Master of Design

Please note that you have to document fluent knowledge of the Norwegian language in order to be eligible for the complete 5-year programme. 

AHO has a 2-year Master of Design programme, taught in English. Click here for more information.


AHO's Master of Design is a five-year study programme. The first three years are comprised of the Foundation level and the last two years of the Master’s level. While the Institute does not offer a Bachelors degree, the first three years of the education at AHO are accepted as an equivalent. After successfully completing the Foundation level, all students are eligible for entry into the Master’s level at AHO, or at another university. Students with other relevant design backgrounds are also accepted into the Masters level, which is taught in English.

Master of Design offers a ’hybrid’ environment that educates ’specialized’ students with a common base of design thinking. During their studies, students choose their own level of specialization or hybridization.

Throughout the five years, students collaborate with external practitioners and companies, as well as with research and development projects at the Institute.

The completion of the five-year Master’s degree equips students to enter into practise as high-level, internationally relevant designers, specialized in the key areas of Industrial Design, Interaction Design, and Service Design (as well as with a perspective on Systems).

AHO design has made a website for those who are interested in finding out more about our design programme. So if you are ready to change the world; read about the study and previous projects, see pictures and more here



Foundation-level courses provide methods, tools, and knowledge in preparation for the Master’s degree. Students develop practical experience in a studio-based environment exploring tools and materials, as well as aesthetics and form. The students learn experimental and creative methods, as well as different approaches to the design process. Courses are offered in design methodology, computer-aided design, and specific tool-based areas. These courses cover drawing, wood, and metal workshops, CAD, and a wide variety of relevant software for graphics, communication, interaction design, film making, rapid prototyping, or direct digital manufacturing in the lab.

The first year provides a general introduction to the fields of design, design process, practise and creative production, and inquiry, exposing students to the three areas of specialization. The subsequent two Foundation years introduce students to physical products, interactive products, and to services and experiences. In the final semester, students are introduced to Systems Oriented Design and then determine their interest areas and can focus more on an area of specialization. Design projects are placed in a wider context, enabling students to transition into and direct their studies at the Master’s level.

All courses at the Foundation level are mandatory; however, throughout their Foundation studies, students may increasingly orient their projects toward an area of specialization, particularly in the latter part of the curriculum. The Foundation is taught primarily in Norwegian.

Master's level

The Master level is chiefly designed for students who have passed the Foundation level. However, students with relevant design backgrounds are also eligible to apply. The Master’s courses are taught in English.

The Master’s is a two year curriculum and all students are expected to have basic tools and a general understanding of design methods, approaches, and mind-sets.

Master's level courses allow students to specialize in three areas: Industrial Design, Interaction Design, or Service Design, or embark on a more personal hybrid blend of the three. Students have an option of working with a Systems Oriented Design approach to their specialized or hybrid area of study.

The first year consists of courses and projects in the chosen specialization(s). In the second year students dedicate the first semester to their area of specialization or join interdisciplinary work under a Systems Oriented Design umbrella. Parallel to this they begin narrowing the theme of, and planning for, their Diploma project. The last semester is dedicated to the Diploma project. This project may be done in collaboration with external companies or organizations, or connected to research and development at the Centre for Design Research within the Institute. After completion, all students are equipped to enter a professional design career or to pursue academic research. Master’s students are invited into and encouraged to take part in the many research projects at AHO’s Institute of Design (IDE) and its Centre for Design Research. Strong Master’s students may also go into the school’s related PhD programme.