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Syllabus for

Academic year
TDA487 - Human-centred design and human factors  
Human-centred design och mänskliga faktorer
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-17 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPIDE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Main field of study: Computer Science and Engineering, Software Engineering

Course round 1

Teaching language: English
Application code: 23136
Open for exchange students: Yes
Maximum participants: 80
Status, available places (updated regularly): Yes

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0121 Project 3,0 c Grading: TH   3,0 c    
0221 Written and oral assignments 1,5 c Grading: UG   1,5 c    
0321 Take-home examination 3,0 c Grading: TH   3,0 c    

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Pawel W Wozniak

  Go to Course Homepage


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

Bachelor degree 180 hec and the courses DAT420 Human computer interaction, 7.5 hec and TDA498 Interaction design methodology, 7.5 hec or equivalent


In this course, a comprehensive body of research knowledge and relevant industrial experiences will be covered together with an industry-oriented project, in order to develop in-depth theoretical understandings of human-centered design and human factors. This course shall provide opportunities for students to become skilled in conducting research and professional work in human-centered design and human factors, based on system knowledge and analytical skills. This course shall create a mutual learning experience where all participants in the course are collaborating, contributing, exploring and extending the boundaries of understanding and practice.

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

Knowledge and Understanding:

  • Describe diversed theories and practices of human-centered design and human factors.
  • Explain the broad psychological, sociological and ecological aspects of human-technology interaction. 

Skills and Abilities:

  • Apply theories into concrete project practices.
  • Plan and organize a project that is applying human-centered design and/or human factors methods, models and principles.
  • Formulate research questions in various industrial context and address the issues or needs with theoretical and practical design knowledge.

Judgement Ability and Approach:

  • Explain the advantages and the limitations of different theories and methods in the area of human-centered design and human factors.
  • Assess and motivate when human-centered design and human factors methods are applicable.
  • Analyse issues within human-centered design and human factors from a holistic perspective.


The theoretical part presents the fundamental and state of the art of human-centered design and human factors from research to practical applications. Seminars provide additional theoretical grounding and reflection, as well as different practical experience/problems. The practical part is mainly the project development. The project will explore a design opportunity in an industrial context and produce both theoretical insights and practical design solutions through human-centered design and/or human factors methods. The project is carried out in small groups.


The course features both practical and theoretical parts, as well as work in groups and individual work. Lectures, literature and seminars form a theoretical foundation. Focus is also on exchange of thoughts, feedback, designs and ideas. Hence, the course requires active participation. Students will spend a significant part of their study time reading literature and working in groups. The course consists of non-mandatory lectures and design workshops, mandatory seminars and assignments, group project, and individual home exam. It is strongly recommended that the students shall attend all the lectures because lectures can provide a basis for seminar discussion and home exam will consider the contents of lectures, seminars and projects.


See the course homepage.

Examination including compulsory elements

This course consists of :
  • not-mandatory: lectures and design-workshops
  • mandatory: assignments, literature seminars, a group-project, home exam

The course is examined through three modules: 
  • Assignments (1,5 hec, pass/fail). 
  • Home exam (3 hec, fail, 3,4,5). 
  • Project (3 hec, fail, 3,4,5).
The assignment must be completed with at Pass in order to complete the course.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.