Master`s Degree Programme, 5 years

Industrial Design Engineering

– Student guidance / Common questions

What is required to be a good designer?

It is difficult to provide a recipe of what is needed in order to be a good designer. An interest in humans and the environment and an ability to choose and reject alternative solutions are important factors. Industrial designers are usually the user's spokesmen to producers and product developers.

Do I have to be creative and like drawing, or can I learn this during my studies?

Having talent and an interest in drawing and creative work is a great advantage. The teaching in industrial design starts at a basic level that provides the opportunity to learn and develop skills which are

Where can I find more information about design?

A few web sites:

Could you tell me a bit about what this programme deals with, the components and which courses that are taught?

  • How does one work?
  • Projects versus theory?


The Industrial Design programme leads up to an MSc in industrial design after 5 years. The programme is composed of courses from the advanced engineering programme and separate courses which are mainly aimed at industrial design. Basic courses such as Mathematics and Ex. phil and engineering courses such as Machine Parts and Technology Management come from the engineering programme. These courses are common for all engineering programmes at NTNU. Form and colour is also a basic course in the programme, but this course is taught at the Faculty of Architecture. Project and design courses taught at the Department of Product Design amount to approx. 50% of the programme. Basic courses like Ergonomics and Communication and specialized courses such as Design Management and Innovation are taught at the Department. The backbone of the programme is the project courses, primarily Product Design 1-9. (More about the programme components)

If I understand correctly, the programme mainly focuses on the practical aspects. What place does the theoretical advanced engineering education have?

The choice of projects and elective courses in higher classes provide the opportunity to specialize so that the students obtain slightly different qualifications. Some wish to work mainly with design while others aim for product development, interaction design or management. [Read more about job prospects ]

What is the labour market like, is it easy finding a job and what are my options?

So far, our candidates have not had problems finding work. Since the programme started in 1993, approximately 100 candidates have graduated. As far as we know, everyone has found relevant jobs. Most of them are working directly with product development and design, either in industry firms (25%) or in design and product development offices (50%).

Career prospects
Some of our former students describe what it is like working as an industrial designer.

How much can a person with an MSc in Industrial Design expect to earn?

According to our latest labour market survey, the average pay the first year is slightly below that of the average advanced engineering pay, but already in the course of the second year of employment the pay rises to the average pay for advanced engineers. See for pay statistics.

What are the admission requirements for the Industrial Design programme?

You may find information about admission requirements for advanced engineering programmes here:

Are there specific entrance requirements to be admitted to the programme, or is it enough with higher education entrance qualification?

Which scientific subjects do I need from upper comprehensive school?

You need higher education entrance qualification + specialization in mathematics and physics (R1+R2 and FY1 or corresponding qualifications).

How many students are admitted every year?

The number of students admitted in 2005: 25

Do girls get extra credits when applying for this programme?

No, because in recent years, the sex distribution has been approx. 50-50.


How old are the students when starting on this programme?

The average age on this programme is 20-21 years. 40% are primary diploma students, i.e. they come straight from upper comprehensive school, and most of the others have already studied one year at NTNU or other universities.

Do I have to take Ex. phil and Ex. fac. before starting on this programme, or are these courses a part of the programme?

Ex. phil is part of the first year, but it is called a common course at NTNU. Ex. fac is not required.

Are there any other good alternatives in Scandinavia to Industrial Design at NTNU?

Chalmars in Gothenburg has started a programme in technical design which aims high. The University College in Østfold offers a 3-year engineering programme in Technical Design. This programme gives a limited number of students the opportunity to complete their master's degree at NTNU. Aalborg in Denmark has a similar programme, and more are on the way.

If I get in somewhere else in Scandinavia, can I be transferred to NTNU later on?

There is a theoretical possibility for a transfer in the 4th and 5th years, based on individual evaluations and a comparison of the education plans. The transfer usually takes place in the 4th year.

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design offers an industry designer programme. Is this programme very different from Industrial Design/Product Design at NTNU?

IFID different from NTNU? Yes and no. These two departments are the only ones in Norway giving membership rights in NID (Norwegian Industry Designers). Most of our candidates (95%) are employed by firms (consulting firms or industry) while the candidates from IFID often start their own design practices. The culture and the training also differ. But the candidates will some times compete for the same jobs.

It is called the Department of Product Design and the Industrial Design programme. . .

Is «product design» and «industrial design» the same thing?


To a certain degree, yes. The Oslo School of Architecture and Design offers an industrial design programme, which is related to our programme, but focuses more on aesthetics and less on technology. «Industrial design», formerly known as «technical design», reflects the fact that upon completion, our students receive a Master of Science (MSc).

What are the English names for the Industrial Design programme?

Product Design Engineering or Industrial Design Engineering


Advising: The student advisor for the programme you are enrolled can help you with:

  • problems regarding study progression
  • switching to a new programme
  • course schedule changes
  • applying for a leave of absence
  • choosing courses
  • exam registration

Bjørn Baggerud,

Phone: 735 90114
E-mail: Bjørn Baggerud

Office: Room 366,
Department of Product Design Engineering
Kolbjørn Hejes vei 2b

Jon Herman Rismoen - Studieprogramleder

Phone: 735 90125
E-mail: Jon Herman Rismoen

Department of Product Design Engineering
Kolbjørn Hejes vei 2b