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Syllabus for

Academic year
PPU091 - Design theory and research  
Teknisk design: teori och forskning
Syllabus adopted 2020-02-17 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPDES
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Industrial Design Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 16121
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: A

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0120 Written and oral assignments 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c    

In programs



Helena Strömberg

  Go to Course Homepage


MTS 5,0 hec


General entry requirements for Master's level (second 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

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
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



The aim of the course is that the student should develop further knowledge of the theories, processes and methods that characterize product development work, as well as prepare the student for assimilating design science literature and research in future studies and work life.

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

  • differentiate between different research approaches; specifically, research for, research on and research through design and product development
  • reflect upon current research on the themes and topics addressed in the course 
  • compare theories on design and product development work to own empirical findings, and to own and others practice
  • review and extract relevant information from academic papers
  • produce an academic paper comprising the relevant basic components 
  • discuss similarities and differences between different processes in of design and product development
  • discuss the preconditions produced by the organisation, for different types of design and product development work
  • discuss which abilities and competencies that characterise design and product development work, as well as make the most of them
  • reflect upon the role(s) of the individual in design and product development; including the roles in relation to sustainability and ethical aspects
  • reflect on the problems and opportunities associated with collaboration and teamwork in product development work, especially in cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural product development work


The content of the course encompasses the following topics:

  • the individual designer: the creative individual; the designer's different types of knowledge, skills and responsibilities; 
  • the team, cross-disciplinary collaboration, cross-cultural collaboration, creativity in teams; 
  • the organization, orientations in product development, organizational prerequisites for creativity; 
  • research approaches in design and product development; past and current themes in design research;
  • academic literacy, writing academic texts


The course is organized as a series of lectures, seminars and exercises/assignments.


The literature will consist of academic papers (see course home page).

Examination including compulsory elements

Examination of the course is based on compulsory participation in seminars and the completion of exercises and oral and written assignments. Participation in seminars and exercises will result in a Fail/Pass. Assignments will receive a grade F(ail), 3, 4, or 5. The final grade F(ail), 3, 4 or 5 will be based on an average of the results of the assignments.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.