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Postgraduate education in design

Do you have a burning desire to contribute to the understanding of how people experience, interact with, and change the world through design and innovation? Then you may be just right for doing a PhD in Design!

At Design, you can do your PhD in a broad range of design and innovation related areas including product design, service design, social innovation, inclusive and norm-creative design, gender and diversity in technology and innovation, graphic design, and visual communication.

The PhD is a 4-year postgraduate (third cycle study) degree, leading to a Doctor of Philosophy. As a PhD student in Design, you study doctoral courses ranging from 60 to 90 ECTS credits, and do a research project ranging from 150 to 180 ECTS credits. 

Postgraduate courses

The coursework is done by taking part in doctoral courses at Industrial Design at Luleå University of Technology, and by enrolling to doctoral courses at other departments, institutions or universities. The courses contribute to the completion of your PhD and support you in areas such as research design, philosophy of science, writing and publishing, as well as in areas of specific relevance to your particular research subject. You do your doctoral work as part of the Graduate School in Humans and Technology at the Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences at Luleå University of Technology.

Current PhD courses

Introduction to Design Research - Approach, Method and Proposal (7.5 ECTS)

Design Research Methods (7.5 ECTS)


You can enrol to doctoral studies in one of three ways; by successfully applying and being admitted:

  • to a PhD position as a doctoral candidate employed by the university (any available openings are listed here). Note that this is a competitive process, as are all applications for university positions.
  • as an external PhD student, while being employed and fully financially supported by another university, organisation or company, or
  • to do your PhD supported by a scholarship (this is applied very restrictively).

Note that you cannot enrol in doctoral studies in Sweden through private and/or self-financing arrangements, for example through the payment of postgraduate tuition fees. You can read more about financing of PhD studies here.

In order to be eligible for doctoral studies, you need to fulfil basic criteria, which are outlined in the General Study Plan for Industrial Design, which is available here. The study plan also outlines the learning goals and course requirements for your PhD study.