Master of Design (MDes) Interaction Design


Program Description

The Interaction Design specialism is directed at students with a passion for people and technology, who have curiosity about the future and want to shape how information is accessed and used, how environments might change based on need, or how embedded information in products support use. Those with a Bachelor’s degree in design (visual communication, product, digital media, or environmental design), communication, information technology, or even psychology may find interaction design to be the next step in their professional development.

Interaction Design (MDes): a studio-based programme exploring human-centredness / PolyU Design

Programme Aims

This specialism seeks to enhance human ability and life through the design of innovative, interactive and experiential ideas, based on a synthesis of human thought patterns and habits with technical means. A combination of theory, planning strategies, research, and technical skills provide the foundation for workshops that explore emerging aspects of interaction design, based on human needs and pleasures as well as technological development.

Programme Objectives

This specialism seeks to join theory and action by:

  • putting people first in the people/technology equation — explore human-centredness
  • understanding active communication processes on which interactivity is built
  • learning methods for analysis and construction of interaction design
  • working across communication technology, product interface, and service systems
  • focusing on one of the above as an alternative focus
  • developing a holistic approach to human-centred interaction that includes a problem or opportunity identification, research, prototyping and execution
Experience Night at Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) Conference, held in HK PolyU School of Design / PolyU Design

Programme Structure

The specialism is structured by a combination of intensively taught short courses that directly support a workshop investigation. Workshops take various forms from individual to teamwork, from self-initiated projects to externally sponsored projects. A range of electives is available to tailor the experience to individual interests. Some classes meet during weekends and evenings. The expectation is that the student is fully committed to the programme and works in the studio environment. The programme concludes with a demonstration project that unites: research, creative exploration, user understanding, and prototype testing toward a solution. Graduation requires the successful completion of 36 credits.

Demonstration Project is the final individual project that brings together a complete interaction design process, synthesizing research and development and ending in proof of concept. / PolyU Design

Class delivery mode & duration

Classes are normally held during daytime on weekdays except for three subjects, which will be delivered during weekends. Each of these weekend subjects requires three weekends spread over 4–5 weeks.

Normally it takes 1 year to complete the specialism.

Our students have a background in Design or in a related discipline, such as communication, information technology, and psychology. The current student group has an average of 3 years related professional experience. / PolyU Design


Entrance requirement

A Bachelor’s degree in design or the equivalent in a related discipline and professional experience in design is preferred.

A complete application includes
  • Application form
  • Letter of intent
  • Three letters of recommendation (Academic/ Profession)
  • Evidence of academic qualification, i.e. Official Full Transcripts and Degree Certificates
  • Portfolio (refer to FAQ for requirements and submission)
  • IELTS/ TOEFL report^

^ Except for native English speakers whose Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent qualification) is awarded by a recognised university where the medium of instruction is English. Otherwise, you are expected to fulfil the following minimum English language requirement for admission purpose: A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 80 for the Internet-based test or 550 for the paper-based test; OR An overall Band Score of at least 6 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). All English language test scores are considered valid for two years after the date of the test.


All admissions must go through the interview process. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview in person (for local applicants) or over internet video calls (for non-local applicants).

Local and non-local students from the Mainland, other parts of Asia and rest of the world / PolyU Design

Financial Aid

PolyU Design BA graduates can apply for Alumni Bursary (subject to approval) when admitted into one of the MDes programmes in 2020/21. This financial aid will be in a form of reimbursement of an amount equivalent to 15% of the tuition fee paid.

Local students who are holders of HKID Card (Permanent) admitted to one of the MDes programmes in 2020/21 may apply for the subsidy capped at HK$120,000 offered by the University Grants Committee (UGC)’s Targeted Taught Postgraduate Programmes Fellowships Scheme for the settlement of the tuition fee. The main purpose of the Fellowship Scheme is to attract meritorious local students to pursue interdisciplinary and in-depth postgraduate training in priority areas of strategic importance for Hong Kong and to meet the societal needs for talents speedily.

Other types of financial aid for local students are available through the Government's Student Finance Office: Continuing Education Fund (CEF) and Extended Non-means-Tested Loan Scheme (ENLS).

No scholarship is available for non-local students.

* Remark: PolyU reserves the right to change the terms or withdraw the above fellowships or bursary. In case of any dispute/disagreement, PolyU’s decision is final.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

PolyU Design has been an important hub of design education and research for Hong Kong since 1964. The School thrives on its geographical position in bridging the East and the West, allowing its studen ... Read More

PolyU Design has been an important hub of design education and research for Hong Kong since 1964. The School thrives on its geographical position in bridging the East and the West, allowing its students to develop their design strengths with a uniquely international cultural awareness at both professional and social levels. Read less