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Study plan for MADESIGN Design, Master's, 2 years, spring 2023

Objectives and content

The master`s programme is an opportunity for specialisation with a time frame that allows for experimentation, trial and error, and change of standpoint. Each student applies to the programme with a project and are thus their own source and main instrument. The main focus of the programme is development of the master¿s project, which is a major, independent project. Students choose a specialisation within one of the areas of study at the Department of Design.

Specialisation involves investigating, experimenting and combining fragments and raw materials as a basis for design processes that are expressed in visions and concepts. Master`s students must strike a balance between their own perspectives and others¿ views, general considerations and their own goals, and the world as it is today and future needs.

The master`s programme integrates theory and practice, with emphasis on the relationship between design as a creative practice and design as a theoretical subject. Research through design requires interaction and synergies between different working methods and approaches, as well as between own creative work and critical reflection.

Study Period Abroad

Exchanges and external project periods: The programme allows for student exchanges and/or external project periods for students in the second semester (MAR 2/MAV 2). This must be pre-approved by the student's main supervisor.

Study Plan

Name of the study programme: Master¿s Programme in design

Name of qualification: Master of Design

Number of credits: 120 ECTS

Full-time / part-time: Full-time

Language of instruction: Norwegian and English

Study programme start: Autumn

Objectives and content
The master`s programme is an opportunity for specialisation with a time frame that allows for experimentation, trial and error, and change of standpoint. Each student applies to the programme with a project and are thus their own source and main instrument. The main focus of the programme is development of the master¿s project, which is a major, independent project. Students choose a specialisation within one of the areas of study at the Department of Design.

Specialisation involves investigating, experimenting and combining fragments and raw materials as a basis for design processes that are expressed in visions and concepts. Master`s students must strike a balance between their own perspectives and others¿ views, general considerations and their own goals, and the world as it is today and future needs.

The master's programme integrates theory and practice, with emphasis on the relationship between design as a creative practice and design as a theoretical subject. Research through design requires interaction and synergies between different working methods and approaches, as well as between own creative work and critical reflection.

Through creative processes, and in interactions with materials and tools, students develop sensitivity to form, expression and communication, which is essential in all forms of design, including intangible. In this way, visual language can clarify and express new insights. The students use materials, form, colour, dimensions, images, text, structure and function to create meaning. They make their ideas and concepts tangible, to themselves and others, through design.

The programme is rooted in an academic environment that continues and renews a strong tradition of work in workshops and special rooms, critical thinking and collaboration with the outside world. The academics at the Department of Design are open to new ideas in their respective fields and value diversity in perspectives on different design practices and designer roles. A substantial part of the learning in the master¿s programme takes place through participation in joint academic discourse and discussion ¿ between the students, within the academic community in the Department of Design, and in encounters with other academic environments. All the students on the master's programme take a common seminar programme. The dynamic between individual and collective work is central.

Through their master's projects, students contribute to innovation and professional development, ideally across established boundaries between disciplines. Master's students' work often reflects current societal challenges. The students communicate their own projects in writing, orally and through exhibitions. Master's students are integrated into the research community at the Department of Design and Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design. Research through design is a form of artistic development work that is classified as equivalent to academic research in Norway.

Learning outcomes
Graduates who complete the master's degree have the following qualifications:

Knowledge and skills

  • work methodically and experimentally in design processes
  • develop, execute and communicate major, independent design projects
  • initiate and lead complex design processes
  • illuminate and interpret current social and political issues through own work
  • identify problem areas and suggest solutions for design situations, based on insight into the needs of various users
  • articulate - verbally and visually - design practice intentions, values and opinions to different target groups, also outside their own area of expertise
  • apply knowledge from research and theory in own work.

General competence

  • communicate and interact effectively with others in development processes, within and outside their own field of study
  • take professional disagreement and interpersonal relationships into informed account
  • critically evaluate their own progress and renew their own learning strategies

Admission requirements
Admission requirements The master's programme in design requires a bachelor's degree in design, or other relevant degree equivalent to 180 credits.

In the first round of application, the applicants' qualifications will be assessed on the basis of their application, which includes a project description and documentation of relevant design-related work (portfolio). Applicants who advance to the second round are interviewed.

Requirements for the project description

The project description should be one to two A4 pages long. It should describe:

  • the topic and area that the design project aims to explore
  • the applicant¿s motivation for executing the project and the societal relevance of the project
  • the objectives and main questions of the project
  • how the applicant intends to carry out and present the project

Portfolio requirements

The portfolio should contain documentation of relevant design-related work and projects that demonstrate that the applicant is qualified to execute an independent master¿s project.

Language requirements

Applicants must have a good mastery of English at the start of studies. Working languages are Norwegian and English. Supervision is provided in both languages.

Prerequisite courses:
The master's programme in design includes four semester courses for each subject specialisation, each with a scope of 30 credits.

Required sequence of courses:

Furniture and spatial design / interior architecture comprises the following courses: MAR 1, MAR 2, MAR 3, MAR 4

Visual communication comprises the following courses: MAV 1, MAV 2, MAV 3, MAV 4

Studying abroad as part of the programme
The department facilitates exchange stays at partner institutions or practice periods abroad. Exchanges and internships must be relevant to the student's master's project and can be taken in the second and/or third semester. The student provides an account of his/her plans and priorities in the project description, which must be approved by the student¿s main supervisor in the first semester.

Teaching and learning methods
The independent master's project assumes an individual course of study, where the students themselves make a number of academic choices and manage their own learning. The master's programme requires a high level of independence and a willingness to immerse oneself over a lengthy period in academic questions.

The work on the master's project takes place over four semesters, based on the project description, further research and analyses. In the first semester, the students work on further developing their own project description and a preliminary project consisting of research through design.

The master¿s project must include a reflection component that helps contextualise the project. It should serve as a tool for the necessary choices and assessments made during the design process. The format of the reflection component may vary according to the nature of the project.

In the fourth semester, the master's project is presented to the public, usually through participation in a joint final degree show.

Academic supervision
The main supervisor is the student's main contact person on academic and institutional issues and is responsible for assessing the student's progress. The individual student must have at least two meetings with his/her main supervisor each semester. Some students may want or need further academic supervision during their work on the master's project. It is up to the students to contact and make agreements with any co-supervisors. Supervision in small groups has a central place in the master's programme.

Design in context ¿ common course and seminar programme
'Design in context' is the common academic framework and educational programme for all students on the master's programme. The programme runs through the entire semester and includes seminars and courses on development of ideas and concepts, theory, academic writing, research and preparation for working life.

The courses and seminars included in the 'Design in context' programme are presented each year on the Mitt UiB platform. The content may vary from year to year, depending on needs and topical issues. The students are involved in the planning and execution of the programme.

Subject-specific courses

The education in design comprises a differentiated offering of subject-specific courses that ensure the necessary competence within the various specialisations included in the master¿s programme. Which subject specific courses are compulsory for the individual student depends on the specialisation he or she has chosen. Specialisation is chosen in consultation with the main supervisor.

Forms of assessment

Towards the end of semesters 1-3, students are assessed on the basis of the defined learning outcomes set for each semester and associated assessment criteria. The main supervisor and one other academic employee assess the portfolio, in the form of an oral conversation based on the student's semester report and oral account of their own learning and work. The semester assessment concludes with the student receiving structured feedback on his/her own work and progress.

The semester assessment uses the grades 'pass' and 'fail'. Students who achieve a 'pass' grade have achieved the learning outcomes for that semester, meaning they have realised the objectives for their learning and acquired the defined knowledge and skills. Passed semester assessment is a prerequisite for further study on the master¿s programme, and is worth 30 credits.

Examination
The master's programme concludes with an examination in the fourth semester. During the examination assessment, students are evaluated on the basis of the learning outcomes established for the master's programme and associated assessment criteria for the examination. Separate deadlines will be set for the submission of the written part of the examination project and completion of the practical part.

The examination assessment is undertaken by a commission consisting of two external examiners and the student's main supervisor. The examination takes the form of a presentation that includes a viewing and critical evaluation of the master¿s project, including the written component. The examination uses the grades 'pass' and 'fail'. Students who achieve a 'pass' grade have achieved the learning outcomes for the programme, meaning they have realised the objectives for their learning and acquired the defined knowledge and skills. If the examination work is given a pass grade, the student's master's project will be presented at the master's exhibition.

Reading list

The list will be ready before 1 June or 1 January for the coming semester.

Grading scale: Pass / Fail

Diploma and diploma supplements
Diplomas are issued after the degree has been completed.

Access to further studies
Graduates with a master¿s degree in design may apply for admission to the one-year programme in educational theory and practice (PPU) or the PhD in artistic development work.

Employability
Designers with a master's degree from the University of Bergen can adopt various designer roles and lead complex design processes, depending on their academic interests and selected specialisation in the master¿s programme. In working life, they can contribute

  • agency and independent thinking, rooted in relevant interpretation frameworks and contemporary perspectives on current challenges in society
  • development of ideas and concept, translation of ideas into action and tangible results, projects and processes
  • proactive collaboration in groups, both design teams and interdisciplinary groups

Graduates who specialised in visual communication have an overall perspective on how ideas and concepts can be conveyed using different tools, materials and media. Key disciplines such as typography, illustration, visual identity, editorial design, moving images and interactivity are all forms of expression that can be used to render ideas visible, tangible, and understandable to others.

Graduates who specialised in furniture and spatial design / interior architecture work on the relations between people and their surroundings, expressing their ideas and concepts in the form of three-dimensional objects and spatial forms. They focus on the correlation between furniture design and interior architecture. Form, colour, materials, lighting, ergonomics and construction are central topics.

Designers are employed in public and private enterprises. Many are entrepreneurs who start their own business or individual proprietorships.

Evaluation
The master's programme is continuously evaluated in line with the guidelines for quality assurance at the University of Bergen.

Programme committee
The programme board coordinates the programme of study and advises the department and faculty in matters pertaining to academic priorities, courses and quality development.

Administration
The Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, represented by the Department of Design, is responsible for administration of the programme of study.

Contact information

Contact information Studieveileder@kmd.uib.no

Tel. (+47) 55 58 73 27