PD8300 - Topics in Design Research


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment 100/100 A

Course content

Within the history of academic disciplines Design is comparatively novel and has specific challenges regarding knowledge generation, which manifests e.g. in a need for close connection of theory insights with practice-based research. This course gives PhD candidates insights in classic and novel theory of science approaches in design, in research traditions and methods in design, and in ethical theories and challenges related to design. It will also give support integrate the topics above in the candidates' own PhD research. This includes:

a) the ability to understand what is theory of science in design, and which design theories and methods are appropriate for the particular work and why,

b) to select and integrate appropriate design theories and methods in the doctoral project and

c) to understand ethical theories and issues connected with design and the individual research.

The course covers a classic and novel theory of science introduction for design, a discussion of design theories and methods, and an introduction to ethics in design. Further, the candidates research design will be discussed.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: The candidate should become knowledgeable on Theory of Science in Design, Design theories and methods and how to connect these with own research activities. The candidate should understand ethical theories and issues in design relate it to her/his own PhD content, research and methodology.

Skills: The candidate shall become able to interpret and assess different design theories, methods and ethical challenges in design research in the context of his/her own research.

General competence: The candidate will get knowledge on theory of science in design, design theories and methods, and ethical issues. She/he should become able to critically evaluate these in relation to her/his PhD research. Further the candidate shall become familiar with the conditions and requirements for writing an academic paper.

Learning methods and activities

The course consist of lectures, and seminars, self-study of relevant literature, discussions with the supervisor or other faculty members/peers during the writing process, an oral presentation and the writing of a final essay. Some of the tutoring is done via video- and skype conferencing. According to the number and needs of the candidates, the particular organization of the course will be discussed at its start. The language of the course is english.

Further on evaluation

An paper must be submitted in text form which is evaluated with pass / fail.

Required previous knowledge

Master degree in industrial design, interaction design or similar. Acceptance to a PhD program

Course materials

Announced at course start.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Design Methodology
  • Design
  • Architectural Theory
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Design


Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Assignment 100/100 A
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU