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Major studies Bachelor or Arts 111 cr

General studies 26 cr

Minor  minimum 15 cr
Elective studies  maximum 28 cr

Structure of the Bachelor’s Degree Programme

Major studies 111 credits, comprising compulsory courses in the major (101 credits) and the bachelor’s thesis (10 credits).
The scope of the bachelor’s thesis is 10 credits. The thesis seminar is not part of the thesis but is a separate study attainment ([COURSE CODE] Design research) that is included in the compulsory studies in the major.

Elective studies and minor subject max. 43 credits. As elective studies, students can take individual courses from other programmes at Aalto University or other Finnish Universities, participate in an international student exchange programme and/or do an internship. The minor subject may be produced by Aalto ARTS or another School at Aalto University. It may also be completed as a JOO (Flexible Study Rights Agreement) in another Finnish university.

General studies 26 credits, including art and theory studies, language and communication as well as common Aalto studies.

Bachelor’s Programme in Design

The aim of the degree is to provide students with:

1. theoretical and general knowledge as well as artistic and practical expertise necessary for professionals of art and knowledge of the basic research of the field, and the prerequisites to follow developments in the field;
2. knowledge and skills needed for artistic work and for scientific thinking and the use of scientific methods;
3. knowledge and skills needed for the studies leading to a Master of Arts (Art and Design) and for lifelong learning;
4. adequate language and communication skills for work in the field as well as for international operations and cooperation.
The education shall be based on research and artistic activity and professional practices of the field.

Goal of education (learning outcomes)

The Bachelor’s Programme in Design focuses on the expanding nature of design and the work of designers in an increasingly global, networked and service-driven society. During the three years of study, students learn to design with both physical and digital media as well as acquire the skills and knowledge they need to position their work in the broader context of contemporary society and industry. They also learn to engage with commercial and societal challenges and developments in the private, public and cultural sector through the design of products, services and systems.

The programme prepares students for further studies in design and media as well as gives them a foundation for pursuing a professional career as a designer. In preparing students for life after graduation, the programme assists them in carving out an identity and locating a professional niche for themselves as a designer, either working with clients independently as a design consultant or as a member of a team within a larger organization. Additionally, as future-oriented designers, they are trained to be entrepreneurial and self-directed in their endeavours and to explore opportunities in new and emergent areas of design in academia, industry and the public sector.

Upon graduating from the programme, students will be able to:

  • identify and generate material, interactive and speculative responses to future phenomena in society from a reflective design practitioner perspective.
  • recognize and apply emerging tools and practices for design, as well as participate in the construction of new ones.
  • create commercial, public and self-initiated proposals in relation to personal and societal values and evaluate and discuss the broader impact of their work.
  • plan, execute and organize their own professional practice within transdisciplinary conditions with a variety of stakeholders.

  • document their own work processes and results in both visual and textual form and contextualize it in relation to existing information sources and research.

Education content

The curriculum is structured to help students acquire knowledge and skills to design with both physical and digital media as well as a rich understanding of the role and functioning of design in society. The major courses for the programme are structured to simultaneously provide students with a scientific and theoretical foundation to reflect and analytically analyse their own work practices and those of others as well as the practical skills needed to address 21st century design challenges. Understanding – and being able to operate within – the broader societal and industrial context for design forms a foundational aspect of the curriculum in preparing students for a changing future and in developing their ability to work with others and impact the enviroment around them. The curriculum is accordingly designed to enable students to purposefully and expressively pursue their own interests as well as shape the content of projects and courses together with faculty. During the three years of study, students develop skills and knowledge to design in face of complexity and uncertainty as well as hands-on expertise to prototype ideas and materialize solutions in courses and studios. They learn to use contemporary tools, methods and processes for design as well as develop practices for acquiring new skills in the future. They also learn about design as a social, cultural and historical phenomenon as well as a subject for research. Building on the research in design and media at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, special emphasis is placed on the ability to work in teams and co-create with others to develop solutions that are more human-centred, societally relevant and environmentally conscious. Students are also also encouraged to take part in academic research and trained to make more informed and responsible decisions as a designer by harnessing business acumen, new technologies and sustainable solutions.