Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the role and impact of methodological decisions on research process and outcomes
  • Identify the relationships between design practice, research-driven exploratory design and academic design research
  • Select and apply design research methods suitable for a variety of design research tasks

Credits: 3

Schedule: 02.09.2022 - 02.06.2023

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Teija Vainio, Pirjo Kääriäinen

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    In this course, students learn to understand a range of various relationships between design practice, research-driven exploratory design and academic research. They become familiar with different orientations within design research and gain basic knowledge to independently deepen their competence. Orientations include human-centred design, practice-led design research, design management and leadership-related research, design-driven applied research on materials and production techniques, and design for sustainability. Students also get an introduction to general epistemological and methodological frameworks commonly used in design research. Following this theoretical introduction, students experientially learn using of design research methods relevant to their field of inquiry and Master’s thesis.

    Design Research is one of the four compulsory courses for all Master's students at the Department of Design. There are two alternative paths to complete this course: attendance or independently.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    For remote study pathway the assessment is based only on written assignment.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    3 ECTS is equal to an 81-hour workload. When students select a remote study path, they work independently to complete a written assignment (a report, 10-12 pages) based on the study material specified below and a reflection on own research. Introductionary online session is optional (more info in Mycourses)




Substitutes for Courses


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 Spring IV
    2023-2024 Spring IV

    Enrollment :

    Registration for Courses in Sisu. Minumum 50, maximum 160 students.

    Priority order to courses is according to the order of priority decided by the Academic committee for School of Arts, Design and Architecture