Interaction design and technologies, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

Apply nowDesign interactive digital products, environments, systems and services in a programme that focuses on user behaviour and human-computer interaction.​

Interaction design and technologies​ master's programme at Chalmers

Interaction design is the practice of designing interactive digital products, environments, systems and services. It focuses on behaviour – how users act and how products respond to user behaviour.
As such, it is a necessary discipline in any design project aiming to create something complex and computer-augmented that is to be used by humans: compu​ter software, games, interactive products such as smartphones, “intelligent” homes, cars, clothes and so on.
Given the increased focus on interaction design in general, and on social media, entertainment and new physical products, in particular, the master's programme aims to provide interaction designers with the knowledge and skills needed to meet the ever-shifting demands of this emerging job market segment.

The master's programme allows the following specialisations
  • Interaction designer focused on user interface design and information visualisation
  • Interaction designer focused on tangible interaction
  • Interaction designer focused on entertainment, games and social media
  • Game developer with some experience of gameplay design and interaction design

Interaction between humans and digital artefacts

It is no longer enough to build a system, product or application that is only functional or efficient; there is an increasing demand for products that are not only efficient but also have other values, such as being pleasurable to handle and use or even fun or intriguing. As a result of the new demands, there is a whole new set of interaction design-oriented jobs on the market.
Interaction designers can now be found in any software company, as well as in the game industry, or in companies that combine hardware and software, e.g. mobile phone producers like Apple or Sony Ericsson. Other key areas include web design and web marketing, information visualisation and design of physical interactive products like toys, GPS etc.
The master's programme is intended for anyone with a keen interest in the interaction between humans and digital artefacts. This means that the programme attracts students from different educational backgrounds – from psychology and cognitive science to computer science and information technology, including those with different design backgrounds.

Topics covered

The subjects of computing design, human interaction and interactive simulations are fundamental areas in the Interaction design and technologies master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as development factors, human centred design, interactive simulations, user visualization​ and game development.

Master's programme structure

The master's programme runs for a duration of two years, leading to a Master of Science (MSc) degree. During each year, students can earn 60 credits (ECTS) and complete the programme by accumulating a total of 120 credits. Credits are earned by completing courses where each course is usually 7.5 credits. The programme consists of Compulsory courses, Compulsory elective courses and Elective courses.

Compulsory courses year 1

During the first year the programme starts with three compulsory courses that form a common foundation in Interaction design and technologies. Each course is usually 7.5 credits. ​

Compulsory courses year 2

In the second year you  must complete a master's thesis in order to graduate. The thesis may be worth 30 credits or 60 credits depending on your choice.;
  • Interaction design project​
  • ​Master’s thesis​

Compulsory elective courses 

Through compulsory elective courses, you can then specialize in one of the four profile tracks, or a combination thereof.​​ You must select four out of twelve profile courses, two courses per study period including the compulsory courses are required for a degree.

Profile: Interaction design focused on tangible interaction

  • Tangible interaction
  • Human centred design

Profile: Interaction design focused on user interface design and information visualization

  • Computer graphics
  • Information visualization
  • Human centred design
  • Mobile computing

Profile: Interaction designfocused on entertainment games and social media

  • Gameplay design
  • Designing user experiences
  • Human centred design
  • Mobile computing

Profile: Game development focused on gameplay design and interaction design

  • ​Computer graphics
  • Game engine architecture
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Mobile computing
  • Gameplay design

Elective courses 

You will also be able to select courses outside of your programme plan. These are called elective courses. You can choose from a wide range of elective courses.

Research connections

The programme is offered by the Division of Interaction design  at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The research group specialises in areas such as tangible and pervasive interaction, game design, innovative graphical user interfaces, health care informatics and the use of IT in vehicles. We have close collaboration with for instance Volvo and the Interactive institute.

Department of Computer Science and Engineering 

Student interview

“Now I have a great portfolio”
Haining Liu, China, Interaction Design and Technologies

Chat with Haining

Why did you choose this programme?
– I have a background in Architecture but was really interested in exploring interaction design and wanted a Master’s Programme that gave me the basics but also focused on the technical aspects of design. The many tracks in this programme let you choose which field you want to develop in, so there are a lot of possibilities.  

What have you been working on?
– This programme combines literature with project-based-learning. Since we are from different backgrounds, some of us work with design and other focus on the technology aspect of our assignment. I have designed an app that will help the driver to stay alert on long trips, combining both information and entertainment through voice control. I have also designed a tangible device that helps you control Spotify and the lights based on hand gestures. 

What do you like the most about your programme?
– The teachers are really engaged in our projects. They always respect our ideas and provide a lot of feedback on our designs. We also have a lot of guest lectures that tell us about real design cases in their companies which is very helpful for both our projects but also in figuring out where we want to work in the future. 

What do you want to do in the future?
– In the past year, I have already collected enough projects with different aspects of interaction design that have helped me to make a great portfolio. After I graduate at Chalmers, I want to find a job as an interaction designer and would also love to be an RPG-game designer. 

​S​tudent Blogs

Page manager Published: Mon 29 Nov 2021.