M.A. On Campus

Contemporary Design

Aalto University

24 months
15000 EUR/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Contemporary Design Programme from Aalto University supports students to discover and advance their individual creative processes and in linking them to the problem-solving processes and methods of others. Students are working in a multifaceted learning environment that provides support for creativity, as well as critical and analytical thinking.


The Contemporary Design Programme from Aalto University bridges research and design, and it provides students with strong foundation in practice-based research. It educates sensitive and visionary students who have skills to propose radical solutions and responsible innovations for the future.

After graduation the students:

  • have strong practical design skills for material productions and experiments
  • can critically reflect and innovate on established design traditions, emerging interpretations of design and their own design practice
  • display a strong artistic vision and are able to take responsibility, argument and stand behind their work as a designer
  • are able to profit from emerging technologies and materials in their artistic and design practices
  • understand how the field of contemporary design works internationally and how their own work is connected to broader developments in society and commercial opportunities
  • have experience in exhibiting and curatorial practices in the fields of design and contemporary craft, as well as how to connect their work to external partners and sponsors
  • are familiar with means to commercialize design and design driven innovations

Career opportunities

The program serves as an Academic Lab where contemporary design and a strong design heritage mix and integrate with research and technology, advanced materials and manufacturing methods and entrepreneurial mindset resulting nontraditional and innovation-focused solutions.

Contemporary Design Programme graduates an alumnni network of talents. The network support the graduate to pursue a career as a creative entrepreneur following one’s strong artistic vision and/or as a member of a collective or start-up together with others. The graduate is prepared for work in teams and projects in collaboration with companies, organizations and the public sector. The graduate may also continue to develop one’s design excellence and research skills through doctoral studies.

Programme Structure

Courses included

  • Design Culture Now
  • Design Research
  • Thesis Plan Orientation
  • Materials and Living Systems
  • Critical Design Practices
  • Experimental Design

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines


120 ECTS


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Scanned colour copy of the original Bachelor’s degree certificate
    • Scanned colour copy of the original official transcript of study records.
    • If you have any other higher education degrees you wish to be taken into consideration in admissions, scanned colour copies of degree certificate and official transcript of records. If documents are not in Finnish, Swedish or English, scanned colour copies of authorised translations are required as well.
    • Copy of a valid passport or an official government-issued identification card with photo and information on citizenship. 
    • Portfolio (electronic)
    • Demonstrating proficiency in English

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    15000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 15000 EUR per year during 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 0 EUR per year during 24 months.

Living costs for Helsinki

975 - 1584 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Contemporary Design
Aalto University


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