Department of Media & Design

Industrial Design

My Studies


Key subject areas

The content of the Master's degree programme builds on knowledge acquired in the Bachelor’s course in Industrial Design. The degree of complexity, both of the assignments and their implementation in practical projects, is much higher. Alongside skills in business and management, the Master’s degree programme provides knowledge of processes and methods coupled with technical expertise. An internship semester offers a chance to make valuable contacts for starting working life in a company.

Student projects

Interdisciplinary projects play a major role in the Master’s programme. The projects are supervised by respected designers, for example from the design departments of companies such as Audi, BMW, MAN and MINI DESIGN.

Additional skills

Commercial expertise is crucial for a successful career, whether as a start-up design studio or managing a design department. The course therefore also includes aspects of business management, marketing and innovation management. You’ll also become more proficient in the areas of advanced design, interface and usability.

Master’s thesis

We pay particular attention to scheduling the comprehensive Master’s thesis: the topic is picked in the course of a seminar before starting the internship in the third semester. This means the Master’s thesis can be combined with the internship and finally completed in the fourth semester.

What specialisations are available?

Mobility Design

From the 2016/17 academic year it will be possible to specialise in Mobility Design. You’ll look not just at the traditional field of automotive design, but will take a much wider view of the issue of mobility. Projects will be carried out in cooperation with companies involved in automotive technology and mobility. It is also important to us that you learn to use the traditional tools of transportation designers. This means firstly, handling modelling clay - a standard modelmaking technique in transportation design - and secondly, producing tape renderings using adhesive tape. It is also essential that you are able to use CAD programs. Experienced designers give you practical instruction in creating complex 3D models.

Eco-Innovative Design

Using resources and energy responsibly helps counteract the destruction of our environment. We therefore explore in depth topics around the environment and innovative product design. From the very start, when initially reflecting on new products, you will consider topics such as recycling, energy consumption, supply chain and ethical production conditions. Experts from the field of innovation and sustainability will help you translate your ideas into reality. Working in cooperation with the company Schaeffler, for example, students developed lightweight vehicles for transporting goods and people which are somewhere between a pedelec and an e-car.

Master’s Thesis

Our students often produce their Master’s thesis in industrial design in cooperation with well-known companies. They make a start on their thesis during their internship, where they compile topics with a high degree of innovation together with the company. Firms often offer our students a great deal of support producing their thesis, even helping with modelmaking. In recent years students have cooperated with BMW, Smart, Porsche and Audi, for example. Master’s theses frequently involve applied research such as an energy-efficient sailing yacht, an ultra-comfortable long distance European passenger train or the car of the future, built from biodegradable materials.

Study mode, self-study and attendance

Study mode

The Master’s in Industrial Design is a full-time course where attendance is compulsory. The majority of the classes are held Monday to Friday. Where external lecturers deliver a block of classes, teaching units may also take place on Saturdays. In addition we arrange public guest lectures, symposia and exhibitions outside regular class times. Students’ attendance at these events is also compulsory. To supplement the regular tuition, students are required to complete seminar work, design work, reports as well as modelmaking and self-study in all subjects. Projects are sometimes conducted in groups.

Example full-time course: During the semester classes take place between 8:30 and 17:00 Monday to Friday. Individual units are occasionally held outside these times and are announced with plenty of notice. We do not offer e-learning.


One ECTS point in the curriculum represents 25 full hours (of 60 minutes) of workload for our students. 30 ECTS in a semester corresponds to a total of around 750 hours per semester.


At FH JOANNEUM attendance is compulsory at all classes. A doctor’s note must be submitted if students miss three days of lectures. If a student is absent for more than 20 percent of a course within a semester, that subject cannot be marked. Consequently the student also fails this subject.