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Syllabus for

Academic year
PPU140 - Design methodology preparatory course
Konstruktionsmetodik - en översikt
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-18 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPPDE
3,0 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: First-cycle
Major subject: Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Design Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 33114
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: B

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0109 Project 3,0c Grading: TH   3,0c    

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Lars Almefelt

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General entry requirements for bachelor's level (first cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

The same as for the programme that owns the course.
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

B.Sc. in Engineering or the corresponding


Competition will continually force companies to reduce development and product costs while the product value as seen by the customer has to increase. Furthermore, in a market flooded with similar products, innovation and product renewal are great opportunities. Given these conditions, it is highly desirable to support the development of innovative products, adequately considering user needs. Moreover, modern product development is typically characterised by cross-functional teamwork, and efforts to simultaneously consider several issues related to the product and its life cycle. Hence, there is also a need for supporting problem-solving in a complex context. Reflecting these opportunities, the purpose of the course is to provide a general overview of design methodology.
Another, specific purpose of the course is to ensure that students following the Product Development Master Programme at Chalmers have adequate knowledge in design methodology. The background is that Chalmers has a tradition of teaching design methodology already during the first three years of the (Bachelor's) programme. Besides, knowledge in design methodology is a precondition to be able to actively contribute to the team work in the Product Development Project course (MPP126).

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

The student shall acquire a comprehensive understanding of design methdology and become familiar to use design methodology to define and solve a product development task - thus, get a "tool box" for product development.


The course contents include:

  • Product development processes and design methodology - general view
  • Requirements specifications - guidelines and methods
  • Functional analysis - definitions and methods
  • Idea generation - methods and representations
  • Synthesis of product concepts - methods and mindsets
  • Evaluation and decision-making - methods and mindsets
  • Refinement of product concepts
  • Discussion of potential benefits and drawbacks of design methodology.


The course is organised through seven seminars for introducing design theory and methodology, and seven exercises for applying design methodology for managing a product development task. Beyond scheduled classes, the student is expected to spend about 5 hours homework every week (35 hours in total). Completion of the course is worth 3 higher education credits.
The student freely selects and defines a product development task suitable for a miniproject in the course. The project work (the miniproject) can be run in co-operation with one or two other students. The project work shall end up in a written report and a CAD or physical representation (e.g. sketch or mock-up) of the resulting product concept.


Recommended course literature is:
Ulrich K.T. & Eppinger S.D., (2012) "Product Design and Development", 5th edition, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Lecture notes and some other course materials will be handed out at the seminars.

Examination including compulsory elements

For completion of the course, each miniproject (with one to three students) shall submit a written report describing the application of design methodology as well as the resulting product concept. Additional media or objects are appreciated for representation of product concepts. The content of the report shall reflect Course content. In addition, each student must attend at least five of seven seminars and five of seven exercises. Grades are given according to the scale Fail, 3, 4, or 5. The grade reflects:

  • How well the student (students) has applied and reported the design methodology taught in the course (75%), and
  • how successful the student (students) has been in demonstrating the resulting product concept (25%).

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.