Master's programme in Integrated Product Design
In today’s fast-changing global market, engineers need advanced knowledge and highly developed skills in how to create competitive and sustainable products, services and business models. The master's programme in Integrated Product Design focuses on processes and methods for strategic product development and innovation in order to create usable, competitive and sustainable products and services and also dare to look beyond “business as usual” to support the transformation needed in society.
Integrated Product Design at KTH
The master's programme in Integrated Product Design offers two specialisation tracks: Industrial Design Engineering and Innovation Management and Product Development. The programme comprises a mixture of mandatory courses, track-specific courses and elective courses offering students the opportunity to select courses that match their individual interests and career goals. During the programme, students will have contact with industry, and projects are often conducted in co-operation with a company or organisation, providing students with valuable experience from practice.
In the final degree project, students perform in-depth work on a problem from industry, society or academic research that is in line with the chosen specialisation. The degree project is supervised by an experienced researcher and can be performed in an industrial setting or in an academic environment.
The two-year programme (120 ECTS credits) is in English. Graduates are awarded a Master of Science degree. The programme is given mainly at the KTH Campus in Stockholm by KTH’s School of Industrial Engineering and Management.
Industrial Design Engineering track
The Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) track concentrates on the design, functionality and communicative aspects of a product in relation to user and market. You will study and work with both product design and service design. You will improve your skills in product development, merging a mechanical engineering point of view with an industrial design point of view. The activities covered in the design process at IDE include user insights, ideation, concept screening, formgiving and visualisation, branding, prototyping, overall systems design, choice of materials, manufacturing and sustainable development.
In the development projects throughout the programme track, you will work in close collaboration with companies and organisations that have identified a potential in developing a new product or service, or improving an existing one. From an IDE perspective, these cases need to include some kind of user interaction and technical complexity in order to ensure that knowledge in both industrial design and mechanical engineering is required. The result of our efforts should address user needs and be adapted to user behaviour.
As IDE integrates the fields of industrial design and mechanical engineering, the teachers at IDE have a background in both or either of these fields. This also requires that the students applying have completed both industrial design courses and mechanical engineering courses in their bachelor’s degree.
Innovation Management and Product Development track
The Innovation Management and Product Development track focuses on managing innovation and product development processes. You will study and work with innovation in three ways: you will develop results in terms of new products, services and business models, you will organise and manage innovation processes from both a development project perspective and an organisational structure perspective and, finally, you will work on innovation strategies in terms of new business development. In this programme you will approach cutting-edge research in the area of innovation management and product development and have a firm collaboration with industry.
Elements or projects in courses in the track deal with innovation from a number of perspectives: the innovation process, including all activities from understanding user and customer needs, idea creation, product and service development and understanding the business model (value creation activities); the innovation strategy, setting the direction for an organisation, project portfolio and business strategies; innovation results in terms of products, services and business models relating to different levels of newness.
Depending on the degree of newness of the results from an innovation process, different demands are placed on the managers of an organisation. It entails different ways of organising, leading and conducting product development projects. In some development projects, in which you improve existing products and services, you must be capable of being efficient and use methods to enable such outcomes.
In other projects you must understand how to challenge the organisation to move beyond current knowledge and create something completely new. In this programme you will become familiar and well-equipped with tools that will help you systematically organise, lead and manage these different types of product development projects and their attendant challenges; knowledge and skills identified as being crucial for organisations to survive and prosper and for being able to meet the grand challenges facing our society.
The master's programme in Integrated Product Design offers students a comprehensive education and refined expertise applicable to a wide range of industrial and business sectors as well as to organisations and consultancies.
The Industrial Design Engineering track provides the skills necessary to work on product development and design, user-driven design, either as a creative engineer, technical expert, project manager, or as a commissioner of design and other related positions.
The Innovation Management and Product Development track provides opportunities for a variety of jobs in areas related to innovation, including project management, business development and product planning. You also instil competence to work on complex multidisciplinary product development projects, either as a technical expert, project manager, R&D manager or consultant.
Find out what students from the programme think about their time at KTH.
Graduates from KTH have the knowledge and tools for moving society in a more sustainable direction, as sustainable development is an integral part of all programmes. The three key sustainable development goals addressed by the master's programme in Integrated Product Design are:
The challenge to transform industry into a fully sustainable system is paramount. In our programme we try to tackle this on at least three levels;
- On a system level we push a circular approach. This means moving into a service paradigm with business models based on providing shared functionality rather than just pushing stuff to the market.
- On a product level, meaning that the products need to be designed for use, repair, refurbishment and reuse. Obviously, we also need to take the choice of materials and ways of production into close consideration.
- Finally, our research has pointed to the need of being innovative also regarding management, organisation and business models in order to change the present linear paradigm into a circular one.
Faculty and research
At the Division of Integrated Product Development, the research area covers organisational and technical processes for the efficient and effective development of innovative technology-oriented products, services and systems. IPD includes technology, tools, procedures and work organisation for increased efficiency and learning in industrial product development processes. The division’s research is focused on key factors for competitive and innovative processes in industry in terms of utilisation of tools and procedures, organisational co-operation and parallel processes, as well as interdisciplinary teamwork. The research is also focused on sustainable design, health and well-being.
Lately, many of our researchers have been engaged in the challenges of sustainable mobility in cities. One focus area is accessibility, i.e. providing more of the services people need at a walking distance from their homes. Another focus area is providing Mobility as a Service, MaaS, as a way of breaking the dependency on car ownership.
The research group Green Leap addresses sustainability challenges using design methods, often in collaboration with companies, organisations and design practitioners. We often use a Living Lab method to discover useful insights regarding people’s behaviour and their openness to change in a sustainable direction.