Pursuant to consolidation Act 778 of August 7, 2019 on Universities (the University Act), the following is established. The programme also follows the Joint Programme Regulations and the Examination Policies and Procedures for Aalborg University.
The Master’s programme is organised in accordance with the Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s Order no. 1328 of November 15, 2016 on Bachelor’s and Master’s Programmes at Universities (the Ministerial Order of the Study Programmes) with subsequent changes and Ministerial Order no. 1062 of June 30, 2016 on University Examinations (the Examination Order) with subsequent changes. Further reference is made to Ministerial Order no. 106 of February 12, 2018 (the Admission Order) and Ministerial Order no. 114 of February 3, 2015 (the Grading Scale Order).
The programme is offered in Copenhagen.
The Master’s programme falls under Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Aalborg University.
The Master’s programme falls under Studyboard for Techno-Anthropology and Sustainable Design.
The Master’s programme is associated with the Nationwide engineering examiners/Design.
Applicants with a legal right of admission (retskrav)
Applicants without legal right of admission:
All applicants without a legal claim must prove that their English language qualifications is equivalent to level B (Danish level) in English
The Master’s programme entitles the graduate to the Danish designation Civilingeniør, cand.polyt. i bæredygtigt design. The English designation is: Master of Science (MSc) in Engineering (Sustainable Design).
The Master’s programme is a 2-year, research-based, full-time study programme. The programme is set to 120 ECTS credits.
The Study Board can approve that passed programme elements from other educational programmes at the same level replaces programme elements within this programme (credit transfer).
Furthermore, the Study Board can, upon application, approve that parts of this programme is completed at another university or a further education institution in Denmark or abroad (pre-approval of credit transfer).
The Study Board’s decisions regarding credit transfer are based on an academic assessment.
The Study Board’s possibilities to grant exemption, including exemption to further examination attempts and special examination conditions, are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures published at this website: https://www.studieservice.aau.dk/Studielegalitet/
The rules for examinations are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures published at this website: https://www.studieservice.aau.dk/Studielegalitet/
In the assessment of all written work, regardless of the language it is written in, weight is also given to the student's formulation and spelling ability, in addition to the academic content. Orthographic and grammatical correctness as well as stylistic proficiency are taken as a basis for the evaluation of language performance. Language performance must always be included as an independent dimension of the total evaluation. However, no examination can be assessed as ‘Pass’ on the basis of good language performance alone; similarly, an examination normally cannot be assessed as ‘Fail’ on the basis of poor language performance alone.
The Study Board can grant exemption from this in special cases (e.g., dyslexia or a native language other than Danish).
The Master’s Thesis must include an English summary. If the project is written in English, the summary can be in Danish. The summary is included in the evaluation of the project as a whole.
It is assumed that the student can read academic texts and use reference works, etc., in English.
The following competence profile will appear on the diploma:
A Candidatus graduate has the following competency profile:
A Candidatus graduate has competencies that have been acquired via a course of study that has taken place in a research environment.
A Candidatus graduate is qualified for employment on the labour market based on his or her academic discipline as well as for further research (PhD programmes). A Candidatus graduate has, compared to a Bachelor, developed his or her academic knowledge and independence so as to be able to apply scientific theory and method on an independent basis within both an academic and a professional context.
A graduate of the Master’s programme in Sustainable Design has aquired the following competencies:
The programme is structured in modules and organised as a problem-based study. A module is a programme element or a group of programme elements, which aims to give students a set of professional skills within a fixed time frame specified in ECTS credits, and concluding with one or more examinations within specific exam periods. Examinations are defined in the curriculum.
Teaching methods and exams
The programme is based on a combination of academic, problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approaches and organised based on the following work and evaluation methods that combine skills and reflection:
The Master’s is an engineering education programme with special emphasis on design, technological innovation, transitions and design of sustainable solutions. The programme includes interdisciplinary components to meet the need for combining methods from social sciences and technology studies with technical subjects and design practices.
The education will provide the student with the ability to understand, stage and carry out innovative processes leading to design and the implementation of sustainable products, services, and socio-material system solutions through processes that involve relevant actors.
The programme's focus on sustainability reflects the challenges that development, production, consumption and dismantling of unsustainable technologies poses for today’s society, including resource utilization, climate and welfare. It builds on the broad notion of sustainability, which is currently under development that spans from the Brundtland Report to most recently the 17 Sustainability Development Goals and further to understanding sustainability as social processes. The realization of these societal goals require a focus on sustainable transitions in a design perspective as the core to the programme’s activities.
The table below shows all project and course modules on the Master's programme, the amount of ECTS’s and the assessment for each.
All modules are assessed through individual grading according to the 7-point scale or Pass/Fail. All modules are assessed by external examination (external grading) or internal examination (internal grading).
Offered as: 1-professional
|Module name||Course type||ECTS||Applied grading scale||Evaluation method||Assessment method|
|Staging Collaborative Design for Sustainability||Project||15||7-point grading scale||Internal examination||Oral exam based on a project|
|Design in Organisations||Course||5||7-point grading scale||Internal examination||Written or oral exam|
|Production Systems and Sustainability||Course||5||7-point grading scale||Internal examination||Written or oral exam|
|Design for Sustainability||Course||5||7-point grading scale||Internal examination||Written or oral exam|
|Design for Sustainable Transitions||Project||15||7-point grading scale||External examination||Oral exam based on a project|
|Market Creation and Entrepreneurship||Course||5||7-point grading scale||Internal examination||Written or oral exam|
|Sustainable Transitions||Course||5||7-point grading scale||Internal examination||Written or oral exam|
|Concept Driven Change||Course||5||7-point grading scale||Internal examination||Oral exam based on a project|
|Design Research Project||Project||30||7-point grading scale||Internal examination||Oral exam based on a project|
|Project-Oriented Study in an External Organisation||Project||30||7-point grading scale||Internal examination||Oral exam based on a project|
|International Design Project||Project||30||7-point grading scale||Internal examination||Oral exam based on a project|
|Master’s Thesis||Project||30||7-point grading scale||External examination||Master's thesis/final project|
The Master's programme is based on a progression in which the complexity of the themes is progressively increasing:
1st semester: Staging Design for Sustainability
On this semester the focus is on understanding and facing the challenges that pose designing for sustainability within an organisation. The most salient is that current methods and tools for design needs to be reconsidered, therefore the need to stage collaborative design processes. The organisational context where design and innovation unfolds is introduced through the course module Design in organisations. Production Systems and Sustainability is a technical course where the students learn how current production systems operate, including IT aspects, and consider that changes to product design are restricted by production or IT systems. Therefore designing for sustainability requires also considering adjustments to the production systems. Design for Sustainability offers quantitative tools to assess environmental impacts and to consider their use in the context of existing sustainability challenges. The project module Staging Collaborative Design for Sustainability offers an opportunity for the students to put into practice and expand their knowledge of their course modules by staging collaborative design processes for the design of products, product service systems, services or systems that have a positive impact in sustainability. In each course, the students learn how to stage collaborative design processes.
2nd semester: Design for Sustainable Transitions
On this semester the focus is on understanding that achieving sustainability require the re-design of systems that support societal functions in a long-term systemic perspective. In the course module Sustainable Transitions the students will dive into the most recent developments of the research field Sustainable Transitions, they will learn about the most established theories in the field and they will discuss how design can contribute to the necessary systemic changes that sustainability require. The course module Market Creation and Entrepreneurship will offer an understanding that the needed changes will not happen in existing markets and will not be performed by existing organizations and companies necessarily, but that new markets and new organizations need to be created in novel ways to achieve transitions to sustainability. In the course Concept Driven Change focus will be on understanding, staging and performing the changes that needs to take place on an organisational and individual level, often based on conceptualisations of innovation, work and change management.
3rd semester: Sustainable Design in Practice
On this semester the students are given the opportunity to study a semester at another university, carry out a sustainable design project in an international development context, carry out a design research project or conduct a sustainable design project in collaboration with a company or organization in Denmark or another country.
4th semester: Master's Thesis
During the last semester the students will write their Master's Thesis. The Master's Thesis should be a serious attempt to produce new knowledge and make a meaningful contribution to the emerging field and profession of Sustainable Design Engineering. For this the students are encouraged to develop a sustainable design project in collaboration with external partners like private companies, non-governmental and public organizations or start-ups. Agreements with external partners have to be organized in collaboration with supervisors. The students are encouraged to work in groups of two or three in the spirit of team collaboration of PBL.
The figure below shows a schematic view of the Master's programme.
Staging Collaborative Design for Sustainability
Design in Organisations
Production Systems and Sustainability
Design for Sustainability
Design for Sustainable Transitions
Market Creation and Entrepreneurship
Concept Driven Change
Design Research Project
Project-Oriented Study in an External Organisation
International Design Project
All students who have not participated in Aalborg University’s PBL introductory course during their Bachelor’s degree must attend the introductory course “Problem-based Learning and Project Management”. The introductory course must be approved before the student can participate in the project exam. For further information, please see the Department of Planning’s website.
The curriculum is approved by the dean and enters into force as of September 1, 2020.
The Study Board does not offer teaching after the previous curriculum from 2019 after the summer examination period 2021.
The Study Board will offer examinations after the previous curriculum, if there are students who have used examination attempts in a module without passing. The number of examination attempts follows the rules in the Examination Order.