the student/designer is to deliver relevant innovative knowledge, products, projects and publishing outcomes to the professional sector. On a more personal level, the goal of the student/designer is to apply the outcomes of the design research in order to better position their professional practice while also strengthening their intended role within a ‘new’ practice.

What can you expect as a student?

You will be working on a research topic arising from your own practice. The master programme offers a methodology that helps you to shape your design research and to design a final product, project or service, as well as a publication. Within the design research, you will explore your self-formulated design question (in other domains, this is often referred to as the research question) through literary sources, experts and design methods in which users (i.e. readers, audience, clients, etc.) play a key role in finding knowledge, experiences and answers.

You will continuously reflect upon the design research by maintaining a research blog, by giving presentations, and through regular publications.


The programme is targeted toward designers who are active within a creative professional field. Important criteria for this part-time programme include relevant work experience as well as a demonstrable interest in, and preferably experience with, design research.

Admission criteria include at least a bachelor degree (such as BSc, BEng, BDes, BFA or equivalent qualification) and a background in design. Admission is also based on an initial portfolio demonstrating your motivation; a potential assignment; your field of research; your level of competency; and your current occupation. A personal interview can be arranged through Skype. For further information, please contact Harma Staal, course director of the Master Design programme, by sending an e-mail to

The application procedure for next year’s Master Design programme begins in November 2017. Due to a change in policy, the next academic year will start in September 2018 rather than in January 2018.

Master Design Information and Intervision Meetings

  • On Wednesdays from 10 to 12 hrs
  • January 31, 2018 (information) at 10:00 room W.4139, Wijnhaven 61
  • February 07, 2018 (Intervision on Research Proposal via Poster Pitch) at 10:00 room W.4139, Wijnhaven 61

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