Master of Design
設計學碩士學位


Sept 2020 Entry
Programme code: 73035

Duration & Credit Requirement


Stream Code

DPF for Design Practices (Full-time)
DSP for Design Strategies (Part-time)
INF for Interaction Design (Full-time)
IDB for International Design and Business Management (Full-time)
UEF for Urban Environments Design (Full-time)

Mode of Study
Mixed Mode
Normal Duration

Design Practices - 1 year (Full-time)
Design Strategies - 2 years (Part-time)
Interaction Design - 1 year (Full-time)
International Design and Business Management - 1 year (Full-time)
Urban Environments Design - 1.5 years (Full-time)

Credits Required for Graduation

36 for Design Practices specialism,
36 for Design Strategies specialism,
36 for Interaction Design specialism,
36 for International Design and Business Management specialism,
36 for Urban Environments Design specialism

Fund Type
Self-Financed
Initial Registration Credits

4 for local students
10 for non-local students

Tuition Fee

HK$4,650 per credit for local students
HK$5,300 per credit for non-local students

Programme Leader(s)

Prof. Laurent Gutierrez
BTS, BT, PgD, BArch, MArch, PhD

Remarks

During the application period, the School reviews applications in several admissions rounds. Early Round: December 13, 2019; Round 1: January 24, 2020; Round 2: March 6, 2020; Round 3: April 30, 2020.

Aims & Characteristics

Programme Aims

The Master of Design Scheme contains five specialisms: Design Practices, Design Strategies, Interaction Design, International Design and Business Management (ID&BM) and Urban Environments Design. Hong Kong, as a world-class city, is an international environment that blends Eastern and Western influences. Students study in English but explore the increasingly world-changing context of Chinese culture as they acquire interdisciplinary skills and cultural experiences that extend creative, critical and analytical thinking and development across boundaries. Aspects of interdisciplinary design among different specialisms corresponding to global trends are highly encouraged within the Scheme. The international and interdisciplinary faculty prepares students to take charge of their future learning and development in design's nimble and quickly changing environment.

 

Master of Design (Design Practices)

This specialism focuses on design as a strategic tool for the consumer economy. Interdisciplinary projects embrace business strategy and brand development, identifying opportunities for innovation and user experience. This full-time international programme responds to the world’s industrial and technological transformation with a focus on China. The development of a high level of research, analysis, strategic vision, aesthetics and technical mastery in the development, fabrication and commercialisation of design prepares students for leadership roles.

 

Master of Design (Design Strategies)

This specialism seeks to locate design strategically in the context of business and technology by exploring best practices as shown in case studies, human-centred explorations to identify previously unrecognised user needs and desires, comparative analyses of business opportunities, successes and failures, and analyses of branding strategies, with particular attention paid to the local context of transforming original equipment manufacture (OEM) into original design manufacture (ODM)  and finally to own brand management (OBM). The specialism is applicable to both business and non-profit organisations, and extends across local and global issues.

 

Master of Design (Interaction Design)

This specialism seeks to enhance human ability and quality of life through the design of innovative, interactive and experiential ideas, based on a synthesis of human thought patterns and habits with technical means. A combination of theory, planning strategies, research and technical skills provide the foundation for workshops that explore emerging aspects of interaction design, based on human needs and pleasures as well as technological development.

 

Master of Design (International Design and Business Management)

International Design and Business Management aims to nurture "T-shaped" professionals with high-level competencies to better understand and manage global business dynamics and to function in and contribute to design-sensitive and technologically intensive business environments. These competencies enable students to lead the transformation of their respective local enterprises and challenge existing mindsets through technological innovations and product and service design from an integrative design-thinking management approach. Ultimately, ID&BM aims to have impacts at the regional and global levels by meeting the demand for well-balanced business developers, entrepreneurs, and product and service innovators.

 

Master of Design (Urban Environments Design)

This full-time international postgraduate programme responds to the unprecedented urban changes that have occurred during the last few decades in Hong Kong and China. Urban Environments Design aims to develop a high level of intellectual and practical mastery of the analysis and design of diverse urban environments in the region, with broader implications for urban contexts worldwide. The approach of Urban Environments Design is based on an understanding of socio-cultural dynamics of the regional context transferred into new design strategies and design interventions.

 

Characteristics

Design Practices is a hands-on studio-based specialism directed at students who want to deepen their innovative abilities, who are curious about design and business integration, and who enjoy the creative challenges of making objects and ideas that improve people's lives. Designers with a Bachelor’s degree in product design, fashion design, interaction design, architecture, product engineering, interior design or communication design may find Design Practices to be the logical next step in their professional development.

 

Design Strategies is directed at people who are established in their careers and wish to deepen and enhance their strategic thinking and methods by integrating design, business and technology. The specialism is intended for both design and non-design professionals with solid work experience in or related to the areas of design, such as communication, brand management, production, marketing, engineering or teaching. Those who are considering becoming entrepreneurs, taking more responsibility for design-led business development, or translating new technology into designed experiences and practical applications, will benefit from this specialism. Design Strategies has been rated as one of the World’s Best Design Thinking Programmes by BusinessWeek.

 

Interaction Design is directed at students with a passion for people and technology, who are curious about the future and want to shape how information is accessed and used, how environments might change based on need or how embedded information in products support use. Those with Bachelor's degrees in design (visual communication, product, digital media, or environmental design), communication, information technology or even psychology may find interaction design to be the next step in their professional development.

 

International Design and Business Management is a multidisciplinary specialism based on an integrative design thinking management approach, pulling together professional knowledge in the areas of design, business and technology to "manage design as a competitive strategy" in an international business setting. Globalisation in business and education has rapidly diminished boundaries between countries, cultures and economies. ID&BM provides a "meeting point" for students and faculty amongst the collaborating institutes from different regions of the world, which enables cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary project teams to solve and manage real-life design, business and technical problems. ID&BM is targeting intakes distributed across Hong Kong, mainland Chinese and overseas, and across the design, business and technological fields.

 

Urban Environments Design draws on the contemporary Hong Kong/Chinese urban experience to offer a unique postgraduate education in urban space design. In line with the School's human-centred critical approach to environment design, this studio-based specialism integrates the design of multiple scales and typologies of urban environments. Urban Environments Design focuses on the analysis and design of hybrid and composite interior environments, urban public spaces and urban systems and strategies.

Recognition & Prospects

PolyU Design: Reputation Built Since 1964

PolyU Design has been an important and dynamic hub for design education in Hong Kong since 1964. Our long-standing heritage and dedication to innovative, flexible programmes have helped us achieve our position as one of the top-ranked design schools in Asia (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019; Business Insider’s World’s Best 25 Design School list, 2013). Our Master of Design (Design Strategies) programme is rated as one of the World’s 30 Best Design Thinking Programmes (BusinessWeek, 2009).

The School of Design is located in the Jockey Club Innovation Tower, a permanent architectural work in Hong Kong by the late Ms Zaha Hadid, one of the most influential figures in the world of modern architecture. The stimulating architecture provides a high level, well-equipped teaching and learning environment for students.
 

Career Prospects

MDes graduates are successful in securing ideal positions in their chosen fields. Some are hired in-house or in agencies as specialists into a wide range of functions in design, such as product design, interaction design, spatial design and branding. Some have broadened their professional fields and taken on positions in project management, research and teaching. Others run their own design studio.

Industries that have hired our graduates include fashion, retail, hospitality, financial services, healthcare, toys, consumer electronics, information technologies, advertising, research and development, higher education and also public services. Visit our website for a list of companies and organisations at which our full-time graduates have worked.

Curriculum

Core Areas of Study

Design Practices

Primarily a studio experience, some projects are sponsored by leading companies with a real business context provided as the base for collaborative workshops. This is a full-time, intensive one-year programme. Theory and method subjects are delivered during weekends over four consecutive weeks each. A Capstone Project concludes the year with an experience that synthesises learning in a real-world setting.
 

See the curriculum on our programme web page.

Classes are normally held during the daytime on weekdays, except for three subjects, which are delivered at weekends. Each of these weekend subjects takes three weekends spread over 4-5 weeks.

Normally, it takes 1 year to complete the specialism.

 

Design Strategies

Design Strategies has a flexible approach to learning for engaged professionals. Subjects are taught on weekends with most subjects taken in any order after the completion of a selection of core subjects. For example, a typical 3-credit subject requires three weekends spread over a 4–5 week period. Not a studio programme, the purpose of this specialism is academic—to deepen design understanding and integrate design in its business and technological context through reading, thinking, discussing, and writing. The programme concludes with a report that synthesises individual experience and interests with programme materials leading to strategic development for an organisation or in the pursuit of social or cultural goals.
 

See the curriculum on our programme web page.

Normally classes are held during weekends except one core subject and one elective that are delivered on weekday evenings. Each subject requires three weekends spread over 4–5 weeks.

Normally it takes 2 years to complete the specialism.

 

Interaction Design

Interaction Design is structured by a combination of intensively taught short courses that directly support a workshop investigation. Workshops take various forms from individual to team work and from self-initiated to externally sponsored projects. A range of Electives are available to tailor the experience to individual interests. Some classes meet during weekends and evenings. The expectation is that the student is fully committed to the programme and works in the studio environment. The programme concludes with a Demonstration Project that unites research, creative exploration, user understanding and prototype testing to provide a solution. 
 

See the curriculum on our programme web page.

Classes are normally held during daytime on weekdays, with the exception that some shared Electives are delivered on weekday evenings and weekends. Each of these weekend subjects requires three weekends spread over 4-5 weeks. 

One year is normally required to complete this specialism.

 

International Design and Business Management

ID&BM begins with an intensive seven-week introduction to the essential knowledge in each of the three disciplines, followed by a series of Compulsory Subjects which centre on corresponding theories and/or practices. In the second semester, the focus is on two team-based ID&BM Multidisciplinary Projects in collaboration with private or public organisations, and students can choose Elective Subjects in design and business disciplines to enhance their individual career profiles. The Capstone Reflective Thesis synthesises the learning in ID&BM during the summer term.
 

See the curriculum on our programme web page.

Classes are normally held during daytime on weekdays, with the exception that some shared Electives are delivered on weekday evenings and weekends. Each of these weekend subjects requires three weekends spread over 4-5 weeks.

One year is normally required to complete this specialism.

 

Urban Environments Design

Following an introductory seminar, which initiates students in the Urban Environments ethos and approach, the first year of the programme is structured around three half-semester studio subjects, each of which is paired with a seminar subject that provides a knowledge base for the respective studio. Each project is undertaken in collaboration with a public- or private-sector partner, addressing spatial design challenges that emerge from the partner’s real-world operations and institutional culture. The final semester centres on a student-defined capstone design project that synthesises the learning of the programme.
 

See the curriculum on our programme web page.

Seminars and workshops are normally held during the daytime on weekdays. Electives are delivered during weekends. Each of the weekend subjects requires three weekends spread over 4–5 weeks.

It normally takes 1.5 years to complete the specialism.

Entrance Requirements

A common recruitment and intake procedure is conducted to help advise students about the appropriateness of particular specialisms to their personal and career development. Applicants for individual specialisms, however, will also undertake specialism-specific interviews and apply some specialism-specific requirements (see below). Applicants are required to indicate their choice of specialism upon application.
 

If you are not a native speaker of English, and your Bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification is awarded by institutions where the medium of instruction is not English, you are expected to fulfil the University’s minimum English language requirement for admission purpose. Please refer to the "Admission Requirements" section for details.

Applicants will also normally be required to demonstrate oral competence in English by means of an interview.

 

Specialism-specific requirements:

Design Practices

  • A Bachelor’s degree in design or the equivalent in a related discipline, and professional experience in design is preferred.
  • Portfolios will be reviewed during the selection process.

Design Strategies

  • A Bachelor's degree or the equivalent and a minimum of two years design-related professional experience are required. Candidates with other tertiary qualifications complemented by substantial relevant professional experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Interaction Design

  • A Bachelor's degree in design or the equivalent in a related discipline is required. Candidates with other tertiary qualifications complemented by substantial relevant professional experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Portfolios will be reviewed during the selection process.

International Design and Business Management

  • A Bachelor's degree in design, business or a technological field, or the equivalent in a related discipline, is required; preferably with two years' relevant professional experience. Candidates with other tertiary qualifications complemented by substantial relevant professional experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Portfolios will be reviewed during the selection process.

Urban Environments Design

  • A Bachelor's degree in spatial design field or the equivalent in a related discipline (e.g. interior design, environment design, landscape design, architecture, urban design) is required. Candidates with other tertiary qualifications complemented by substantial relevant professional experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Portfolios will be reviewed during the selection process.

Other Information

Note to Applicants

1. Before applying, read through the following sections on the School's website:

2. Submit your IELTS or TOEFL report together with the rest of your application. Applications without a satisfactory English test score will not be reviewed. 

3. If you are currently in your final year of study, you should provide a transcript showing your academic record up to your most recent semester. Certification of GPA/Average Score is needed if the information is not shown on your transcript.

4. Ensure all relevant fields are filled out even if you have already provided your CV. Failing to do so will result in an incomplete application. We encourage applicants to provide full details of their Post-secondary Qualification and previous and/or current Employment - information and corresponding evidence submitted on eAdmission will be used to assess applications in meeting entrance requirements. Incomplete applications cannot be processed promptly.

5. There is a limit to the number of admission places for each programme, early applications are advantaged.

6. The School reviews the applications in several admissions rounds and decisions are made on a rolling basis from early February 2020.

Enquiries

For further information on applications and admissions, please contact:

Ms Stephanie Ho 
Tel: (852) 3400 3440
Email: sdsteph@polyu.edu.hk

 

Academic matters, please contact respective Specialism Leaders:

Design Strategies, Urban Environments Design 
Prof. Laurent Gutierrez
Tel: (852) 2766 5502
Email: sdlgut@polyu.edu.hk  

Design Practices
Dr Newman Lau
Tel: (852) 2766 4345
Email: mcnewman@polyu.edu.hk 

Interaction Design
Dr Kenny Chow
Tel: (852) 2766 5480
Email: sdknchow@polyu.edu.hk 

International Design and Business Management
Dr Sylvia Liu
Tel: (852) 2766 5447
Email: sylvia.liu@polyu.edu.hk

Student Message


I value my studies in the Design Strategies (MDes) programme during 2015-2017 as a memorable experience, not only for the acquisition of knowledge on strategic design but also for the interactions with professors and peers from different industries.

 

Overall, I make use of practical knowledge by applying and adapting it to my work as well as my daily life. I acquired more in-depth and detailed analysis skills for planning strategically. With this skill set, I started to see a change in my potential and gain perspective when seeing things from different angles. This shift helped me to generate more innovative ideas and address different target segments with different ideas.


Winna Po



The course title says it all: Design Strategies. The core subjects are very good, helping us to see the true value of design. The different design tools have also helped me to pursue more design exploration in my practice.

 

What made this whole experience unique for me is that I am a practising architect and manage two offices in the Philippines, while also flying back and forth to Hong Kong. Imagine flying four times a week between three cities, in addition to all the projects we work on at school! This wasn't easy; it was very challenging, which made me want to strive for it even more.

 

This has definitely given me a new direction in my practice, together with new trains of thought, even while I was in school mid-way through. I certainly expect that what I have learnt from school will lead to major changes and improvements in my practice, and I can definitely see many practical applications at this point and most probably in the future.

 

The studio provided to us is the space I will definitely miss most. It is the perfect spot for you to either work on office-related tasks or to do your schoolwork. It is also the perfect place to socialise with your classmates and students from the programme in different year levels.


Edwin Uy



After two years of learning Chinese in Paris and graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Design in Brussels, my aim was to combine these two things in a Master's programme in Asia to enhance my future career. I was familiar with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a well-known design school in Asia. Hong Kong seemed the perfect place for me.

 

The programme, Design Practices (MDes), has given me a better understanding of how design can be implemented in real-world settings through collaboration with companies and professionals as tutors. The school has provided me with connections and I was given the chance to work for Microsoft in Shenzhen in front-end design. This would never have happened without the great contact list of Professor Roger Ball.

 

I found the facilities, such as the SLA 3D printer and metal coating facilities, quite amazing and very unusual for a design school. Having my own desk in an open space open 24/7 and exchanging ideas with my classmates were valuable experiences throughout the year.


Victor Bauman



The Interaction Design (MDes) is an intensive one-year course, and my education at this time has been comprehensive and broad-based.

 

I wanted to learn about tangible, embedded interactivity as well as creating actuated prototypes, but this course offers so much more. Our studio sessions challenge us with realistic service design scenarios, and our research has a strong user-centred component. I learned early to appreciate the School of Design philosophy: the user always comes first.

 

My advisors come from a respectable academic lineage, and their tutelage is indispensable in making me a more effective designer.

 

Ultimately, applicants have to decide for themselves their most effective development path due to the versatility of the course. Just be ready to work smart, and learn extremely fast.


Lionel Wang



As a student with an engineering background, I was asked several times why I chose to take the Interaction Design (MDes) programme after my information engineering degree. Some people might consider it a big change from engineering to design, but I just chose what I was most interested in. As an engineering student, I enjoy exploring how things work and how to build a product. More importantly, though, I like to think about how a product/system relates to people and how they use it. Things change a lot when people are involved. I like beautiful things and like to imagine how new products change people’s lives, so during my Bachelor’s degree, I researched programmes in which I could combine my background in technology and interest in design. When I found the Interaction Design (MDes) programme, I thought it might be a good choice for me. 

 

I am now a UX Designer in the healthcare industry. Once I graduated from the programme, I was offered an internship position in the US. And during my internship, I was pleased to be offered a job, which gave me a lot of confidence, as I was still a starter in the field of design. I have developed several key assets during my studies. The first is design thinking – the ability to identify and solve the problem. Every day, the work here is about solving problems, although sometimes identifying the problem is more important. The second is teamwork, as design is all about collaboration. The third is the hands-on ability to quickly test and iterate ideas.

 

The thing I enjoyed most about the overall SD experience was how diverse our class was: we were from different backgrounds – engineering, psychology, industrial design, graphic design – and from all over the world, with people from nine countries, I believe. Working with them on projects is what I miss most.


Pu Yang



I have made some achievements in my career since graduating from PolyU. CDindustry.com has become the leader in Chongqing MRO e-commerce and we have gained recognition from local authorities due to our contribution to solving the MRO overcapacity problem. The strategy aimed to increase social as well as business value. 

 

There is no question that the International Design and Business Management (MDes) programme broadened my vision, changed my mindset and provided useful skills and tools, which led me to a new level in my career development in a short time. Thus, I will always be thankful to all of the professors who cultivated and encouraged me during my studies in Hong Kong.


Christopher Liao



The programme offers an excellent way of integrating multidisciplinary students through taking up real-world challenges from local to global with real-life clients.

 

The programme's diversity and broad perspective allow the students to look at the world in a range of ways: from understanding the culture of each given context to understanding design thinking that leads to the creation of meaningful values, the appropriate use of technology as an enabler and how to plan in a business environment.

 

I think the programme could be improved by further developing the the co-operative projects beyond graduation. One of the bigger co-op projects has generated ideas that could lead to startups run by a group of students, or even be part of the School. The co-op projects are a platform for integrating business and design, reinforcing creativity in business models design and nurturing entrepreneurship.


Kevin Lam



After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and gaining some experience in the industry in India, I decided to pursue my studies further and gain exposure abroad. I chose Hong Kong because it is an Asian world city and at the intersection of varying cultures, and my major interest rested in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Its design school has been ranked one of the top schools in Asia.

 

The professors are highly qualified in their respective disciplines and are effective in engaging students in the classroom. The study experience I had was very interesting, as we were trained to formulate our approach towards research, critical analysis and challenged to be more creative at every step in a project, which significantly helped me to gain a vision for my career and understand how I could apply those principles in the practical field of work. 

 

We also got the chance to work in a team-based project with visiting students from overseas institutions, which provided us with a platform where students from different background could exchange ideas and gain a more nuanced global perspective.


Saijal Sharma



In my view, there is no doubt that the School of Design is one of the top 10 design schools in Asia. It is valuable to experience a different education system and curriculum in Hong Kong compared with mainland China. The School’s postgraduate programmes only admit a small group of students each year, providing ample opportunities for us to engage with tutors and fellow classmates, to reflect and improve ourselves. The tutors guide us to think systematically and critically and demonstrate how to apply theoretical approaches to professional practice. They are approachable, and they provide each of us with the necessary help to support our learning.

 

During the year and a half I spent studying in the Urban Environments Design (MDes) programme, I had the chance to attend the School’s excellent public lecture series. The speakers from all around the world are famous in their research areas. Almost every week students can participate in a public lecture. Outside the classroom, Hong Kong, as a city, provides a context relevant to my study: I learn about the local culture, urban issues and how society transforms itself in the built environment. This has been an enriching experience.


David Wang



Additional Documents Required


Curriculum Vitae

Employer's Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required from persons who are most familiar with your studies, research interest, or work.

We suggest you include a tutor in the programme you last attended, and/ or supervisor of your final project/ thesis to be your recommenders.

Professional letters of recommendation from those who are able to speak about your professional role, achievements and potential are acceptable. For business owners, CEOs or company directors, the recommendations may come from your clients. For those who are in their final year of study, you may request a recommendation from your supervisor/ team leader during your internship. Applications without a professional letter of recommendation may be disadvantaged.

Certification of employment is not the same as a letter of recommendation. Also, recommendations specific for admission are preferred than generic reference letters.

Each recommendation should contain the following: recommender’s name, organisation/ affiliation, position/ title, relationship, contact number and email address and recommender’s signature (for a scanned document).

 

Submission

Letters of recommendations are to be uploaded to the corresponding sections on eAdmission.

Combine multiple PDFs of your academic recommendations, transcripts and certificates from the same institution you attended into one single PDF document and upload the file according to the specific academic qualification in the “Education” section.

On the other hand, professional letters of recommendation are to be provided according to the specific previous/ current employment in the “Employment” section.

Personal Statement

Also known as a Letter of Intent, this short essay of 1-2 pages should include the following areas: your current position/challenge/priorities in your career, how your background and training led you to this point in your career, your research interests and your expectations towards the programme in supporting your career goals and aspirations. The purpose of this document is specific – to convince the admission committee that the programme you are applying is right for you.

Transcript / Certificate

Evidence of your academic qualification, i.e., full official transcripts and degree certificates.

For holders of academic qualifications from Mainland China, the evidence must include Academic Credential (畢業証書), Degree Certificate (學士學位証書), a certification letter of GPA or average score and explanation notes of the grading systems (課程績點点與等級換算關係表).

Documents not written in English must be accompanied by certified, literal English translations. We must have your transcripts and certificates in both the native language and in English to evaluate your qualification. We do not require applicants’ original documents during the application stage - readable scans of original documents would suffice.

Others

Portfolio is required for all applicants to Design Practices, Interaction Design and Urban Environments Design programmes and for applicants to International Design and Business Management programme with an academic qualification in the field of design.

In general, the content of your portfolio may include the most advanced design you have done. We are interested in the process of the concept development in self-initiated, experimental and commercial works. Support samples of work with succinct descriptions where needed. Indicate your project references (their name and organisation) whenever possible. State the project type, whether they are individual or group projects. For group projects, you must clearly specify your role in the creative process. The organisation and appearance of your portfolio, as an important part of your application, should be presented in professional quality. 

Digital and online portfolios are acceptable and must be in English. We do not accept files saved on CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, not to mention file transfer links and or attachments sent through emails.

 

Digital portfolio

The preferred file format of your digital portfolio is PDF in 96 or 150 dpi with file size limited to 10 MB. You can upload your PDF portfolio to PolyU’s eAdmission if all supporting documents add up to 5 MB or less in file size.

In other cases, you can submit it via the MDes online submission platform. To access this platform, you are asked to enter your credentials and your auto-generated application number given after submitting your application on eAdmission. Only submit your application when you have provided all relevant information and documents – once it is submitted, you cannot edit your application.

 

Online portfolio

You can upload your portfolio to hosted portfolio websites or online platforms (e.g. Behance, ISSUU) and indicate the URL to view it on eAdmission (under “Personal Website”).

 

Relevant professional qualifications and awards are optional. Documents that are not issued originally in English should be accompanied by certified, literal English translations.


Info Seminar


No information is available at present.