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Programme structure

The ISD comprises a series of intensively taught subjects that directly support the ISD Studios and Lab Studies specialism subjects.

  • The ISD Studios subjects take various forms, from individual work to teamwork, and from self-initiated to externally sponsored projects.
  • The Lab Studies subjects provide a unique platform for students to gain exposure to real-world research projects; to familiarise themselves with lab equipment (which is normally more research-oriented, technologically advanced and hands-on than classroom teaching materials); and to work with established and experienced researchers in the field.

In addition, a range of elective subjects is available to enable students to tailor their learning experience based on their individual interests. Students are expected to be fully committed to their studies and to work well in a studio environment.

The specialism concludes with an Industry Research Project that unites research, industry collaboration, social investigation, creative exploration, user understanding and prototype testing to provide solutions to the chosen project.

To receive the award of Master of Design, students must successfully attain a total of 36 credits from the following subject categories: Compulsory Common subjects for 6 credits, Compulsory Specialism subjects for 15 credits, Elective subjects for 15 credits (12 credits from Elective Pool A and 3 credits from Elective Pool B).


Compulsory Common subjects (6 credits)

  • SD5008 Research and Analysis for Design (3)
  • SD5009 Research and Academic Writing (3)


Compulsory Specialism subjects (15 credits)

Specialism Major subjects
  • SD5513 Theories in Interaction Design (3) or
  • SD5514 Advanced Visualisation and Interaction (3)


Lab Studies subjects
  • SD5532 Lab Studies in Intelligent Systems Construction (3)


Specialism Studio / Project subjects
  • SD5538 ISD Specialism Studio (3)
  • SD5539 ISD Capstone Research Project (6)


Elective subjects

Elective Pool A (12 credits)
Foundation subjects
  • SD5114^Design Methods (Advanced) (3)
  • SD5115 Design Project Management (3)
  • SD5116 Design for Transformation (3)
  • SD5511 UX Design Fundamentals (3)
  • SD5512 Prototyping and Scripting (3)
  • SD5411 Designing Services (3)
  • SD5711 Design for the Biosphere (3)
  • SD5712 Design for Change (3)
  • SD5713 Design Systems Thinking (3)


Specialism Major subjects
  • SD5117^Innovate with Lifestyle and Culture (3)
  • SD5513 Theories in Interaction Design (3)
  • SD5514#Advanced Visualisation and Interaction (3)
  • SD5412 Advanced Service Design Methods and Tools (3)
  • SD5413 Socio-Technical Service Ecosystem (3)
  • SD5414 Systemic Innovation and Designing Future Services (3)
  • SD5716 Regenerative Ecosystems Design (3)
  • SD5717 Territories, Societies, and Spatial Complexes (3)


Elective Pool B (3 credits)
Interdisciplinary Studio / Project subjects
  • SD5131^Interdisciplinary Project (3)
  • SD5431 Interdisciplinary Studio (3)
  • SD5731 Regenerative Environments Design (3)


Lab Studies subjects
  • SD5132 Lab Studies in Human Cyber-Physical Systems (3)
  • SD5531 Lab Studies in Systems Design (3)
  • SD5532# Lab Studies in Intelligent Systems Construction (3)
  • SD5432 Lab Studies in Data-Driven Service Design (3)
  • SD5732 Lab Studies in Applied Technologies for Territorial Design (3)



# denotes subject containing pre-requisite requirement.

^ denotes subject containing co-requisite requirement.




Class Delivery Mode & Duration

Full-time and part-time students follow the same timetable and attend classes together. Classes are normally held during the day on weekdays.

For full-time students, the normal duration of the programme is 1 year; for part-time students, it is 3 years. One academic year contains three semesters (including the Summer Term). A full-time study load is 36 credits in a year, and a part-time study load is 6–9 credits in a compulsory semester (Semesters 1 and 2).




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