University of Applied Sciences Munich

Department of Design

Hello & Welcome
to Munich!

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Munich University of Applied Sciences is the second largest university of applied sciences in Germany. The Department of Design at the Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) is Munich’s largest centre of design research and teaching.

We at the MUAS see design as a highly responsible task, impacting directly on society and the shaping of culture and identity.

Our conception of design strives for a balance of aesthetic, cultural, economic, technological, social and ecological aspects. Teaching design, for us, involves more than merely imparting knowledge: our wider objective is to provide our students with the space and resources to mature and develop their personal potential, and to engage creatively with the world outside. Practical relevance and application are key, but so too is scope for experimentation, for the exploration of new ideas and theoretical discourses, and for processes of transformation.

Fields of work in the Department of Design

The degree programmes and courses in the Department of Design extend across its various fields of work. They facilitate interdisciplinarity and generalization, as well as specialization, and cover a particularly broad spectrum of design topics and approaches, including:

  • Social Change and Transformative Processes
  • Innovation in Three-dimensional Design
  • Communication, Branding and Identities
  • Visual Worlds and Media
  • Digital and Interactive Life-worlds
  • Design Theory and Design Culture

Promoting different capabilities and approaches

To us, at the Department of Design, diversity is a strength, which we actively foster by promoting different competences and approaches to design. The wide range of skills and perspectives among our teaching staff is an advantage for our students in choosing areas for specialization and developing their personal view of design. Skills can only evolve through activity and ongoing reflection, working with others as a team, and testing techniques and ideas. In our teaching, therefore, the emphasis is firmly on project work and on cooperative learning methods that are open and flexible. Students are often entrusted with specific tasks linked to cooperation projects with companies or cultural institutions.

Practical orientation and scope for experiment

In an age of global challenges, we are continuously extending our network of contacts with national international actors in industry, culture and research. Through ambitious cooperation projects and special events, we engage with key issues of current interest, providing our students with practical insights into design processes, but also giving them the kind of scope for experimentation that only a university environment can offer.

The Department of Design in a new setting

Design education in Munich has a long history, stretching back over more than 100 years. The present Department of Design brings together three predecessor institutions, formerly housed in premises all over the city. In 2018, the newly consolidated Department relocated to the former armoury of the Bavarian army, an extensively renovated historic building at 17 Lothstrasse, which for the first time accommodates all our facilities and courses under one roof. The listed building from 1866 has been refitted to meet the specific needs of design education in the twenty-first century. Professional workshops, studios and laboratories are integral to this, as are computer and project rooms for collaborative and experimental activities.

The Department stages regular public presentations of its degree programmes and courses. For details, see:

The Department of Design offers a bachelor’s degree programme and a master’s degree programme.


The Bachelor programme offers an academically grounded course of study leading to a recognized design qualification, and equips students with the skills, knowledge and understanding to find their place in a demanding professional environment

Core fields and areas of specialization

The Bachelor programme comprises three core fields: Photo Design, Industrial Design and Communication Design, which are linked through interdisciplinary collaboration. The core fields also comprise various possibilities of specialization, for example in Transportation Design, Corporate Design/Branding or Interaction Design.

Programme structure

The full-time Bachelor programme extends over seven semesters. In the first semester, students receive a general introduction to design, extending across the three core fields, in six modules (Basic Design Principles, Theory of Design, Drawing, Photography, Typography and Interaction). In the second semester, they move on to study specific topics in greater detail. At this point, they can already choose extension and in-depth modules, independently of their core field, to help clarify individual interests and provide an overview of possibilities for specialization. From the third semester onwards, the focus is on project work, in which practical elements are combined with theoretical and concept-driven styles of working. The fifth semester consists of an eighteen-week internship with a professionally relevant office or organization. In the seventh semester, students are required to write a thesis before sitting the final examination. The programme leads to a B.A. degree.

For further information on the Bachelor programme and the three core fields of study, see: > Bachelor


The Master’s programme “Advanced Design“, over three semesters, encompasses all the fields of work at the Department of Design, but places particular emphasis on the areas of “Social Change and Transformative Processes“ and “Design Theory and Design Culture”.

Competence orientation

The consecutive Master’s programme in Advanced Design equips students to engage with design in visionary terms, addressing intellectual and practical challenges and reflecting on the responsibility of designers in society. The focus is on aspects such as innovation, social acceptability, sustainability, social and digital change, and further ethical, social and theoretical questions posed by design as a discipline. The Master’s course responds to the social and ecological challenges of the future and encourages students to think anew about the meaning and purpose of design. Our aim is to provide committed young designers from various creative disciplines with an opportunity to deepen their specialist knowledge, to expand their thinking in an interdisciplinary context, and to combine theory with practice in exploring the complex issues of our time.

Programme structure

The emphasis of the programme is on project work, taking place in an interdisciplinary team with intensive tutorial supervision and often in cooperation with professional organizations, research networks, etc. The topics covered include Design Theory, Ecology and Sustainability, Design Criticism, Globalization and Interculturality, Curating Design, and Strategies for the Future. This varied agenda promotes reflection on the role of design in society, and at the same time highlights new options for designers as actors in the context of industry, culture, science and research. The programme extends over three semesters, leading to an M.A. degree. The programme extends over three semesters, leading to an M.A. degree, examined on the basis of the students' practical work in connection with their project and of an extended thesis with a theoretical component.

For further information on the Master’s programme, see: > Master

Student Projects Examples

More student projects examples


Our curriculum uses interchangeable elements, enabling students to customise the material studied according to their individual interests.

You can download our curriculum as a pdf-file:

Curriculum bachelor’s degree programme
Curriculum master’s degree programme
Both curriculum programmes in one pdf


We love to hear from you!

Department of Design

Munich University of Applied Sciences

Lothstraße 17
80335 Munich, Germany

Prof. Marion Kießling
International Coordinator