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MFA in Design with Specialisation in Embedded Design

Master's programme | 120 credits | Sustainability related
Autumn 2020
100% Day
1) Anyone can apply
2) Only EU/EEA citizens and students with approved residence permit in Sweden can apply

About the Programme

Companies and organisations in the private and public sectors are increasingly seeking competence and knowledge to meet to the challenges of globalisation, digitalisation, and sustainability. In response to these global challenges, companies, organisations, and communities must rethink their value propositions and business models, which requires not only innovations but also disruption of traditional thinking. The Master’s Programme in Embedded Design addresses the field of design that is particularly situated in complex and systemised contexts and prepares you to be a friendly collaborator while simultaneously taking a critical—and even disruptive—stance in your role within an embedded design practice.

Critical perspectives and sustainability

In this programme, you will gain the skills to use design in and around corporations, institutions, public organisations, and society, providing sustainable and long-lasting design solutions involving artefacts, services, social interventions, and organisational changes, among other possibilities. The design process is based on interdisciplinary collaboration, where design tools act as enablers to productively unpack and reframe challenges and understand and reformulate complex problems. You will develop a deeper understanding of how design can be used on the organisational level and for social renewal, learning how to approach your projects with a critical perspective and considerations of social, ecological, and economical sustainability issues.

A collaborative and interdisciplinary learning environment

Lectures, seminars, and workshops will be influenced by collaborations with other departments at the University. This interdisciplinary approach contributes to a dynamic learning environment where the studio is a hub for open dialogue and collaboration, with teamwork as a foundational aspect. Our aim is to develop the field of design and to critically reflect upon the role of a designer who is part of an organisation as a disruptive outsider and critical consultant. The balance between disruptive artistic practice and collaborative design work, is discussed throughout the programme and can shift as you form your individual career path. Exchange studies are possible in the third semester of the programme, providing the opportunity to study at several interesting universities around the world. Additionally, companies, organisations, and communities will be invited to enrich your education through collaborations, lectures, workshops, and real case projects.

Who Should Apply?

Are you interested in how global social issues like sustainability, circular economy, or digitalisation can be influenced on a local level by design? Do you have an interdisciplinary background and want to apply your various interests in creating disruptive design work within an organisational context? When you picture your future career in design, is it dynamic, ever-changing, and unconventional? If you believe design can be a process of change, and want to collaborate with others to disrupt the status quo by addressing global social and organisational challenges, then apply for the Master’s Programme in Embedded Design.

Programme Structure and Content

The programme intertwines theory with practice, where real projects provide a foundation for reflection on your future role as an embedded designer, and where theory underlines learning within the empirical setting. You will develop and deepen your role as a designer by problematising and reflecting on your role with various critical perspectives. Norm critique and questions surrounding intersectionality will be a part of the teaching, and you will learn to disrupt discriminating power structures through design.
The first year progresses from foundational knowledge to the use of methods and tools, with specific focus on deepening theoretical knowledge about sustainability. In the second year, you will work with organisations and clients in a long, explorational design project. Your final project will be focused and in-depth, where you will write a report that describes the starting point and context for the project, and reflect on the process and results.

After Graduation

Graduates of the programme will receive the degree Master of Fine Arts in Design with specialisation in Embedded Design.
You will be prepared to work in academic research as well as regular design consultancies. You will also gain the competence to apply your skills in unconventional realms, using your skills from the embedded design practice to make change in new organisational contexts, adapting to an increasingly global and digitalised society.


More information

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Requirements and Selection

Requirements: Bachelor's Degree in Design of at least 180 credits or equivalent. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognised test, for example TOEFL, IELTS. In addition, approved work samples are required.

Selection: The selection is based on an assessment of submitted work samples. Information and instructions regarding the work samples can be found at

Tuition Fee

Application fee: 900 SEK
Full programme cost: 554 000 SEK
First payment: 138 500 SEK

EU/EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students do not pay fees. More information on:

Study Guidance

För studievägledning kontakta


HDK-Valand - Academy of Art and Design
Box 131
40530 Göteborg
Visiting address: Kristinelundsgatan 6-8

Phone: 031-786 10 00

Programme that is sustainability-focused where at least one of the learning outcomes clearly shows that the programme content meets one of the current sustainability criteria. The content with a focus on sustainability must also, in accordance with the criteria, constitute the programme's main focus

Programme that is sustainability-related where at least one of the learning outcomes clearly shows that the programme content meets one of the current sustainability criteria.

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Last update: 2/18/2020 2:41 PM

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Page Manager: Jörgen Ölund|Last update: 10/25/2018

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