MA Design

The Master of Arts in Design of the Bern University of the Arts HKB offers you an individual course for design and design-research projects with a high degree of social relevance in the fields of Entrepreneurship and Research, as a full-time student (over 3 semesters) or as a part-time student (over 5 semesters).


Design with a social impact

Professional design has undergone a major change. Since its means of production, its basic knowledge and its methods have become accessible to a larger public, the economic value of traditional services in communication design and product design has been decreasing. At the same time, designers today are developing innovative solutions for socially relevant problems, without restricting themselves to non-profit or charitable projects. The MA Design will support you in grasping the complexity of such issues, in interpreting them, and in finding answers in a results-oriented fashion, by letting you bring together knowledge from diverse fields to use in your project.


One student, one project

The MA Design is focussed exclusively on your project. This affords you sufficient time to develop a socially relevant design question or research question, and to develop an innovative solution that will increase your chances of achieving an attractive career. You apply with an idea for a product, a service or a research project or choose an idea from the advertised project proposals. You will be aided in finding both your idea for your project and an appropriate supervisor by the commission whose task it is to determine your aptitude for the course. The commission will also help you to put together your curriculum according to the specific needs of your project. Your supervisor will guide you in the development of your idea into a sustainable concept; you will design your curriculum according to the specific needs of your project, choosing appropriate courses from the MA Design, the Division of Design and Fine Arts, the MAS Signaletics – Environmental Information Design, CAS Data Vizualisation and other courses of the HKB, the Bern University of Applied Sciences and many other institutions. Here you can choose between two specific options:



On the “Entrepreneurship” track you will conclude your studies with a concept for a design-based product or service that you can make into the basis of a subsequent entrepreneurial career. The part-time course (over 5 semesters) is designed for students who would already like to apply their knowledge directly in the practical field during their studies, or who have begun working after completing their first degree and would now like to expand their abilities, to specify their business idea or improve their career possibilities without having to interrupt their professional activities.



On the “Research” track you will conclude your studies with a plan for a research project that you will carry out in your subsequent academic career. With your final project you can apply for admission to a doctoral programme, in particular at the Graduate School of the Arts (GSA) – an institution that is unique in all of Switzerland (via the specialised Master in Research on the Arts of the University of Bern) and research support. The part-time course (over 5 semesters) is designed both for students who, in parallel with their studies, would like to work as a research assistant in a project of one of the HKB research areas, in particular in the Communication Research area, and for students who would like to develop a research project alongside their current work as a designer.


Apply here

Ask for a non-binding consultation 






Head of Studies

Robert Lzicar


Teaching Staff




Miriam Koban



Sue Schmid


The first master's theses of the new MA Design will be published here in spring 2017.



Bern University of the Arts

MA Design

Fellerstrasse 11

CH-3027 Bern


T +41 31 848 38 48

F +41 31 848 38 51