Basic information of the minor

Code: ARTS3080 (BA), ARTS3081 (MA)

Extent: 60 ECTS in BA (in one partner school) and 60 ECTS in MA (in another partner school), total 120 ECTS

Language: English, Swedish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese

Teacher in charge in Aalto ARTS: Programme Head Peter McGrory

Administrative contact in Aalto ARTS: Study Coordinator Naoko Nakagawa

Target group: BA students in the Department of Design


Application procedure:

An applicant must be a first year bachelor student in the Department of Design. The application deadline is by the end of January. The info session (about MEDes exchange programme and the application) will be arranged for the 1-year bachelor students of the Department of Design by mid-January.

Applicants should have a good command of some of the languages of the programme, in particular English. Selection is based on the motivation letters that are mailed to the study coordinator by the deadline. The application process includes an interview if there are more applicants than study places. The Head of the MEDes exchange programme at Aalto ARTS is responsible for the selection procedure, process and protocol.

Acceptance to the MEDes exchange programme concerns both BA and MA studies. Accepted students do not need to apply again for the MEDes MA Studies. However, the student is required to complete the BA degree first before commencing the MA studies.


Quotas and restrictionsAnnually 2-6 bachelor’s students from the Department of Design are selected for the MEDes exchange programme.

Prerequisites: Please see application procedure, quotas and restrictions.


Content and structure of the minor

The Master of European Design (MEDes) is a study programme offered by a network of seven leading design schools in Europe. MEDes in Finland is a minor studies programme for the students of the Department of Design that spans over the entire study time (BA+MA).

During the five years of studies (BA+MA), a MEDes student lives and studies in three different schools and countries. In the first and second year, students study at their home institution. The third year of Bachelor’s studies is the first exchange year abroad, which result in a Bachelor’s thesis prepared at the partner institution, and in close contact with the examiners for the Bachelor’s thesis at the home institution. The second exchange year abroad is the first year of the Master’s studies. After the two years abroad, the students return to their home institution in the fifth year, to reflect upon and to synthesise the diverse experiences, and to work on their final Master’s Thesis. One of the MEDes programme’s rules is that the studies must end in the same university where the studies commenced. 

MEDes offers to its students means to gain insight into different design approaches, ability to adapt to various systems whilst remaining critical and testing one’s own thoughts, mindset and methods in multifaceted working environments. Spending altogether two years abroad during both the Bachelor’s studies and Master’s studies whilst studying in three different educational systems helps to build confidence, curiosity and extended language competencies, including developing professional and social competence.

An important part of the MEDes initiative and activities involves the network itself. MEDes students, professors, coordinators and alumni get together once a year for an annual workshop in one of the participating schools. MEDes provides students both a professional and social network which develops over the study years.


Structure of the minor

In Aalto University the MEDes programme is available as an extended minor. This means that the extent of the minor is 60 ECTS in both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, 120 ECTS in total. In the Bachelor’s degree the MEDes studies are considered as minor studies and elective studies (total max. 40 ECTS) and also in student’s major studies (20 ECTS) according to the student’s PSP (Personal Study Plan). In the Master’s degree MEDes studies are again considered as elective studies (30 ECTS) and in advanced major studies (the remaining 30 ECTS) according to the student’s PSP. 

During their stay abroad, students follow the curriculum of the particular partner universities. Students will follow a learning agreement, which is based on the personal study planning discussions and is approved by the corresponding institutions. 

MEDes – Master of European Design; 60 ECTS in Bachelor’s studies at one of the following partner universities and 60 ECTS in Master’s studies at another partner university of this list.

  • GSA The Glasgow School of Art, Department of Product Design, Glasgow, UK
  • LES ATELIERS Ècole nationale supérieure de creation industrielle ENSCI, Paris, France
  • POLIMI Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
  • KISD Köln International School of Design, Cologne, Germany
  • KONSTFACK University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm, Sweden
  • AVEIRO University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal